Stand Up In Victoria BC

SUP at Ultimate BnB…Who Knew?!

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Photo Credit: Unknown

The first blog post of 2016 goes to a new friend and fellow blogger from San Francisco, Tomadaonline. I must confess, before meeting Tom (virtually, that is; we have yet to meet in person) I had never heard the term ‘SUP’. And for the uninitiated SUP stands for “Stand Up Paddleboarding”. Since meeting Tom, he has certainly piqued my interest in the sport. Victoria and Vancouver Island have become favoured destinations for SUP enthusiasts. UltimateBnB is ideally located to accommodate such adventurers.

So without further ado, please give Tom a warm, Vancouver Island welcome!

Victoria British Columbia left its prints on me. I was only there once, back in 1973, on the return leg of a leisurely jaunt through B.C. and Alberta. The place seemed magical. I saw my first Belted Kingfisher in Victoria. It was on the west coast. There were Bald Eagles too, but the Kingfisher is the bird I remember best. There were two and they sang. They danced in the air. They flew high, and turned hard. It was a courtship of sorts, and it brought the coast alive.

We spent the late afternoon and evening at Buchart Gardens touring the grand landscape while waiting patiently for the sun to set so we could bask in the garden’s luminous evening light. It was as promised.

I hadn’t been to England yet, but in retrospect, Victoria reminds me of the quaint bits of London. Very proper, yet ever so enchanting.  And they have Stand Up Paddleboarding, from flat water to surf.

Today, I’d stay at Ultimate BnB on the West Shore.  Within two blocks you can SUP the lagoon or the ocean.  The BnB is gorgeous, and the owner loves the water.  There are board rental shops at several locations including SUP Victoria and Ocean River Sports.

And there’s great surfing up the west coast at Tofino.  You can rent gear atTofino Paddle Surf.  Check out the Tofino SUP Surfing video.

If you have 8 minutes, check out the Naish SUP trip into the northwest.  They paddled in flat water, SUP Surfed in Tofino, and paddled by bears. Naish has a full line of stand up paddleboards for flat, surf, downwind, and more.

Naish SUP-tripping up the Pacific Northwest from Naish International onVimeo.

 

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Top 9 Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Victoria BC

There are many reasons to consider spending the Holiday Season on Vancouver Island…lovely mild weather, incredible scenery, and fun, friendly people to start. But there are plenty of themed events to take in as well. I’ve chosen 9 but there are many more!

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  • #9 – 24th Annual Festival of Trees in support of BC Children’s Hospital. Each year a variety of business leaders present their staff decorated Christmas trees to adorn the public spaces throughout The Bay Centre in downtown Victoria. Shoppers are encouraged to view the trees then donate to vote for their favourite. The 2015 campaign raised over $23,000 for a very worthy cause.
  • #8 – Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase – Another fundraiser for a great cause: Habitat for Humanity. Last year $38,102 was raised for “Building homes – Building Hope”. There are 2 categories: professional & home baker. Entries are judged during a kick-off gala evening at The Laurel Point Inn where they can be viewed until January 3rd, 2016. Tip: don’t take in this event when you’re hungry!
  • #7 – A Sentimental Christmas featuring soprano Eleanor McCainEleanor McCainDecember 11-13, 2015. Celebrate the season with the Victoria Symphony’s traditional concert of yuletide cheer featuring soprano Eleanor McCain. Maestra Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony will be joined by choristers from the Victoria Choral Society for a concert full of Christmas favorites including an opportunity for the audience to join in with sing-a-long holiday carols.

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  • #6 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show – Tuesday, Dec. 15/15 – 7:30 PM. It has been 8 long years since this incomparable 5-time Grammy winning act has graced the stage in Victoria. They normally appear at the summer Jazz Fest so this special Holiday Season appearance promises to be a real treat.
  • #5 17th Annual Sing Along Messiah – December 16th, 2015 – 7 PM at Alix Gooldin Hall and presented by the Civic Orchestra of Victoria. This event is the perfect opportunity to give those vocal cords a workout on some of the most challenging Christmas music around.
  • #4 Magic of Christmas at world famous Butchart Gardens – from Dec. 1st, 2015 thru Jan. 6th, 2016. A tradition since 1987, the lighting crew works for 2 months preparing the hundreds of thousands of lights for the December 1st light-up ceremony. Throughout the festive season the ice skating rink in Waterwheel Square adds an extra experience to the lighting extravaganza. Each evening the Festive Brass and Traditional Carollers perform in the crisp night air.
  • # 3 Christmas with Holly Cole – December 19, 2015 – 8 PM15-16-Specials-Holly-Cole-1030x1030

  • Deck your holiday season with the sounds of Holly! Juno-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Holly Cole returns to the Victoria Symphony and will delight audiences with her versatile and distinctive voice. Mixing jazz, pop and your favourite holiday music, her unique interpretations and original music are applauded as being highly musical, intensely innovative, and refreshingly witty.
  • # 2 One Tree Exhibit – Nov 14, 2015 thru January 15, 2016. For almost a century this old growth Big-Leaf Maple from the Cowichan Valley stood witness to the events that shaped Vancouver Island. It needed to come down in October 2014 for health and safety reasons. Initially destined for the wood pile, the visionaries at Live Edge Design and the Robert Bateman Centre had a dream. Together they gathered 42 artists who, in turn, created nearly $175,000 worth of incredible art-work from this old, dying tree. Now the public is invited to celebrate this tree through an exhibit of the artist’s work showing at the Robert Bateman Centre. Come see this impressive community project that celebrates a 100-year-old-tree through the creations of 42 artists from Vancouver Island and across Canada.
  •  # 1 Grand Opening of Ultimate BnB“The best vacation rental suite we’ve ever seen” – T & P, Cochrane Alberta.  The number one reason to spend the Holiday Season in Victoria is the chance to be among the very first guests at our brand-new vacation rental. As an introductory offer we are keeping our rates at their current Low-Season levels throughout the month of December. Look for our listing on your favourite travel site:
  • VRBO
  • FLIPKEY
  • TRIP ADVISOR
  • AIRBNB
  • TRAVEL MOB

As your hosts at Ultimate BnB we wish everyone a truly delightful Holiday Season and the very best for 2016!

 

 

 

Featured

What’s In A Name?

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In the world of Vacation Rentals, the name Matt Landau resonates with many property owners. He has accomplished much at Cuatro Tulipanes in Panama City. Mr. Landau is recognized as a force within the industry and revered for his generosity when it comes to sharing knowledge. In his book, The World’s “Most Efficient Primer” on Vacation Rental Marketing he offers 20 actionable tips, each doable in 20 minutes (or so). Tip # 1: Give your vacation rental a name.

When we told our friends the name of our new Bed & Breakfast we were met with gasps and looks of horror. “You’re setting yourself up for failure. Your reviews will be filled with comments like, “it was good, but it was hardly ‘the ultimate”. Others felt that we would come across as arrogant or braggarts and that potential guests would be turned off. What do you think? We’d love it if you would take a minute to answer our poll question and provide a comment.

If you’re interested in our rates, available dates, or if you would like to make a reservation we are listed on the following vacation rental sites:

VRBO

Air BnB

Flip Key

Travel Mob

Thank-you for your interest in Ultimate BnB and please check back often.


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Your Hosts @ Ultimate BnB

Christopher Columbus?

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Hi, we’re your hosts Laurie & Faye, and we’re excited to be opening our new, “Ultimate BnB” bed & breakfast. The unit is perfect for  1 or 2 people and is located on Vancouver Island (ranked # 7 In the Best Islands in the World: Reader’s Choice Awards 2015 by Conde Nast magazine) on the Westshore of Victoria BC, Canada.

Faye



About Us: It took nearly 40 years for us to find each other; another 3 years to ‘test the waters’ before taking the plunge. We married on July 15th, 1995 at Sooke Harbour House, a lovely seaside resort just down the road from our current home.

Putting together our Ultimate BnB has been a labour of love. For us, it has been one of those ‘someday’ projects…one we were never quite certain we would actually get to do.

Faye: “I come from a business background but my interests include music, food, gardening and travel. In the mid to late 80’s I was the GM at an import/export wholesaler in Winnipeg MB. It was an exciting time for me because we were among the first companies in Canada to develop trade with China and other countries in the Asian Pacific region. Laurie and I met in 1992 at an industry trade-show in Victoria, BC. While ‘testing the waters’ as Laurie likes to put it, we joined forces and began to grow our tourist retail business, Maple Leaf Gifts. We operated 2 gift shops that anchored either end of the Victoria Conference Centre in a perfect location right next to the famous Empress Hotel. We loved meeting people from around the world and many came back to visit us year after year. I must have made an impression because I was nominated for the City of Victoria’s hospitality award and won it 2 years running. After the successful sale of that business in the spring of 2002 we took some time for travel before launching our current consulting practice where we fill the CFO(Chief Financial Officer) role for a small group of business clients.”

Laurie: “I share many interests with Faye, but with a twist. I am a former professional musician. I graduated Grant McEwan University in Jazz performance in the 80’s while Faye was learning international trade! As an owner of Southern Sound Recording Studios I worked in sound engineering and production. I recorded albums for a variety of artists and worked on radio and TV commercials for both regional and national accounts. I have released an album and a CD under my own name as well. Several years back I was fortunate to be part of Victoria’s Jazz-Fest as a member of the George Essihos Quartet when we opened for Downbeat magazine’s male vocalist of the year, Kurt Elling at Alix Gooldin Hall.  In 2000, we were invited to appear on CBC Radio’s weekly jazz show ‘Hot Air’. At that time it was hosted by Paul Grant. The video posted below is a slide-show I put together from one of our many trips to Tofino, BC. I used the Bill Evans tune ‘Interplay’ that we recorded in Studio 2 in Vancouver as a ‘soundtrack’.

Faye & Laurie – Why we chose Victoria: “We met in Victoria. Like most transplants from elsewhere in Canada, we each, for separate, yet similar reasons looked to ‘find a way’ to live in the most beautiful part of this great country and to be able to enjoy its temperate climate year round. Truthfully, we simply wanted to escape those ferocious and legendary Canadian winters!”