Place-Based Learning: Malcolm Knapp Research Forest Visit

As part of the Holistic Teaching and Learning course I am taking we visited the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge. This week our focus was Place-Based Learning so we met with our former classmate, Randy, who works at the Maple Ridge Environmental School. The Research Forest is one of the learning environments the school uses.

We began our visit with about 10 minutes to find a spot in the forest alone. I spent the time looking at my surroundings and trying to bring my thoughts back to the nature around me when my mind started to drift. I also paid attention to the sounds that I could hear nearby and in the distance. I took a few pictures from the spot I chose.

We then gathered as a group and Randy asked us if there were any questions we had about what we noticed. From there we headed off on a short walk to a pond. We saw two deer on the way! I wish I had been able to get a picture. When we arrived at the pond Randy gave us an opportunity to be learners with a couple activities students at the school have done. We looked at a living organism from the pond and tried to identify it. We were also encouraged to collect our own samples of water and to see what living organisms we could see. It was neat to experience this as an adult. I enjoyed seeing how groups of us worked together and what questions were sparked.

We chatted in small groups about the idea of Environmental Education. We considered possibilities in our own classrooms and any challenges we thought would arise and any questions we had. Afterwards we had an opportunity to ask Randy any questions. My question was related to writing – “What if a student wants to write a story about a princess in a castle for example? Would she be allowed to do this?” Basically it sounded like the student would be encouraged to somehow make the environment, in this case the forest, part of the story somehow.

Before we walked back to the parking lot I snapped a few pictures of the pond area.

I enjoyed our trip to the forest and it has given me lots to think about. I will likely spend some time looking at how I could do something place-based with my class!


A Little Taste of Holland: New Westminster Style

When my mom told me she was planning to go out for breakfast with her three best friends from school and that she figured it would be okay if I tagged along I was eager to join! I think it’s pretty amazing that they have remained friends after all these years. Although I’m in my 30’s I still call them all “Auntie” and don’t plan on ever stopping. 

My mom and I decided we would keep the fact that I was coming a secret from Auntie Debbie who was in town from Terrace – exciting! Then on Friday night I got a message from Auntie Debbie telling me about breakfast and asking if I wanted to surprise MY MOM by coming! Too funny. Auntie Janice didn’t know I was coming so there was still a surprise.

Auntie Sharon suggested going to Angelina’s Dutch Corner in New Westminster.

My mom and I parked by the Quay so we could walk along the Fraser River to get to the restaurant. It was such a beautiful fall morning! For all the rain we get we sure have some spectacularly stunning days.

It was a short but enjoyable walk to Angelina’s. The restaurant was small but Auntie Sharon arrived early enough for us to get a table. I was overwhelmed by the size of the menu but I had already decided I would get a Pannekoeken as a reminder of my time in Amsterdam! I chose the Bacon, Mushrooms and Cheese. I got my choice of four cheeses – Edam, Gouda, Cheddar or Jalapeno Jack. I chose Gouda – my fave! I also added a side of hollandaise. Real healthy lol.

Although not as tasty as the ones I had in Amsterdam, it was still delicious and I definitely plan to return. For those of you who have an Entertainment Book – there’s a coupon!

To read about my time in Amsterdam click HERE!

Challenge Accepted: September’s Mini-Adventure at Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery

After a failed Skype date (poor Internet connection on Coen’s end) put me in a not so stellar mood I decided I need to get out and find something that would make me smile. The sun was shining so I decided to find somewhere new to go for my challenge. I was thinking about a Farmer’s Market but by now it was already 3pm so that was out of the question. Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery in Langley popped into my head. Berry season is over but a quick look at their website assured me it would still be worth a trip there.

When I first arrived I saw beautful, bright flowers, still gorgeous in fall.

The entrance to the Wine Tasting area looked very inviting, but I saved that for next time. Today I was here for the market.

Beside the entrance way was a display of pumpkins and other squash. Yum!

And The Porch, where you can order and enjoy food. There is a limited menu right now and they didn’t have any waffles left by the time I arrived so I’ll try those another time. Too bad though because it would have been a lovely day to sit outside.

I was pretty much in Heaven when I walked into the market area and saw the pies directly ahead of me. Pie is my favourite dessert and they appeared to have every pie imaginable. Except Peach Raspberry – and I admit I was a little disappointed. Peach is my all-time favourite but since Krause is a berry farm I chose Raspberry. Sorry Dad, I just couldn’t resist! 

There were also Ice Cream and Berry Perogies which I had never seen before.

There was a little fresh bakery section but there wasn’t much left and they also had some produce. The market area had tons of preserves, food and kitchen and giftware. I’ll be back to check it out again closer to Christmas!

I bought a few things and am curious to see how it all tastes!

All in all it was definitely worth a visit!

Summer Eats

Who doesn’t love food? If you say you, I think you might be lying. Anyway, that’s besides the point because this is about me and some of the scrumptious foods I came across throughout the summer. 

Sweet Chili Cauliflower, MeeT in Gastown, Vancouver
Iced Mocha & Shortbread, Blacksmith Bakery, Fort Langley
Noodle Box with Chicken, Roaming Dragon Food Truck, Shipyards Market – North Vancouver
Vegan Mango Pineapple Ice Cream, Welcome Parlour, North Vancouver
Bacon and S’mores Waffle, Waffles with Benefits, PNE – Vancouver
The Main Event with Bacon, Reel Mac and Cheese Food Truck, PNE – Vancouver
Roasted Mushroom + Country Bacon Pizzette, The Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver
Chief Dominic Charlie Burger, The Tomahawk, North Vancouver
Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Gelato, Matteo’s Gelato, Port Coquitlam
Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Langley
Baja Shrimp Tacos, The Dime, Vancouver
Chili Cauli & Cucumber, The Dime, Vancouver
Warehouse Poutine, El Furniture Warehouse, Whistler
Sea Ya Later Tater, Taters: The Baked Potato Co., Shipyards Market – North Vancouver

Slavic Roll with Lemon and Raspberry Filling, Slavic Rolls Food Truck, Shipyards Market – North Vancouver
And now, something that totally surprised me. Coen suggested we have this for breakfast one day and I admit I was totally skeptical. It only took one bite to discover how delicious it was!

Bread, Butter, Sliced Strawberries and a Sprinkle of Sugar
There you have it. Some of my summer 2017 top eats! Below are links to some of the websites in case you get a hankering for something you see here. Happy Eating!


Blacksmith Bakery

Roaming Dragon

Welcome Parlour

Reel Mac and Cheese

The Belgard Kitchen

Matteo’s Gelato

Montana’s BBQ & Bar

The Dime

El Furniture Warehouse

Taters: The Baked Potato Co.

Slavic Rolls

Summer Beauty: My Top 12 Photos

I love taking pictures of all things that fall into my definition of beautiful.  I only use my phone and sadly mine died at the beginning of August so I’ve been using my old one with a less than stellar camera, but I’ve still managed to capture some beauty throughout the summer.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver
Train tracks on the way to Brandywine Falls, Whister
The trail to Brandywine Falls, Whistler
Brandywine Falls, Whistler
Whistler, British Columbia
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver
Totem Poles at Stanley Park, Vancouver
Vancouver from Stanley Park
 Stanley Park, Vancouver
Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington
Vancouver from North Vancouver
Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver

Tourist in My Own City: Tour Guys Downtown & Waterfront Walking Tour

Back in July I blogged about the walking tour I did of Granville Street and Gastown.  I had such a good experience that I wanted to check out another of the Tour Guys Free Walking Tours!  Coen and I decided to do one while he was here, opting for the Downtown & Waterfront tour.  We extended the invite to some of my friends and four of them joined us!

The tour began at Pacific Centre.  The first building we went into was the Hotel Vancouver, where we learned a little about the history.  From there we visited Christ Church Cathedral.  I had never been inside; it was small but beautiful!


We checked out the Marine Building next.  Another I had never been inside!  I’d never noticed that some of the detail on the building is marine-related!


From there we walked to Canada Place.  On the lower level there are a few exhibits that are worth checking out, including a podium, torches and medals from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.  There is also a variety of First Nations artwork. The exhibit pictures are from when Coen and I checked it all out in March.  I didn’t take any pictures inside this time.

We walked along the waterfront to Jack Poole Plaza, where the Vancouver 2010 Cauldron is and walked to the small area on top of the Cactus Club where you can look down on the plaza as well as see the Convention Centre’s green roof!

20729323_10159080658150363_8285027017256694845_nThe tour ended there so we headed to Railtown to check out the Belgard Kitchen ( because Lori had been wanting to try it for awhile.  It was yummy and worth a visit!

We wandered around Downtown Vancouver afterwards.  What a great day with some of my favourite people!

Check out for info on the Tour Guys Free Walking Tours.

Challenge Accepted/Tourist in My Own City: Fort Langley

Earlier this month Coen and I visited the Fort Langley National Historic Site ( but when we left we couldn’t find any parking to check out the town.  Yesterday I met my friend, Christine, and her adorable little man, Jackson, for lunch in Langley and decided I would check out Fort Langley afterwards.  It was an insanely hot day so my first stop was Wendel’s Bookstore and Cafe ( for a cold drink. 20170828_155458 It was a cool little spot with a small bookstore on one side and cafe on the other.  I ordered an unsweetened Iced Tea to-go.  It was super refreshing!  My parking spot was only good for 30 minutes so I hopped back in my sweltering car and drove across the little bridge to Brae Island Regional Park (  I enjoyed my Iced Tea while taking a short walk on one of the trails and checking out the view of the Fraser River.

Afterwards I headed back over to Fort Langley and found another parking spot.  I popped into a few shops, including TAP (  I’m pretty much obsessed with lavender so I picked up some tea and lip balm!

2017-08-29 11.49.00I haven’t tried the tea yet, but I love the lip balm; the lavender scent is amazing!

My last stop was the Blacksmith Bakery ( which my sister-in-law had told me about.  It DID NOT disappoint.  The service was great and my Iced Peppermint Mocha and shortbread were delicious!20170828_160958
I could see myself setting myself up with a drink, a snack and my laptop to get some work done!

While I didn’t spend much time in Fort Langley, I got a little taste of what it has to offer.  I definitely want to explore it a little more one day!