Seattle Overnight Getaway with Pineapple Hospitality

Friday, January 6th, 2012 — 10:44am PST
Comments 409

Over the last year I spent more time in Seattle than I had before, at any point in my life. I went past Bellis Fair, over the Chuckanut, beyond the Tulip Festival, to the stands at Safeco, up the Space Needle, around the EMP, above and below Pike Place Market, and shopped til I dropped.

Space Needle

I discovered more of Seattle’s history, saw more of its MLB and MLS teams in action, dug into its foodie scene, and hit popular attractions that millions visit each year.

Space Needle view of Seattle Pike Place Photowalk

Pike Place Photowalk Pike Place Photowalk

Last November I had the pleasure of staying at The Maxwell Hotel in Seattle and meeting the team behind Pineapple Hospitality. This family-run business operates The Watertown Hotel and The University Inn in the University of Washington District (just North of downtown), HotelFIVE (in the heart of downtown), and The Maxwell Hotel (Queen Anne).

Maxwell Hotel Lobby. Photo courtesy Pineapple Hospitality.

I have partnered with them to offer up a Seattle Overnight Getaway to one lucky reader. The winner will get the chance to spend the night in an Urban Suite at HotelFIVE in the heart of downtown.

My photos of the HotelFIVE Lobby.

Beds at HotelFive. Photo courtesy Pineapple Hospitality.

HotelFIVE has a full restaurant, a coffee bar, a modern lobby (complete with books and board games), and has been completely remodeled (you would never be able to tell it used to be a big chain hotel). The suites have flat screen TV’s, pod coffee makers, WIFI, Serta Concierge Emerald Plush mattresses, Kohler fixtures and more.

The hotel has deluxe queen rooms, deluxe double queen rooms, and only 2 Urban Suites. The Urban Suite (that the contest winner will be able to enjoy) has a king bed, a sleeper sofa, 42″ HDTV, WIFI, and upgraded amenities with a walk-in shower with rain shower-head and body sprays.

HotelFIVE is within walking distance of some of the city’s best attractions and eateries, including several of Tom Douglas’ restaurants and Dahlia Bakery.

The winner of the contest can also enjoy the amazing EMP (Experience Music Project) at Seattle Centre thanks to the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau (“Seattle CVB”). They’ll include 2 tickets for the EMP in the prize package along with 2 monorail passes. From HotelFIVE, you can walk over to the monorail station at Westlake, do some shopping along the way.

Frontside of the EMP|SFM
The EMP. Photo credit: Kay Gaensler on Flickr. Website:

There is a Battlestar Galactica exhibit on now at the EMP (until March) along with their amazing Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Avatar exhibits, guitar gallery, and more. Check out the Seattle CVB for timely events and exhibits when you plan your stay.

Here’s how you can enter to win this Seattle Overnight Getaway that includes 1 night in an Urban Suite at HotelFIVE (value $500), 2 EMP passes, and 2 monorail tickets.

  • Leave a comment on this post about why you’d like to visit Seattle (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a #Seattle Overnight Getaway from @StayPineapple @SeattleMaven @Miss604

There are no blackout dates for the hotel stay but booking is based on availability. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter, a resident of BC, and must be legally permitted to enter the United States (and return to Canada). I will draw 1 winner next Friday, January 13, 2012 at 10:00am.

Follow Pineapple Hospitality on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about their properties. The Seattle CVB is on Facebook, and @SeattleMaven is their go-to Twitter account.

Update The winner is Cynthia Booton – @canuckcyn!

Toyota Winter Driving Tips & Giveaway

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 — 1:55pm PST
Comments 248

Vancouverites don’t normally have to contend with weeks on end of snowy, slushy, slippery streets like the rest of the country, however we could definitely use an education in winter road safety all the same. Last month Toyota Canada hosted a winter driving workshop at the Richmond Olympic Oval and offered up a few driving tips for locals:

  • Tires: Check the air pressure since cold weather causes tire pressure to decrease and that can affect the degree of grip your tires have with the road surface. The condition of tires also is important as worn or damaged tires can hamper your driving ability. It is best to replace tires before the tread depth is the regulatory 1.55mm.
  • Winterize: Be sure to check your battery, oil and all fluids, brakes, lights, and engine belts and hoses. What works in warm weather may not work so well when temperatures fall.
  • Plan Ahead: Before heading out check weather and road conditions and ensure you have plenty of time to reach your destination safely. Around here Drive BC is a great resource where you can learn about current road conditions and check out several BC highway webcams. You can also follow @DriveBC on Twitter.
  • Ice & Snow: Be sure to clear off any ice and snow from your vehicle before you hit the road (especially if you just came from the mountain). I’ve been on the freeway when a sheet of snow (2 inches thick and 3 feet wide) has fallen off the roof of the car in front of me. Pretty scary. Also, clear all of your windows and your mirrors to enhance your own lines of sight.
  • Cruise Control: Avoid slipping into auto-pilot as you’ll want to feel the responsiveness of your vehicle yourself.

I think most of all, common sense is paramount. Avoid speeding, tailgating, and follow the regular rules of the road with caution. I was told on my driver’s test that the posted maximum speed is the limit “under ideal conditions” so take your time if you need to. While there’s rain in the city, the Sea to Sky, Highway 1, Coquihalla, and local mountains have already seen their share of severe winter conditions.

To help you out this season, Toyota is offering up a prize pack for one of my readers, valued at $100. It includes: A Toyota Winter Car Kit (including everything from jumper cables and bungee cords to hand warmers), some snacks for the road, and a Starbucks gift card. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a winter driving kit from @ToyotaCanada & @Miss604 #ToyotaWinterWheels

I will draw one winner at random from all entries next Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 1:00pm.

Update The winner is Jewel!

On This Day in Vancouver History: First Professional Hockey Game

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 — 10:46am PST
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It was January 5, 1912 when the first professional hockey game was played in Vancouver at the Denman Arena1. The impressive venue (one of the world’s largest) was built in 1911 thanks to the hard work (and family lumber money) of brothers Frank and Lester Patrick.

1911-1912 millionaires
Source: The Story of the Vancouver Millionaires. Photographer: Unknown.

In 1911, the Patrick family sold it’s profitable lumber company, and moved out west to capitalize on an exploding hockey scene ready to be mined for gold. Not long after setting up shop out west, the Patricks endeavored, not only to build a strong hockey club, but also to prop up the entire hockey scene, building leagues and arenas, which they would manage along with the respective clubs that they would own. – The Story of the Vancouver Millionaires

(Left) 1920’s Art Duncan, D – Millionaires. VPL Accession Number: 17979.
(Right) 1920’s Lloyd Cook, D – Millionaires Team Captain. VPL Accession Number: 17991.
Photographer: Stuart Thomson.

In the January 5th match up, the Pacific Coast Hockey League’s Vancouver Millionaires beat the New Westminster Royals 8-3. The Victoria Senators were the only other team in the league at the time.

View of Vancouver (and Denman Arena) from the Rowing Club, 1929.
Archives item# CVA 99-2080. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.

Vancouver at Night, From the Rowing Club
View of Vancouver from the Rowing Club in Stanley Park, 2009

The Patrick brothers changed the game of hockey as we know it and while Denman Arena was destroyed by fire in 1936, it’s fairly safe to say that a hockey-loving legacy has gripped this town since that first professional game, one hundred years ago today.

1Chuck Davis’ History of Metropolitan Vancouver

Team Awesome’s Polaroid Party

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 — 9:44am PST
Comments 1

Team Awesome, a local group of creative individuals, is hosting a fundraising event at Canvas Lounge in Gastown on January 13, 2012 that will feature Polaroid images from 20 BC photographers.

What Team Awesome’s Polaroid Party
When 8:00pm on Friday, January 13, 2012
Tickets Available online
Includes Entertainment from DJ Yurie and DJ Marvel + DJ Seko of The Freshest. Admission includes 1 free drink at the party and entry into a draw to win a Polaroid camera with film. This is a 19+ only event.

Team Awesome is “a collection of creative, forward-thinking organizations, businesses, communities within Metro Vancouver” and they’re all working together to send children to school in Ethiopia (through Imagine1Day) and India (through Dalit Freedom).

One of the event’s participating photographers is Kris Krug (of Static Photography), who has recently being doing some Gulf Island living. He told me that he’d give his photo series the titile: “Hermit: A Winter on Galiano Island”. While he wouldn’t tell me what his photos are, I did get an education in Polaroid technology.

“Did you know the Polaroid camera uses sonar to do autofocusing? Like a bat or a dolphin it bounces sound waves off the subject and uses the information to determine the distance between photographer and muse.”

BarCamp Vancouver - Wall-O-Love
Photo credit: kk+ on Flickr. BarCamp Wall-O-Love 2006 (actually the first time Kris took our photo).

Krug added, “I’ve shot less than 100 boxes of Polaroid film in my life. Each shot definitely feels experimental. I find the process freeing and see the instant analog camera as a mobile photographic laboratory.”

You can check out his Polaroids along with snaps from 19 others including Sean Dalin, Kane Hopkins, Jaqueline Bartel, Danaea Davies, Lucas Lawrence, Leah Gregg, Sincerely Hana, Shawn Lee, Brady Olson, Darian Kovaks, Kelly Swanson, Dmitri Litvinov, Tom Nugent, Zach Bulick, Jackie Chong, Clint Olemaniec, Dallas Froese and Jered Love.

Each Polaroid will be for sale for $10 with all proceeds going to Team Awesome’s Imagine1Day & Dalit Freedom causes. Tickets for the event are currently on sale. You can find out more by following them on Twitter or Facebook.

Team Awesome was founded by partners Social City Networking INC, Capitol, Dalit Freedom Network, and Imagine1Day.

From the Miss604 Flickr Pool: Rain

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 — 2:40pm PST
Comments 2

It’s rather fitting that the first collection of images From the Miss604 Flickr Pool for 2012 have a “rain” theme. Make jokes about living on the “Wet” Coast and complain about umbrella etiquette all you want. The fact is that all of this lovely precipitation, that allows us to splash around in our wellies, ensures that we have the most beautiful, green, and lush scenery that any world class city could ask for.

Sunny Day @ Rain Coast Rain rain go away...
Photo credit: Paul Kreuger & S. Vegas on Flickr

Storm's a'coming
Photo credit: Tom Wiebe on Flickr

Bright umbrella Beaten down by the rain
Photo credit: Ruth and Dave & Ruth and Dave on Flickr

No Rain Stops the Sun DSC_0221.jpg
Photo credit: kardboard604 & colink. & Cherish Bryck Photography on Flickr

Photo credit: eych-you-bee-ee-ahr-tee on Flickr

Tonight in Vancouver: A Piece of Robson
Photo credit: [travelfox] on Flickr

Rain Rain Go Away
Photo credit: Ryan Mezzo on Flickr

Weather reporting at it's finest
Photo credit: Eyesplash on Flickr

Granville street in the rain Vancouver Rain
Photo credit: Helen.Ailsa & popejon2 on Flickr

Rain On Your Parade
Photo credit: !graceface! on Flickr

Caught Outside
Photo credit: Maurice Li on Flickr

As always, please click through on the images to see more work from each of the photographers and feel free to share your own images in the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

Surrey International World Music Marathon

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 — 12:25pm PST
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Early bird registration for the Surrey International World Music Marathon is now open.

surrey marathonThe marathon event and festival will take place September 28 to September 30, 2012 and participants can sign up for the full marathon, half marathon, 5km run, or kids fun run.

Each mile on the course is being sponsored by a different country with the various community groups and cultural associations decorating their mile along the course as well as providing an entertainment stage and volunteers to cheer on the runners.

There will be a Weekend Expo, a Finish Line Concert, and even a charitable component. Early bird registration closes January 31, 2012 and will be followed by regular registration rates.

You can follow the event on Facebook and Twitter for additional information and updates.

Update It’s official! Surrey’s first-even marathon is now a Boston Marathon qualifying event. From the organizers: When the runners participating in the full or half marathon components of the inaugural Surrey International World Music Marathon begin their run, they will be setting history as well as taking the first step towards the world of marathon’s biggest event – the Boston Marathon. Despite it being the first year of the event, the Surrey Marathon has taken the official steps needed to be a “qualifying event” for the historic Boston race.