Echo Valley Ranch Resort

May 21st, 2011 @ 3:07pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Usually if I’m in a location for more than a day I’ll separate my travel coverage into several posts (such as food, activities, history). However, since I took so many shots at Echo Valley, I thought bit of a photo essay format would be best this trip recap.

Sitting on almost 200 acres of forest and meadow lands in the Chilcotin Cariboo region of BC owners Norm and Nan built Echo Valley Ranch Resort – their home – for all to enjoy.

Echo Valley Ranch Resort


Living on the property along with about a dozen full-time seasonal staff, they have managed to bring together rustic Western comforts, luxurious Thai spa and wellness, outdoor adventure along with friendly and caring people. All of these elements fuse together into the simple harmony that is Echo Valley.

Echo Valley Ranch Resort

Baan Thai Building Baan Thai Building

Baan Thai Building

Baan Thai Building Baan Thai Building

Baan Thai Building Baan Thai Building

Baan Thai Building
Baan Thai Building

Aside from three square meals a day, there was no set schedule to follow – but there was no shortage of activity options. You can set your own activity level, trying out or honing your expert skills with fly fishing, horseback riding, gold panning, going on a 4×4 safari, or bird watching.

Horses at Echo Valley

Horses Horses

Horses at Echo Valley Horses at Echo Valley

Echo Valley Ranch Resort

Trail guide showing us lichen, old man's beard, witch's hair Hike

Norm and Nan, on our hike

I should have been more inclined to sit on my balcony at the Dove Lodge and do some writing, looking out over the rolling hills that were spotted with black bears nibbling on berries in the distance.

Bears on the hill

The truth of the matter is that between horseback riding, hiking, and the Thai spa, the rest of our group’s time was spent reading in the lodge, feeding apples to the horses, petting the kittens in the barn, or playing fetch with one of the ranch’s eight border collies.

Some of the residents of Echo Valley Ranch

Aside from all of these components – the activities, the unique landscape, the food, and the people – Echo Valley is fully committed to sustainable practices. The buildings are powered by geothermal sources or zero-emission propane, and they offer carbon offsets for their guests’ travel.

Dove Lodge

Dove Lodge Dining Room

Echo Valley Ranch Resort
Dove Lodge & View

One of the cabins
Inside one of the cabins

Echo Valley Ranch Resort
Lookout Lodge

The kitchen is zero-waste, and they prepare ranch-raised beef, pork, turkey and chicken for organic meats and dairy products.


Dinner Dinner

The family-style breakfast, lunches and dinners were complete with fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, and cheeses. We also enjoyed one of the best traditional Thai meals I’ve had to date.

Thai lunch

Thai lunch Thai lunch

There are several options when booking a trip to Echo Valley, whether you’re attending for a family reunion (kids are welcome), wedding, a girls or boys weekend, or a romantic getaway with your partner. There’s also a pool, sauna, and hot tub on premises along with a big cookout BBQ and campfire pit.


You can drive up to the ranch or do the “Rail to Ranch” trip like we did through Rocky Mountaineer. The ranch also has its own runway for charter flights and Norm’s plane.

Runway, Norm's Plane

Rates for various stays and packages are available on their website and are comparable to other luxury all-inclusive vacation packages (including all meals, deluxe accommodation, and all activities in a spectacular setting).


You can view the rest of my photos from the trip in my set on Flickr. Follow @EVRanch on Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr for news, updates, and photos.

Disclosure: No publication, individual, or business has paid me to write this post.

The Hangover Part II, Win Vancouver Premiere Passes

May 19th, 2011 @ 1:10pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The original Hangover movie in 2009 introduced many catch phrases into pop culture, anything from being a ‘one man wolfpack’ to well, a bunch of other things that would bump up my blog’s “G” rating. The modern comedy for men, that women still get a crack out of, is returning to the big screen with a sequel next week as Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug head to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.

This film and preview trailer is for mature audiences.

The Hangover Part II will premiere in Vancouver on Wednesday, May 25th at the Cineplex Odeon International Village (Tinseltown). If you would like to attend, I have two double passes to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Name your favourite movie that includes any of the four leading men: Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) – (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win premiere passes to The Hangover Part II from @wbpictures & @Miss604 #TheHangover

    I will draw two winners at 9:00am on Monday, May 23, 2011.

    Update The winners are Greg and @kaishinchu!

    May Events in Vancouver 2011

    May 19th, 2011 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    May is practically over however since there are two big weekends left this month and the sun has decided to show, here’s a quick list of what’s happening around Vancouver over the next two weeks.

    Burrard Bridge from the Lagoon apartment buildings
    Photo credit: Ruth and Dave on Flickr

    May 20, 2011
    Cloverdale Rodeo (until May 23)
    Game 3: Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks

    May 21, 2011
    34th Annual Western Canadian Croatian Folklore Festival
    Saturn 5 Saturday at the Space Centre
    Farmers Market at the Burnaby Village Museum
    Saturday Circus, Madskillz Vancouver
    Yard Sale for the Cure

    May 22, 2011
    Kitsilano Farmers Market, Opening Day
    Game 4: Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks

    Klahowya Village in Stanley Park

    Aside from special events you can have some fun at Playland, check out the Richmond Summer Night Market, hang out in Steveston, visit a Provincial Park (and enjoy free parking), or stay in town and check out Klahowya Village and Spirit Catcher Train in Stanley Park.

    May 23, 2011
    1994 Canucks player reunion at River Rock

    May 24, 2011
    Game 5: Vancouver Canucks home to San Jose Sharks

    May 25, 2011

    May 26, 2011
    LOUD Fundraising and Awards Ceremony Gala
    Skoah’s Hopeful Hand Gala
    Opening Day Port Coquitlam Farmers Market
    Surrey Children’s Festival

    May 27, 2011
    Vancouver Yoga Outreach fundraiser (until May 29)
    Big Book Sale at Lynn Valley Library in North Vancouver (until May 29)
    YVR Art Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony
    Tickets on sale for MusicFest Vancouver

    May 28, 2011
    South Hill Festival
    Farmers Market at the Burnaby Village Museum
    Healing Day

    May 29, 2011
    Maplewood Farm Sheep Festival in North Vancouver
    SOS Children’s Village Run at the Richmond Olympic Oval
    Music BC Charitable Foundation Gala and Auction
    Sexy Healthy Wealthy Women’s Event
    Fashionista’s Ball
    World Partnership Walk at Lumberman’s Arch
    COPPELIA – LIVE from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow at Cineplex

    May 30, 2011
    Introduction to the Vancouver Emergency Program
    Open House for new Jim Pattison Outpatient Care & Surgery Centre

    May 31, 2011
    YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

    Should you have an event that you would like listed you can submit it via my contact form. I also post selected event listings throughout the month on the Miss604 Facebook Page.

    An Evening with Samantha Bee

    May 18th, 2011 @ 1:25pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Bee, SamanthaThéâtre la Seizième presents An Evening with Samantha Bee at the Vancouver Playhouse June 4, 2011. The most senior correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee is referred to as “the funniest Canadian woman currently on American television”.

    I had the chance to meet Samantha Bee in 2008 when I was on CBC’s Test the Nation. Bloggers from around the country (and a handful from Vancouver) were selected to be on a team and we came out on top. As you could expect, she was personable, smart, and incredibly witty.

    If you would like to see her live on stage in Vancouver, tickets are available through Ticketmaster starting at $34. I also have a pair to give away, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win tickets to An Evening with Samantha Bee from @Seizieme & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 11:00am.

    Update The winner is Ryan McKee!

    Shore 104 Song Search 2011

    May 18th, 2011 @ 10:20am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Shore 104 Song Search has returned for 2011 as the local radio station seeks out the best summer song in Vancouver that has been written and performed by home-grown talent.

    Celebration of Light 2010: Spain
    ShoreFest 2010 – Photo by John Bollwitt

    I spoke to Patrick Zulinov, Music and Programming Director at The Shore, about the new Song Search (previously the Sounds of Summer contest) and the Shore’s Canadian content. “There’s a huge amount of talent in this city that deserves to be heard,” he said. “I saw an opportunity to show off a lot of talent that I’ve experienced in this city and I wanted to get it on the radio.”

    As opposed to last year, full bands (not just solo performers) can throw their hat into the ring. Zulinov said there have already been about 300 entries and the tough part will be selecting the finalists in each round. [Source: My TV Week Online column]

    They have the field narrowed down to 20 finalists right now and are also hosting a public video challenge. Each finalist has submitted a video and the one with the most “likes” on YouTube will earn the title of “Fan Favourite”.

    The Matinée, short-listed again this year, hopped on a water taxi two days ago to film their entry for the song Sweetwater.

    Here’s another video submission from Steph Macpherson for Summer Salute.

    The finalists for 2011 include Billy the Kid, BJ Block and Dawn Pemberton, Freeflow, Mark Irving, Ivory Sky, Jackie Treehorn, Reid Jamieson, Steph Macpherson, The Matinée, Ryan McAllister, Ryan McMahon and the Company Damn, The Midnight Hours, Sheree Plett, Randy Ponzio of Quest Poetics, Portage and Main, Prairie Dance Club, Redbird, Ben Sigston, The Sumner Brothers, and Watasun.

    You can view all videos created by the top 20 and be sure to “like” your favourites on YouTube to give them a boost in the rankings. is a proud sponsor of the Shore 104’s Song Search 2011.