COM0014 – Blog #1: My Last Vacation before Lockdown

It’s been a while since I’ve been anywhere other than the grocery store or the pharmacy. The pandemic has definitely put a damper on one’s ability to travel over the last year. However, I still have many fond memories of the last places I visited before the world shut down. In May of 2019 I was traveled to British Columbia for two weeks for my birthday. We stayed in Vancouver for a week and then took the ferry to Vancouver Island where we stayed for the following week.

View of Vancouver from Kitsilano
Photo Credit: Aislinn Calvert

Vancouver is great city to visit, there are lots of great restaurants, beaches and bike trails to explore and my absolute favourite thing to do is ride the water taxis in False Creek, especially at sunset.

Water taxi in False Creek
Photo Credit: Aislinn Calvert

Every time I travel to Vancouver I stay at the Sylvia Hotel in English Bay. The Sylvia Hotel is a wonderful place to spend time in Vancouver’s west end. It is steps from Stanley Park, with a fantastic view of the Bay and was home to Vancouver’s first cocktail bar, The Tilting Room (Sylvia Hotel, 2016).

The Sylvia Hotel
Photo Credit: Aislinn Calvert

Originally built as an apartment building in 1912, it was later sold and by the 1960’s had become a popular and bustling hotel (V.I.A., 2017). During the Second World War The Sylvia was used to house merchant marines and there are many photos in the hotel from this period and later in the 1960’s (V.I.A., 2017). The Sylvia Hotel’s retro aesthetic allows one to imagine how it felt to be there during those times.

English Bay
Image Source

The hotel is also meant to be haunted by the famous Hollywood actor Errol Flynn, specifically room 604 which happens to be the room I was assigned the first time I stayed at The Sylvia Hotel (V.I.A., 2017). Unfortunately, I do not have any paranormal experiences to report, it was quite an uneventful stay in that respect. Have any of you ever knowingly stayed in a haunted hotel? Canada is home to many ghostly inns, check out this link to find out if you have stayed in some of the most prolific haunted hotels in Canada.

Errol Flynn
Image Credit

The second week of our travels took us to the tiny surf town of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. We stayed at the Pacific Sands Bech Resort on Cox Bay, which is well known for great surfing and hosts the largest surfing competition in Canada, The Rip Curl Pro, which happened to be on the week we were there (Tofino, n.d.) Inspired by the surf culture in Tofino and my love of yoga, I arranged to participate in a yoga and surf retreat for the final weekend of the trip through Tofino Yoga. This was an interesting experience as I was the only participant, which made for a very personalized, yet somewhat awkward weekend. 

Me practicing yoga on Cox Bay Beach
Photo Credit: Tofino Yoga

The yoga retreat was fun and consisted of invigorating early morning Hatha yoga classes and evening Yin yoga classes on the beach with surfing lessons provided by Surf Sister in between. Having never surfed before it was certainly a challenge, but I did manage to get up briefly on the second day, something I consider an accomplishment. Have you ever surfed? How long did it take you to get up on the board?

Chesterman Beach, Tofino
Photo Credit: Aislinn Calvert

I have always loved British Columbia and cannot wait to be able to return when the lockdown is over and restrictions on travel are lifted. Tell me about your B.C. adventures!


Vancouver Is Awesome, (September 2017), ‘5 Things You didn’t Know About the Sylvia Hotel’ Retrieved from

Twitter, (July 2016), ‘The Sylvia Hotel’ Retrieved from

Tofino, (n.d.), ‘The Rip Curl Pro Tofino’ Retrieved from

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