whistler mountain helicopter

Highlights from our 2018 Summer

Our boys are back in school and we’re preparing for our Canadian Thanksgiving, so that means another summer is officially in the history books. It was a full summer for us. We had a good mix of travel and hometown fun. We even had a two-week trip to Europe without our boys – which was a first since Braydon was born, almost 7 years ago.

Last year, around this time, we wrote a similar post about what we did in the Summer of 2017. It’s fun to look back at old photos. It’s a solid reminder about how fortunate we are to be able to have so many amazing experiences together.

Here are 50 photos from our 2018 Summer

The first big trip of the summer was to Portugal. We had such a great time in Portugal and feel it’s an underrated travel destination that should be on your travel list – here’s why.

Lisbon totally exceeded our expectations. Read about our time in Lisbon.

We really enjoyed our time in Salamanca, Spain. The food. The architecture. The history. It’s a really cool city that was not on our radar. We’re glad it was included on our Portugal river cruise.

Porto was an instant favourite. Such a fun city. And, very photogenic. See more photos of Porto here.

Related: 30 Photos of Porto that prove it should be on your list

Wine country in Portugal’s Douro Valley.

Lamego, Portugal. Another highlight from our time in Portugal.

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The textures and contrasts of Lisbon architecture on display.

Cameron celebrated his 40th birthday in style!

Bike ride around the neigbourhood in superhero costumes. As you do in the summer…

Hike to Eagle Bluffs in West Vancouver. Amazing views of Howe Sound and the Straight of Georgia.

Related: 25 Awesome day trips from Vancouver

Hot Air Balloon Quebec

We visited the province of Quebec for the first time. One of the highlights was taking an evening hot air balloon tour over the countryside. Read about that experience here.

Related – Flying over Quebec in a Hot Air Balloon

We also learned to fly on our trip to Quebec. This was our first time indoor skydiving. It was super fun. We would highly recommend it. Read about our indoor skydiving experience.

Related: 10 Things to do in Quebec with Kids

Learning to indoor surf was fun, too!

River rafting, Nahatlatch River, Reo Rafting

Big hits on the Nahatlatch River with Reo River Rafting.

River rafting, Nahatlatch River, Reo Rafting

After a fun day of river rafting we spent the night in glamping tents near the river’s edge.

Empress Hotel, Victoria, Inner Harbour, Vancouver Island, Canada

Road trip to Vancouver Island

In early July, my (Cam’s) oldest friend came for a visit to the West Coast of British Columbia. We had 9 days together and he wanted to see the highlights.

After a night in Vancouver, we took the ferry to Vancouver Island. This was his first time to Vancouver Island, so we began the road trip in Victoria, our old home and still one of our favourite cities.

Related: Retracing our family story in Victoria, BC

Victoria Inner Harbour, Vancouver Island, Canada

Giant Hockey Stick, Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

After Victoria, the road trip continued north to the town of Duncan, home of the world’s largest hockey stick and puck. This unusual attraction was built in 1985 and is 205 feet long. It’s made from Douglas Fir wooden beams and is reinforced with steel. It’s said to weigh a whopping 61,000 pounds.

Parksville Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

After Duncan, the road trip continued to Parksville, a beach resort town located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, about 30 minutes north of Nanaimo.

Seaplane, Tofino, Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

The road trip continued west. We drove from Parksville to Tofino, a popular tourist town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Tofino is known for it’s stunning natural beauty and year-round surfing.

Kayaking in Tofino, Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Kayaking in Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino Beach, Surfing, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Morning beach session on North Chesterman Beach in Tofino.

Tofino Beach, Surfing, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Afternoon surf at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park.

Sunset over Big Beach in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Fiery pastel sunset over Big Beach in Ucluelet.

Pacific Ocean, Rocky Beach, Big Beach, Blackrock, Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada

Beautiful seascapes from the rocky shores of the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet.

Big Beach, Ucluelet, British Columbia

Morning calm at Big Beach in Ucluelet.

From Tofino, the road trip shifted east to Nanaimo, where we caught the ferry back to Horseshoe Bay and continued to Whistler, co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Whistler Peak Suspension Bridge, Peak to Peak 360 Experience, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler’s newest attraction – a dizzying suspension bridge on the peak of Whistler Mountain.

Alpine hiking trails on Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

High alpine views from the peak of Whistler Mountain.

Alpine hiking trails on Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

Related: 25 Photos from our Snowboarding trip to Whistler

Whistler Village, Summer, Mountain Biking, British Columbia

Whistler Village moments after a brief rainstorm chased the mountain bikers indoors.

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, located south of Whistler.

After the summer road trip it was a brief trip to Dallas, Texas for a work conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort. This was my second time visiting a Gaylord hotel. If you’ve never been, Google the hotel chain and take a look at their properties. They are insane.

Nat Bailey Stadium Vancouver, British Columbia, Baseball

It’s not summer without a trip to Nat Bailey Stadium for a baseball game.

 Elsay Lake in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, British Columbia, backcountry hike

I finally completed a multi-day overnight hike in the backcountry. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I moved to Vancouver, so this was a big deal. It was a tough hike that kicked my butt.

 Elsay Lake in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, British Columbia, backcountry hike

Backcountry hike to Elsay Lake in Mount Seymour Provincial Park.

 Elsay Lake in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, British Columbia, backcountry hike

Morning reflections on Elsay Lake in Mount Seymour Provincial Park.

In early August, we traveled across Canada to spend time with family at a lake cottage on Kushog Lake in Ontario’s infamous cottage country.

Connor caught his first fish off the dock!

The cottage came fully stocked with water sports equipment. It was so nice to hang out at the cottage for a week. We put our phones away and enjoyed time kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, BBQ’ing, boating, fishing, playing cards and roasting marhmallows by the campfire.

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Connor and Nicole going for a morning paddle on Kushog Lake.

Read – 9 Cities in Europe We Think You Should Visit and Why

We spent two days in Toronto before traveling back to Vancouver. While in Toronto, we visited the new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (below photo) and Scotiabank Arena, the hockey stadium where the Toronto Maple Leafs play (above photo).

Inside Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in downtown Toronto (beside the CN Tower).

The 2018 summer was the worst wildfire season on record for British Columbia, based on hectares burned. Smoke blanketed the province for several weeks, including the Lower Mainland.

Afternoon walk around Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park Seawall.

We closed out summer with a weekend getaway to Whistler, our home away from home.

As the above photo shows, autumn quickly arrived in Whistler. This photo was captured in mid-September. The leaves are already starting to change colour.

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50 Photos from our Summer Adventures is a post from: Traveling Canucks