Lena UmezawaVancouver, British Columbia, CA
Illustration for learning and growing.
Maps By Lena Umezawa
This year's part-shade container garden is brought to you by a Mother's Day gift of eight bags of Sea Soil, some West Coast Seeds (and some saved seeds), and Mother Nature. I included several highlights from various sketches made throughout the growing season. Amazingly, there is enough food elsewhere in the creek for the squirrels that they leave my humble crop of beans, greens, and tomatoes alone. After two years of observing the local conditions and critters, I am still experimenting and learning what works in this garden.
Rathtrevor Beach on Vancouver Island is a fantastic family-friendly camping spot. There are many local attractions within one hour of nearby Parksville (where you can pick up extra ice for the cooler or groceries, just a five minute drive from the campsite).
Being prepared and having an optimistic attitude are highly recommended for a successful family winter camping experience. This map is inspired by that time I was convinced to spend two night in a quinzee with my boys. You can visit my new blog to see more of the story!
Trick-or-treating tips for kids. Safety first! (And FUN, of course.)
The south slope of Coquitlam was populated in the early 1900s by French Canadian mill workers, on unceded First Nations land. Many street names in the neighbourhood reflect the vibrant Francophone community that grew around Fraser Mills which closed in 2001. "Festival du Bois" is an annual local celebration of Maillardville's heritage.
Our local mountains within 30 minutes of downtown Vancouver are perfect for trying skiing/snowboarding and other winter sporting activities. Reasonable rates are offered for a family-friendly outing, minus the longer drive (2 hours north of Vancouver) to the more world-famous resort area of Whistler/Blackcomb.
A good activity for kids during all of the World Cup action: Go Play Outside! Fancy equipment not needed ... use what you have. Cheer for any team you wish! (Yes, Canada did not qualify, but we are cheering anyways.)
Please enjoy this bit of cross-Canada travel fun and history. I became quite familiar with airport codes in one of my former careers and although the days of true airline "milk runs" were gone, I think my record was five flights (yes, that's five takeoffs and five landings) in one day.
Canada is a huge country with so many great places to visit (or live)!
This map for a square foot Salad Garden includes my some of my favourite herbs & vegetables (and some flowers for the bees, too). If you have a sunny balcony, the square foot method could be modified for container gardening (one square = one 12"pot?).
Some of Vancouver's kid-at-heart-friendly cycling routes with a few curious landmarks, beautiful views, AND intel on where to find the ice cream. (Gelato = Italian style ice cream.) Save on gas money and parking -- buy gelato instead!
Mundy Park is a 178 hectare park and habitat in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. Its temperate rainforest is home to a variety of plants, trees, and creatures, big and small. Over the years, I've enjoyed visiting this park to jog the Perimeter Trail -- nature inspires creativity.
This unique Triangle Block in the curious and creative Burrardview neighbourhood of Vancouver is where my children were raised from babyhood to kindergarten age. We had a magical time in our busy, busy world (inspired by Richard Scarry's books), circa 2005-12. Creating this map was a cathartic experience!
Some curious signs from around the Rainbow Nation. South Africans tell it like it is and are never without a sense of humour. Many of these signs I saw with my own eyes, and at first they were shocking. I lived near Cape Town when my oldest child was a baby, and my husband is originally from Johannesburg. Many fond memories.