Grouse Grind – Free Vancouver BC

I love the Grouse Grind. What an incredible hike!

This is a butt buster but I have seen seniors, children, competitive athletes all complete this.

What I like is that everyone doing this is so supportive of each other.

The official course record to date for men is 25:01 held by Sebastian Salas set at the 2010 BMO Grouse Grind Mountain Run®. For women, the record is 31:04 held by Leanne Johnston and set at the 2007 event. Unofficially (that is, a record set outside the annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run®) the course record is a blistering 23:48 that is also held by Sebastian Salas.

My wife and I completed this in under 1 hour (my personal best is 50 minutes – I was so tried after).

Here are some stats about the Grind:

Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830

Statistics: Annually, over 100,000 people hike the trail.
Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.
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Salt Spring Island Saturday market

We love to visit this quaint island where the pace is slow compared to Vancouver Island.

They have one of the top markets around in the Ganges village.

It takes place between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:30 pm from mid-March until the last Saturday of October rain or shine.

It is a major event right through the summer, attracting both locals and visitors to the island.

We rate this very kid-friendly because of the nearby park and marina and the free entertainment!

You will find local farmers that sell fresh produce and food and many local artists, craftspeople and artisans display their work at the Village Market.



Ganges, Salt Spring Island Aerial Photographs, British Columbia, Canada.


Salt Spring Island Saturday Market (1)

Salt Spring Island Saturday market2


Symbol of love: Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is the iconic symbol of India. Stands as a monument of love, Taj Mahal was made by Shahjehan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. Taj a means “crown of palaces”. Taj Mahal is a mausoleum made up with white marbles. Taj Mahal is jewel of India, of Muslim Art, masterpiece of the world heritage. Taj Mahal’s beauty has landed it a place in list of Seven Wonders of the World.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is finest example of architecture, as it has combination of styles from Persia, Turkish and that of Indian styles. It is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage site. Taj Mahal’s construction started in 1632 and it got complete in 1653. In making of Taj Mahal some thousands of people were employed, artisans, and craftsmen alike.

Emperor Shah Jahan described the Taj Mahal in his words as:

“Should guilty seek asylum here,

Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.

Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,

All his past sins are to be washed away.

The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;

And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.

In this world this edifice has been made;

To display thereby the creator’s glory.”

The Taj Mahal place has:

The Moonlight Garden which is in the north direction of the Yamuna river
Terrace area: which has the main Tomb of Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal, and a Mosque in it and also the Jawab
Charbagh the gardens
Attendant accommodations
Other tombs
Taj Ganji that is the bazaar


Exterior decoration of Taj is of finest work, using paint, stone inlays, stucco and carvings. There are plant motifs on the walls and calligraphy work of written verses from their Quran. Interior is done with precious stones and gems. There are intricate carvings to be seen, again here there are calligraphy on the walls, motifs of twinning vines, flowers and fruits. The decoration is such a delicate piece of work, must see the Pietra dura jail, pierce work, Arch of jail and plant motifs.

Taj Mahal was and rather is under serious threat, as the white marbles are becoming yellow in color due to emmisions from the factories, pollution and more. The Government of India and its Supreme Court have taken actions so as to save the Taj Mahal from further destruction.

Many poets have written verses on beauty of Taj Mahal, still its beauty is not defined. Many have tried to explain its beauty, but words have always been less when the beauty is so magnificent taj Mahal attracts over two million to four million visitors annually, which includes tourists from the overseas.

Taj Mahal’s beauty and popularity got it some hundred million votes making it part of New Seven Wonders of the World in a recent poll. Viewing Taj Mahal in full moon light is mind blowing and amazing experience.

Michigan Family Vacation: Popular Family Vacation Spots in Michigan

Are you taking a Michigan family vacation this year? Looking for ideas on what to do or where to stay? Keep reading for a list of some of the best family-friendly destinations in Michigan.


The Air Zoo


For your next Michigan family vacation, let your kids explore a replica of the International Space Station, learn about the Wright brother’s first flight, climb aboard a flight simulator and enjoy many educational and fun rides about the marvel of flight.

The Air Zoo is sponsored in part by the Smithsonian and is designed to be both a museum relating to flight, but also a family entertainment center that focuses on education too. It’s located in Portage, Michigan and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

General admission to the Air Zoo is $19.50 for adults and $15.50 for children. Toddlers and infants under the age are allowed to enter for free.

Alternatively, if you buy your tickets three days in advance and online, you’ll save 10% off the regular ticket price. If you plan to go multiple times in a year, you may want to purchase a family membership.

The Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum is all about celebrating the American experience and history of ingenuity, commerce and progress. The museum is not only educational, but also fun.

However, it’s targeted towards families with children over the age of 5. There are different activities and itineraries for kids and adults, depending on their age and interest.

The museum is open every day of the year, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Expect to pay $14 for an adult admission, $13 for a senior’s admission, $10 for a youth admission and nothing for children under the age of 5. For more information, you can visit their website at

Indoor Water Parks


Michigan has the most indoor water parks than any other state in the country. From the infamous Gold Rush to the Great Wolf Lodges, Michigan is packed with hotels that feature massive indoor water playgrounds that are open for all four seasons.

Expect to pay more than you would at a standard hotel, but enjoy the benefits of relaxing by the pool while your kids are entertained with water sports and fun.

Corn Mazes


Michigan state is known for its fall corn mazes. If you’re taking a Michigan family vacation this autumn, be sure to stop at some of the country’s largest corn mazes. In Williamston, you can find a 20-acre corn maze (visit for details. So, visit Michigan this autumn and get lost.

If you want to get more information about vacations you can click here