Visit a Real Enchanted Forest in British Columbia

Enchanted forests have existed in childhood imaginations for centuries thanks to a myriad of fairy tales written and passed on from generation-to-generation. Visions of sugar plums aren’t just dancing in Christmas rhymes, hundreds of stationary fairy-folk, magical cottages, babbling brooks and slow-moving streams full of spawning salmon all come alive at The Enchanted Forest in Canada.

This isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen type of a theme park with stereotypical rides and carnival games intentionally designed to deny players a prize. Instead, visitor’s imaginations will go wild soaking in all of the magical sights and sounds at this truly out-of-the-ordinary destination that’s visually stunning found deep in the forests of British Columbia.

Lucious Location

The Enchanted Forest is located around 23 miles west of Revelstoke, another 275 miles west of Calgary or 420 miles northeast from Seattle, Washington. Basically, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a positively breathtaking, beautiful location that was carefully selected as a remote location by the original creators of this magical dreamland.

The Labor of Love Behind a Dreamland

This wooded wonderland was the brainchild of Ernest and Doris Needham, a real-life fairy-tale couple from the middle of the last century. Doris was an artist local to Revelstoke whose muse was primarily fairy-tale figurines that were all hand-crafted without the use of traditional molds or conventional forms. Along with her loving husband Ernest, the duo searched for over two years to find the perfect, isolated home for hundreds of her one-of-a-kind creations and handiwork. 

The couple would spend their golden years of retirement clearing at least eight of 40 acres of the forest they leased and eventually purchased from the crown. They performed all of the clearings of trails and pathways entirely by hand using only shovels, picks and a crosscut saw. In a labor of love and devotion, Ernest constructed their unique home, the Candy Cane cottage with a gravity-fed water system from a nearby waterfall that’s still in existence today.  

Alluring and Amazing Attractions

The main trail through this fantastic forest is home to over 350 folk art figurines along with British Columbia’s tallest treehouse rising over 50 feet into the lush, green woods. There’s also a giant cedar tree stump-house, a castle complete with dungeons and a dragon. With surprises around almost every corner, this is a magical, must-see destination for adults and children of all ages. 

Going Fishing

Fishing may have started out as a necessary means for finding food, but it has evolved over time into both a leisurely activity and a professional sport. 

Prehistoric Origins

Fishing has been around almost as long as humanity itself. According to Alimentarium, commercial fishing as a business model goes back to early civilizations. Fishing was also a major occupation as documented in the Christian bible. Deep-sea fishing goes back to the 15th century and has evolved into the massive industry that we know today. With industrialization came opportunities to cast larger nets and catch more fish. Even today fishing is a huge industry, bringing in approximately $150 billion in 2017 according to Financial Times

Leisurely Fishing

Beyond the commercial aspects of the fishing industry, there is something very relaxing about getting outdoors and casting a fishing line out into the water. There’s no hurry, no deadlines, and no pressure when you’re out in the peace and quiet of the water. Some prefer to fish on a lake, using a boat or canoe. Others prefer to fish on the flowing stream of rivers. Fly fishing is a specialty form of fishing that is quite popular. The YouTube channel The New Fly Fisher uploaded this video on the basics of fly fishing. 

Professional Fishing as a Sport

Beyond the fishing industry commercially, fishing has become quite a competitive sport. With sponsorships, prize money and television viewership, competitive fishing has found a place in the entertainment industry. Bass fishing is particularly competitive with many loyal fans. This video from the YouTube channel Bassmaster shows how big the fish can get and how seriously the fishermen take the sport. 

Enjoying Fishing

Fishing is a great activity for anyone of any skill level. Whether you catch anything or not, the idea of getting outdoors and enjoying some fresh air, peace, and quiet is very appealing for many. It’s a great activity to teach children about patience and introduce them to the outdoors. Professionals, amateurs and every level in between can enjoy everything fishing has to offer. 

Cooking at Home: A Taste of Wellness

Cooking at home can be a great way to monitor exactly what you are eating. It can also be fun! You can experiment with flavors, prefect an old family favorite, or just make up something of your own. There are health benefits to cooking at home as well. You can turn cooking at home into a family activity that will help promote bonding. 

And Then There Was Fire

According to anthropologist Richard Wrangham, early cooking most likely consisted of throwing meat into a fire. Even after we progressed beyond that particular method, cooking still looked a lot different than what we think of today. Families had to keep a fire burning at all times because if it went out, there was a chance they wouldn’t get it going again. Mesopotamia, according to Did You Know Homes, brought a major advancement to cooking; caring for plants and animals. This would help increase the variety of foods eaten and also the availability of food. However, the lower classes still did not eat nearly as well as the wealthy. 

Become a Healthier You

Cooking at home increases your awareness of what you are eating. People that cook at home more often consume fewer calories even when they do decide to eat out, according to Harvard Health Publishing. An article published by Johns Hopkins corroborates that information and goes on to add that unhealthy eating habits can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Learning to cook meals at home is a big first step to living a much happier and healthier life.  

The Basics

When it comes to cooking you don’t have to jump into anything fancy. Start with the basics and move on from there. The Spruce Eats has a wonderful A-Z guide for cooking terms that can help you get started, and Morsel by Plated has a guide to basic cooking methods. The most important thing to remember about cooking is to have fun with it. Everyone learns at a different pace, and everyone has different tastes. If jumping right in makes you nervous, you can look for cooking classes in your area that can help you get started. You can even invite a friend over to enjoy a glass of wine (or a beer) while you learn to cook together. 

Discover the Possibilities of City Photography

When someone mentions photography, perhaps your mind goes to the stunning mountain views of Ansel Adams, or the famous celebrity portraits of Annie Leibovitz. But there are dozens of different styles of photography that anyone can explore anywhere. Let’s take a look at some photography styles you can use in cities.

Street Photography

Street photography is a broad term that can define any photographs taken on the street. It may surprise you to learn that the first known photograph was not a portrait or landscape, but a Parisian street scene captured by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. Street photography is, therefore, as old as photography itself.

The term street photography is often used today to specifically describe photographs taken of people in public spaces that are going about living their day-to-day lives. Humans of New York has brilliant examples of this. The photographer, Brandon Stanton, interviews his subjects and shares their stories bringing his street photography work into the realm of photojournalism. His work has inspired similar series in other major cities.

Architectural Photography

Every city you visit is bound to have gorgeous architectural structures. From the towering heights of skyscrapers, to the clean lines and geometric shapes of museums and civic centers, cities are every architectural photographer’s dream. Golden hour, which is during sunrise or sunset, provides some of the best lighting to capture beautiful shadows and colors.

Cities also have interesting older buildings and abandoned structures. Aged facades and peeling paint create all kinds of photographic possibilities.

Cityscape Photography

If you have the option of scoping out a bird’s eye view of a city, cityscape photography can be a fun and challenging adventure. Choosing just the right angle and time of day can show how vast and bustling a city is. Add a little extra visual interest for your nighttime cityscapes by using long exposures to capture the streaks of light created by the traffic below.

What about equipment?

We are living in the best time in human history for access to photography equipment. We have the option of using classic film cameras or a variety of high tech digital cameras. DSLRs are the top choice for photography professionals, but can be a bit of an investment for the average hobbyist. If you’re just getting started, or like traveling light, you may have the perfect camera for your needs right in your pocket. Don’t believe it? Check out these brilliant photographs created exclusively with cell phones!

There are so many possibilities to explore within the world of photography. All you need to do is grab a camera and get started!

On the Open Road

Road trips are the staple of many American family vacations. Whether it’s to someplace new or a family favorite, a road trip can be a lot of fun. Veteran road trippers have their favorite snacks and nostalgic playlists. There is a road trip out there for everyone, no matter how much time you have to dedicate to it. 

A Brief History

According to Time Magazine, people have always romanticized the idea of traveling away. In the early 20th century people from the cities dreamed of escaping the cramped city center, although road trips as we think of them today weren’t a reality yet. The very first road trip across America was taken in 1903 by Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson according to SFGate. The journey from San Francisco to New York took 63 days and cost $8,000! Luckily this same trip today wouldn’t cost you nearly as much or take as long. 

Destination 

Picking where you want to go or what you want to see is the first step, but you don’t always have to have an answer! If you just want to see something, you can grab some snacks, hop in the car, and drive in any direction you choose. You can drive as far as you have the inclination to go. You never know — you could discover your new favorite place by accidentally stumbling into it. 

Safety and Precautions 

Before embarking on a road trip there are several steps you should take to ensure your safety. Popular Mechanics has this checklist for your car to make sure its in road trip shape. You should have an emergency kit in your car with things like batteries, flashlights, a blanket, energy bars, bottled water, cat litter (great for gaining traction in the snow!), as well as anything else you personally might need to feel safer. Inform someone you are going and how long you expect to be gone (and update them if the plans change). Having a cell phone (even if it is just a prepaid one) with you will go a long way to ensure you don’t end up stranded if you run into problems. 

Why Drive?

With planes and trains and buses, why should you drive instead? While these other modes of transportation have their own benefits, driving to your destination creates another layer to your vacation. You have the ability to see more sights, discover more hidden gems, and create lasting memories with anyone you bring with you. So, why not drive?

Getting A Tattoo

Tattoos have become a common form of “body art” or “body modification” that has become widely accepted in most societies. People get tattoos that they feel that represents them and something near, dear, or important to them. People use tattoos to represent who they are and showcase something that stokes their passion.

A History of Tattoos

Despite tattoos becoming more popular in the last several decades and becoming an accepted part of modern society, tattooing one’s body is far from a new phenomenon. Otzi the Iceman was discovered in September of 1991, and even back then he still had ancient versions of tattoos on his mummified skin. Otzi’s body and his life were dated between 3370 and 3100 BC. That means tattooing was common as far back as four millennia ago.

Other countries with a history of tattoos that date back to ancient times include Chinese cities such as Qäwrighul, Yanghai, Shengjindian, Zaghunluq, and Qizilchoqa where tattooed mummies were discovered.

Europeans have been making tattoos out of dyes like ivory as far back as 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. Most tattoos were found on the arms and legs as well as across the chest and torso.

Tattoos Today

No doubt tattoos look completely different in the 21st century than they did back in ancient times. However, they are still popular forms of body art. Tattooing as we know it today began in the 1870s and has become more modern over the last 140+ years.

Today, a series of many small, micro-sized needles inject ink into people’s skin to create the picture or the image that the person wishes to receive. Most people say certain parts of their bodies hurt more than others when getting tattooed, but most say tattooing is not painful as the needles are so small and thrust in and out of the skin rapidly enough that it feels more like tickling than pain. However, areas such as the top of the feet or the ribs have been said to be more uncomfortable to have tattooed than other body parts.

Professionals in Tattooing

Today, people work in tattoo parlors and studios doing this work on people’s bodies professionally. There are training programs that offer people the skills they need to be successful in tattooing for a full-time career. In the 21st century, there is quite good money that can get make in the tattooing industry. Tattoos today run from $100 to $300 per hour of work that the artist has to do to complete the tattoo. Large, custom tattoos can run into the $1000s if it takes the artist several hours to a couple of workdays to complete.

Tattoo parlors and shops exist throughout the U.S. and in most countries throughout the world today. Tattoo parlors that regulate the use of needles and artists who are certified by the state in which they practice get considered quite safe today. To get licensed by the state in which they work, most artists must complete 360 hours of training under someone who is certified and do more than 50 tattoos to receive their license.

Famous Tattooers

TV shows about tattooing have become more common in the last several years. Shows such as L.A. Ink and, Ink Master, and Black Ink Crew New York have given way to many famous tattooers. Some of the most well-known tattoo artists today include Kat Von D, Paul Booth, Scott Campbell, Tina Bafaro, and Erin Chance.

Today, both men and women succeed in tattooing and can make a relatively healthy income. The average income for a tattoo artist is stated to be around $107K annually, according to ZipRecruiter.

Conclusions

Tattooing has become more and more common as it is a modernized art in the 21st century. As long as tattoos are not “offensive” and are not “controversial” in nature, most jobs allow people to have tattoos. Jobs may require that they are covered, but most workplaces will not stop you from getting hired because you have tattoos.

Tattooing is far from new, but it continues to be a way to express one’s self, and it’s becoming more accepted by society as more and more people jump on the trend and get tattoos. So, if you want to get tattooed and you know what you want to get, it’s time to explore your options! Find a certified tattoo artist, a reputable shop that practices proper needle disposal, and ensures you are safe as possible.

Happiness in a Basket

Having a picnic in the park or at the beach is a staple of bonding for a lot of families. The act of getting away from the normal routine in and of itself lends a hand to creating stronger bonds and fonder memories. It can even be a favorite first date plan or a way for an office to try and bring employees closer together. 

Picnics Through the Years

The History Channel believes picnics began in the Middle ages when the wealthy took to hunting for entertainment. However, the lower classes did not have the time or the resources to partake in picnics until the Victorian era. NPR notes that picnics used to be used more like potlucks than the picnics we have today. 

Filling the Basket

After you’ve decided on a picnic, you have to decide what to bring. Everyone has an opinion on the best picnic foods, so which do you choose? Ranker lists sandwiches, lemonade, potato chips, fruit salad, and watermelon as the top five picnic choices. You can stick with the classics or spice them up by trying something new. Food Network has recipes for a sandwich on a stick and a shrimp salad among others that will let you expand your palate. 

Why?

Why would you want to prepare and pack up food just to take it somewhere else to eat it? Because it’s good for you! Health Fitness Revolution has compiled a list of 10 benefits to your health including family bonding, stress relief, and the impact of being outdoors. There really isn’t a good reason to eat in today. You could make it a weekly occurrence, and try to pick a new location to enjoy or a new food to try each time. It could be the first step toward a much better, happier, and relaxed future. Go pack a basket, pick a place, and enjoy your time outdoors. 

Serenity in the Sand

Beaches are a place of wonder, and not every beach trip is made equal. There are many different ways to enjoy a day (or a week) in the sand. Even the beaches themselves are different. Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan, for example, boasts beautiful dunes you can climb, trails to walk, and a beautiful view of the lake, which is a vastly different experience than a trip to La Chiva Beach in Puerto Rico. La Chiva sports crystal clear waters for snorkeling and water that is an awe inspiring blue. 

Origins of Beach Vacations

Beaches didn’t always promote feeling of relaxation and tranquility. In fact, it was quite the opposite! According to Smithsonian Magazine, beaches were feared as being wild and dangerous. They were a place of shipwrecks and natural disasters. That viewpoint wouldn’t change until the mid 1700’s. It wasn’t until the 20th century that beach vacations started becoming popular in the Americas, Paste reports. 

Tranquility of the Water

Walking slowly along the beach as the sand shifts between your toes and over your feet, while looking out over the small, blue, crashing waves can bring feelings of relaxation in a class of its own. And science can prove it! Inc discusses the calming effect the color blue can have on the brain activity as well as the benefits walking over sand has on pressure points in your feet. Going to the beach is proven to be good for your health. Start planning your beach trip now, it’s for your overall well being. 

Precautions

As relaxing as the beach can be, there are still times when it could be dangerous. Be sure to check with the correct local offices or authorities to determine if the conditions of the beach will be safe before you head out. Things such as high water levels, riptides, or other weather events could be a factor in determining the safety of the beach. 

Extreme Love

After some ups and downs in her life, Janet Blaser took a trip to Mazatlán, Mexico. She loved the beach, the people, and the culture so much she moved there! She now lives for about $1000 a month on the beach in Mexico, and can’t imagine being anywhere else. 

Learn about Aussie History at the South Australian Museum

The South Australian Museum, located in the heart of Adelaide, is one of Australia’s most popular museums among both Australians and international travelers. From biology and paleontology to Australian culture throughout the ages and other areas of humanities, this massive museum has something for everyone. 

History of the South Australian Museum 

The South Australian Museum has been home to a plethora of Australian artifacts for over 150 years. It was born out of the South Australian Literary Society, one of the first organized groups with an interest in collecting historical artifacts and using them for educational purposes. The museum’s approximately 90 staff members aim to preserve centuries of both cultural and natural history to keep both today’s and future Australians connected to the past. 

South Australian Museum Exhibits

Some of the South Australian Museum’s most popular current exhibits describe the history of women in science and photography by Mat Beetson, the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Other popular collections include ancient Australian culture, fossils, gems and rocks, and many more. 

Visiting the South Australian Museum 

The South Australian Museum is located on the North Terrace in downtown Adelaide, which is easily accessible by public transit, bicycle, or car. The museum is open from 10am-5pm every day except for ANZAC Day, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. While entry to the museum is free, visiting some areas may have an additional fee.   

Because the museum is so large, it can be a good idea to arrive early in the day. This makes it easier to avoid crowds and increases the amount of time that you have available to explore. Be sure to wear shoes that you will be comfortable walking in for much of the day. The museum includes a gift shop and cafe, and it is available for school groups and birthday parties. 

If you’re heading to Australia and are looking for a free and fun way to learn about Australian culture and history, look no further than the South Australian Museum. This museum introduces both locals and visitors from halfway around the world to nearly every aspect of cultural and natural history.  

Go Surfing to Catch a Wave

Both professional and amateur surfers live for the exhilarating experience of riding the biggest wave they can find. If you’re heading to Hawaii, California, or another tropical destination, going surfing can be a great way to experience local culture while enjoying the ocean. 

History of Surfing

Surfing has been around for several centuries. The earliest known record of surfing is from 1767 in Tahiti, and it is believed that the sport has likely existed in some form since ancient times. While the first surfing competitions as we know them today did not appear until the 20th century, early Polynesian cultures are believed to have chosen their village leaders based on their surfing ability. 

Surfing Equipment and Safety

Choosing the right surfboard is the most important step in planning a memorable surfing experience. Surfboards are generally made of coated foam or other lightweight materials, and they come in a variety of sizes and types. Be sure to select a board that is appropriate for your height and matches the type of waves that you plan to surf on. 

Always dress appropriately in order to protect yourself from the sun, your board, and the water. Depending on where you are surfing, wear a wetsuit or a rash guard and board shorts, rather than a bikini, t-shirt, or other clothing. Other essential equipment includes a leash to keep the surfer connected to the surfboard, surf wax to help the surfer avoid slipping off the surfboard, and surf earplugs to protect the ears from extreme temperature or pressure differences.

Always bring plenty of water, and avoid surfing during the sunniest hours in the middle of the day whenever possible. Never go surfing alone, and use extreme caution when surfing in unfamiliar areas.    

Competitive Surfing

Tourists surf occasionally on vacation, but natives to top surfing areas often participate in a variety of competitions that may lead to careers as professional surfers. Children, teens, and adults who live in Hawaii, California, and other tropical areas often spend part of the majority of their days in the ocean, and natives to coastal cities often begin building their swimming and surfing skills from a young age. Bethany Hamilton, a Hawaiian surfer, became well-known as a teen, and she continues to inspire both surfers and other women around the world.     

Where Can I Go Surfing?

While surfing is often thought of as a Hawaiian sport, it can be done in virtually any coastal city that is located in a tropical climate. According to the Travel Channel, some of the best places to catch a wave around the world include California, Costa Rica, Australia, Morocco, and Tahiti, in addition to Hawaii. Many top tourist destinations offer surfing lessons and equipment rental.  

If you’re heading to Hawaii or another popular ocean destination, be sure to add surfing lessons to your to-do list and get ready to have some fun in the sun!