Family Activities

Sep01

Surfing Tips!

Have you ever gone surfing and caught the biggest wave? Whether or not you are a seasoned surfer or first time catching a wave we have a few tips for you as you set out on your way.

Here are some hot tips provided by Surfer Today!

1. Learn to Pick the Right Wave

2. Fine-Tune the Position on the Peak

3. Eye Your Target

4. Keep a Low Center of Gravity

5. Paddle With Nearly-Closed Fingers

6. Check the Time Period Between Waves

7. Adjust Your Feet While Riding the Wave

8. Set One Goal and Improve It

9. Manage the Wave Face Timing

10. Watch Wave Videos in Slow Motion

11. Analyze Your Mistakes

12. Broaden the Working Area on the Wave Face

13. Pick the Right Surfboard for the Right Wave

14. Focus on Rail-to-Rail Surfing

15. Learn How Waves Are Formed

Most importantly Breakaway Vacation reminds you, and your family to have fun!

Aug25

Looking for a delicious quick snack to enjoy during your vacation, but you can’t choose what? Look no further we are here to support you and all snacking ideas!

Guacamole and Chips Recipe: Depending on how much Guacamole you would like you can double or triple this recipe!

  • 2-3 Avocados
  • 1 lime or lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 2-3 tomato’s diced
  • jalapeno a lot or none (if you like spice add about a tablespoon thinly cut)
  1. Peel avocados and mash to your preference of chunky or smooth
  2. Dice onion, tomato and jalapeno if you want to add a little spice
  3. Mince Garlic or use garlic press
  4. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl mix and add lime/lemon and salt to taste
  5. Match with your favourite chip and enjoy!

Pina Colada Dip – found here!

  • 1-1/4 cups cold 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup pineapple yogurt
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant coconut cream pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Optional: Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes and maraschino cherries
  • Fresh pineapple wedges
  • Vanilla wafers
  1. In a large bowl, whisk milk, yogurt and pudding mix 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Fold in whipped topping. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours.
  2. If desired, top with coconut and cherries before serving. Serve with pineapple and wafers.

Coconut, Lime, and Pistachio Cookies – found here!

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant coconut cream pudding mix
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and lime juice. In another bowl, whisk flour, pudding mix, baking soda and baking powder; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in pistachios and dried cranberries. With clean beaters, beat egg white on medium speed until thick and foamy; stir in coconut.
  2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Top with coconut mixture. Bake until until edges begin to brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle with lime zest. Store in airtight containers.

Jalapeno Popper Dip – found here!

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sliced green onions, optional
  • Corn chips, tortilla chips or assorted crackers
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar, chilies, peppers and 1/4 cup Parmesan until blended. Spoon into an ungreased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, oil and remaining Parmesan. Sprinkle over cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 min. or until golden brown. Sprinkle with green onions, if desired. Serve with chips or crackers.

Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Hummus – found here!

  • 3 fresh medium beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, optional
  • Minced fresh dill weed or parsley
  • Assorted fresh vegetables
  • Sliced or torn pita bread
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Pierce beets with a fork; place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover loosely. Microwave beets on high for 4 minutes, stirring halfway. Cool slightly. Wrap beets in individual foil packets.
  2. Remove papery outer skin from garlic bulb, but do not peel or separate cloves. Cut in half crosswise. Sprinkle halves with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap in individual foil packets. Roast beets and garlic until cloves are soft, about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven; unwrap. Rinse beets with cold water; peel when cool enough to handle. Squeeze garlic from skins. Place beets and garlic in a food processor. Add garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, cayenne pepper and remaining olive oil, salt and ground pepper. Process until smooth.
  4. If desired, pulse 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt with beet mixture, dolloping remaining yogurt over finished hummus. Sprinkle with dill or parsley. Serve with assorted vegetables and pita bread.

Enjoy your summer snacks!

Jul12

Enjoy the experience of local food and local talent all at once at the Black Goose Inn. Minutes from the Tanglewood beach vacation rentals you’ll find some great eats and live music!

Check out their extensive menu full of snacks, starters, salads, mains, pies and even something for the kids! It’s traditional British cooking just minutes from your vacation home! Black Goose Inn offers an authentic experience welcome to the entire family, including your 4 legged friends. An outdoor patio is available. Happy hour is offered from 3-5pm with live music between the hours of 6pm-8:30pm. Find the live music schedule here!

Some of our favourite items on the menu are:

Strawberry and Pecan Spinach Salad – Spinach, Strawberries, Feta, Home made candied pecans, Balsamic Dressing

Lamb Shank – Red wine rosemary oven braised lamb shank, Buttery mashed potatoes, Peas, Red win lamb jus

Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon – Sockeye salmon, Buttery Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables and a Creamy lobster sauce

Of course, our cottages come fully equipped with everything you need to make your own home cooked meal – but who wants to cook every night of their vacation!

Summer BBQ
Jun11

Use these tips to host the best BBQ party this summer. 

Summer is here and the outdoors are calling. Hopefully, most of you have got your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are anticipating your second (if applicable). In the coming months, we might even have the go-ahead to mingle with family and friends. 

As gatherings safely restart, you might be thinking of a few outdoor events with which to test the waters. And a BBQ party in your backyard or at a public park is a great place to start. 

Here are a few ideas to plan and host the best BBQ event of the season. 

Pick Guests Wisely

We’re just getting used to hanging out in crowds again. Let’s keep it simple for the first few attempts! Invite your family and a few close friends and keep it at that. A private Facebook group can be a good way to keep tabs on who has RSVP’d. 

Provide Dietary Options

Have meat- and plant-based options and ask your guests ahead of time if anyone needs a special menu (gluten intolerance, vegan, dairy allergy). The same applies to desserts. There’s nothing worse than being the only one who can’t partake in the cupcakes or brownies! 

Decide: BYOB?

Make sure your guests are crystal clear about whether the BBQ is a dry event, BYOB affair, or an open bar situation. Be sure to provide the basics, like a source for water and maybe some soda in a cooler. 

Weather Check

Obviously, you’ll want to aim for a sunny day. But sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t perform as promised. Email or text your guest list a day or two before with a weather update, letting them know what to expect and what to bring—be it sunscreen or umbrellas! 

Game Plan

Bring a few things for people to do, if they are so inclined. A deck of cards, a few sets of dice, or pen and paper for charades can go a long way. Keep it simple, as people may get caught up in socializing and not tap into them at all. Still, it’s nice to have for any lulls! 

Side Dishes

A build-your-own salad is always an easy side. Just chop some veggies and provide a few dressing options. Or, consider having people bring their own dish, salad, or snack while you provide the main course. 

Venue Rules

You’ll want to check any venue rules before you solidify your plans. Does the location have limitations on gathering sizes? Are fire bans in effect in your area? Is the site dog-friendly or not? Be aware of these for yourself—but don’t forget to inform your guests, too! 

DIY DJ

Have a game plan for playing some tunes while your guests mingle. A Bluetooth stereo will do the trick but be sure it has enough juice to get you through the evening. A battery pack, extension cord, or camping generator will do the trick in most circumstances. 

What are your best BBQ tips? Let us know in the comments.

If you’re staying with us at Breakaway Vacation, ask us which of our luxury vacation cottages have BBQ access! Our friendly travel advisors are always happy to help. 

Pender Island Attractions
May21

There’s a lot to love about Pender Island. Here are some of our favourite Pender Island attractions, sites, and hot spots.   

The Beaches  

Pender Island is divided into the North and South islands and both have plenty of beaches to choose from. Try Beaumont Marine Park or Brooks Point Regional Park (south island) or Roe Lake, Medicine Beach Sanctuary, or Roesland Gulf National Park (north island). Waterfront hot spots vary across the island so you might find rocky shore, silky smooth sands, or winding marina docks. 

Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards  

If you know anything about B.C., you know that we love our vineyards and wineries. Pender Island has one of its own: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards. Their tasting room is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 PM. They were featured by SIP Northwest as one of the “9 Wineries to Visit Before You Die”.

The Parks  

Pender Island offers many parks and natural areas for the wilderness loving traveler. Check out Greenburn Lake or Bridge Trail park on the south island; or, try Community Park or Roe Lake on the north island. You can also access many areas of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, which has touchpoints on both island halves and spand across 15 islands total!

Mount Norman  

Mount Norman Park spans over 100 hectares of land covered by plains, forests, and mountain slopes. Mt Norman is actually a part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, as well. You can trek to the mountain summit (44 metres/800 feet) for an unparalleled view of the vistas and waters.

Kayak Rentals   

Pender Island is a great tourist spot for water sports like kayaking and canoeing. Check out Pender Island Kayak Adventure or Dog Mermaid Eco Excursions. These venues offer hosted tours, day trips, or DIY equipment rentals. Any waterway adventure has the potential to expose you to B.C. wildlife like eagles, sea otters, and whales.

The Hiking Trails   

Pender Island has plenty of hiking trails to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty and length. Do some research on the paths before you depart. You can try Beaumont Trail, Greenburn Lake Look Out, William Walker Trail, as well as smaller local hidden gems.

Pender Island Golf & Country Club  

Pender Island Golf & Country Club is very close to Otter Bay and has been in operation since 1945. This 9 hole public golf course is open year round and the property includes access to a well stocked golf shop and the El Faro lounge. You can also book golf lessons with trainers on site.

The Coffee Shops  

Pender Island shirks big chain venues in favour of small, locally owned cafes like Vanilla Leaf Bakery Cafe and Slow Coast Coffee. Wherever you are staying will have its secret spots and local favourites. Be sure to ask around or do a bit of online searching to see what’s around.

The Summer Markets   

Both North Pender Island and South Pender Island have their own major farmers’ markets. Up north, keep a look out for the aptly-named Farmer’s Market on Pender Island; down south, look for Nighthawk Farm Farmers’ Market. Both have a wide variety of local goods.

Breakaway Vacations Cottages

Big, sterile hotel chains are so blah. As a tourist hub, Pender Island offers visitors a broad choice of where they want to say. For example, a luxury lakeside vacation cottage with access to a pool, BBQs, outdoor seating, and firepits. Contact us at Breakaway Vacations and ask about Pender Island vacation rental availability for summer.  

What Pender Island attractions are you most excited for? Let us know so we can help you plan the perfect getaway.

Staycation blog
Feb05

COVID-19 has changed how we think about travel. Vacationers are sticking close to home and putting a pin in international travel for now. That’s why a “staycation” is such a great idea—it lets you enjoy some time to yourself without the hassle of crossing farther distances.  

But what exactly does a 2021 staycation look like and how can you make the best of it this year? First, let’s cover some basics.  

What is the difference between vacation and staycation?  

Vacation means you are traveling abroad, maybe taking a cruise or staying at a resort. A staycation means you are closer to home, maybe exploring attractions in your own city or taking a quick road trip to a neighbouring community for a long weekend.  

Why is #Staycation popular this year? 

Thanks to the Coronavirus, people are wary about unnecessary travel this year. That’s why staycations are becoming more popular. Not to mention they are often cheaper, less of a time commitment, and much easier to plan.  

How can I spend my staycation in B.C.? 

Considering a staycation this month? Here are some fun staycation ideas that you can try.  

Staycation at Home 

You don’t even need to leave your house for some of the best staycations. Here are a few things you can try:  

  1. Do a spa night with a face mask, long bath, nail treatment, and anything else you can think of 
  2. Enjoy some summer-themed cocktails with a partner and order takeout  
  3. Buy a cheap projector and watch films set in your dream destinations around the world  
  4. Treat yourself to a home-visit masseuse, if there are any ones in your area  
  5. Give yourself a whole “day off” to just lounge at home with no responsibilities  

Staycation in Town 

A staycation can also mean exploring your own backyard in ways you hadn’t thought to do before. Here are some ways you can do so: 

  1. Go out for a fancy dinner somewhere you have never tried before 
  2. Take a day trip to an outdoor market and sample new, local foods  
  3. Check out a tourist “hotspot” in your city that you’ve never visited before  
  4. Go for a walk in a park or hiking trail that you’ve never been to before 
  5. Stay overnight in an Airbnb just to get away from home life for a night  

Staycation Quick Trip  

Sometimes a staycation means taking “stay” lightly. Traveling to a neighbouring town or city can be a safe faux-vacation idea this year: 

  1. Book a cabin or yurt somewhere a few hours away from home for some new scenery  
  2. Visit a friend or family member in another city within the province 
  3. Go skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing for a long weekend  
  4. Stay overnight in an Airbnb the next town over to get away from it all  
  5. Plan a road trip somewhere scenic, stay the night somewhere fun, and then try a new route back home 

Thinking about booking something this spring or summer? See what we have to offer in the B.C. area at Breakaway Vacations. And if you’re already a local, might we suggest a #staycation?  

dice games
Dec26

Whether you are traveling in December for holiday festivities or just some pre-New Years relaxation, you might be looking for things to do indoors when the temperature drops. Here are 3 easy dice games that you can do with minimal prep (super easy to pack, too).

1. Knock Out

This dice game only requires 2 dice and involves adding up to the number 10, making it great for younger kids to play, too. Each player first chooses their “knockout number” between either 6, 7, 8, or 9. Two players CAN pick the same number.

Decide who goes first by each rolling a die with the person who rolls the highest taking their turn first, second highest goes second, and so on. On their turn, a player must roll two dice. If they land on their chosen “knock out” number, then they are disqualified from rolling until everyone has been knocked out and the next round starts.

Every roll (EXCEPT the knock out number) contributes to the player’s overall score. Players race to a score of 100, or whatever goal your group decides on.

2. Catch Up

This dice game is great for a larger group, as it requires between 4-8 players. You will need 2 dice as well as an assortment of counters, which can be anything from bits of paper to coins, etc. The first player to obtain 3 tokens wins.

Give the dice to the oldest and youngest players (or however else you want to divide it up). Both will roll their dice at the same time and anyone who lands on a 6 must pass their dice to the right. The goal is to be the one person holding both dice. Then, you earn a counter and the process starts again.

Between each dice roll, there is a chant (mainly to give those without the dice something to do), which you can customize to your group. Use an assortment of clapping or knee-slapping to emphasize every other word to make it more exciting. We like to use the “We Will Rock You” chant, changing up the second repetition to announce the dice roll, as such: We will, we will, rock you. We will, we will, ROLL NOW!

3. Run For It

You will need 6 dice to play this and any amount of players is fine, though it tends to work best with 4-5 for time’s sake. Players will take turns rolling all 6 dice and trying to make “straight”, that is: a series of numbers that progress in counting order. For example: 1, 2, 3, and 4 OR 5, 6, and 7.

A “straight” can encompass anywhere from 2 to 6 numbers and each dice in the sequence gives the player 10 points. So 1, 2, 3, 4 would be worth 40 points in total. You can only make ONE straight per roll, so players should pick the one that gives them the most points.

Whoever reaches 500 points wins. You can raise or lower that number depending on how long you want to play.

Bonus: Want something even simpler? Check out these dice games that require only a single die!

Have Fun and Roll Away

Whatever dice games you decide to play, be sure to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones this holiday season. Play games, enjoy the snow, and celebrate the holidays together.

If you need some help booking your next great vacation rental, be sure to reach out to us using our phone number or contact page!

christmas crafts
Dec11

Winter holiday travel will be filled with Christmas markets, building snowmen, and ice skating…but sometimes you just want to stay warm indoors! Whatever the reason for staying in, your family night together needn’t be uneventful. Here are some family-friendly Christmas crafts to keep everyone entertained.

  1. Paper Plate Santa Clause

This craft is great because minimal supplies are needed. Also, the resulting product is flat and easy to pack in a bag or suitcase to take home after your holiday trip. The main supplies are a paper plate, construction paper, googly eyes, and paint or markers. However, you can modify the list to customize the experience: try pipe cleaners, pom poms, stickers, or glitter (if you dare!).

How to make it.

  1. Pinecone Christmas Tree

Turn a simple pinecone from your walks and hikes in the area into seasonal souvenirs! Use a bit of paint and whatever supplies you want to use for a star (construction paper, wood cut-outs, etc.). Kids will love exploring outdoors to find their “perfect pinecone.” Plus, the craft is minimalist if you need to buy supplies: just a few paint colours and brushes will do! You can leave them as stand-alone decorations or attach a hook or thread loop to them and turn them into tree hangings.

How to make it.

  1. Paper Snowflake Cut-Outs

Ah, a classic! The best part of this craft is that you can print out patterns at home and easily pack them along to have an easy, on-the-go craft ready for any occasion. Patterns range from ridiculously simple to quite challenging and precise. That means there is a design out there for any age range to enjoy. You can also fold the paper and “freestyle” a design to see what you can come up with from scratch.

How to make it.

  1. Popsicle Stick Ornaments

A simple pack of popsicle sticks and a few odds-and-ends to decorate with can go a long way. This can also be a multi-night craft, as there are plenty of patterns to make: reindeer, gingerbread, penguin, holiday tree, snowman, and anything else you can dare to imagine! Use buttons, markers, pipe cleaner, pom poms, felt, construction paper, and ribbon to decorate to your hearts’ content.

How to make it.

The best part about the above Christmas crafts is that many of them use similar materials so you can buy bulk supplies and mix and match projects on different nights of your winter vacation. Plus, you can have fun exploring the local shops to find supplies!

Need somewhere for your holiday parties or weekend ski trips? Check out Breakaway Vacations’ selection of luxury vacation rentals.