Tuesday, October 17, 2006

YUPM and Kayak for a Cure

Vancouver's YUPM teamed up with Kayak for a Cure founder Mark Starkey this year as a sponsor to help the annual paddling event with its inaugural event in 2006."Our first event this year was amazing," stated Mark Starkey, who founded Kayak for a Cure after moving to Vancouver in March.
"Everyone had an amazing day, the paddle was exciting and overall a huge success." The small group of paddlers raised over $1200 this year for the Canadian Cancer Society. "Our hope is to grow the event each year and really make an impact on finding a cure and affecting the lives of the people that live with the disease. If Cancer hasn't effected you directly, chances are it's effected someone you love. We're receiving emails from all over the country from paddlers that are interested. Right now, we need help, we need volunteers for next year's event, and we're looking for Corporate Sponsors and small firms wanting to become a part of Kayak for a Cure. Our vision is powerful and we're excited about the response we're receiving."

For more information or to volunteer at next year's event visit www.kayakforacure.ca

Who We Are
Kayak for a Cure is a non-profit, volunteer based organization based in Vancouver, B.C, Canada dedicated to creating a future without cancer. Through the annual Kayak for a Cure paddle, special events, corporate sponsorship and donations, the organization works to raise money for cancer research and prevention.

Inaugural Paddle
The first annual Kayak for a Cure paddle will take place Saturday, September 16th, 2006. A small group of twenty paddlers will depart from Jericho Beach at 9:00am and cross English Bay.

100% of funds raised through Kayak for a Cure are donated to the Canadian Cancer Society, whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life for people living with cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society provides leading financial support for cancer research and delivers community-based support programs and prevention information for all types of cancer. For more information visit www.cancer.ca.

Donations can be made online at http://www.kayakforacure.ca/. Sponsors that donate $50.00 or more will receive an official 2006 Kayak for a Cure T-Shirt.Take Part To volunteer or register for Kayak for a Cure 2007, which will take place on July.

Thanks YUPM!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Newfoundland in a Whirlwind

Penning a Journal EntrySee? Food!
After spending close to 10 days travelling “the Rock”, from the Avalon to the Western Pennisulas, I, Emily, came back savouring the seafood, with a special liking for cod tongues.

Some like them chewy...
Many traditional Newfoundland dishes seem to involve cod, including the tongues of cods. One can choose to eat cod tongues deep or pan fried; eight to ten pieces are usually served with chips (fries) and scrunchions (salted fatty pork bits). I prefer them pan fried myself, as the flavour and texture are more distinct.

Deep Fried…
Fish, potatoes, cod tongues, onion rings, chicken wings, scallops, calamari – you name it, they had it. After awhile, all the deep fried food tasted all the same. The folks at the Long Range Adventure hostel (only $20/night) in Sally’s Cove recommended we try Java Jack’s in Rocky Harbour, a quaint coffee shop for a meal. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the lunch food so much that we went back for dinner. Mind you, the selection is very yuppie, Yaletown-like, atypical of Newfoundland, but we welcomed the change. They even got a mention in Where to Eat in Canada and the Lonely Planet guides.

ScenerySunset in Sally's Cove
The scenery in Newfoundland is breathtaking, even with the rolling fog. Forests of tuckamores fill the hills along the coast; these are stunted and bended spruce trees, green on the backsides while their faces are stripped bare by the wind and the salt from the sea. At dusk, the tree tops glow a nice pink, reflecting the descent of the sun; the sun setting behind the horizon of the ocean between the mountains reminds me of the beauty of a Tofino sunset.

TrailTrail markers and maps are hard to come by, thus making the experience even more authentic. The few travellers and hikers on the rocky terrain, along with the fog mist makes for a very eerie, yet mystical experience. On the forested trails, one would expect to see moose as piles of moose droppings are unavoidable. I wrote in a journey entry, "the island has an abundance of trails; it would take days, months before one could complete them all."

One notable is the Skerwink Trail in Trinity East. Voted as one of the top 35 walks in North America and Europe in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s August 2003 World’s Best Awards issue (of one in three Canadian choices), the Skerwink Trail loops its way around the coast with sheer cliffs on one side and trees on another. A lookout point every few metres allows the hiker to rest and take in the view of the rock formations and the smell of the sea.Skerwink Trail

The Locals (and more fish)
Tourism at this time of the year is just starting off and that is exactly how I like it. At all the places we stayed, we were the only ones. Many bed and breakfasts are owned and operated by retired couples. One man told us stories of his childhood in Newfoundland and his wife played us a few tunes on the pump organ. At Riverside Lodge in Trouty near Trinity, I came to understand the bitterness from the fishermen toward the fishing regulations. I had previously though that the five-a-day-no-license-required-fishing was great...for people like me, who do not fish much. But, for families who depend on fish, this freedom is only in effect for the month of August. Levies and quotas and commercial fishing also seem to be disrupting the fish population and the fishing villages. Will they become the hardworking miners, who at one point mined the whole of Bell Island for iron ore using candles for headlamps and who now have moved to other places because of work and finances? Overall, the local townspeople are generally quite friendly and warm; some of them, like bed and breakfast hosts, will get a chance to meet people from all over the world every year!

What’s in a Name?
Newfoundland is home to the French, the Norsemen (Vikings) and others with a variety of Newfie accents. Many places were named first in French, and then Anglicized which would explain why some of these names do not make any sense. For instance, some say that the local berry bake apple (also known as cloudberry in other places) is from the French phrase “baie qu'appelle” (what is the berry’s name?). Others tell me that places like L’Anse aux Meadows is derived from the French, L'Anse-aux-Méduses, meaning Jellyfish Cove, but when the English came, they changed it to meadows because that is what they heard.

Newfoundland is sure full of history that seems to live on to even today.

This excerpt is taken from the traveller's journal entry.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Boston Highlights

A girlfriend of mine met up with me at this point in the trip. Boston is a very nice city. It’s got history and character. A lot slower paced city in comparison to New York. I stayed in an apartment in this city and boy oh boy was this facility beautiful. It was a loft with a huge living room, kitchen, bathroom etc… It was really another home away from home. I would definitely return to stay again.

Recommended Accomodation:

113 Beacon Street

Fantastic spacious private apartment in the Beacon Hill Neighbourhood. Close to cheers pub also :)

Must sees:

- Beacon street (very similar to yaletown, swanky little fashion and restaurant district)

- Take the T for a tour of Boston

- Martha’s vineyards excursion if you enjoy learning the history of an island. It’s a day trip that is for sure.

- Au bon pain is a great place to get grab and go eats. You can find these joints all over Boston J. A must try!

- Chinatown was also interesting to see, but it was really small

- Cheers Bar (Where the show Cheers was filmed)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New York Highlights

I tried to get a room with a local, but it figures that everything was booked since it was Independence day. As an alternative, I stayed at the Milford Plaza hotel. A friend recommended this place to me as they always stay there when visiting New York. The facility was not gorgeous or anything, but it was decent enough to live in. I would highly recommend it for a single traveler as it is central to a lot of things in New York.

Recommended Accomodations

Milford Plaza Hotel
270 W 45th Street, New York, NY 10036
T: (888) 288 5700 or (212) 869 3600

Must sees:

Walk 8th street to chinatown and litte italy (can take the subway but will miss lots of things along the way). I even ended up in Harlem.

City of New York Bus Tour with Greyhound (well worth it if you want to see the whole of New York in one day)

Toronto Highlights

Must sees:

- Yonge Street (apparently the longest street in the world with many attractions)

- Bloor Street (known for shopping and dining experiences)

- Queen’s Street (fashion district)

- Beaches area (equivalent to white rock)

- Distillery (beer and shopping district). There is a store inside of here that serves chocolate espresso's, dare to try! You can see a pic of the chocolate espresso machine behind me.

- Center Island (great getaway island for outdoor activities, I did biking)

- - CN Tower (tourist trap :))

Place to Eat:

Springs Rolls - Great Asian fusion food (large portions as well)

Recommended Accommodations:

Cozy Suites Inn

287-289 Victoria Park Ave., Toronto, Ontario
Phone: 416.420.8696 - Toll Free: 1.866.501.8809
Email: info@cozysuites.com

Cozy Suites Inn is a cute little character home by the beaches. I had my own private suite with a bedroom and washroom and living room. It was quite quaint for Toronto considering it is a big city. I really enjoyed my stay there as it encouraged me to take advantage of the public transit and learn the ropes of the city. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to really get to know the outskirts of Toronto and the downtown core inside a short period of time.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Montreal Highlights

Montreal was probably my most favorite city out of the 4 cities I visited on this trip. The city had a very unique and distinct culture to it even though it was still located inside Canada. Besides, I loved hearing the French language (so sweet and eloquent).

Must Sees:

- St. Catherines Street, huge shopping district. It’s amazing how long of a street this is purely covered by stores and restaurants.

- Quebec City, quaint little town. It felt like a miniature version of Europe. Very well worth seeing. It is a day trip from Montreal so ensure you schedule time for this into your travel itinerary.

- Crescent street, a strip full of bars and restaurants. A great place to hang out in the evenings and people watch.

``-Jazz Festival (largest Jazz Festival in Canada) Worth seeing if you are travelling between the end of June and beginning of July.

Recommended Accommodation:

Bons Matins bed and breakfast was my accommodation of choice in Montreal. I would give it a two thumbs up. The service was excellent, they had treats and drinks for you to nibble on throughout the day, rooms were large and beautifully decorated, bathrooms were gorgeous. It was definitely a home away from home. They even had two computers you could use to go on the web. Not only that you were only a block away from the Metro (Montreal’s version of the Skytrain, but underground J). In addition, they serve a gourmet breakfast every morning (check out the photos). Talk about living in luxury!


1401, avenue Argyle
Montréal (Québec) H3G 1V5

Local line
(514) 931-9167

Toll free (Canada and United States)

(514) 931-1621




Must eats:

Poutine – Fries with cheese curds and gravy (not my cup of tea, but a definite favorite for others)

Chinatown – Definitely drop into Chinatown for some delicious authentic chinese food. Good food at a good price!

Message from YUPM Founder

Hi All

For those of you who have not yet heard of me, my name is Karen Liu and I am the founder of Young Urban Professionals Meet (YUPM). YUPM is a team of young urban professionals passionate about networking and meeting new people.

YUPM is the result of one person's dream to bring young professionals between the ages of 25-35, from various industries and backgrounds, together yearly to get connected and stay connected.

YUPM is currently in the works, but outside of that I have been taking the time to explore the world and I wanted to share what I had found on my journey. I discovered great places to eat, shop, hangout, and tour which I hope to share with all of you so that when you are in the area you can check out these places too. The development of the arm YUPM Travel Network is a result of pure interest to inform and share with others my wonderful experiences traveling. My journeys do not involve the standard hotel, taxi cab travel, but instead I try to really live like a local so I can really experience what it would be like to live in that particular city. It would involve taking the subway, bus, staying at a bed and breakfast, etc.. . Believe it or not, it is a less expensive way to travel as well. Scary memories come with it as well like ending up in Harlem 

My most recent trip consisted of a back east tour through Montreal, Toronto, New York and Boston. Boy oh boy, was it an eye opener since I haven’t traveled this much since my high school days. As a young professional, like many of you, I have been stuck in school and working full-time that I have had very limited time to see the world. I would highly recommend to all of you that haven’t done much traveling that you do it now as it is a great way of making new friends, learning to appreciate the place you live in already or discovering a new city you perhaps would like to live in. Life is not about all work and no play! Remember, live everyday like there is no tomorrow.