alternate title: forest fire haze at sunrise.
i grew up in a cozy town of 75,000, nestled between two rivers, hundreds of lakes and thousands of evergreen trees. i spent much of my childhood in my backyard tobogganing through the trees in the winter, and my summers on the lake at our family cabin. as soon as i graduated high school, i did what many do and got out of my hometown as quickly as i possibly could.
we head back every year to visit my in laws, and the family cabin that’s now a highlight of my own kids’ summers, but rarely do we venture into town to explore, so when i was presented with the opportunity to visit prince george with a group of edmonton bloggers, i jumped at the chance to play tourist in my own hometown.
central mountain air has just launched the first direct flight from edmonton to prince george, which is exciting for anyone looking to visit the area and especially awesome for a family like us who have friends and in laws in pg that we can now reach in under two hours (instead of having to make the eight hour trek through the mountains every single time)! the group i travelled with (kelsy, diana, sandy, karlie and phil) hopped on our plane early one thursday morning, and enjoyed a quick and quiet hour in the air (flying child free is something i don’t get to experience very often — i even got to read a book!).
upon arriving in prince george, our food and drink fest commenced almost immediately upon landing. from fresh squeezed lemonade and breakfast, to pizza and pimm’s and the most amazing charcuterie board i’ve ever seen, to wine and more charcuterie at a vineyard, to beer sampling at a brewery, and topped off with an amazing dinner, we certainly did not go hungry (or thirsty) all day long.
our first stop was at ooh chocolat where i was tempted by the dozens of delicious desserts but settled for a(n amazing fresh squeezed) lemonade and a quick snack (knowing how many other stops were to come on the day’s itinerary, i had to pace myself), before we headed over to check out the local art gallery and head out on a walking tour of the downtown core. i’ll definitely be making a trip back to this cafe to treat the kids on our next trip west! the two rivers art gallery was a gorgeous space filled with natural light and greenery and the kids’ art classes that were going on in the maker lab as we passed through looked amazing and definitely worth checking out for anyone in the area!
next up was our downtown tour. the city has placed information plaquards on several street corners with history of the area and stories about specific buildings (turns out there have been a A LOT of fires in pg’s downtown core) and our tour guide did an awesome job of keeping it entertaining. as a former resident, it was pretty neat to hear the history of the streets i was driven down for the first half of my life, and as a creative, i loved seeing the public art being commissioned in various spaces downtown. being a large group of bloggers and photographers, there were (of course) a handful of detours for photos along the route.
following our tour, we took on the most impressive charcuterie board i’ve ever seen and enjoyed some cocktails and pizza at betulla burning. i know the kids will love watching their pizzas cook in the wood burning stove and the novelty of cutting their pizzas with scissors(!) so i’m definitely adding this stop to our intinerary next time we travel to bc.
after lunch, we checked into our rooms and then headed back out to check out some more attractions. northern lights estate winery is the northern most winery in british columbia and they create fruit wines from blueberries, apples, rhubarb and a variety of other fruits. there we were treated to a tour of the orchards and facilities and a private wine tasting. my personal favourite was the heritage haskap wine, a rich blend of haskap and blueberries. clearly this called for another photo shoot, and florals were the attire of choice 😉
next stop, because we hadn’t had enough to eat or drink yet (ha!), it was time to check out pacific western brewing for a tour. so many of the beers that i remember my dad drinking as a child are brewed here, but my beverage of choice during this visit was (unexpectedly) a root beer vodka drink — it tasted just like pop, which could perhaps be a bit problematic on a hot summer afternoon at the lake…
we capped off the night with an amazing dinner at north 54 (while i may not be a food photographer i can attest that the miso scallops were one of the most delicious things i’ve ever eaten!!), my first slot machine experience at the casino attached to our hotel (spoiler: i won nothing), and an early bedtime.
after breakfast on day two (even though i didn’t order it myself, i’m going to go ahead and highly recommend this MASSIVE cinnamon bun from hummus brothers) we headed out for a hike at one my personal favourite attractions in the prince george area, the ancient forest. the only inland temperate rainforest in the world, the ancient forest boasts thousand year old trees AND waterfalls and the accessible boardwalk ensures that everybody can enjoy the experience, be it on foot, pushing a stroller, or in a wheelchair. it’s absolutely stunning and of course, more photos ensued.
one last meal, a quick goodbye to mister pg and we were on our way back to the airport to head home. a quick hour in the air and we all made it back home, one adventure and six friends richer.