Summer Fun – free activities for the young, and young at heart

With kids out of school, and summer fully underway, you may be feeling the rigors of summer life!

Don’t get me wrong – we aren’t complaining. Who doesn’t enjoy regular BBQ’s under the late-day sun or long slow walks to the local ice-cream parlour. For that matter, who doesn’t enjoy riding their bike to the local farmers market or playing soccer in the field without getting soaked from winter rain ! Summer allows us to really enjoy ourselves and the local beauty of Canada’s West Coast.

But ever get that feeling you are running out of ideas ? Are the kids starting to ask “what are we doing today ?” or worse yet, “I’m bored!”. We’ll have no fear, we’ve highlighted 3 of our favourite summer activities at Taku to help you enjoy the most of your summer fun.

Kick the Can or Flashlight Tag:

Kick the Can is a game combining both elements of hide-and-seek and capture the flag, this game for the whole family is perfect at home or away. In short, someone is “it”, and tries to catch everyone else. When caught, those players sit to the side until a “free” player kicks the can and “frees” everyone. “It” wins when he/she catches everyone, or until you decide to switch (which is a bit easier!!). Though you “could” play inside, we recommend an outdoor location with lots of hiding spots! Read more here.

Flashlight tag is another game, similar to regular tag. This game however is played at night with whoever’s “it” tagging people with the light instead of actually touching them. Read more here.

Berry Picking and Jam making:

All those berries you buy are often found in nature for free – in fact we have some up here at Taku just starting to show! Not sure what needs explaining here, but in case you do, here we go: look, pick, eat (or pack)! With an abundance of blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and strawberries, if you don’t find them yourself, our staff will gladly help point you in the right direction!

But what to do with all those berries ? How about make something tasty that can be saved for later. With simply a little sugar, you can stew your berries down into lovely jams, spreads, or fruit preserves. Yum Yum.

Beach Combing or Fort Building:

One of my personal favourite things to do can be done right on our shores. Using abandoned drift wood, we’ve repeatedly built fun forts and hide-outs for our young ones to enjoy.Do you think your brood is up to the challenge ?

Whatever you do, just make sure you get out and have fun. The warm long days will be gone before you know it !!

Farmer’s Market on Quadra Island … and beyond !

There is no question that the popularity of local and sustainably grown and harvested food is here to stay. Long the bastion of a small but passionate minority, it’s now very clear that everyone is taking notice.

Consider the Agriculture Canada publication (Economic Impact Study, 2009 – http://goo.gl/BAjdE ) highlighting that farmers’ markets were responsible for roughly a $3.09 Billion impact in the Canadian Economy. No kidding: the reach and popularity of small farmers’ markets just like ours is big. And more importantly, it’s growing.

But growth and big dollars aside, why do we really care ? Ask any small child why they want to go to the market, and you’re sure to hear something along the lines of “I want to eat all the yummy food”! In fact, with many markets increasingly showcasing cooking classes, clowns, hands-on “farming”, and other children appropriate activities, farmers’ markets are a great way to spend an inexpensive day out with your children ! Oh, and to their point, there is generally “yummy food” abound!

Which brings me to why parents and adults care. Some will argue its all about quality and seasonality of the produce and meats. Others will swear that helping the small independent farmer is paramount. Others still will say that the price reflects the real value of the food (which as an aside, is generally cheaper than any big box or large chain vendor). Whatever the reason (and they are all valid), the market experience needs to be tried, and supported.

With the above in mind, we encourage you to visit your local farmer’s market. On Quadra Island, our farmers’ market runs every Saturday until the end of September from 10am until 2pm. With fresh fruits, berries, produce, fish, baked goods and more, it is an incredible opportunity to taste the very best of Quadra Island. Details can be found at http://goo.gl/PLmMG .

As a side, we will be sourcing much of the Taku Resort & Marina Cookery Class ingredients from some of these same farmers … it’s that good (though to be fully transparent, we have access to others that don’t or can’t serve the market on a weekly basis. Shhhh … its our secret!)

We hope to see you at the Quadra Island market over the summer, or at least hear your stories while visiting us !

Be good, eat right !

Yum …..

Springing into Spring & Summer !!

If you’ve been bearish in the last little while – hibernating over the winter in hopes of avoiding snow, sleet, and rain – now may be the right time to wipe those sleepy eyes, take a big ol’ stretch, and start planning for the warmer months ahead.

And though easy enough to plan for the summer (think kayaking around the Breton Islands, fishing off Sonora, hiking around Morte Lake, and relaxing by a fire under the stars), April and May offers an opportunity to get a head start on the fun!

And when thinking about what to do, consider the following:

April is the last month before September to pick your own clams and mussels, according to the old saying that shellfish are best in months containing an “r”. And nothing goes better with fresh seafood than chocolate – or maybe that’s just me. But with Easter (April 24 weekend) also in April, why not!

May is jam packed with special days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May):
. May Day (UK)
. Cinquo De Mayo (Mexico)
. Mothers Day
. Victoria Day (Canada)
. Memorial Day (USA)

So regardless of what you have on your calendar, we hope you are as excited about the coming months as we are. Hope to see you soon!

Alcan Dragon Boat Festival 2010 Contest

Enter to win $50 towards your very first stay at Taku Resort and Marina.

In the comment area below please write some words as to why Taku would be a getaway perfect for you, maybe there’s an activity on site that you would like to do or anything else. Be sure to leave your name and email. Contest closes June 23rd and on June 24th we will draw a winner.

If you already entered a ballot at our booth at the festival your name will be entered twice.

Would you like to enter your name for a third time? In the photo below, if you know this man’s connection with the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival we will enter your name in for a third time. A hint is that he has been called the “Grandfather of the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival”.

Would you like to enter your name for a FOURTH time? You can do this by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Paddles Up and Good Luck!

Some restrictions apply: $50 value can not be redeemed for cash and can only be applied to first time guests and new 2 night minimum booking.

With Spring Comes Group Getaways

Everything is brightening up with Spring. In May and in June we have some great groups of travelers coming our way. Taku has proven itself to being a very convenient spot for different types of interest groups to gather.

In April we had the Nanaimo Paddlers group spend a few nights with us. They were able to take advantage of our great kayak launch ramp, the ramp allows you to enter the kayak and sit safely then you are gently pushed onto the water. Gone are the days of of the daunting task of balancing yourself and the kayak upon entry without tipping into the water. Quadra Island also has many sheltered bays to explore and beautiful scenery to soak in.

Earlier this May we had the Dogwood Hiking group. Here’s what they said about their time at Taku and on Quadra:

” Taku proved to be the perfect spot for us to stay. The accommodations were great – they were very clean, extremely comfortable and quiet. The kitchens were well equipped for those who chose to make their breakfasts and prepare their lunches for the hikes. Those of us who stayed in the upper and lower Beach units particularly enjoyed the scenery and had sufficient space to be able to host our fellow hikers for happy hours prior to our evening meals – and we even got to take in the hockey games on TV! The stone house was a great gathering spot for our group Pot Luck dinner on our first evening there. We would highly recommend your resort to others.”

At the end of May we have a return visit from the Ripple Rock Power Squadron. They started coming a few years ago and enjoy the Taku facilities so much that they keep coming back sometimes twice a year. They have some of their group stay on their boats moored in the marina while others stay on land in some of the suites. At night they have their group parties together in the Stone House, which is perfect for pot luck dinners.

June is going to be a busy month too. The Cowichan Outdoor Club is bringing their group back for three nights. They are another loyal Taku guest, returning year after year exploring all the hiking trails Quadra has to offer. The island has a wonderful trail committee that keeps the trails well marked and safe. The trails range in ability from a flat short walk around Rebecca Spit Provincial Park to a few hour hike up through old growth forests and a rewarding view of Nugedzi Lake.

It’s always a pleasure to see our most loyal hiking group, the Nanaimo Tuesday Hikers. They have been coming to Taku for well over ten years. Needless to say that they never tire of Quadra island trails and are very satisfied with the service and amenities offered by Taku Resort.

We enjoy hosting all of these great groups and look forward to their annual visits.