Our 50 Top Restaurants, or so

Our Favourite Chefs around the World

Restaurants worth their salt

“We’ll spend two nights at Slot Canyons Inn with probably the best host in all of Utah,” said Russ, the owner of Backcountry Journeys and our guide for photography and hiking for six days last April.

High praise. If I were a better researcher I’d have noticed the * beside Slot Canyons Inn B&B in our Moon guidebook to Utah and discovered that it’s one of the state’s top B&Bs. The inn is on Scenic Byway 12 where the silence is white as the area’s creamy slickrock and milky, star-filled sky. Read more

El Celler de can Roca

“I always decide,” I said. “Where would you like to go?”

“Back to Spain,” said Magellan. A few weeks later he announced, “I’ve been emailing and talking to the people at El Celler. We’ve got a reservation for 9 pm on your birthday!”

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Lower Joffre Lake

One Saturday morning a few weeks ago we awoke to an email from our granddaughter Clare. She’d been working at a café on Granville Island for the summer and, having received her schedule for the following week, she suggested we go on a mini BC vacation on her two free days.

Where to go at the last minute? With the “northern peso” so low, “Beautiful British Columbia” has been inundated with record numbers of tourists—up 14% over last year by the end of May, and I expect the summer continued that trend.

Independently, Magellan and I ruled out the Gulf Islands (ferries and rental cottages likely fully booked) and coincidentally, both of us searched for accommodation around Pemberton. Magellan found the winner, so to speak.

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Summer’s green is turning to autumn’s gold—the new school year is about to begin. As our granddaughter Clare heads back to university at King’s College in Halifax, my thoughts turn back to the autumn Magellan and I visited the third-oldest university in the world (est. in 1218), its library so stunning I (almost) wanted to enroll and live in “La Dorada,” the Golden City.

Have you guessed the city?

A few hints about its famous university. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, was an alumnus. Hernán Cortés, the man for whom an island in BC is named, studied there. And Christopher Columbus, after making his case to a council of geographers, expounded on the new world from its lecterns.

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Beginning by introducing himself and sitting down on a chair on the porch of the Seven Wives Inn in St. George, Utah, Russ surprised us when he announced the destination we’d be going to.

Let me take a step back. It’s very unlike us, but we had no travel itinerary for Utah on our drive back to Vancouver after a month in Palm Springs. No four-wheel drive, no hiking permits and no accommodation. In the last days of March, Magellan, sensing the futility of our non-plan, said, “What do you think of this photograph/hiking tour?” Alas, it had been cancelled. Then photographer/guide Russ Norstrand called to say that if we could meet him the following Thursday, we had ourselves a private tour.

“Tomorrow we’ll go to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument,” Russ said. “We’ll spend our first two days there. It’s my favourite area in Utah and I think it will be the highlight of our trip.” It turned out to be more than that—it was the best holiday of Latitude65’s first year. Read more

This week’s post was supposed to be about The Hollows, our favourite restaurant in Saskatoon where summer is celebrated on the patio with bite-sized dandelion fritters and rhubarb-pink margaritas. But our camera didn’t make it to dinner. Should we write a story on Magellan’s 50th high school reunion instead we wondered on the drive home to Vancouver early this week? Then, on a rainy stretch of the TransCanada, I was excited to see an email to jubilados@latitude65.ca from our prairie friends Greg and Gale. I began reading it aloud to Magellan, becoming incoherent at the first sentence: “I am slowly getting around to notifying people that Greg passed away on June 29.” So instead, this post is about the hollow reality for jubilados. The summer of our lives is casting its long shadow. Friends we’ve loved for years won’t make it for dinner ever again.

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