Last year Emily planned an amazing surprise bike trip to Gabriola Island. This year it was my turn, and I chose a Hundred mile Holiday in Chilliwack. An odd choice, I know. The weekend was a mix of visits to the cheesy amusement parks that dot the Trans-Canada between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, tours of farms along the Circle Farm Tour, and relaxation time in Cultus Lake Provincial Park. We had an awesome time and a lot of fun.
Our first stop was the Abbotsford Farmer’s Market where we stocked up on bread, blueberries, apricots, and veggies. Then we visited Birchwood Dairy Farm and tried their farm fresh ice cream – very delicious. Next stop was Castle Fun Park. We had loads of fun of Castle Fun Park, one of the highlights of the trip. We played their outdoor mini-golf course (they also have 2 indoor ones) and spent a lot of time in the arcade. After many games of pinball, air hockey, whack-a-mole, tetris, dance-dance-revolution, and skeeball we had finally spent the $6 on our Fun Card (a debit like card you need to preload for Fun!).
On Sunday we tried to spend the day at the Cultus Lake Water Park, but it was jammed with people. There wasn’t a single parking spot, the line up to get in was a few hundred people long, and inside every slide had hundreds of people lined up to get on it. Instead, we did small hike up Teacup Hill and spent the day lounging on the beach at Cultus Lake. It was nice and relaxing.
On Monday, we went to the Bridal Falls Water Park, which was smaller but a lot less busy then Cultus Lake. After a few hours of sliding we drove back home along Lougheed Highway with stops at the Limbert Mountain Farm, Kermode Wild Berry Winery, and Meadows Corn Maze. I was super excited about the corn maze, but it wasn’t as fun as I had hoped (and definitely over-priced). The maze was boring and they give you a map, so it isn’t very challenging. We ended up ditching the map, which helped. The petting zoo was fun and we spent some time taking pictures with all the farm animals.
Staying Chilliwack was an interesting experience. We stayed in the old Royal Hotel, a beautiful historic hotel in downtown Chilliwack. The neighbourhood would have been gorgeous, if it wasn’t deserted. Half of the stores had gone out of businesses, and the ones remaining closed at 5pm on Saturday and were closed all day Sunday and Monday – ironic considering Chilliwack’s motto was “Open for Business”. The only businesses that seemed to be thriving in Chilliwack were the big box stores along the highway.
The whole weekend was packed with tasty treats. I made sure to search out the best restaurants in Chilliwack before we left and checked the menus for vegetarian options. On Saturday we ate at the classiest restaurant in Chilliwack – Bravo. On Sunday we tried Evangeline’s, a hip restaurant with awesome vegetarian options. On Monday, we visited a little farm kitchen called Simply Fine Foods, tucked away in a secluded valley near Agassiz. The food was extremely flavourful and the view was serene. Our lunch included gazpacho, a veggie wrap, and blueberry basil sorbet.
All in all, it was a fun weekend. We got to experience some local attractions that are close to Vancouver – places that you drive by every time you head to the Interior, but never have time to stop at. We ate really well, enjoying all the fresh produce grown in the Fraser Valley. And we enjoyed the good weather and intense heat. I’m already looking forward to the surprise weekend Emily plans next summer.