All Sorts of New for a New Year 2017

We are pleased to announce that along with the New Year 2017, we are also ushering plenty of newness.  The 2016 year brought about a new family member to the Hagglund clan: our very first grandson.

Along with learning the ropes of being grandparents, all the renovation projects are complete. I will not miss the sifting, the sorting phase for sure. I had the pleasure of redecorating with a modern twist.  Now all of our bedrooms are suite-r than ever.   Okay, I’ll keep the bad puns to just that one.

Adjusting and redesigning has its place in our lives.  Now onto announcing the Grand Opening of the Evergreen Line Sky train expansion.  Its connections brings guests travelling from the Airport and all the many communities including Vancouver, to Port Moody and within 5 minutes from our B&B. Mainstay Oasis is now open for the busiest year ever!  We look forward to your bookings in 2017.

Don’t forget tea parties are still available too!
Warm wishes,

Mary Ellen

A New Go: The Evergreen Line

December 2nd, new commuters boarded the EVERGREEN Translink skytrains, for the first time.  A floral bouquet was presented to the first lady traveller to exit at the Inlet Center Station in Port Moody. This long awaited transportation expansion brought praise for the Grand Opening that now provides a continuous train from Vancouver Community College Vancouver to Douglas College in Coquitlam which includes 2 major shopping malls enroute.
The Lower Mainland Skytrain is the longest fully automated mass transit line in the world.

You can travel from the YVR airport via skytrain and arrive within minutes of Mainstay Oasis B&B which is helpful for people coming for a visit to the GVRD.
Buskers & musicians made this opening very lively & created a festive atmosphere for all opening day passengers.

In addition, to the music filtering through the platforms, were the local art pieces installed at the Port Moody Center Station featuring a beautiful red Canoe carved by local students in dedication to an aboriginal theme.

IMG_6934(1)IMG_6936(1)The Aboriginal artists are featured throughout the Evergreen stations. There is a sculpture of a serpent named Sisuitl at Inlet station where the Westcoast Express and the skytrain meet. At the Inlet Station you can enjoy a decorative mosaic.

A portion of the train goes through a tunnel otherwise all the track is above ground.  All in all, the Evergreen Line Expansion’s popularity has increased immensely as in December we have experienced winter weather in all its fullness. Our favourite new feature to the line is that it announces how far away the train by displaying it on the screen overhead.
We welcome the expansion as a major transportation advantage to Port Moody and the other Tri-Cities.
Happy Holidays!

From Mary Ellen and her team

A Day in the Life of Burrard Inlet Explorers

How do you normally explore Burrard Inlet?  Have you considered the history of how Captain Vancouver scoured the coastline to settle the GVRD?  Did you know that Port Moody was an initial settlement area for the captain during his initial journeys up the coast?

Well, all of this you can find in the epic historical coffee table book on the 100th anniversary archive of our fair city.  We have a copy on a coffee table or two here at the bed and breakfast for you to peruse.

Instead of being arm chair travelers and recommend all things great to do in the area, we decided to go explore the open waters of the Burrard Inlet and do what we read about.

Tour with Burrard Inlet Tours.  Email us for groups of 8 or more to book and get picked up at the end of our dock for a glorious day of fun on the water.

Portmoodybnb.com/explore-port-moody-on-land-or-by-sea-with-some-of-the-best-guides-around

So our captain picked us up at the end of the dock and proceeded to give us a very thorough and knowledgeable tour of the seal booms, a research centre for sea lions, and all sorts of surprises along the water ways that our fair city is built around.

We managed to get to great look out points for the picturesque waterfalls along Indian Arm.  Our guide was well versed in a lot of the history and folklore that permeates the area.

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Our favourite little lookout was a stop along an island where we were shown ancient symbols from the first nations in the area who sent their boys on treks along the islands.  Researchers are still trying to recreate the original dyes from the symbols on the rocks and have yet to discover the secret sauce of natural ingredients.  The years of wear and tear have not washed away the dyes which is quite impressive.

The question remains in our minds, if they got it on, what did they use to get that early graffiti off of their hands if they accidentally spilled something?

The things you learn when you decide to get out of your arm chair and explore your very own backyard/front yard.  There is so much to see and do around here.  Stop in and we would love to send some recommendations.

Also, note, if you wish to choose a package for exploration along the Burrard Inlet, rates are subject to change based on availability, numbers and seasons.

 

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Until next adventure, your host and explorer,

Mary Ellen

Peachy Keen Confessions

Okay…so apparently I have a secret.  But it’s not a well kept secret, it’s just one that apparently got out recently. It’s something that I am apparently quite good at but always thought was quite easy.  And it’s canning.  I suppose I am one of the Port Moody Peach Canning Aficionados. It’s apparent that it’s a lost art form and we are after all, the city of the arts.  Also, note, the reviews are in, that my peaches are better than store bought.  Between taking new bookings and ordering new pillows and making breakfast for all you lovelies that drop into Port Moody throughout the summer months each year, I try to get the annual canned peaches done.

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One of my kids’ friend’s recently almost cried with joy when she popped in for a swim to find out that I went a little over board last season and still had some left over for her to take home and enjoy.  I tend to send a few jars home with my kids and this particular roommate of my daughter can’t get enough of my canned peaches.  That’s right…It’s my canned peaches.

From day one as a kid mom taught me how to do it but I canned and process them, it comes naturally to me from having done it for so many years.  I am arriving at the realization that this is becoming a bit of a lost art form but people tell me, there is nothing like my canned peaches.  Not quite sure what makes mine any better than anyone’s, but I kind of suspect it’s just my magic touch.  Just like my holiday stuffing recipe that I have never actually used a real recipe for for years.  Eyeball all your measurements and with a dash of love and care, it always seems to end up tasting the same no matter if you alter the overall recipe.

Love your peaches and they’ll love you back.   I suspect that is the magic right there.  And also the aging process.  But I try and try again to explain it to my daughter who just asks me to do it.  Some day she’ll have to figure it out.  Until then, I guess I’ll have to be her peach supplier.

If you’re extra lucky, I might serve some up to you in your breakfast fruit parfait.  It’s such a delight to have things fresher. Fresher and local.  Like really local…like in house local. 😀

Your host,
~ Mary Ellen ~

Christmas Carol Ships Show at the Mainstay B&B 2015

It’s that time of year once again! We are now opening pre-bookings for the annual Port Moody Christmas Carol Ships Parade.  This local gem is a Christmas mainstay feature on the Burrard Inlet.  We stoke the fire side hearth, put on some mulled beverages and welcome guests wanting to partake in this yearly tradition.

On the night of the parade, a long processional of local boat owners showcase their vessels by decking their crafts with every light pattern imaginable. They skim through the waters effortlessly with echos of guests aboard boisterously singing their hearts out and enjoying the festive evening.  Think of it as a Christmas light viewing —- only the show comes to you.

The schedule:

8 to 10 pm in the evening the Christmas Carol Ships Parade in Burrard Inlet Port Moody. We gather, munch on gourmet goodies and mingle over festive tunes. Inquire about our Room and ‘Show’ Rates.

Dates This Year?

     Sat. December 5th and Sat. December 12th

CLICK HERE to book your room & show night with breakfast in the morning.  If you are interested in joining us just for the party, express your interest to: harbor@mainstayoasis.com.

Happy Holidays, Feliz Navida, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah!

Your Host,

Mary Ellen Hagglund

Port Moody Carol Ships Special

Trail Mix Baked Oatmeal Recipe

So recently we had some guests stay with us that had recently stayed at one of the out-of-the-way hotels in the Tri Cities area.  The guest was in town to audit a course and we got talking over breakfast during the first day of his stay.  He mentioned that his trip to the area last time had driven him to decide to stay at a bed and breakfast.  I ventured to ask why and he replied with, “I was sitting in the lobby trying to enjoy my breakfast when I realized that they had messed up the oatmeal.  How do you mess up oatmeal?”

What I took from this conversation was that this guy likes to eat oatmeal. I thought — perhaps, I should make him oatmeal tomorrow morning.  So I did.  In typical Mainstay Oasis Bed and Breakfast menu fashion, we made some adjustments to a traditional baked oatmeal recipe and here’s what I would like to call — Trail Mix Baked Oatmeal

2 cups rolled oats (NOT instant)

3/4 cups light brown sugar

1 cup of nuts

1/2 cup of craisins

1 tspn baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 tspn salt

2 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 tspn vanilla extract

4 tblspns unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the dish

2 tart yet sweet baking apples cut into chunks

——

Maple Glaze

1 cup sifted icing

2 tspns maple syrup

2 tspns milk

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9 – inch baking dish with butter.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of the nuts, craisins, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.

3. In another bowl, break up the eggs with a whisk; then whisk in the milk and vanilla until well combined.

4. Add the milk mixture to the oat mixture, along with the melted butter.

5. Scatter the apples evenly on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Pour the oatmeal mixture over top and spread evenly.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup nuts on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are set.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

6.  Mix the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over top.

This so eloquently explains the reason to choose a bed and breakfast over a hotel.

 

Mainstay: Your Tri City Wedding Venue

Despite the snow and the indications that Winter might be lingering, Spring is around the corner and with it, love, allergies and a whole lot of decisions to be made about those big days coming up in the upcoming annual wedding season.  Whether a bride-to-be, a guest, family member or bridesmaid, you play a role in these unforgettable memories that are about to happen.  We are proud to announce that we are the Tri City wedding venue for the awesome photo shoot that took place on location here last summer for the Tri City Wedding Show 2014 Bridal Brochure.  Some of the stunning photos taken by Natalia Reardon Photography were leaked early.  Don’t waste any time and head on down to check things out.

You have a monumental celebration?  We host it.  Whether it’s a shower for brides or a baby shower, our tea room is prepared for your intimate high tea. So  come say hi at our Tri City Wedding Show Booth.

Who?  You and your posse.

Where?  The Executive Plaza on North Road, Coquitlam

When? 11am to 4pm.

What to bring? Friends (Obviously!!) and your phone to take notes and pictures to get your creativity flowing.

A few of Natalia Reardon’s photos leaked.  And they are Amazing!!  Want to get ready with your ladies before celebrations at Old Orchard Hall? Our ensuites are prepared for the pre-day prep.

 

Courtesy of Natalia Reardon Photography

Courtesy of Natalia Reardon Photography

Looking for the perfect little Port Moody escape for the night after the big day?  Our intimate packages for you and your partner, come with breakfast on your time.

Suite Shots of Serenity!

Courtesy of Natalia Reardon Photography

We also do photography rentals for engagement and professional photoshoots as well.

Courtesy of Natalia Reardon Photography

Courtesy of Natalia Reardon Photography

Curious about any of these services or more.  Come down and meet me at the Executive Inn and Suites on North Road on March 2nd from 11am to 4pm.   We’d love to sit down with you for a free consult.

Your Host,

Mary Ellen

All photos courtesy of the very talented Natalia Reardon Photography

 

Bird Watching or Bird Waiting and a Food Fight

Heron 1385494_23240512“Food Fight”—From the deep recesses of my journaling I thought I would share:

What a wonderfully, calming and delightful start to my morning, a hot cup of tea and steaming porridge in hand! I position myself either at my kitchen Bay window or my dining room table.  There, I marvel at tiny varieties of chickadees and dark eyed juncos; 5-6 feasting at a wire basket filled with suet.  Then comes the hummingbird that has stayed through the winter.  This is a first and I am pleased that this species:  Anna’s Hummingbird has found my feeder.  Each bird has its level of daring and trust of beings bigger than themselves.

The fun really heats up outside my dining room window.  The neighborhood grey squirrel that I might add is very chubby enters the scene.  I watch as he carefully climbs the bird feeder pole and does an upside-down, vertical acrobatic act to feed from the suet basket.

“Scat”…he is most bold and pretends to “shake in fear” only to wait ‘til I’m back inside.  His other trick is to jump from the hydrangea landing on another bird feeder filled with gourmet sunflower seeds and bird feed mix.  He proceeds to tip it, scattering seed everywhere.  Fortunately it wasn’t wasted as he ate from the cobblestone. The spotted Towhees ate what remained in the feeder and other species chose the spilled bits. The flurry of activity from squirrel to birds rustling in the bushes was most entertaining.

For certain it was a “food fight” before my very eyes.  As they say:  “Survival of the fittest”.

It’s easy to observe an unspoken “pecking order”. The squirrel had an unfair advantage and his size reflected his character.   I couldn’t help but share as I am realizing how prime our location is for entertaining


Birding, Bird watching or “Bird-waiting”…
What ever you choose to call the activity, I embarked on Saturday, January 18th, on my first ever bird watching hike along the Pitt River Dyke in Port Coquitlam with Nature Vancouver.  This was a true outdoor adventure that was partially cloaked in fog.  6 others joined me who was far more experienced. Two carried a telescope complete with tripod perched on their shoulder.  With experts totally familiar with local or migrant bird species, my inexperience was obvious.  They were patient and inclusive and shared their spotting and viewing of 4 majestic Eagles and beyond. I was grateful.

The Eagles were breath taking as they posed for a superb view of close ups. Every detail from the beady eyes to their hooked beak and ruffled head feathers were visible as the head pivoted side to side.

We counted Bufflehead ducks, Golden eye, Merganser, Green-winged Teal, Widgeon; half of which I was familiar and numerous crows.

I learned that identifying species is a multi-sensory skill.  They heard the call of a Sand hill crane without spotting it, likewise a Pacific Wren.  Everyone pointed their binoculars in the direction of the sound, hoping to catch a glimpse of the birds. A multitude of Canada Geese were sighted as many have wintered in the Lower Mainland this year rather than seeking warmer climes.

Living on Burrard Inlet and a nearby estuary, I am spoiled by the bird activity right out our kitchen & dining room windows.  Our guests are delighted by this at the breakfast table or lounging on our ocean front deck.

As I mentioned, this was my first experience of this kind, to hike with experts and I have much to learn.  It won’t be my last.

Happy bird watching!  As for Port Moody Bird Watching, there are lots of natural places along the trails.  Last one to the swamps with their binoculars is an egg!

Your Host and Fellow Birder,

Mary Ellen

 

 

Loose Leaf Scottish Breakfast Tea Flavour Profile

Loose Leaf Scottish Breakfast Tea Flavour Profile

Contains Caffeine

(Distinctly Tea)

Classic tea regions of Assam, Kenya, Ceylon, Sumatra & China

Scottish breakfast tea—- A tea heavy in Assam,  perfect for making “Builder’s tea”, basically a strong black tea with milk and sugar that was popularized by the working poor, who did not have time for leisurely tea-times. (Of course, these days everyone lives a busy life, so this distinction is purely historical.

Scottish Flavour Profile

Heavy in Assam tea leaves, known from the region where it is produced, the tea is mostly grown at or near sea level.  Known for its full body, briskness, malty flavor, and strong, bright color, it will certainly brighten your day with a touch of fruitiness.

One difference that makes it stand apart is the blend compliments the water in the Scottish areas. As the breakfast has changed over the years, so has the traditional tea blends.  Originally the Scottish, Irish and English Breakfast blends were meant for a very hearty meal.

Instead of pairing it with a full course breakfast, the other option would be to enjoy a pot of Scottish Breakfast in our parlour for a tea party with your close friends.

Intimate with fireplaces, great views of the water and if you book 10 or more people, you take home a complimentary canister of tea.

Tea Party

Book your special Teatime and have a lively, fun occasion with your friends or family!

Contact us by email:   harbor@mainstayoasis.com

or phone:  604-315-4919

Your Host,

~ Mary Ellen

 

2013 Centennial Highlights

As we reflect on the last year and all the great moments, it’s hard to narrow in on the best, the brightest and those that were monumental. This is my attempt to summarize some 2013 Centennial highlights that happened this year:

1. 2013 was our best year of growth after 4 years of operation. We had international guests from China, Australia, Israel, Dubai, California and beyond with many guests out of province and many from BC and local visitors.

2. During Port Moody’s Centennial Golden Spike Days of 2013 one of the headlining bands stayed with us. They had the cutest, well behaved, little rescue dog. He was well cared for & I wish he had “stayed behind”.

3. The Centennial Fireworks on the Burrard Inlet were a spectacular display, viewed right from our dock. The city had all sorts of festivities all around town.

4. A variety of historic events from tea served by our librarians in early 19th century style with the opportunity to talk to people who lived the history over the past century. Miss Port Moody was present.

5. Port Moody had a CPR Centennial Train ride from Pt Moody train station to Mission on a 1950‘s heritage diesel train.

6. There is a new vacancy for Mainstay’s mascot. Jake had to retire this year. Email us and we’ll explain.

7. I got a commercial grade #WhipIt for Christmas. I’m right there with Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart and the rest of the Food Network gang. My signature Waffles will be topped not only with real Maple Syrup but whipping cream made from this kitchen gadget.

8. We started hosting tea parties and December 29th will be our baker’s dozen tea party.

9. There will be tea sampling contests to come in 2014 so stay tuned!

10. We’re offering activity packages in 2014 with room rentals/boat tour/high tea and other options. Stay Tuned~!

So those are the top 10 highlights of the last year.

Your Host of Mainstay Oasis Bed and Breakfast,

Mary Ellen