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December 2019

How to Enjoy Edinburgh in the Rain

It rained almost the entire week I was in Edinburgh in July. Most days, it poured! A little rain didn’t put a damper on things though. Would it have been better in the sun? I drought it! (Ok… it obviously would have been a little better not having to peel off sopping wet pants every time I got back to the AirBnb, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the city!)

Heads up: this isn’t a list of indoor activities. I’m assuming that if you’ve found your way to Edinburgh, you want to see more than the inside of buildings. These are ideas for places to duck into when it’s really pouring, and things to enjoy no matter the weather, so dress appropriately!

Here we go! 13 ways to enjoy Edinburgh in the rain:

Continue reading “How to Enjoy Edinburgh in the Rain”

The 12 Days of Lezmas: Lesbian Gift Guide 2019

I’m a sucker for holiday gift lists, even when they have nothing to do with my interests, or anyone I’m buying gifts for! This year, I thought I’d write up a silly one full of gifts that any lesbian would love. (Or at least that this lesbian would love… am I selfishly just posting my Christmas list online? Yeah, maybe. Still, it’s a great list :D) Sing along as you read!*

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

12 books for queer folks: One for every month! Apparently I’m a bad lesbian and haven’t read any of this year’s best, but here are 55 to choose from!

11 Crave subscriptions: so that the lezzie in your life and all their friends can watch The L Word: Generation Q! That said… one subscription might be better so that they can have L Word nights with friends – you’d basically be giving the gift of queer community 😉 You can also subscribe to Showtime directly, or get it through Prime, but this was the best option for us.

10 cubes for packing? 10 pots for planting? 10 puppies pupping? 10 bras for sporting? 10 socks for hiking? I’ll leave this one open so that you can cater to their interests beyond being a lesbian!

9 super-gay pins: Go nuts at the Autostraddle shop! They have an extensitve pin selection: gal pal? pronouns? scissors? Check check check! They also have sweet clothes, hats, and and other accessories (yes, I’m eyeing the Bette Porter 2020 tshirt).

8 button-up tees: You may be wondering ‘is 8 too many’? But you should be asking ‘is 8 enough’?!?! Peau de Loup is awesome for many reasons, among them the fact that lots of their button-ups are named after Brooklyn 99 characters! Also, they’re Vancouver-based! No stressful customs charges for Canadian shoppers eh!

7 gifts for others: charitable donations are always a nice gift choice, and the lesbian in your life would likely appreciate one (or seven) in their name towards a queer-oriented organization. Here’s a list of LGBTQ-related charities in Canada; a couple in BC: MOSAIC and Rainbow Refugees. No doubt an intersectional charity would also be of interest – Black Lives Matter Vancouver’s community resource list may give you some good ideas, or consider one of these Canadian organizations helping Indigenous communities.

6 toques for fashion: we all know that for lesbians, toques are more gaydar beacons accessories than something to keep you warm in winter, hence the need for so many. I always feel good shopping at 10 Tree. If six seems excessive, consider contributing to her snapback collection.

Fiiiive L Word sets: yes I know there are 6 seasons but we lesbians prefer to pretend that Season 6 didn’t happen. I guess if it *happens* to be included in the full set, that’s acceptable, siiigh.

4 boob earrings: Here you go, enjoy! Yes ok there are only 2 earrings but that equals 4 boobs, duh! Also Hinterland Empire is a really rad business with ethical, American-made clothing and accessories. They’re located in Northern California but are worth paying those pesky customs fees for.

3 top-notch toys [Warning: NSFMP (Not Safe For My Parents)]: Wet for Her makes great products specifically for lesbians. Why 3? Well… maybe she’ll require multiple parts, plus accessories. Also, the song goddammit! I had to add an extra syllable, but I’m sticking to the numbers!

2 diva cups: some lesbians menstruate; for those who do, the menstrual cup is such an awesome, economical, environmentally friendly way to go. That said, they can get lost, left at home when you need them or, after some time the silicone can get compromised, so why not get a backup?

Andddd… aaaaa… cheeky, sneaky, not leaky PEE-ZEE: Ok I definitely added some syllables here – worth it for the rhyme! This is a fun gift that can be used for a variety of purposes and by folks of various genders. I enjoy using it when camping! I like that this Pee-zee is Canadian.

Happy shopping, and happy holigays!

Tofino Hot Springs: How to Get There

For a two night Tofino itinerary, check out this post.

We spent a relaxing anniversary weekend in Tofino a couple years ago, and top of our list was visiting Hot Springs Cove. It’s the place to go for a relaxing few hours’ dip in some natural, spring-fed hot pools right by the ocean! Considering how special they are, they’re a little tricky to get to. Here’s how to do it, and what to expect:

The hot springs are only reachable by boat and float plane, so booking a day tour was the best option for us (uncomplicated = relaxing). Plus, since we visited in the off-season, rates were reduced! We went with Ocean Outfitters, and had a great experience.

The boat ride to the hot springs technically only takes about an hour, but the trip doubles as a wildlife viewing tour. In the fall/winter, there isn’t much in the way of whale-viewing, although we did see a grey whale! There are always plenty of seals and sea lions en route, but the big one for me was SEA OTTERS! We kept passing groups of blobs floating nearby. I thought it was bull kelp, but it was SO MUCH BETTER! (Btw the captain made it clear that they are *not* holding hands because they’re in love! </3) Depending on the season, you can also see whales, bears, and puffins.

The ride is rocky!! Bring meds if you’re prone to sea sickness, because you’ll probably go via the open ocean in at least one direction for better wildlife spotting.

The boats dock about 2 kms from the hot springs, which leaves you with about a half hour walk to bliss. This is all part of the trip! The mostly flat boardwalk leads you through one of those reliably magnificent Pacific Northwest rainforests. Kyla and I were inspired by NOT having to wear massive backpacks like we had on the Juan de Fuca Trail, so we raced along, eager to warm up!

You’ll know you’ve reached the cove once you smell the sulphur! There’s a covered area at the top of the hot springs where you can store your stuff, as well as two changing stalls. You’ll need to bring your own food and water for the day.

The rocks are slippery, so get low and go slow! Water shoes would work well, too. There are hotter pools near the top, and as you get closer to the ocean, they start to feel more like a warm bath. We climbed past everyone else to the pièce de résistance: the closest pool to the ocean, where we had front row seats to waves crashing against the rocks just a few feet away! Kyla even climbed to a shallow spot that *she claimed* was warm, where she’d get a blast of cold every time the waves came in.

If you have a waterproof camera, I’d recommend bringing that down instead of a phone. (Like, we obviously shouldn’t have brought ours down, but pictures! They were fine but they had to dry out after 2 hours of rain and steam!)

Since we were there on a long weekend, it was busy. Despite all of the people there, it still felt romantic! We visited at the right time of year: hot pools and cool, rainy air were such a cozy combo. After a couple of hours soaking, we felt sooo relaxed (and sooo tired). We hurried back through the forest to meet our boat, and dozed on the way back.

Happy soaking!

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