"None of this 'new year new me bollocks', last year I was fabulous & next year I'll be fabulous"
I've been asked on numerous occasions to write a blog about my adventure travelling so the new year is a good time to start! 2018 brought lots of adventures and milestones, we visited Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Death Valley, Whistler, Las Vegas, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Nappa Valley, Powell River, England, Scotland, Seattle, Kingston (Ontario), Palm Springs, Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff & the Grand Canyon. My oldest son graduated from Leeds University with a Masters in Civil Engineering & I turned fifty!!! Here's some of the highlights..As many of you are aware, I rented out my bricks & mortar athletic clothing store in Victoria BC after seven years, to concentrate on my online store, in November 2017. https://www.breatheathletic.comThe same year, I became an empty nester after my youngest of two sons left home to study in Kingston Ontario. It was a very transformative time for me as I had been a very hands on Mum and struggled with the fact that that period of my life had closed.
With our new found freedom, my husband & I invested in a Big Foot truck camper! http://www.bigfootrv.com/m/ We have always enjoyed the outdoors and camping and this was the perfect vehicle to allow us to travel further afield in much more comfort as well as bumming around our own back garden, beautiful British ColumbiaWe have enjoyed five trips to the Sierra Nevada area since the the summer of 2017 including Utah, Arizona California & Nevada, there's too many adventures to mention here so I'll share some of the highlights of our trips.In November last year we hiked down into the Grand Canyon, camped overnight under the stars then hiked back out. We booked the campsite the day before we left so were lucky to get a spot at such short notice. We found out later this was due to the pack mules having a respiratory infection so lots of people had cancelled. We usually carry our food when tent camping but were delighted to find out that dinner & breakfast could be pre ordered & then served in the ranch at the bottom of the canyon, along with a jug of red wine! Tipsy in a tent at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, brilliant! https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/dine/phantom-ranch-cafe/ We were there early November 2018, it was cooler on the rim but a lovely 20 degrees in the bottom of the Canyon.
Another highlight in April was hiking from June Lake near Mammoth Lakes to camp 9200 feet above sea level! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Lake,_California We invested in a new tent, sleeping bags & mattresses as the ones we had were wedding presents so 25 years old! We packed them in our backpacks with some food & set off on our adventure. https://www.rei.com/stores/fresno.html There was a lot of snow but we had snow shoes & spikes so were prepared! Or so I thought!
The snow had banked in parts of the path so we had to kick steps in the snow & traverse across in places, facing the mountain. I found this somewhat challenging as a slip or fall would have resulted in a few broken bones!!! 😩 Onwards & upwards! At dusk we found an appropriate spot to pitch the tent & cook dinner. The view was breathtaking! It was a long night....although we had invested in high quality mattresses & sleeping bags I was very cold most of the night & didn't really sleep much, I was also aware that we were the only people up there so was conscious of any 'animal noises'. I had some ear plugs in (so I can't hear my husband snoring! 😜) and they helped distract from any outside sounds. I remember i messaging my son in the middle of the night (yes there was wifi up there!!) to say how cold I was & him telling me to stop being a wimp! The morning came & because I had been anxious in the night, needed to 'go to the bathroom' really bad! As I had waded through a shallow river on the way up, my hiking boots were frozen solid so I couldn't get them on! I was shouting at my husband in desperation so off he scuttled to 'dig the hole' in advance! I eventually got my boots half on & just made it to the pre dug 'toilet' much to mine & my husband's relief!!! 😂😂
We went snow shoeing to the summit of Mammoth Mountain at 11,000 feet (3362m) last spring. https://www.mammothmountain.com We set of from an altitude of 8,530 feet (2600m) and took around 3.5 hours to reach the summit. The path was fairly steep and meandering most of the way up until we were almost at the summit where we joined a black diamond ski run!!! Initially we started to traverse across the slope, watching out for skiers coming from above. As the slope steepened I became more aware that a slip or tumble at this point would result in a long fall to the bottom and a couple of broken bones....or worse! 😩 At this point I shouted to my husband, "stuff this" I'm going straight up the slope & set off. After around 15 minutes of steep incline dodging skiers, we arrived at the top much to the disbelief of the snow boarders there who preceded to clap & cheer in disbelief at what we had just accomplished !! A short walk on the summit and we arrived at the ski lodge where we celebrated with a beer then enjoyed the ride down on the ski lift!
Watch this space for more adventure stories, cheers! 😘
Ladies who visit breathe frequently ask for my opinion on Lululemon. I believe this is a direct result of their recent negative publicity. Some would argue that any publicity is good, and therefore intended, however in this instance I don't think it is true.
I have in the past used Lulu's products, before they took production offshore, and found them very good. These early products are what established Lulu in BC as a brand. Following Lulu's move offshore their products have certainly changed and the general consensus from their orignal devotees, that I meet, is that the changes are for the worse.
Credit were credit is due Lulu have done wonders to raise the awareness of ladies workout wear globally, getting us out of the grungy tees and into apparel with function and form. But they have never been the only show in town. That is where my journey begins, with choice.
Living in BC people are very much on the go and the lifestyle wear works extremely well. In fact generally people all over are making excercise an important part of their life. At breathe we aspire to find you the very best in lifestyle apparel that enhances you while respecting social and environmental values in a sustainable way. We are very fortunate to collaborate with fantastic creators, locally in Vancouver like http://www.karmawear.com and http://mytonic.ca who have been creating wonderful styles for years and south on the US pacific coast, http://teeki.com who are relatively new to the business. This gives us an amazing collection to choose from and help you select the right pieces for each and every occasion.
Breathe's appeal has been to the adventurous ladies who do not need to follow the crowd, they can discern, select and appreciate tailoring that suits their individual needs working with their bodies to create a personal and uniquely flattering style. We have made many special relationships with beautiful people who we cherish as friends and loyal clientele.
How Luluemon Athletica Inc. go forward is open to speculation. At Breathe Athletic we set out clear values and have and will remained true to them guiding us forward with your continued support. Thank you.
We have just received a shipment from Hard Tail. We just love their products! We are one of only a hanful of retailers selling the line in Canada! They have been making yoga/active wear since the early 90's. Each piece is manufactured in their Santa Monica factory down in California. They use mostly cotton but also supplex. I have a few of their pieces and love them, they are comfortable, breatheable, and look great on the body. Their signature look is probably their funky tie dye pieces which bring out the hippy chick in all of us! If you are looking for a more stylish and ethical alternative to Lululemon & are 'dying' to look unique and different, give Hard Tail a try, you won't be disappointed! ;)
http://www.karmawear.com is another well known Vancouver based company who reinvented themselves last year & created a unique look that distinguished them from the rest. Their inspiration comes from "fashion & movement" & their collections are designed to honour & empower women both on & off the mat.
"Manufacturing jobs in the apparel industry have dwindled with the rise of overseas production. This is no more apparent than in our backyard of Vancouver. Karma is a Canadian apparel company that manufactures in Canada and the United States. We are committed to using local factories, investing in our community, and keeping local women employed.
We hope to inspire other local companies, in more than just apparel, to rethink their own practices and bring production back home. It is our core belief that if we practice good karma, others will follow"
I have been selling Karma for three years now & have built up a very loyal clientele. Customers are delighted with the quality & fit of the product & come back each season to see what exciting pieces are new. Wear their pieces for all activities, dance, Bikram hot yoga, Moksha yoga, yoga, pilates or for going from street to studio for a unique look.
http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/karma-jacket-san-suu is a favourite of mine, a stylish approach to a sports jacket, adding lines & ruffles for a more tailored look.
http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/karma-pullover-milla is made from eucalyptus jersey fabric, eco & very soft to the skin, the perfect layering piece.
Lots of people are discovering us because they are looking for "an alternative to Lululemon" - something unique & individual that is still "made in Canada". We definitely have that alternative!
One of our main lines is based in Vancouver, & have maintained their manufacturing process in Canada, despite a global recession. Here's the scoop on a couple of my favourite pieces.
http://mytonic.ca produce a range of products that look great & fit beautifully. Their fabric has a reputation for 'not pilling' & the durability of it is second to none. They design several collections each year that include brand new pieces as well as some classic pieces. A favourite of mine is the Gather Short http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/tonicshortelemgather our best selling hot yoga/pole dance short. It appears 'skimpy' but offers ample coverage in a minimal unrestrictive way. The small gathers at the sides add style & comfort & the discreet embroidered logo is visible yet tasteful. We always carry an array of seasonal colours.
The Balance Tank http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/tonictank-balance is another favourite of mine. I get lots of requests for tanks that are not tight around the middle & this tank has the answer. It has a built in bra with removeable pads. The waistband sits on the hip and the body of the tank has a very loose relaxed fit, camouflaging any 'problem areas' around the middle.
I'll chat about another Vancouver based company http://www.karmawear.com in my next blog. I'm going to yoga now :)