Let me start of by saying that today, I was highly driven by the desire to nap. Knowing that Greg has a co-captain who is far more capable than I to navigate Vancouver Island, I took the liberty of snoozing while they drove. So, almost all of the pictures you see today, are to the credit of Kent, the extraordinary photographer and navigator (aka the “Sidekick.”)
Any who, today we traveled to the west of the island. So beautiful. It’s amazing how varied the landscape is on Vancouver Island. We went from port, to bustling city, to riverbank to fjord, to beach, to rain forest, back to beach again. Vancouver Island has it all…the Champ and the Co-Captain (he doesn’t prefer “sidekick”) are having lots of conversations about wanting to purchase property here.
So going back to the beginning of the day…we left our campground and headed westbound to the other side of Vancouver Island. We traveled through Cathedral Grove which was stunning (or so I hear…I was asleep.)
Contiinuing on, we made our way to Port Alberni, which was located at the base of a river that ended in a fjord, which is a deep cavernous inlet that is carved out by glaciers. The Champ spotted a little restaurant there called Pescadores, and let me say the food was DELICIOUS!! A highlight for all of us for sure!!
From there we continued on a beautiful highway and made our next stop at Provincial Park at Sproat Lake. The ladies joined us for a walk down to the lake. We all thoroughly enjoyed the sights surrounding us.
Back in the RV again and off we went, miles up the road, to our next stop, Wickaninnish Beach, located on the Pacific Rim. People from around the world come here to see the sheer power of Mother Nature in the winter, as the storm waves are extraordinarily huge. Hard to believe, since right now the sea is so calm and so lovely! Driftwood lining the shore. Nothing like we’ve ever seen in southern California!!
Ultimately, we stopped in Tofino. We abandoned our original plans and decided to stay here for the night. We had amazing tapas and cocktails, created by Chef Ryan and served by Felix from Quebec. Delicious and memorable. Add these two to our list of favorite Canadians…they both made us feel very glad we stayed here for the night. Honestly, these people are the friendliest people around!!
We started off our day wanting to go wherever God leads us and we end our day feeling so very thankful for the people and sights we experienced today! Wow! Wow! Wow! Over the moon with gratefulness!!
Tomorrow…on our way to Butchart Gardens…We’ve heard about this place for such a long time. Can’t believe we get to behold the sights ourselves!
Today is a big day!We get to explore Vancouver Island, a place that the Champ has wanted to see ever since we went to Vancouver with our mom, sisters and brothers a few years ago.First on the agenda, take the BC Ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Nanaimo BC.Now up to this point, if you said “ferry,” I would picture the boat that transports cars from Balboa Island to the Newport Peninsula.Let me tell you…it was NOTHING like this.Keep in mind that we are driving an RV, which, by itself, would never fit on the Balboa Ferry.The ferry we rode on today was GI-NORMUS! Our RV, along with several 18-wheelers, numerous other boats/campers/trailers and many passenger cars, fit on the ferry.My planner husband knew the particulars of taking the ferry way before we left, so we had our reservation paperwork in hand and knew to arrive an hour before our scheduled departure time of 8:30am… All this meant, of course, that we needed to leave our campground at zero dark hundred, ONCE AGAIN! (I’m seeing a trend here Good thing I’m naturally an early-riser!)
Once we arrived in Nanaimo, we jumped on old Highway 19, the road that hugs the shoreline, and went in search of our first meal of the day.We agreed upon the highly rated restaurantPacific Prime at the Beach Club Resort in Parksville, BC. We were not disappointed!The view from our table was breathtaking and the shrimp/scallop nectarine and beet salad I ordered was delicious.The Champ and his sidekick enjoyed the bison burger and the fish tacos respectively.
Even better than the view and the food, was the engaging conversation we enjoyed with a few locals there. First on deck…Candice, our server.This young gal was friendly, outgoing and bursting with personality, and when she learned we were from California, immediately resonated with us.From Nainoma, this gal loves LA, has a passion for comedy and has big dreams in this arena.We encouraged her to try out her stand-up routine on us, but in fairness, it was a bit too early in the day to deliver zingers.Nevertheless, we exchanged information and offered up our place to stay on her next visit to California. Check her out on Twitter…Candice Hall@theCandiceHall!
Then we met the hotel’s Food and Beverage Manager, Ian, who came over to our table to say hello (after spotting my UCLA cap, gave us a little ribbing on behalf of his team, the Texas Longhorns). He used to live in Irvine, CA and returned home to Parksville to take care of his aging parents.It was interesting to talk to him.When discussing the world-famous California drought, he shared how far-reaching the effects of our plight are having way beyond our borders.Turns out in the last year his food costs have increased 5-12%, which, of course, drives up his menu costs.I’m too limited in my thinking. It never occurred to me that our drought has had a worldwide impact.I need to work on that…note to self…think more globally, Sandy!!
Something else I think is interesting… it seems to me that most every Canadian we have met is quite enamored with the US, particularly California.Granted, Canadians, on the whole, are very nice, friendly people.So, perhaps they are just being polite; or, are they genuinely intrigued with the notion of coming to the US? Or is it because most of those people are of a younger generation, which is generally-speaking more enamored by experiencing new things? Or…is it the green grass syndrome, where we all subconsciously think that life somewhere else would be better than where we are? If there are any socioligist/psychologist types out there reading this blog, feel free to research this idea. I will gladly report your findings!
Back on the road again after lunch on old Highway 19.Driving along the picturesque coast is calming and beautiful.The cedar trees along the highway are truly majestic. We made our way to our campground for the night, the ThunderbirdRV Campground on the Campbell River.On one side was the river and the other side, the Pacific Ocean, where the fishing boats share the waters of Discovery Passage with the arriving/departing cruise ships. Ours was the ocean view. After getting our bearings at the campground, we took the advice of the office ladies and headed over to Painters Lodge on the Campbell River.From there, we could catch a shuttle boat over to April Point on Quadra Island and have dinner on the water. During our 10 minute wait for the shuttle, Greg sauntered up to a couple also waiting on the dock and had a nice, friendly conversation with them. He learned all about them…he’s a wheat farmer from eastern Washington who had just harvested his crop and had an early vacation, because of the drought. Do you know one of the many things I love about the Champ? He is one of the friendliest, kindest, most engaging people I know. I’m pretty sure he is the reason why both our kids can engage any one they meet in conversation. (Of course, it couldn’t be from me, because I’m so shy and demure, haha!!)
Enjoying our delicious dinner while watching a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean was the perfect way to end our day! We are blessed!!
Tomorrow…we’ll explore the west side of Vancouver Island. We’re excited about what lies ahead!!