It feels like posting on my blogs has slipped by the wayside as of recent. It isn’t due to lack of things to share, but rather that we have been on the go constantly. Life has been non-stop.
Some people enjoy leisurely long weekends, kicking back, hanging out, chilling. We don’t do that……ever (seriously). Generally long weekends leave us needing another long weekend to recover. So I thought I would share our blur of a long weekend.
The coast was calling us. We had itchy feet and fancied a road trip of a leisurely drive west. We joke about our “evening drive”. It is for the most part an evening drive, we leave early afternoon, drive evening and part of the night to reach the ferry at Tsawwassen for the first boat of the day. We love the drive, all 1142 km of it, with world class scenery most of the day and an open road at night
The drive went so well (as did the nap on the ferry!) that we decided to make a quick detour through Victoria (BC, Canada). We’ve discovered that there is a trick to us enjoying Victoria, we have to do the city fresh off the insanity of Alberta. We have to still be in that high intensity mode to handle the busyness and congestion of the city. We have tried in the past to go to Victoria after the slower pace of being on Pender Island and it is just too much, leaving us wondering why we went to “town”. So now we go to Victoria before heading to our little Gulf Island and we thoroughly enjoy it.
The Royal BC Museum had just opened a new exhibit, Gold Rush!, and we were keen to see it. Our children were well into checking out the artifacts and anything involving mining; clearly an addiction to Minecraft fueled this interest.
From the museum we were off to Thunderbird Park and the amazing totems.
Our parking time was ticking down, and the ferry time nearing, but we found time for a speed walk through town to Munro’s. Heaven. A real book store. Our children had never been there, but being massive readers they were in love.
For us, every trip to Victoria must include fish and chips. We suffer chippy withdrawal often. When we lived in the U.K. we were constantly popping around to the chippy for fish and chips, pie and chips, chips and curry……..oooh, and chicken pineapple half and half (we’ll see how many readers recognize that one!). Our chippy withdrawal gets so bad that we have on occasion considered driving to White Rock (12-13 hour drive) just to eat chips (and fried clams) on the front. There is nothing better than chips eaten out of paper wrapping. Even though catching the ferry was touch and go, we hit a chippy, and feasted as we drove to the ferry.
Long weekend ferry travel is busy, unpredictable, and sometimes insane. Perhaps if we didn’t ride the ferries so much in the winter we wouldn’t notice how different long weekends are. In the winter there is always space on a sailing, people are pretty chill, I grab a chai, head upstairs to the sitting lounge, and knit in relative peace (as much peace as you get when you have five children). In the summer cars are everywhere, people are everywhere, behavior is crazy, conversations are entertainingly pretentious….it is a treat. My husband and I could just sit and eavesdrop for hours. I’m not sure what it is about long weekends that makes everyone go all Fruit Loops, perhaps it is spending time with extended family, or the attempt to one-up their friends, but it makes for a people watching extravaganza.
This weekend was no different. people panicking to get on the ferry sailing, shouting at the ferry employee in the booth…frenzy. We sit in our car and watch in amazement. Worst case is that there is another ferry in four hours, and in our world that equates as a three and a half hour nap waiting for the next sailing. Naps are a luxury. We pull into our assigned lane with no hope of getting on the sailing due to leave in less than five minutes. Get settled in. Take off the cowboy boots (seriously…the red ones…..I have a collection!). Fluff the pillow (we come prepared) and plan for a nap. Well wouldn’t you know it our line starts moving. Car after car drives on to the ferry until we are at the front of the line. We’ve been there before, the car that doesn’t make it on a sailing, so we aren’t too hopeful. Just as we are settling in again the attendant says he is going to try to fit us on….and they do….at the back of the boat….sideways. I guess there is a first for everything.
Once on the island we took care of the most pressing things. First was grocery shopping; yes we shop local (I’ll collect my gold star later!). Second was to sort out the garden. The vegetable beds were growing great . My new plantings from February and April were still hanging in there (it is an iffy area I’m trying to revive). The apple trees are in bloom with promises of apples. The planters still flowered. The forested part continues to get wilder and wilder. I got to work and watered and watered; hand watering with a watering can is a workout. Hours later,grass cut and plants watered, we headed for an evening walk down to the far end of Medicine Beach.
The next day was equally busy. A trip to the hardware store was necessary to get materials to replace our deck stairs. Followed by a trip to the grocery store. Followed by a trip up to Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards. We were too late for the food truck (my fault, I was sending an epic text which delayed us!) but had a chance to check out the latest art exhibit. Quite a cool space to display art.
Paddling over, we got back to work. Of course as dinner time approached we started to think of what we should make for supper, which morphed into “Let’s not cook, let’s get Pender Sushi.”
As Pender Sushi is quite a drive from home, we tend to do take out and eat dinner on the beach. The choice of beach for dinner was Roesland, a Parks Canada site. Food and fresh air are a great combination, and the view was passable…….
Sunday saw us closing up the house, sorting out another knitting order (yep, always working!), a visit to a beach, and the night ferry out.
And off we went across the sea, over the mountains, and back to the prairies of Alberta.
A blur of a weekend.