Yes, this is the unofficial end of summer. Kids back in school. Summer-only activities rolled up like so many yoga mats. But as a woman who puts her faith in science, I’m sticking to September 22 as the last day of summer. That’s still several days from now. (I’m not a woman of math!)
My ten days in BC with BFF Erin and her husband – BFHF – Rob were at times relaxing, soul-fueling, serene, and exciting. All of the feels wrapped up in a just-be-yourself tortilla served with a side salad. Here are some highlights.
THE ULTIMATE NATURAL HIGH
The Malahat Skywalk starts with a beautiful stroll through an arbutus forest. Before you know it, you’re at eye level with tree tops. The skywalk is on a gentle incline inside a 600 meter spiral. At the top, you decide how to return to earth: walk back down or slide. The slide is a fully enclosed metal tube with a few clear panels on top to allow in a little light. For a claustrophobe it’s a sliver of hell. Still, I did it, screaming the entire way down. I’m glad I forced myself but…never again! I’d do the walk up but I’d walk back down.
NATURE ON DISPLAY
Our home for the week was in Bowser, BC, (insert Sha-Na-Na joke here!) a few minutes’ drive from Qualicomm Beach. The tide pool above offered loads of fascinating sea creatures for exploration. The rocky shoreline held a world of natural treasures. We could have gone clamming or salmon fishing but chose to let the grocery store do all the work. The planters in the foreground held beautiful flowers that were all munched down to nubs by deer!
We saw eagles soar past. On warm nights fish by the dozens jumped out of the water at dusk (to catch bugs?). Herons stopped by and waited patiently for their sushi dinner to swim within reach of their beaks. There was always something happening with wildlife, from deer on a nearby golf course to ducks paddling past us.
Erin and Rob’s grandson Colin taught me how to play Uno and to use a Wii remote properly. He kicked my butt in air hockey despite having half the arm’s length for reach. He’s a pretty good trash-talker for a 7-year-old.
A WHALE OF A TIME
Erin and pulled on heavy life-suits (as opposed to life-jackets) and joined a whale-watching tour one hot day. (My early birthday present!) After attempting to track an orca pod, we came upon dozens of humpback whales enjoying a buffet of krill and other deep sea delights. Erin shot video of the whale family (friends?) that surrounded our Kodiak and came so close they sprayed us. You can view it on YouTube HERE.
We read, made ourselves wonderful dinners, vented our spleens and hearts and made some stops on our way home to do whatever we felt like doing. There was so much more. Meeting their 97-year-old treasure of a friend, Mira, and hearing a couple of her incredible life stories. Catching up with mutual buddy Susan Knight over coffee. Strolling Sidney and Qualicomm, window shopping and chatting. Visiting the Goats on the Roof market in Coombs.
Note to self: if you ever become Oprah-wealthy, pay Goats on the Roof for a private shopping day so you can get close to everything in the store!
I love Ontario but I also love to go behind its back and sleep with BC. It’s so beautiful and somehow more human in some ways. I noticed this sign in a Qualicomm grocery store.
A store employee saw me taking the picture and told me that all the grocery stores do this. She said it in a way that meant, don’t they do it where you normally shop? No, they don’t. It feels like here, it would get taken advantage of and I can’t quite explain why.
At either end of the trip, despite all the horror stories, it was a pretty trouble-free experience with Air Canada and Pearson Int’l. AC canceled my first flight with lots of notice. It made my schedule less hectic, actually. The other flights were all delayed by 20 minutes to two hours but passengers were kept informed as things changed. I have no complaints EXCEPT that flight attendants came around only once on a 4+ hour flight to offer a thimbleful of water. (I forgot to bring my own on board.)
Although I got into the house at around 1 am and didn’t crawl into bed until 2, this guy was all over me at 6! It’s nice to be missed and I did look forward to his gentle purr. Hubby returns home later today after a boys’ long weekend watching drag racing. Summer isn’t over for a couple more weeks. Put your pumpkin spice away, people! Cozy season will be here soon enough.