The Last Days of Summer

A meme of Peter Griffin from Family Guy doing his Grinds my Gears segment on people who prematurely decorate for fall.

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 Malahat Skywalk. A huge spiral ramp walk shaped like a slowly tapering funnel to the ground.
Approaching the Malahat Skywalk


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.

The shoreline at Bowser is rocky. A tide pool has formed as the water recedes.


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.


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.

Erin sitting in our whale-watching boat, wearing what looks like fishing waders and suspenders over a pink T shirt.
Erin suited up and preparing to leave the harbour for our whale-spotting tour.

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.

Goat on the roof of a building that's covered in growing turf. The goat is eating.

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.)

A close-up of Cuddles with my hand behind his head. Although his legs aren't visible, he is on his hind legs with his front ones on my leg.

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.

5 thoughts on “The Last Days of Summer”

  1. Oh my dear Lisa, what a perfect summary of our time together. You never stay long enough but the pace is always right. See you soon, my new podcast partner!

  2. Thank you for the vivid description of your trip, Lisa. I could almost feel the spray of the water and the thrill of that slide. It cleanses the soul to spend time with precious friends and I’m so glad you all had a wonderful time making memories. Mira must have loved having someone listening to her recollections of the past, and I’m sure Colin had a lot of fun teaching, and beating you at the games, lol.
    It’s nice to hear that your flight home went smoothly. Oh…your kitty, he is such a handsome boy and I’m sure he was thrilled to see you.
    The comment Erin made about a podcast…yippee! I can’t wait to listen to the two of you sharing life with us. Thanks for a wonderful read, Lisa.

  3. You know I love a good Bowser reference!

    And about the free fruit: I think they are on to something! When I was a kid in Edmonton, I clearly remember shopping with my mother at a grocery store. She got a bunch of bananas, put it in the cart, but not before I snatched one and gobbled it down. When we got to the cashier, she (perhaps sheepishly) explained how she also owed them for the one banana I had eaten.

    I doubt they made her pay for it, which means to me the “free fruit for kids” was an unofficial policy, even back then. Good for the folks in BC who have made it official!

  4. Fabulous! Great adventure for you! I’m also with you regarding fall decor. Mine won’t see the light of day until the weekend of the 24th!!! Happy weekend to you also!

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