We have fallen in love again. The light, the water, the mountains – everything just so beautiful – and I’m wondering what was I looking at while in university? I don’t remember it quite like this. I guess just different times in my life with a different focus. Once we settle into Victoria we immediately caught up with Jen and family so finally Anderson and Sabine had friends. Our first day hanging out we went for a walk along the beach and the kids explored and climbed trees at one point Anderson looked back at me with a look of pure joy – in fact he looked younger than he has looked all trip – just like my little boy. Heart hurting a little and really driving home how much he is missing having friends his own age. We are now rethinking the trajectory of the trip. I think we need to pull back a little from the great exploration. Chris and I do like to bite off more than we can chew but we are both realizing that this isn’t going to be the trip we set out to take. Luckily we both roll fairly well with new plans and the original plans were never that solid to begin with.
We spent time exploring on our own and with Jen and family. We hit the museum and Chris and Anderson went to a minor league hockey game. We thoroughly loved living at our friend Allison’s in her eco friendly pad with poured concrete floors, a steam shower and a cat. Then it was off to Tofino to meet up with Linda, Gethsemane and Oliver – family from the Lewis side. The drive up led us through some sweet farmers markets where we discovered yet again that BC is not budget friendly – at least not the Farmer’s Markets roadside which are as pricy and lux as Puseteri’s but with more pumpkins and hay strewn about. We whipped through Nanaimo – confused by the sign declaring “Nanaimo the city of harbours” As Chris said – Nanaimo – you’re known for one thing – the BAR – brag about that!
Tofino is incredible – I have wanted to explore there for such a long time so it was only slightly devastating that I fell ill the day we drove up. I did catch the Jurassic sized rocks lolling in a river bed of pebbles, the pale green moss climbing up rocks by the side of the highway and tree branches alike and huge stumps siting in ditches like giant planters. But once we set up camp I was down and out and I missed an entire day. I did manage to rally for Chris’s birthday – he and Anderson went surfing on Long Beach – it was a stunning warm and sunshiny day. Linda took Sabine and I shopping for Chris’s birthday – in keeping with our buy nothing that we have to carry or pack state of affairs these days I only got him a take away mug because his had flown off Ole Smokey a few days before.
We also got to spend time with some other friends also taking a year off also with kids more Sabine’s age. I know I loved my time there but it’s all a little hazy. I kept thinking I was over it and then I kept feeling exhausted after standing up for more than an hour or two.
We left after extending a day just so the guys to surf some more. Then we began our trip across Island to Mt Washington to stay with Linda in the house she BUILT HERSELF. Once again we were dazzled by the beauty of it all and this time we managed to stop for a walk in Cathedral grove. I hate to even tell this story but it was an other “walk” where we were inundated with complaints from both of the offspring. About halfway through I just shut down and decided that I had had enough. I am going to enjoy this trip and I’m going to take a 70’s style of parenting on – the kids don’t have to like it – I didn’t like hiking either but I still had to do it and it didn’t scar me for life. Sometimes I think we spend way too much time concerned that our kids are happy and we take it all so personally when they are unhappy. Of course when we got to Linds’s and she asked Anderson about how amazing the huge trees were he agreed and was able to bullshit along as though he hadn’t been a total wet blanket for the entirety of the walk.
We have two incredible days with Linda, exploring the mountain – there was a fishing trip that Sabine and I missed. I was still feeling under the weather and welcomed the time semi alone to cook and and chill out. Linda mends our trailer walls – having experience mending sails – such an amazing woman. Her house is filled with life lived – trinkets set up as vignettes throughout tell stories and each part of the home radiates warmth and adventure. She manages to get Anderson to start the scrapbook I have been trying to light a passion for, she also manages to get him painting and drawing – again an area that has been lost to me – it just causes fights and sulking when I try to engage. I am now figuring our how we can get Linda with us for the entire trip.
When we leave there are tears again a safe harbour with someone who really cares – each stop has had a poignancy when we depart.
Back to beautiful Victoria – we are openly fantasizing about living on the Islands – rubber necking past each incredible vista. We get one more incredible night with Jen and family before we head for the ferry to Port Angeles to begin the American portion of the trip.