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My intention after our Summer 2015 Road Trip to Tofino had been to write 5 Blog Posts about it in fairly quick succession, but as you can see, I have fallen a bit behind. At least I got the first 3 posts out in a timely fashion…
As mentioned before, we stayed at the Tin Wis, and this is where we had Breakfast every morning, during our stay. They had a great selection of Breakfast items on the Menu, good sized portions, a lovely staff, and delicious food – all at very reasonable prices. We are not “grab a muffin and a coffee” kind of Breakfast People – we prefer a leisurely, relaxing, sit-down Breakfast, and they did not disappoint.
Breakfast at Tin Wis
Since we were exploring all over the place while there, we had Lunch at different places each Day. One of my favourites was The Wolf In The Fog.
It was a rainy day that we were nearby there, visiting Art Galleries and little shops – we wandered in, not knowing what to expect. I had one of the most amazing Chai Lattés I have ever had, as well as one of the most delicious, flavourful Quesadillas. We had hoped to get back for a dinner there some Night ( which was served Upstairs) but didn’t make it back.
It was warm and sunny most of the days we were there, so my husband suggested we walk around near our Hotel, in search of snacks. We stumbled upon Chocolate Tofino which began a 3 Day long fascination …
I am not normally an “ice cream” person ( or even gelato ) but once I tasted the Salted Caramel Gelato, I’ll admit, even I had it 2 days in a row. It was unreal – so incredible!!! They make their own chocolates right there, as well, and they all looked equally fantastic!
Salted Caramel Gelato
3 out of the 5 days we were there, we were hiking, so were quite hungry by the end of the day. We needed to find somewhere casual to eat where we wouldn’t have a long wait. Most of our hikes were closer to Ucluelet, and we found a place there called The Cedar Grill. The first time we went there, we both had – hands down – the best burger and fries either of us has ever had. Once again, I am not much of a “burger and fries” kind of Gal, but that is what I was craving after hiking, and it was unbelievable.
The food was so good there, that another day after hiking, we decided to stop in again, before driving back to Tofino. This time, my husband ordered his favourite – Lasagne – and I had one of mine – pasta with alfredo sauce. Once again, Dinner was phenomenal. We had a really amazing Waiter – I even mentioned to him that one day, I would write a blog post and mention the place, since we were both so blown away by the food. I’m glad I am finally able to do so.
Delicious Dinner at Cedar Grill
Enjoying Cedar Grill Again
One Night, we were once again in the Art Galleries back in Tofino, and saw The Schooner Restaurant. It looked lovely, so we decided to give it a try. It was a more dressy place ( although most people tend to dress fairly casually from what we saw ) and had a fantastic menu. I believe I had steak, and my husband had fish – both were incredible, as were the cocktails. The service was impeccable.
Schooner Restaurant Tofino
Prior to our trip, my dearest Friend had told me we ” had to” go to Shelter Restaurant in Tofino before we left. We were able to get a reservation the night before we were to return Home, and we’re so glad we did. When we pulled up, it looked super cool and funky – many patrons were sitting on the deck out front, gazing across the street at the water. We chose a table inside ( as I tend to get cool easily ) but the view was just as good, as we were seated by a window.
I started with a cocktail – with freshly muddled raspberries – it was divine. I had a chicken dish, my husband had some sort of Seafood Gumbo, and both were fabulous. The service was amazing, also.
Cocktails at Shelter
After our wonderful dining experience, I finished off with a specialty coffee, and dessert. ( it may look small, but it was rich, delicious, and oh-so-decadent ) Nothing better than being on holiday, and enjoying yourself. ( that’s kind of the whole point, isn’t it? ) 😉
Finishing Touch – Dessert at Shelter
I have to say, during our 5 day stay in the Tofino area, we had a lot of fantastic food. We had everything from burgers, fish & chips etc. to steak and pasta – and from very casual to fancy. The food was consistently great, the prices were never out of line, and the service was amazing. They sure know how to keep you wanting to come back for more …
One of the main reasons we went to Tofino is that we both enjoy hiking, and Nature Photography. From all the research I did in advance of our trip, it certainly looked like we were going to see some amazing things, regardless of whether the weather was sunny or rainy. I made sure to bring clothes for extreme changes in temperatures, and conditions. This turned out to be a wise decision.
We basically spent 3 solid Days hiking. We began our journey on the Wild Pacific Trail which was close to Ucluelet, rather than Tofino.
Wild Pacific Trail Sign
It didn’t take long to realize that the “posted times” that it would take to get from one point to another ( according to the signs ) were not going to apply to us. We are not capable of quickly walking past breathtakingly beautiful scenery, without stopping to take it all in, and capturing the wild beauty with our cameras.
I usually enjoy being outdoors most when it is hot and sunny, and am definitely not one to go for walks in inclement weather. However, many people have said that Stormwatching in this area is incredible, with crashing waves making for stunning entertainment … so I simply put on my newly-acquired rainjacket, and went with it. After all, that was why we were there – to witness and capture Nature’s best.
One thing we really noticed even during the course of a hike, was that it could be grey skies one minute, then the sun would come out the next. It was awesome how this drastically changed how everything appeared. There were many lookout points along the way, and we made sure to stop for photo opportunities at pretty much every one.
Sunny Wild Pacific Trail
The “Lighthouse Loop” was one of the shortest and easiest sections of the trails – it would be very Family-friendly if you were thinking of taking children there. Just as a note – there are no Washrooms along the trails, so it is advisable to go in the Portable ones in the Parking Lot prior to entering the trail. This loop was “supposed” to take 45 minutes to an hour, and I think it took us about 3 hours, with all the stopping and picture-taking.
Lighthouse Loop Sign
When we finally made it to the Lighthouse, we were in for a real treat – the moment we arrived and climbed on the rocks, a Mama Whale and her baby swam closeby. There were Tourists from all over the World there, and we pointed out the whales to them – even with language as a barrier, we were all united in our joy at witnessing these amazing creatures. Many of them were seeing their very first whales, and were in complete awe.
Lighthouse Loop Namesake
One of the most amazing things we saw was on our last Day of hiking. There were a pair of Eagles perched on a rock, and we figured that by the time we got close enough to take pictures, they would be long gone. We treaded as gently and quietly as we could, and were lucky enough to get some fairly decent pictures. Even my little camera got an alright shot:
We spent a great deal of time climbing on rocks to get closer to the water for better pictures. We were so busy trying to get scenic shots, that we had to make sure to set up the timer on my Husband’s camera in order to get some of us. One of my favourite pictures of the two of us is this one:
Enjoying the Wild Pacific Trail
One of the things I most enjoyed during our hikes was seeing the Broken Islands off in the distance – just a fantastic sight, and the subject of many paintings by local Artists, as we discovered at several Art Galleries on other days. There is just something about them – the shape of the trees etc. – that just draws you in.
It is hard to describe all the incredibly beautiful scenery along the rugged coastline that we saw over the course of those 3 days spent hiking. We took hundreds and hundreds of pictures each, and I wish I could post so many more. If you love beautiful views, enjoy nature, like hiking and photography, then I would highly recommend visiting the Wild Pacific Trail near Ucluelet B.C., on Vancouver Island.
View From Wild Pacific Trail
One of the things my Husband most wanted me to see on our recent trip to Tofino, was Long Beach. He had happy memories of his Family taking him there when he was a child, and he wished me to see just how amazing it was. Long Beach is a part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve , so there is a small fee to visit it – you can get a Day Pass, or one for several days, which will save you money. It is definitely worthwhile, as you will want to visit it, and the other beaches, more than once.
Entrance to Long Beach
One of the first things we saw ( other than lots of Surfers ) as we walked from the car to the beach, was Incinerator Rock, which was pretty awesome. The sun was out, it was warm, but everything looked a little bit misty/hazy.
The beach seemed to go on forever ( yes, it lived up to its name ) 😉 so we were able to have a leisurely stroll, enjoying the view, with the waves lapping at our feet. We took so many pictures of waves and Surfers – the place had a really cool vibe to it.
One of the cutest things we saw while walking along the beach was a Mother showing her children how to balance on a surfboard – it was absolutely adorable.
The waves were just incredible, and it was fascinating watching all the people surfing. I would imagine that the water was very cold, and we had no desire to find out.
Long Beach Waves
Even though there were a lot of people there, it never felt crowded, due to the sheer size of the beach. There were plenty of places to lay on your lounge chairs or towels, and still have your privacy. It would be a great place to spend an entire day, if you had the time.
Long Beach Little Surfer Girl
I’ve never been anywhere, before this, where people were so incredibly mellow. It was great to see everyone so relaxed, and having a good time – absolutely no stress on Long Beach. It is a place I would certainly like to visit again some day.
Waiting For the Right Wave
Last week was my first week of Holidays for 2015. As I have mentioned many times before, for me, a “Holiday” means getting off my feet ( which I am constantly on at Work ) relaxing, and laying in the sun. It means catching up on sleep, not having to set alarm clocks, and feeling rejuvenated. I love the feeling that I don’t have to feel obligated to “do” anything, except for kick back, and enjoy …
When your Passports are expired, and you are on a budget, your options are limited. My Husband has always come along on “my kind” of vacations, so this time, when he suggested something different, I wasn’t going to refuse. He mentioned he wanted to go to Tofino on Vancouver Island to hike, take photographs, explore the beaches etc. I had never been there before, and I knew this would be a very different kind of vacation, but I still agreed. I will admit, I was a bit apprehensive.
We live on the Sunshine Coast of B.C., so we drove the half hour to the ferry, took the 40 – minute ferry ride to Horseshoe Bay, then an hour and 40 minute ferry ride from there to Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. From there, it was a 3 hour drive to Tofino.
It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day, so we certainly enjoyed the ferry rides and the scenery. It was great to sit on the upper deck of the ferry in the hot sun, anticipating the week ahead …
Once we arrived in Tofino, we were anxious to find our Hotel, get checked in, and get our feet in the sand. I just had to get a picture of the sign welcoming us to our destination.
I had us booked in at the Tin Wis Hotel, right on Mackenzie Beach, which was very private, quiet, and sandy. Most of the beaches where we live are quite rocky, so this was a welcome sight. We could hardly wait to get out and explore.
We quickly unloaded the car, checked in, and went and found our room. I had made sure that we got a King sized bed, Ocean view, and a fireplace when I booked it. I had heard the weather could be all over the map – from warm and sunny, to cool, rainy/windy/foggy … and could change fairly quickly. I was going to learn just how true this could be. Thankfully, I had packed everything from bathing suits and tank tops to full on raincoat and rubber boots, just in case. ( we were going to be hiking in a Rainforest, after all )
Our room was on the ground floor, so we could literally walk out the patio door, take about 10 steps, turn left, and be at the beach in about 20 seconds. We had changed into lighter clothes after our road trip, and were happy to take a long stroll along the beach, and enjoy the warm sunshine. It was an absolutely gorgeous beach – nice and private, and not crazy busy.
The archway to the beach had a carving welcoming guests to pass through and enjoy …
The next picture is of our building:
This shot is of the main building:
Looking through our patio door towards the beach:
Since we had arrived mid-afternoon, we didn’t want to venture too far the first night, after our long drive. We had dinner in the Restaurant at the Hotel – the Beachfront Bistro.
After Dinner, we tried really hard to stay up to watch our first sunset there. I’d had only 3 hours of sleep the night before, we’d driven much of the day, and we were both very tired. It was, however, Summer Solstice, and we certainly didn’t want to miss that sunset.
I will post a few of those sunset pictures very soon …
Happy New Year to all of you! I hope that this will be a great year for us all. Now that the new year is upon us, I’d like to take a few minutes to reflect on some of the good things that happened for me in 2013.
The biggest things that happened for me involved music – the thing I love most. For much of my life, I have considered myself to be primarily a singer. ( and I do still play the piano, occasionally ) I love to sing, and there isn’t much that brings me more joy in life than singing something I love in front of an appreciative audience. It’s a really good feeling. I sing simply because I enjoy it, and it makes me feel happy – I’ve never had any delusions about fame or fortune. This past year, however, I branched out and started writing lyrics with a new close friend, who writes music. We wrote 2 songs together so far, one of which is currently being re-mixed by another mutual friend. We got together several times each month to work on music, have long chats, and a few laughs. I also became a Member of SOCAN , which was pretty exciting. I look forward to a lot more songwriting this year, and being able to share the results with you all.
We continued going to Karaoke fairly regularly, as it really is good practice to keep the voice in tune, and help get over the nerves. Every time you go, you are faced with a new audience, and another opportunity to try different genres, and build your confidence. This is especially good for those of us that are innately shy. We brought a lot of new friends out with us to these fun nights last year, and had a lot of really amazing times, both singing and dancing. It is always a good crowd – supportive, down to earth, and fun-loving.
As always, we did a lot of hiking during the year – probably more than the previous ones. We still favour Francis Point, still go to Smuggler’s Cove once in a while, as well as the Skookumchuck, but we went on a new one this year: The Tetrahedron. This was very different than any of the other hikes we’ve been on up here – and I will write a post about it soon, with some pics.
On days when we didn’t have the time to go on long hikes, we went on a lot of walks at nearby Davis Bay.
Davis Bay Walk
It is always a pleasant walk – the scenery is gorgeous, and the people you meet always have a smile for you. We often follow our walk with a coffee and snack at Pier 17 across the way – we sit at a little Bistro Table overlooking the water – so relaxing. We have witnessed many a glorious sunset over Davis Bay, from that vantage point.
As of last year, my Husband and I now both have Kayaks. This was one of the best decisions we’ve made in the 5 years that we’ve been living up on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, hands down. As I have mentioned several times before, I have mainly been considered a “City Girl”, both by my friends, and myself, in the past. I have to tell you, though, there is something absolutely mind-blowingly amazing about being out in a kayak on a sunny Summer’s Day. Not only is there the obvious fact that you are getting fresh air, exercise, sunshine etc., but it is just the most incredibly peaceful and therapeutic thing, as well. It didn’t matter how bad my week had been, or how stressful – I simply could not wipe the smile off my face each time we paddled up the Inlet. The scenery was incredible – the wildlife abundant: we regularly saw Eagles, Seals, Salmon jumping out of the water, Sea Stars and Sea Cucumbers and so much more. We found some little beaches that are water-access only, where you can go and have your Lunch, and relax for a while before you continue on your journey. Some of these places even have places to camp, and portable washroom facilities. I have to say that the times we went out kayaking this past Summer were definitely some of the happiest times we had all year. ( and now that we have the Kayaks, this fun doesn’t cost a thing )
Sechelt Inlet Kayaking
We had a family member come for a nice visit in the Summer time, as well, and I went on a Road Trip with some good friends for a few days in September. There were many Dinner Parties, Barbecues, Fundraisers, nights of dancing and singing and visiting with friends and family …
So, once again, the year was filled with music, enjoying the great outdoors, and spending quality time with the people we love the most … not a bad year at all, if you ask me.
I wish you all a healthy, happy, joyful New Year in 2014 – may it be the year that your dreams come true !!!
I was brought up to respect the privacy of others, and that is something I take very seriously. I consider myself to be a private person, as well, and don’t go discussing my personal business with just anyone. I tend to choose my words very carefully, and it is very important to me that they are not hurtful or damaging to anyone.
I have wanted to touch on the subject of loss and grieving for a while now, but have been waiting for “the right time”. It is not a pleasant subject, and not one that most people are willing/able to discuss. It is definitely not something that would normally be in my “comfort zone” to put out in a public forum. However, I feel very strongly that it is something I must do.
2010 was the worst year of my life. In October of that year, we lost my Sister Leslie in a tragic accident, then my Mom, five weeks later, in November, after a series of Strokes. There are no words to convey how utterly soul-destroying losing the two closest women in my life was. It has been a long, dark, difficult road since then.
Trying to find a reason to get out of bed every morning after that was one of the biggest challenges, along with feeling like I was losing my mind. It’s interesting – even though many people go through loss every single day , you feel utterly alone on so many levels – you feel as though no one else could possibly understand what you are feeling.
I could go on for hours about all the thoughts and feelings I experienced along the way … but that is not the point of this post. I am not writing this looking for sympathy – I simply want to mention a few things that I learned on this most difficult journey:
The most important thing I have learned is that “Life is short” is not just another cliché to be brushed off in our youth. My Mom used to always say it, and we never understood. You can’t possibly understand it until someone you love that is far too young is taken from you, suddenly. I used to spend way too much time worrying about the past, letting it haunt me, or stressing about the future/things that really don’t matter. I have learned to be in the present now, to enjoy every moment, every experience, cherish my friends and family, laugh more, let loose …
The next biggest thing I have taken from this, is that grieving is a lifelong process. Many people ( generally people that have not suffered this kind of loss ) seem to feel that “It’s been a year now, you should be feeling better”. I can assure you, there is no time limit on grieving, and there will never be a time that I feel “o.k.” about the fact that my Sister and Mom are gone. “They” say “time heals all wounds” – well, that, too, is something that people who truly don’t know say, trying to comfort you. Grieving is a process, and everyone goes through different phases of varying lengths of time, and there is no right or wrong.
One thing that came as a surprise to me is that the people you think would be most likely to call you up and see if you are alright, aren’t necessarily the ones that do. We may assume that certain people we have known all our lives would be right there for us, but this is not always the case. On the flip side, I have had people I barely know come up to me in the mall, wrap their arms around me, cry with me, and talk for 20 minutes about what happened. I feel very fortunate to live in such a close-knit community, where people genuinely care about each other. It has almost literally blown my mind how many kind souls have spent time speaking with me since all this happened, offering to help in any way they can. I have made some close friends since that time – real, caring compassionate people who reached out to someone they barely knew, in an obvious time of need. It still amazes me.
Another thing I’ve learned is that people mean well. Many are uncomfortable talking about it when people die – clearly it is not a pleasant or cheery subject. I’ve had people say they “didn’t want to bring it up” for fear that it would remind me/upset me, clearly not “getting” that it is constantly at the forefront of my mind. Some people avoid you for a while, unsure what to say/do. Others feel the need to say something profound, when all that is truly needed is to know that people care, and are there for you, if necessary – and often, that’s just for hugs. Death is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, for sure, and if you haven’t lost someone close to you, you can’t possibly comprehend.
I am definitely not the same person I was before losing my Sister Leslie, and my Mom. Only recently have I begun to feel that I am “turning the corner”, and that maybe, just maybe, the worst of the grieving is behind me. I absolutely know that it will take a very, very long time before I feel “whole” again, if that’s even possible. I am, however, surrounding myself with new friends lately that seem to bring out the best in me, love me unconditionally, and understand if a certain song “sets me off” and I need to take a few minutes to compose myself. Many of them have also suffered recent losses, and mine have helped me understand what they are going through. Sometimes we want to be out with our good friends, sometimes we need to be alone – real friends understand that, and don’t try and drag you out when you aren’t feeling up to it.
Surviving great loss makes you realize so many things: you are much stronger than you know, every moment in life is precious, and you must stop wasting time with people/things that don’t bring you joy. You must honour the memory of your lost loved ones – talk about them, laugh, cry, share stories … but most importantly, honour them by following your own dreams, doing what you love – you know that’s what they would have wanted.
If you, or someone you know, has suffered a recent loss, this book was unbelievably helpful to me: “Transcending Loss” by Ashley Davis Bush.
As many of you know, both my Husband and I have watched “The Voice” since it first came on the air. Obviously, as a singer, I find it interesting, but he does, too. We both like the fact that during the “Blind Auditions”, the judges cannot see the contestants. This eliminates the tendency to judge people based on what they look like, how they dress, carry themselves, how old they are, amongst other things. We are not generally fans of “reality T.V.” per se, as there is a lot of garbage out there, clearly. This show, however, deeply engages us week after week.
One of the reasons we enjoy watching the show so much is that the coaches – Christina, Blake, Adam, and Cee-Lo – genuinely seem to care about their teams. ( not just because they want someone from their team to “win” the show, but because they truly want to help nurture them as artists ) It is always interesting watching the process, as the artists learn, grow, conquer fears, and try new things that the coaches suggest.
Both of us tend to root for the “Underdogs” – the shy, quiet people without much self-confidence – often the ones that have had a very hard life, or are a bit older. I fully understand what it feels like to love to sing more than anything else in the world, but to be painfully shy, and doubt yourself constantly. It isn’t easy, and I commend these people for having the guts to do this, even though it likely terrifies them. I find it very emotional watching their segments, when they talk about how much music means to them, and how much doing well on the show could change their lives. I can only imagine how mind-blowingly awesome it would be to have the opportunity for that kind of exposure and mentoring. ( sadly, there is still no equivalent of this show in Canada )
Although there are a lot of shy competitors, there are also some that come across as over-confident, ( yes, this may just be false bravado ) even cocky. Some of these people tend to say things in the clips that we don’t think are very nice, especially during the Battle Rounds. We get that it is a competition, but there is never any need to say bad things about others. Nothing is more of a turn-off than a loud, obnoxious, in-your-face person who basically says they are going to beat the other person, hands down. We always smile when these over-confident people lose to the shy, quiet polite ones. Perhaps they will learn to keep their ego in check, in future.
As for Season 3 so far, there is a lot of talent ! The Blind Auditions and the Battle Rounds are complete, and on Monday, the Playoff Round began. ( The second part of that will be airing tomorrow night. ) The teams right now are narrowed down to 5 members each. Blake and Adam’s teams performed on Monday, and tomorrow night, Christina and Cee-Lo’s teams sing. Starting this week, the audience ( in the U.S.) will have a say as to what happens – they are able to vote for their favourite contestants now .
So far, our favourite on Christina’s team is De’borah – she has an incredible voice, a great vibe, and she is completely ” herself ” all the time. It’s like she doesn’t even have to try – she’s just such a cool person. ( and what’s even more appealing is that she is modest and humble about her talent )
On Blake’s team, my husband and I like Michaela Paige for her unique style, consistently good voice, and her stage presence. Liz Davis is the perfect Country singer, in so many ways, and Terry McDermott is the classic “rocker” that keeps the audience engaged.
We feel the strongest players on Adam’s team are Melanie Martinez, who has a hauntingly beautiful voice, and fabulous style, and Amanda Brown, who comes across as a seasoned pro. They both seem to be “the total package” – phenomenal voices, they know how to present themselves, work the stage, and capture the audience’s full attention at all times.
Ceelo’s best team members, in our opinion, are the smooth-as-silk Trevin Hunte, and the funky, soulful Nicholas David. Both of these guys have unreal voices, full of emotion and conviction, when they sing.
It will be interesting to see how things play out, over the next few weeks. One thing is for sure: it will be very entertaining and inspiring, and we will be watching!
As I have mentioned before, my husband and I are usually lucky to see our friend Brandon Isaak maybe once a year anymore, if that. Well, 2012 has been a good year so far for “catching up” with our buddy. We saw him playing his solo gig in June at the Garden Bay Pub, then we had the good fortune of seeing him again on July 9th at the very same venue. This time, he was playing with his friend ( and “Twisters” bandmate ) Keith Picot, as a duo.
As an added bonus, Brandon had told me that his parents were going to be there, too. I was so excited to hear that, as they still live up in the Yukon, and I hadn’t seen them in many, many years. Ed and Donna took really good care of me that Summer long ago that I spent in the Yukon, and I will never forget their kindness.
He also mentioned that I was finally going to meet his “Girls” – meaning the lovely Patti, and their beautiful Daughter, Kiko. ( you just have to hear his song, dedicated to her – “KIKO” )
As always, we arrived at the Pub early to make sure we were able to get good seats. We chatted with Brandon and Keith a bit, then Brandon told me to go over to the Dining Room side. His parents were having dinner over there before the show, and he knew we’d be anxious to see each other after all these years. I totally welled up with tears when I saw Ed and Donna – they looked wonderful – just as I remembered them. We did a lot of hugging and talking, and it was so great to see them – brought back so many happy memories. Patti and Kiko arrived at their table a few minutes later, so I got to meet them for the first time – both such beautiful ladies ! Shortly thereafter, their dinner arrived, so I headed back over to the Pub side – it was almost show time.
Donna and Ed Isaak and Heather Doré
There was a pretty good turnout at the Garden Bay Pub that night, which is no surprise. Not only is it one of the best live music venues on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, but Brandon and Keith have quite a loyal following. We saw many familiar faces in the crowd – many of whom had made a long drive just to be there.
These guys never disappoint – when you see them perform, you are thoroughly entertained. They play some amazing Blues, but they also pepper the evening with their witty banter, which makes it even more fun for the audience. They draw everyone in, make you feel a part of it, and it’s just one big happy family in there. This night was no exception – the boys were in fine form.
After Ed and Donna had finished their dinner, they came over to the Pub side to see the show, and asked if they could sit with us. I was overjoyed, as it meant we got to visit for another couple of hours, and “catch up” some more. The night could not have been more perfect – definitely one of the highlights of my Summer. Ed got up and joined the guys for a song, as well, which was awesome – I hadn’t seen him perform in a long time – and it was very cool.
Keith Picot, Ed Isaak, and Brandon Isaak
I had to work the next morning, so we hadn’t planned on staying too late, ( it’s about an hour drive home on a very long, winding road ) but we were having such a fabulous time, that we just couldn’t leave. I was so happy to be spending time with Ed and Donna, as well. As usual, we stayed until the end, then I got my traditional pics with the Boys.
It was really hard to say “Goodbye” to Brandon’s parents, as I don’t know when we’ll see them again. ( but we agreed that it wouldn’t be nearly as long next time ) There were many more hugs, and I struggled to hold back tears once again. What an amazing night ! This is what life is all about – spending time with good friends, listening to fantastic music, food, drinks, the perfect venue, and a warm Summer breeze … it doesn’t get any better than that.
Brandon Isaak, Heather Doré, Keith Picot
If you are new to my blog posts, then you may not know who my friend Brandon Isaak is. ( a.k.a. “Yukon Slim” ) To give you a little bit of background, you may wish to read my two previous posts about him: Yukon Buddy , and Yukon Buddy Part 2 – The Twisters. That way, we can just continue with the story …
So, the last time we’d seen Brandon was in 2010, with the Twisters, at the Garden Bay Pub. We didn’t get a chance to see him play at all in 2011, so that was a bit of a drag. Brandon is always posting his upcoming gigs on Facebook etc., and when I see these, I always ask him, “When are you coming to play on The Sunshine Coast ( of B.C. ) again? “. Well, a few months back, I got a response: he was going to be playing a solo gig at Garden Bay for the Pender Harbour Blues Festival. It was going to be a “Dinner Show”, on the restaurant side of the Garden Bay Hotel. ( we usually see him on the Pub side )
My husband and I thought this would be pretty cool for several reasons: we’d never seen Brandon play on his own before, we’d never eaten on the other side of the venue, and it would mean a really nice night out for us. June 2nd was a sunny Saturday, and the drive up to Garden Bay was absolutely wonderful. We got there a little early, I had a drink on the pub side first, then we moved to the Dining Room.
We had a lovely little table with a great view of the water.
Our Table At Garden Bay Restaurant
We had only been there a few minutes, when Brandon came in, and saw us. We all exchanged warm hugs, had a bit of a chat, then he started setting up. We ordered dinner, and our meal was delicious. It was a perfect night – good food, an incredible view, and great entertainment. As always, Brandon came and sat with us between sets, so we could “catch up”. We always have such an awesome time when we go see Brandon play – not just because he’s my friend, but because he is a tremendously talented entertainer, and a very funny guy.
Yukon Slim and Heather Doré
Recently, I had some time off work, and my husband and I decided to take a few days away not too far from where we live. We drove up B.C.’s Sunshine Coast to Egmont, caught the Earl’s Cove Ferry, and in just 50 minutes, we were at the Saltery Bay terminal. This is one ferry I’d never been on before – it was nice – a smaller version of the ones I’m used to, but a lot more peaceful. Once we disembarked, we drove for about 1/2 an hour, then stopped in Powell River for coffee and a snack, and to look around a bit. Turns out they had a few stores we don’t, so I was happy we had checked it out. I ended up buying a few items that I really liked, so it was well worthwhile. I liked the vibe of the town – had a really good feel to it, and the scenery and people were lovely.
After that, we drove for another half hour or so, and reached our destination – Lund. I had booked a few nights at the historic Lund Hotel , so we could have some quiet, relaxing time away. Our room was overlooking the water, had a King sized bed, both a large bathtub and a glass shower, and a nice balcony with a great view.
After we had checked into our room and unloaded our things, we went for lunch downstairs at the Pub, right in the Lund Hotel. ( They have both a restaurant and a Pub on site ) It was a hot, sunny day, so we sat out on the patio, and I couldn’t have been happier. ( you know I love my sun 😉 I had one of the best Spinach Salads I’ve ever had – it was unreal. We did a bit of ” people watching ” , and enjoyed the view of the water, and the boats coming and going. Since we knew the weather was supposed to be “off and on” during our stay, my husband suggested we change into our bathing suits, and take a water taxi to Savary island. The water taxi place is literally steps from the Hotel, and we were lucky to be able to book something fairly soon after lunch.
I’d done some research about Savary Island – most descriptions say that it is similar to a tropical island, and there is some of the warmest water this side of Mexico. That, coupled with some white sandy beaches, and I was sold … It only took about 7-8 minutes in the power boat to arrive at the Island, so that was nice. We’d booked our return trip in advance ( that’s how they do it ) so we knew we had a few hours to enjoy. I found a nice stretch of beach, lay out my towel, and basked in the sun. My husband went snorkelling for a while. It was a perfect afternoon. Hot sun, and relaxation – no stress, no worries – these are the things that make me happy. It was so nice to lay on a beach and not have anyone nearby. There were other people around, but it wasn’t crowded and uncomfortable, like at many beaches we’re used to.
I was really glad we went to Savary Island on that first day, as the weather ended up being the best of our time up there. We both loved it there, and thought we may even like to stay there for a few days another time – they do have some Bed and Breakfasts there. I would definitely go there again – it was just beautiful. ( and I didn’t see a single mosquito – seriously )
The rest of our days and nights were spent taking it pretty easy – walking around looking at all the boats, visiting the well-known Nancy’s Bakery, the Art Gallery, eating incredibly delicious ( yet very reasonably priced ) meals at the Lund Hotel Pub, sleeping in, watching the sunset from our balcony …
We had wanted to do some kayaking while up there – particularly around Desolation Sound, but the weather was a little too unpredictable. We didn’t want to book something, then have lousy weather. This was a good decision, as one day it rained a little bit, and the other was grey and breezy, and the water rather choppy. We both love to kayak, but if you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, and hoping for nice scenery, going in bad weather doesn’t make much sense. We decided to go on a dinner cruise up to Desolation Sound, instead – good choice.
The scenery was beautiful, the food was great, and the people running it were polite, courteous, and professional, and lots of fun. It was a good way to see the things we wanted to, and stay warm and dry.
An interesting fact about Lund, B.C. is that it is the “end” of Highway 101 – or some like to say the beginning. It stretches from here to Chile.
Here is a picture of the Lund Hotel:
To sum up our time in Lund and on Savary Island, I have to say, it was just what we needed. These are places to go to relax and unwind, and enjoy being in/on the water. If you are lucky enough to have a boat of your own – this is paradise. The people are friendly and down-to-earth, the food was amazing, and I have a new favourite cocktail: The Lund Sunset. Speaking of Lund Sunsets, those were absolutely gorgeous, as well …