1. Watch the video
2. View the pictures - LOTS of them!
3. Read the travelogue
Day 1 – Woke up at a ridiculous hour meant only for dreaming. Pulled out of our driveway at 5:01 a.m. Drove, drove, and then drove some more. Fourteen hours later, we arrived in Calgary in time for supper with my brother (known on this blog as bbb).
Day 2 – Drove to Lacombe for some work-related stuff. Had lunch with some lovely long-time supporters, and then visited a corn maze that created this year’s design in honour of CFGB’s 25th anniversary. Back in Calgary for the evening. Went to a movie (Mamma Mia) with bbb.
Day 3 – Left Calgary, and drove through the mountains. Arrived at the home of our friends J&S in Surrey, B.C. Holey moley, these people take hosting to a whole new level! Not only did we have our own private space (with a separate entrance AND a big screen TV that Marcel enjoyed) for the three nights we were there, but we were fed amazing food, there were treats and fresh flowers awaiting us in our “suite”, and our laundry was all clean and folded when we came home from a day of sightseeing!
Day 4 – Spent the day in Vancouver. Visited the Vancouver Aquarium and drove around Stanley Park. Went for a mini-cruise in the harbour, wandered around Granville Island, and had supper in a lovely (though somewhat pricey) seafood restaurant overlooking the water.
Day 5 – The girls and I went shopping in the morning (IKEA!), and then spent the afternoon at the beach at White Rock. Marcel relaxed at J&S’s and then mowed their lawn (small payment for all of the things they did for us). Had a lovely barbecue supper in the backyard (not only are they amazing hosts, but MAN can they cook!) with J&S and their two girls, played a little badminton, and relaxed.
Day 6 – Left early for the ferry to Victoria. Wandered the Victoria harbour for awhile, had lunch at another seaside seafood restaurant (and spent even more money), and then drove to French Beach on the west coast of the island. Set up camp for the night and had s’mores over the campfire.
Day 7 – Spent the day at French Beach. I got up early to wander the shore and left the rest of the family in bed. It was a bit of a grey day, drizzling off and on all day – the only rain we had in two and a half weeks. We still managed to do a fair bit of wandering and playing on the beach, none-the-less. Drove into Sooke for a few things we’d forgotten to bring. Had some very tasty slow-cooked (over the campfire) burgers for supper.
Day 8 – I got up early again, but this time Julie came along. It was an amazing morning. We watched the fog roll in over the ocean, listened to ships’ fog horns, saw a seal frolicking in the waves, took lots of pictures, watched a huge flock of seagulls on the shore, collected seashells, and then watched as the sun peaked over the trees and started to burn away the fog. Packed up our tent, and headed for Chemainus. Grabbed a quick fish and chips lunch that we ate on the ferry on the way to Thetis Island. Arrived at Capernwray Harbour and checked in for “Family Bible Week”. Had supper and waited for B&S&A&B to arrive.
Day 9 – Had tonnes of fun at Capernwray Harbour for the next 5 days. We did various watersports (tubing, kneeboarding, kayaking, canoeing, boating, etc.), the kids did some really cool stuff like wall climbing, ropes courses, riding a zodiac, etc.; the grown-ups listened to some interesting speakers, and we all had an amazing amount of fun in one of the most beautiful settings I’ve ever been in.
Day 10 – One of the highlights for the week was a bistro night for the adults (a breathtakingly delicious seven course meal that was so beautiful I took pictures of every course), while the kids got to play on a giant slip-and-slide (massive tarps lined up on a hill and a bunch of kids covered in soap – just picture it!), and then a movie under the stars.
Day 11 – B&S and family went on the island boat tour in the afternoon, while our family hung out on the island.
Day 12 – Bbb and I got up at 5:30 for the morning kayaking trip (yes, for those of you who know him, he really DID get up that early!), which was one of my favourite moments of the trip. We got to see seals up close and personal, hunted for sea dollars and sea stars, and watched the sun come up over the island. In the afternoon, Marcel and I tried to go canoeing, but weren’t very successful – we tipped the canoe after only about 15 minutes on it. In the evening, we had “Stillwater Café” where the staff treat the guests to all measure of delicious drinks (steamers, cappuccinos, lattes) and equally delicious appetizers (yum!) under the stars overlooking the ocean.
Day 13 – We enjoyed our last morning at Capernwray Harbour and then packed to leave. Took the ferry back to Chemainus and drove to our campsite at Goldstream Provincial Park. Maddie and her cousin B made a fort among the massive trees. Drove into Victoria to meet B&S&A for supper at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
Day 14 – I got up early once again, and took a short hike to the Goldstream waterfall. (I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the park without seeing the waterfall.) We packed up early and drove to downtown Victoria to catch the ferry to Port Angeles, Washington. Drove to the Puget Sound and took another ferry into Seattle. We were going to have supper at Ivar’s with B&S, but bad traffic and no parking (due to a Seahawks game) made us have second thoughts. Instead, we hung out at the pool in our hotel.
Day 15 – Had breakfast with B&S&A&B and then said good-bye. We started the long trek home. Drove to Missoula, Montana where we stopped for supper. We were going to go further, but we discovered our rear lights weren’t working, so we found a hotel instead.
Day 16 – Drove to Butte, got the car fixed, and carried on. Found a campground in Miles City, Montana. Went out for supper at a lovely local family restaurant. Had a bit of a rough night in the tent, with too much heat and restlessness, and a near emergency when the tent nearly caught fire.
Day 17 – Got up early and packed up our tent. Drove to Fargo where we had a hotel reserved. Nikki and Julie and I went shopping while Marcel and Maddie went to the pool. Went out for supper, and then relaxed in the hotel room.
Day 18 – I took Maddie to the pool for awhile before checking out of the hotel, then we went to Perkin’s for brunch. Did a bit more shopping (new running shoes for Marcel, Nikki, and Julie) and headed for home. Stopped at Grand Forks for a little more shopping and some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Back on the road again. Arrived home around 9:30 p.m.