Friday, April 14, 2017

A visit to Vancouver Island

I set off from Delta about 8a.m to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to catch a 2 hour ferry ride to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. My destination was the city of Courtenay about a two hour drive from where i'd arrive at Duke Point near Nanaimo, B.C. Weather was cool with a spattering of rain off and on so I didn't spend much time on the open deck of the ferry and instead went with the hoards to the restaurant for some legendary White Spot fare or maybe the famous Sunshine breakfast served on all the ferries since time began I think, lol. Ever since I can remember the ferries always had names like "Princess of Nanaimo", Princess of Sanich" etc. and later on they were named "Queen" of selected British Columbian cities. This one was quite new and was named the "Coastal Inspiration" In this class is also the Coastal Celebration and Renaissance while some of the smaller ferries have names that start with Salish (Orca, Eagle, Raven, etc) as well as other classes and sizes of ferries that do the route to many of the smaller British Columbian islands. The larger ones carry aprox 500 cars and 2100 people and travel at 22 knots. Many who walk on and get transportation where they land and the price is very reasonable for that. At this time of year the ferry I took departs from Tsawwassen 8 times a day with 8 sailings back but in the summer there's many more as the trip is very popular then. Also from Tsawwassen are the ferries that go directly to Victoria, B.C. at the southern end of Vancouver Island and there's also one or more that does the route back and forth from Victoria to Seattle.

The drive was uneventful except I was astonished by a strange phenomenon that I hadn't encountered before. The 2 hour drive took you from dry to spattering, to raining, to pouring or pelting down to torrential sometimes all in just a few minutes and then repeated in a different order off and on all the way. But what really struck me as unusual was that other cars on the highway appeared to be enveloped in clouds as they drove along, lol, but it really did look strange seeing all the white puffs speeding along. The cause appeared to be the way the water was churned up by the tires making a thick mist around them. Maybe it happens here too and I haven't noticed that as I rarely drive on a 120km highway on my travels near home and the rain doesn't do that where I drive or at least to that degree as well as the fact that there's a lot more traffic around here. In any case it was a memorable experience and when I arrived in Courtenay it was a beautiful sunny day. Four days later the drive back to Duke Point was in exactly the same scenario and I found it to be very unusual but probably commonplace to those who live there although my niece didn't know what I was talking about. Wish I could have snapped some pics but I was driving and frankly it was sort of unnerving.

I had a nice visit for a few days with my Godaughter/niece and her cat Mickey. We shopped and talked and looked at old family pictures and ate out every night with deserts and Starbucks and got all caught up with our lives. It was a very nice break and I enjoyed my visit and hope to make the trip more often, preferably in the summertime!
Leaving the Tsawassen Ferry Terminal

 Passing another ferry probably heading to Victoria
 Nanaimo, B.C.

 The captain announced a pod of Orcas was visible so lots of people ran to find a good viewing spot. They breeched several times and it takes your breath away when you see them but I only caught a tiny speck in the ocean on my camera.

On my way back now and this is Roberts Bank, aka Delta Port. This is where my hubby used to work. It has expanded a lot since he retired and while they still load coal destined for China the container business is the larger business now.

 I looked carefully hoping to see the resident Orca "Westshore Willy" who lives and plays in the area here around Roberts Bank. He has lived here alone for many years and become very tame over the years. He likes to come up close to the workers to show off the big fishes he catches sometimes. Many of the workers there have actually been able to pet him and he is very friendly and gentle.

My view of another ferry as I sat in my car waiting to drive off.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March lunch with Jen, Hailey and Emily

I met my granddaughter Jennifer and my two beautiful granddaughters Hailey and Emily for lunch and were seated in our regular booth at Boston Pizza. They were happy to be home after spending some leisure time in Mexico where Hailey fell in love with Michael Jackson!

The hotel had a live show each evening and one night it was a show with impersonators of famous singers and that's when Hailey first noticed MJ and she fell in love him upon first sight. I don't blame her; he was an awesome entertainer! She will learn eventually that that wasn't really him.

Jen had a an awesome time with her little family and it was a well deserved vacation.


Hailey is quite the artist at age 4. When I complimented her on her colour choices she said "thanks; that's my formula"....... I really do think blue was the best choice for the octopus given that she had only 3 crayons. She then signed it again and it was a better cleaner signature than the first time around but I forgot to get a picture of it, bad g-grandma!

Eventually they started getting tired of visiting and eating and there's not much for kids to do or even to watch on the house tv's as it was all sports. Hailey however, is a very sporty girl and will start playing on a soccer team next week.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Lunch with Jen, Hailey and Emily

It was a miserable cold, windy, dark, rainy day outside but we had a nice warm visit in the very busy but cozy Boston Pizza. Emily has grown so much and is now walking. Hailey has given up gymnastics but still loves her dance lessons just as her mom did. Santa had paid them a visit and Hailey was doing awesome things with her new computer while Emily enjoyed her little fairy tale character dolls and animals and they both did a little colouring on the pages provided by the restaurant. Hailey ordered chicken strips and fries for her lunch and ice cream for desert as she always does while Emily ate Cheerios and other little snacks provided by her mommy. They're all looking forward to their holiday in Mexico during spring break.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A storm, a tree and a greenhouse meet

Last Friday a storm passed though the Vancouver area; we had been warned for days before hand. It didn't seem like that big of a deal: a little rain, a howling wind and then quiet and i thought it was over. Then sudden strong gusts started and that's the part we were not used to but still didn't seem that bad although we could hear sirens and a lot of traffic including a bus driving up our street. We knew obviously that something had gone down to create a detour. About 3:15 p.m.  i heard a big thump and something was smashed. I looked out to our neighbours yard first and seeing nothing wrong there i looked to our own yard and there it was; a tree was laying there and the bugger had smashed the corner of my greenhouse.


This cute little hardy cyclamen survived nearby but just look at the tree! Doesn't it look like a beaver did that, lol! We hadn't noticed anything wrong with that tree as there's several trees around  it and being well into autumn now a lot of the scenery is naturally drab looking. Well, a lot of trees went down in the lower mainland onto houses and cars and a young boy was killed as he walked in a park with earbuds on listening to music when a tree fell on him. Many homes lost their power but fortunately we didn't. That thump signaled the end of the storm for us and soon afterwards all was quiet and still.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Willy sighting!

My $20.bill has been sighted once again, 6 years after leaving my hands at a lottery ticket kiosk in the mall. I often thought about it and always look for a new one to come into my hands but no more ever did. I received notification of it's whereabouts today. The last finder had written that it was worn out a year ago when sighted in Calgary, Alberta but it continued to travel and see the sights all the way back to Quebec where it started this leg of it's journey. I'm sure it has been to many places not listed and probably bought lots of things along the way. It was nice to hear this and I hope to hear more of it's travels but chances are that this will be the last I hear of my casino win back in 2010.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lunch with Jen, Hailey and Emily

We met at our usual lunch spot and were lead to our usual booth at the end. Jennifer has lost all the baby fat and she trained and recently ran a half marathon as well. This is a very busy and energetic family although I can't say they got any of that from me.

Hailey takes dance lessons and gymnastics and plays soccer too.

Emily is such a happy, easy-going little girl
and Hailey still loves lemons but I kinda think this one was a little tart. I also eat lots of lemons and maybe she got this from me
Emily prefers peaches
Aren't they the cutest granddaughter and little great grandchildren ever?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December lunch with Jen, Hailey and Emily

Can you believe it; Emily is 5 months old and look at how big she has grown! Hailey has grown as well and she is 3 already! Both girls are healthy, easy going and very happy. Hailey has seen Santa 5 times already this month; she likes him and isn't scared of him anymore. When I asked her what she asked Santa for she replied "an Elsa dress" I mistaken.....I think that's what she asked for and got last year but that's ok, it's the magic of DVD's that keeps the wonder alive for little girls. Hailey is also interested in Cinderella this year and that's due to the movie that has real actors this time around.

Merry Christmas Jennifer, Hailey and Emily

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sept 28, going home

Well, the first leg from New York to Toronto went well and time passed very quickly. The time spent in the airport wasn't bad either, we shopped jewelry and had a nice big breakfast and then it was time to take off for the last time.
Now i'm looking down at some amazing Canada and can't figure out where it is or even what Province it is that i'm flying over. It appears flat which makes me think it's Saskatchewan and there's tons of lakes, big ones and all sizes and straight roads for long distances....but it could be Manitoba as it seems too soon to be seeing Saskatchewan already. Some of the lakes look to be frozen while others are merely rimmed with the white stuff. Already? I think we're quite a bit more north than i thought but there's big squares and rectangles of land with lots of huge square, round and rectangular water reservoirs and there's sparkling cities and towns sprinkled here and there and everywhere. Canada is awesome!

Maybe we're over Alberta now, wish there was a way to know but this plane doesn't show a map. Ok, as it's now an hour and a halfs time until we get to Vancouver and i see we're now over the foothills and approaching the Canadian Rockies. I think in a little while we'll be over them and then i'll get my bearings.
Well, as it turned out we approached the lower mainland via a different more north/westerly direction than usual.  We were almost over Vancouver before i recognised the terrain. It looked so beautiful sparkling there in the sunshine with all the ships out in the bay and it was a welcome sight after being gone for almost a month.
It's been an awesome trip but now it's good to be home!

Thanks for reading about my trip and if you ever get the chance do take a cruise on the Regal Princess that ends in New York. It doesn't get any better than that!  Life is short; take the recommendation.

                                                   I didn't know rivers were so curly
                                                           I wonder where this is

                                                          Starting to look familiar?
                                             idea where this is
                                                 Ok I got this one! Port Mann bridge

                                                             Green Timbers, Surrey?
                                        Pattullo Bridge and Skytrain Bridge over the Fraser

                                                       Central Park, Burnaby, B.C.

Home safe..........what a fabulous trip! Thanks for sticking around.....

until I cruise again....