Finally, My August Vacation

With all of us needing a break, we booked a trip to Sidney — no, not that one! In the time of COVID, we’ve gone to Sidney, British Columbia, near Victoria on Vancouver Island. My younger son has only a couple of days between semesters, but has been able to join his classes remotely, and my older son (who lives on his own) unexpectedly decided to come along. Needing three bedrooms, we went the house-rental route, allowing us to cook or barbecue onsite as well.

But the night before the journey, we had a nice dinner out to celebrate my younger son’s 19th birthday! (He shares with The Armitage, but I try not to mention that!) Lovely view and the food was amazing. Steelhead trout, not salmon, the latter of which I’m not a big fan of, plus prawns and scallops.

The next day, we boarded the ferry for Vancouver Island. They’ve changed the transportation regulations for COVID so that you can remain in your car below deck if you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that you would drown if the boat sank, so we opted to go on deck. Lots of space…

The house we rented is a great home-base, although not quite as advertised. The photos were taken to make all the spaces look bigger — I shouldn’t be surprised I guess. We did the same thing when we sold our last house. In any case, I find the place homey — while my older son finds it old folks’ homey! I said, “Well, I like it.” His response: “That kind of proves my point!” All in good fun, of course.

The ocean is right across the very busy highway. It’s an inlet, actually, so it looks almost like a lake, with no waves. The shoreline and into the water is a bit rocky, so not really swimmable, but the Canada geese seem to love floating on its stillness. You can hear them honking through the night. (Don’t they ever sleep?)

We went to the local aquarium, which highlights the smaller species along the Salish Coast. They also have an octopus, which was in constant motion when we were there. (That fish looks really puzzled as to why I’m taking his picture!)

We also took a walk on the nearby peer, where there were several crabbers using cages that they drop down into the water and then haul up again. (The seagull seems to have noticed my paparazzi tendencies as well!)

What vacation is complete without a few tastings? I’m not a big cider person, but my husband likes it, so we went to a local cidery for sampling and snacks. I was pleasantly surprised and quite enjoyed the different flavours. I thought that they all had to taste like apple juice, which I despise! But there were some nice dry ciders, as well as one with cinnamon that I could imagine having hot. The rum mix was not to my taste, though. Brought back too many unpleasant memories of teenage misjudgments.

Tasting rooms are limited due to COVID, but I tracked down a craft beer brewery and single-malt Scotch distillery, and my older son and my husband found this to be right up their alley. As I was the driver and am not a huge beer-drinker, I sipped on the lighter-coloured beers and found myself savouring the flavour of both the white stout and the strawberry daiquiri sour.

Earlier in the day, we had done a high tea at a local coffee shop. (Well, really it was elevenses, done in the style of high tea.) Nearby Victoria is very British influenced, being famous not only for high tea, but also for its very confusing traffic circles. Yesterday, on the way back from the brewery/distillery, I had to navigate four of them!

In any event, the high tea was my pick, but my husband opted out, finding the idea too frou-frou. My kids were into trying a new experience, though, and we ate up all the delicacies, including the cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I was especially thrilled that the tea was served in the Royal Albert china pattern that my mum had used on special occasions! I felt like she might have been there with us in spirit.

We are now around halfway through our vacation, combining excursions with relaxation time. The guys have gone on a hike up Mount Douglas. I’m not quite as able-bodied as they are at this point (still going to physio), so here I am back at home-base with a bit of time to myself to blog! Somehow, such times are few and far between, which seems to mean that I only blog when I’m travelling! Thanks for sticking with me, even through my travel-blog phase.

32 thoughts on “Finally, My August Vacation

  1. Came here through the reader, Sue, so it still works for me. However, sometimes the reader lags a bit, and I actually refresh the site everytime I want to check whether there are new posts.
    What a gorgeous holiday spot. That house looks lovely – and the view is amazing! The food looked great, too – I love afternoon tea, but it’s quite a pricey luxury here so I do it rarely.
    Speaking of luxury- so precious to have the two grownup sons with you. It must have been wonderful, a bit like old times? Keep enjoying the rest of your vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently it was a weird glitch the WordPress helper hadn’t seen before. Once they reran my feed from their end it appeared finally in the Reader feed.
      It is actually beautiful here. I’m sitting looking out at the water now. It’s only around 20 Celsius (68F), but sunny. Better that it’s not hot, as we would be missing having air conditioning.
      The tea was a really good deal. Eating at the Empress, which is the famous place, would have cost us more than 8 times what this one cost! And we were just as happy with the coffee shop atmosphere.
      It is very nice having both the “boys” with us. A bit strange, though, as it changes the family dynamics from what we have grown used to with just 3 of us. We suggested the older one bring his truck, so that he has a bit of the freedom he is used to.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue
    Wow where to start! That house is fabulous!! The design is fabulous!
    Great sky pic as always!! (If that becomes one if your trademarks much appreciated by this reader 🤗❤️❤️)
    Trevor came along too.
    The aquArium pictures are magical that color scheme !!
    I’m a scotch girl and the high tea looked great too
    I loved high tea in London last year and in Edinburg in February
    Thank you for sharing your first half of your vacation here. I won’t be travelling anymore this year so I’ll lived vicariously through your blog !!
    Did The Dog come along too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The house is pretty cool looking from the outside. And I like that there is so much wood on the inside too. Smells a bit like a sauna when the weather heats up. No dogs allowed unfortunately, so he’s in a kennel for the week.

      My older son has become a Castlevania fan, and when he saw Trevor in the guest room at home, he asked, “Mum… why are you keeping Trevor in a box?” So, I had to let him out and bring him along.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. I’ll try to post again before I have to go back to the real world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The house looks like a celebrity MTV crib house !! 😂😂
        I love all your activities the high tea, the wine and cheese, beer and scotch just seems a well rounded foodie vacation surely much needed with breath taking views and your family around you !! ❤️❤️❤️🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  3. looks wonderful and i am absolutely jealous! lol
    it’s funny how some men think of afternoon tea as ‘frou frou’, whenever i’ve had it(which is quite a few times over the past few years!) i find i am absolutely stuffed and usually don’t want dinner that evening! There used to be a wonderful place not far from Chesptow in a house called Wyndcliff which is built in the arts and crafts style and they had a sculpture garden and did afternoon teas-and they were simply the most sublime afternoon teas. Though the one Michele and I had in Edinburgh at the library really was stunning and a bit different.
    And tea always tastes better from a bone china cup!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this is beautiful and looks like so much fun!!! I want to do something like this with Spawn, but between Covid and the fact my paycheck will take a hit if I don’t come up with something… no excursions for us anytime soon! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is very beautiful. There are at least 75 geese floating in the water across the street. Makes me think I wouldn’t want to swim in it though!

      We are very lucky that our incomes have not been affected by Covid. And hopefully we remain healthy. I hope you get your full strength back soon. Do you have medical bills to contend with too? How is Spawn’s new job going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • What’s going to affect my pay (which hasn’t been affected yet) is when I go over the 24 days I’ve been given for illness between the State and the School System. I’ve been told NOT to worry about it and just get well, but of course, I’m going to worry. I”m going to have to sit down with someone before I go back and deal with that situation. I have my tax return, which will help, but I don’t know if it will cover. I might be able to get some days from the sick bank if they have one. THere are options.

        Spawn FINALLY got a clean bill of health and he gave his paperwork to his manager yesterday, so hopefully, he’ll be back on the schedule next week or the week after next.

        I need a shower…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful looking place, thank you for sharing your photos. I’m a little envious, covid restrictions here mean no recreational travel.
    That high tea looks positively yummy. It took me a long time but I finally convinced my husband that morning tea was a good activity to partake in, so now he’s quite happy to share a Devonshire tea when we are out and about.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay, it sounds very relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Yes, we are lucky that travel within the province is allowed. The hotels and tourist businesses are happy as well. We were hoping to fly across the country to visit our families this year, but unfortunately that won’t be happening for a while.

      Somehow I don’t think I’ll convince my husband on the tea excursions, but lucky you that yours enjoys them now!


  6. Oh wow, this looks wonderful! So glad you’re getting that break! Oh man, I’d love to go to Vancouver and be at the Ocean like that one day in just such a cottage. The ‘old folks homey’ comment would completely be the kind of comment my kids would also make. 🙂 Happy belated birthday to your son!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Your trip looked wonderful as well. It is great to have a break — back at it now. One week was not really enough. As for the decor, I really prefer something comfortable over something very modern. Thank you for the birthday wishes for my son!

      Liked by 1 person

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