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.