Thursday, July 19, 2018

I'm back -- after a wonderful trip

Did you miss me?

I've never abandoned Simple Moodlings for so long. Usually, other times that I've been on vacation, I took time to pre-schedule posts for the time I was away from my loyal readers. But this time, what with kitchen renovations and too many June events, there was no way to get everything done, and  moodlings lost out. No big deal. Nobody noticed, right?

So what's been happening in the past month or so? Plenty. Lee and I went off on our own, no kids, and had a wonderful holiday. We spent almost a week near Jasper, then headed for Vancouver, the Seattle area, and Vancouver Island. Our furthest point from home was Port Alice, 1637 km (1017 miles) away, according to Google maps. It was a wonderful three weeks, but rather than tell you, I'll show you with some pictures...

Our first campsite was a short walk from this wonderful tree
overlooking the Athabasca River... my favourite sitting spot...

We visited the Athabasca Falls...

and the Athabasca Glacier on a sunny afternoon. 
It's shocking how much the glaciers are receding...
take note, climate change deniers!

Another day, we had a good hike to the far end of Jasper's Pyramid Lake...

And I fell in love with this amazing stand of poplars...

In Vancouver, we toured UBC's 
Nitobe Japanese Garden (above) and Botanical Gardens...

where the cedars were massive
and sometimes covered with equally huge climbing vines!

And the UBC rose garden had some pretty showy flowers!

Canada Day found us in Langley, BC, 
visiting with my uncle and aunt, 
going for a gorgeous walk 
and picking Saskatoon berries!
Auntie Lucy is an artist, and we visited her studio
and brought home this lovely painting for our dining room.

We drove to Issaquah, Washington, on July 2nd
to visit my longtime friend, Julie, and her family, 
and she took us for a hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge 
for some gorgeous views...

At Marymoor Park, we were entertained 
by Great Blue Herons nesting in the trees...

(but the best part of the visit was chatting with Julie into the wee hours!)

Back in Canada, we made our way to Vancouver Island
and set up camp at Goldstream Provincial Park,
which holds my favourite campground in the world
(I have a thing for big trees and shady waterfalls...)

Goldstream Provincial Park has plenty of hiking trails, 
a large picnic area, and an impressive interpretive cabin. 
It is also home to the other Niagara Falls, 
which is just a trickle compared to her sister in Ontario...

We also visited the Kinsol Trestle Bridge, 
an engineering marvel near Cowichan Lake.
It was built between 1914 and 1920, and was recently restored
to its former glory as part of the Trans-Canada trail system.
The trestles fit together like a big puzzle.

Lee's brother lives and works in Saanich, 
so we spent some time in and around the area
with Louis and his wife, Sarah, including at Butchart Gardens,
a favourite spot you may have seen in my moodlings many times!

The rose gardens were at their peak, I'd say,
and it was a very busy day (with an excellent fireworks display)!

We spent some time at the ocean near Parksville
with my best friend, Cathy -- swimming with seals 
and building silly little castles for the tide to wash away...

She also took me on a tour of Duncan, BC's many totem poles, 
and shared a lot of fascinating Salish folklore 
about thunderbirds, orcas and other creatures...

Cathy's husband, Jim, gave us his gorgeous painting of Lake Minnewanka,
which is perfect for our living room. We're just fixing up the frame.
We had no idea this vacation would be an art collector's trip!

It turns out our Edmonton neighbours, Richard and Bridget,
were also on the Island at their summer place in Port Alice,
so Lee and I decided to make an eleven hour drive 
(both ways) to see them. We weren't sorry...

Port Alice is a gorgeous place, and we really enjoyed 
our morning out on the inlet with two excellent fisher people.

Richard and Bridget spend their summers catching prawns, crabs, and local fish.

Here's Richard letting out a crab trap...

We ate a lot of rock cod in our 27 hours at Port Alice 
-- Bridget makes it taste so delicious! --
but my favourite thing was watching the eagles 
(there were three besides this one) 
taking fish right out of the water!

(Plus it was great to get to know our neighbours better!)

We caught the Duke Point ferry and stopped overnight near Merritt, BC,
then drove through the Okanagan (where we supported a local winery)...

 and drove through the always gorgeous Rogers Pass...

We drove on to Lethbridge to see Lee's parents (950 km in one day!)
Dad took us out to Coaldale to check out the farm...

and we had a good, if short, visit with both Mom and Dad.

We arrived home nearly 6000 km later and three weeks to the day we left to find that our kids held the fort pretty well while we were away. It was a wonderful holiday.

And I'm back, with more moodlings in store... just in case you missed me, heehee!

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