Many years ago in this space, I wrote a column entitled “My Excellent Adventure.” Well, I have had another one (an excellent adventure that is) – just a bit different than the first. It was the first holiday I have had in 10 years.
As John Masefield penned in his famous poem, Sea Fever,
“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying”
I spent two glorious weeks on Vancouver Island for my summer vacation.
Chloe (my fur-person) and I travelled with my friend Lynn and her dog Atma.
The pooches had their own car seats and were seat belted in. They defined the word
We had a silent, unseen spirit along with us too. Lynn’s husband, Greg, passed on April
30th and we believe he watched over us, as we had absolutely no challenges.
I was the driver and Lynn was the navigator – we had a system. Lynn spent hours on the phone making reservations with BC Ferries, for the dog deck where we met many other four legged friends. (thank you Lynn!)
Our first stop was Shawnigan Lake and we spent one delightfully relaxing week with Lynn’s Sister Penny and her partner Lorne. We saw a professional play in Chemainus (Mama Mia), had a lovely supper at Mill Bay at the Marina, and saw the Kinsol Trestle Bridge as well.
But most important of all, I was introduced to Almond Tarts, made by the Island grocery store, Thrifty’s. Ohmygoodnessme, they were delicious beyond delicious. (but yet, I didn’t gain weight and if you knew how many of them I ate, you would say it was a miracle!)
I was also introduced to a wine that I actually liked. Most of them taste like vinegar to me and I’ve never quite understood the appeal. But I found mine and Lynn and I started the 4:00 o’clock wine time. Such glorious decadence and together with almond tarts – my taste buds were titillated.
Then we were off to Oyster Bay, just this side of Campbell River, where we stayed in a friends cottage situated right on the shores of the Pacific. It was a gift to the soul to wake up every morning and experience the magnificence of the ocean. At night we would see Ocean Liners gliding by all lit up. We spent hours on the beach, collecting shells, sand dollars, discovering jelly fish, being squirted by buried clams and watching our pooches frolic on the beach. We also saw a River Otter in the ocean and were warned that they do come onto the beach and will chase dogs!
It was a wonderful vacation. My body and mind healed and I was grateful to be given this opportunity to stay at both cottages. It really was an excellent adventure!
“I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over”.
Carole Fawcett is a retired counsellor, freelance writer, editor, humourist; www.wordaffair.com