Friday 26 July 2013

Girl, Crafted Goes West: BC Trip Wrap-Up

We spent several days on the Sunshine Coast of BC, with family time being the key component but many other treats and treasures as well. We enjoyed the natural beauty of the coast; we also drove up to Lund and saw the very end of highway 101, which stretches all the way down the continent. You can see me there by the stone marker with our big white SUV. My favourite thing to take photos of was the old Victory ships at the Powell River paper mill: a line of about a dozen giant ships, circa WWII and earlier, which have been set up as a breakwater in the ocean around the mill. You can see the ships if you stop to swim at Second Beach.

Alan and I went out for a special dinner in Powell River at The Alchemist, where we filled our bellies with lobster ravioli and a seafood bouillabaisse full of lovely shellfish and scented with star anise. We also had a special moment when I stopped to take some photos and we were mobbed by a bunch of donkeys.

As we ventured back down the coast, we stopped at various towns along the map and visited galleries and artisans. I stopped in to a gallery contained in a set of yurts and bought myself an intricately handwoven scarf; and we got to see some awe-inspiring art at the Art Barn, which was by far the funkiest, most imaginative gallery space I've ever seen. And of course, we took the time in Gibson's Landing to see Molly's Reach and the Persephone, famous from the Canadian TV show The Beachcombers.


We spent the last couple days back in Vancouver, visiting Gastown for an afternoon. Gastown is Vancouver's historic district, and it's a charming place to walk through with lots of souvenir shops, art galleries, and fun eateries.

We also took a trip down Main Street to hit up Smoking Lily (a crazy cool local designer), and Rollergirl--the mecca for those of us who love quad skates and/or roller derby. We happened upon a little restaurant called The Rumpus Room, which lived up to its name with 1970s wallpaper, Jenga games, TV trays, and old coffee tables...and we were thrilled to find that the food was fabulous. The kids ate grilled cheese with bacon, Alan had a gourmet chili dog, and I had a grilled veggie sandwich that was delectable. Who doesn't love a restaurant that offers 'ants on a log' as a side dish?

Vegan pizza was found at an actual vegan pizza house!

Smoking Lily: one of my favourite Canadian brands.

And last, but not least at all, was our trip to the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. This was, by far, the most well-kempt, well-displayed, and incredible aquariums I have ever seen. Their current jellyfish exhibit blew me away; I never knew there was such a variety, nor that they could be so fascinating to watch. The belugas were mesmerizing, and the sea otters adorable. It was just big enough that we got to see everything before we were completely tuckered out.

All in all, BC welcomed us with open arms and showed us her beauty, wonder, and adventurous spirit. Every moment of the trip was breathtaking. It was a wonderful visit to reacquaint me with the land that made me, and I have vowed to return next time and make the long trek up to the tiny inland town where I was born. For this visit, however, we had our fill of journeying and headed home satiated both in spirit and body. BC is truly amazing.

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