Vancouver Island Diaries: Ucluelet/Tofino

“I dig my toes into the sand. The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue blanket. I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy.”

– Incubus, “Wish You Were Here”

Just this past week I was lucky enough to have reading break and a visit from my one and only, Michael, at the same time! And what an amazing time it was. Our days consisted of beautiful drives, hikes through the coastal rainforest leading down to the beach, frisbee on the beach (even in the pouring rain!), exploring Tofino, barbecued fresh seafood, much arguing between Brooke and I over Game of Life, snuggles on the couch, $20 worth of M&Ms, and the best conversation and laughter. Thanks so much Brooke, Kieren, and Michael for the lovely memories. ❤

P.S. Here is the lovely place we stayed at if you’re ever that way!

9th November, 2015 – phone camera

On day one we took our time road-tripping to get to Ucluelet, stopping for a quick hike at Englishman Falls and Cathedral Grove along the way.

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Englishman Falls

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Cathedral Grove

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10th November, 2015 – 35mm Konica Pop and phone camera

Day two, a full day in the area! First we had a quick look at the lighthouse in Ucluelet. We were interested to learn that the noise in the night was not my snoring, but the whistling buoy system that warns sailors away from the rocks. My inner Famous-Five-reading-child’s imagination was intrigued! Next we hiked to Halfmoon Bay, an aptly named crescent stretch of beach, then over the other side of the point to Florencia Bay. We lunched at Long Beach, had a beer in Tofino, then bought some fresh seafood which we later barbecued.

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Brooke and Kieren preparing lunch.
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The Lighthouse in Ucluelet, BC

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The beginning of the trail to Halfmoon Bay and Florencia Bay.
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Brooke the pirate.

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We made a friend.

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After a good round of piggy (Kieren) in the middle.

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Lunch at Long Beach

12th November, 2015 – Nikon D5000

Somehow my adventures always seem to go by so quickly! For our last day we explored Tonquin Beach, the town of Tofino, Schooner Cove, and South Beach before making the long journey home.

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The trail to Schooner Cove

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Long Beach again – this time in the sun!

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Camping Diaries: Sombrio Edition

“No more pencils, no more books,

No more dirty teacher’s looks,

Out for summer, out for fall,

We might not go back at all.”

– Alice Cooper “School’s Out”

To celebrate Easter weekend and the end of the school year a lovely group of friends and I went camping at Sombrio Beach! Even the storm and cold weather couldn’t dampen our fun… just our tents, sleeping bags, and shoes. Thanks so much everyone for such a fun weekend. Bring on Sombrio camping in September!

Day 1: 3rd April, 2015

It was a little touch and go with the van so we left the city a little later than we’d planned, but by about 4pm we were blasting a throwback mixtape and some Taylor Swift on our way to the beach! The boys had arrived a little earlier that day so had the camp site set up for us. Every time I’ve ever been to Sombrio before it’s been beautiful warm sunshine so it didn’t even register in my silly mind that it could possibly rain. But rain it did. We just built our fire up as much as possible and watched the surfers and the gorgeous angry sea that the storm was creating.

Day 2: 4th April, 2015

Emma and I were violently woken by the sound of our tarp being blown off and fat drops of rain hitting the tent. Needless to say, we were a little damp and a little cold. After snuggling deeper under our blankets for a while we finally forced ourselves up to fix it and grab more blankets from the car (thank goodness one of us thought ahead! It wasn’t me). When everyone else got up we checked out the waterfall cave and hiked the (extremely muddy) Juan de Fuca trail to a little hidden bay. Being as unprepared as we were, our firewood stash was running pretty low so a few of us made a trip into Port Renfrew. The rain held off a bit, allowing us to play frisbee, harass some beach-goers into throwing a crude ball for a crude baseball bat, fix up tents, and look for mussels. We had an AMAZING dinner of freshly gathered mussels (thanks, boys!) cooked in sea water over the campfire — in Fred’s words, “such a hunter-gatherer boner right now.” We finished the day drinking terrible boxed wine and cheap beer while singing along to Brooke’s iPod until the early hours of the morning.

The Juan de Fuca trail:

Port Renfrew and dinner:

Day 3: 5th April, 2015

This time I woke up to beautiful sunshine and blue skies! The boys were busy breaking into Corey’s car to get his keys out all morning so the girls and I went foraging for dry firewood to make hot chocolates. After packing up all the tents and things we were crazy enough to go for a dip in the freezing water! It was a great end to a wonderful trip. ❤

Thanks again for such a great weekend everyone! I hope you had as much fun as I did and that your summers are equally awesome.

Mexico Diaries: Day 5 & 6

“We’re going where the sun shines brightly

We’re going where the sea is blue

We’ve seen it in the movies

Now let’s see if it’s true.”

– Cliff Richards, Summer Holidays

11th February 2015, Cabo San Lucas, Los Cerritos

Alas, our last full day in Mexico! We had such a lovely summer holiday, and yes, Cliff Richards, the sea truly was as beautiful and blue as it is in the movies. We spent the day in Cabo San Lucas rather than staying the final night there. After the lovely relaxed atmosphere of Pescadero and Los Cerritos, the crazy din and bustle of San Lucas was a little overwhelming. Nevertheless, what kind of tourists would we be if we didn’t grab a souvenir or have a taco at Cabo Wabo!? Okay, technically we didn’t go into Cabo Wabo itself… just a place near it. But still. We did the tourist thing and did a little shopping and sightseeing, made my Papa haggle for us, then got the hell out of there so we could head back to the beach again!

P.S. Excuse the poor quality iPhone pics.

This is where I bought my beautiful blanket from.
This is where I bought my beautiful blanket from.

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Squid Roe. So punny.
Squid Roe. So punny.
Tacos and cerveza. Does it get any better??
Oh yeah, so there was one little mishap on the way back to Pescadero. We got on wayyy the wrong track and ended up heading towards nowheresville.
Headin' back to the beach.
Headin’ back to the beach.

And of course, we ended the day with Los Cerritos. I could never get sick of those beautiful sunsets.

Papa’s last wave of the day.

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12-13th February 2015, Mexico and home.

We wanted to swim in the ocean one last time so got up at sunrise and headed down to the beach. We were greeted with a beautiful sunrise. Many long hours, two flights, one over-nighter in Vancouver, a two hour ferry ride (involving me snoring with my mouth wide open), and an hour bus ride later, I finally made it home! A big thank you to my parents who helped me get there, and to Mexico for your lovely sunshine, ocean, people, and memories. Until next time!

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This so perfectly captures my feelings. Goodbye Mexico! I leave you with a tan and lovely memories.
This so perfectly captures my feelings. Goodbye Mexico! I leave you with a tan and lovely memories.

Mexico Diaries: Day 4

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alright Emerson, sounds like a plan!

10th February 2015, Los Cerritos (again)

So our fourth day was another beach day. Just swimming, surfing, and tanning from sun-up till sun-down again. If I could spend every day like this, I would be one happy beach bum.

P.S. I recommend listening to the Fat Boy Slim remix from the Blue Crush album, “Front to Back,” while viewing. So summery and so perfect, if a little old school!

My cool Mumma.
My cool Mumma.
My turn!

... and Brooke's turn
… and Brooke’s turn

After lunch and a tanning break, we were back at it. Surf, swim, tan, repeat.

Brooke looking like the surfer babe she was.
Brooke looking like the surfer babe she is.

The perfect end to a beach day, followed by homemade ceviche made with freshly caught local shrimp.

Sick of sunshine yet? More Mexico pictures to come soon!

Mexico Diaries: Day 3

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

– Susan Sontag

9th February 2015, Todos Santos and San Pedrito

As much as my Papa just wanted to spend every single second of every single minute surfing, Mum, Brooke, and I wanted to check out some more local sites, so we convinced Papa to drive us out to Todos Santos. We did all the cheesy touristy things to do there: checked out the Hotel California (which, incidentally, the Eagles never actually went to – they just wrote a song about it) and had a cerveza while listening to “Hotel California,” had an ice cream while wandering around town, and did a little shopping.

Hotel California, Todos Santos

The [tin] Eagles doing their thing for the tourists.
The [tin] Eagles doing their thing for the tourists.

So many beautiful bright colours and patterns everywhere!

After that we headed back to Pescadero to grab bikinis and lunch.

Papa then got his wish as we checked out the other nearby beach, San Pedrito.

The road to the beach is just a long dirt road alongside a farm.

Though the pictures don’t capture how big and heavy the waves are, this beach is a rough one and not for amateurs. Hence, selfies time!

And of course, while we posed Papa surfed.

Day 4 pictures coming soon! 🙂

Mexico Diaries: Day 1 & 2

“I have owed to them

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;

And passing even into my purer mind,

With tranquil restoration — feelings too

of unremembered pleasure”

-Wordsworth, Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

So, I have FINALLY gotten round to sorting out photos from my recent trip to Mexico! It was such a beautiful and warm week spent in the gorgeous little town of Pescadero, Cabo. After such a hectic school schedule and life, a little beach time and TLC was very welcome. My stay in Pescadero left me so relaxed, happy, and refreshed — not to mention, tanned. Being in the lovely sun and trying out surfing again for the first time in a while made me long to go on more adventures and try new experiences. Hopefully I will be able to write a similar post in the not too distant future about just that!

Though Cabo is well-known for its many resorts, we managed to find a place that was a little more low-key yet absolutely stunning (even more so than the resorts I would argue). Pescadero Surf Camp, which I highly recommend if you’re just looking for a cheap, relaxed place to stay, (here’s a link to their website: http://pescaderosurf.com/) was right in town, close to food and the town’s largest supermarket, and only a 5 minute drive away from the beach. There are hotels closer to the beach, however food and expenses tend to be more expensive the closer to the water you get.

So, after half a novel, let the adventure begin!

6-7th February 2015: Victoria, Vancouver, Phoenix, Mexico

Hola, Mexico! After 24 hours or so of journeying, Brooke and I made it to San Jose Del Cabo!

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There wasn’t much time to muck around there though as we all piled into the car, along with Papa’s surfboard, and headed straight out of the busy city to the surf camp. The sunset and views during the drive were absolutely gorgeous.

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We arrived at night and I was too tired to bother taking pictures in the dark so we just grabbed some cervezas then passed out in our own casitas. The next day, however, I woke up and snapped some pics of the blue sky and blazing sunshine hitting the pool. By the way, I feel immense pleasure in writing that sentence. Pools and sunshine will do that I guess.

8th February 2015, Los Cerritos

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On the right: one of the resident stray dogs at the camp, Zimba.

DSC_1920Collage2After a quick stop at Mariani’s, the town’s largest supermarket, we headed to Los Cerritos. I cannot articulate what a wonderful feeling the sound of surf and the feel of hot sun and warm ocean water is to me.

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Brooke and I tried surfing again for the first time in years! I even have photo evidence that I stood up on the board.

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We spent the entire day from sun up till sun down relaxing, surfing, tanning, and swimming. Bliss.

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My parents who are so much cooler than me.

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Day 3’s pictures to come tomorrow!