We wanted to explore British Columbia and we did…more than we expected. About 20 minutes into the ferry ride Rod turns to me and says, I thought we would be going south and I reassured him many times that we were going south and he reassured me many times that we were not. He was right. DARNIT. So we ended up boarding the Nanaimo ferry instead of Swartz Bay. I had a bit of a panic attack thinking we were hours and hours out of the way…but it’s a small island. We were only 1.5 hours north of where we needed to be. Phew. No big deal.
Also, I would recommend reserving a spot on a ferry as we had to wait many hours each time we took a ferry because we just missed the last sailing. Many hours. And it was hot. It’s a good thing those ferry terminals have upgraded in the last few years because there was at least food vendors and a playground for the kids to run around on.
Quickly back to the ferry ride, I thought the kids would be all over being on a boat but all they wanted to do was play in the sad looking 2′ x 2′ play area inside the ferry. Kids. They’re funny.
We stayed with some lovely friends, Karen and Werner, who I knew back from my Victoria days and I was so glad we did. They are so great. I wish we didn’t live so far away from each other. Not only were they superb hosts but they also have really cool pets…millions of them. They keep bees and chickens too! Phoenix and Roman had a hard time giving the chickens space (one even died when we were there but, hopefully, not because of a heart attack) and, surprisingly, they didn’t get stung once. I was just waiting for that scream but it never happened.
Our time anywhere on this road trip was limited so we had to make sure we got in as much fun as we could, while scheduling nap times and too tired, overwhelmed cranky times. We did pretty good though. First we hit up Beacon Hill Park just east of downtown Victoria. It’s a beautiful park with lots of fun and free places to explore. We saw lots of ducks, played in a playground with a fun water feature and then drove past a peacock. A peacock! Next we toured the Victoria Bug Zoo, a highly recommended place to take your kids. No only do they get to look at all these cool bugs but you get the chance to hold them on your hand too. Phoenix has lately been especially fond of the Praying Mantis so it was a special moment when she got to hold one.
Did you know you could buy a pod of praying mantis babies? They’re supposed to be amazing for pest control but I thought it would be weird introducing a new bug to the area. Although, before I go saying stuff like that I should be sure there aren’t praying mantis’ in the area already. I will ask someone and see if it’s a good idea because you can have them shipped to your address. I’m on it.
We did all the usual things like playing at the beach, walking along the Victoria harbour, checking out the Fairmont Empress Bee Observatory, eating hotdogs, drinking Rebar smoothies, napping in Thetis Lake on a hill because your son is still backward facing and his head slouches so low and we even did a little bike ride along the Galloping Goose Trail. We left too soon. There was still so much to do but we had to make our way up to Whistler and Pemberton…