Tag Archives: Explore BC

Fernie Mom : My Fernie Lifestyle Illustration Poster

I decided to create a little poster graphic of the Fernie that I know and love. I call it To Fernie, With Love. It’s about raising my kids in a town that is full of adventure, exploration and nature. What do you love about Fernie?

To Fernie, With Love by Brina Schenk - raising a family in Fernie BC Canada

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Birthday Weekend At Loon Lake

There’s nothing like celebrating a birthday with amazing friends, camping at a local lake. The “local” part is important because we ended up camping with about fifteen extra Fernie families, on top of our group of 5 families, and the kids came home with their cups full and passed out for 13 hours. Everyone left the campground happy, even my husband who had to go to the hospital for 5 stitches on his finger.

Camping is one of the only ways I can completely relax and let go. My phone was off for four days and that felt amazing. The kids were busy and happy with new and old friends. The lake was glassy smooth and clear and the campfire roared for hours each night. Life is truly good.

Fernie On Instagram : Night Owls

Fernie’s Ice Rink At The Courthouse

Explore BC : Part 3 : Victoria & The Island

explore bc - road trip - vancouver to vancouver island

Part 1: Fernie to Surrey
Part 2: Vancouver

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.

explore bc - Victoria, BC - Taking the wrong ferry to Nanaimo

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.

explore bc - victoria beekeepers explore bc - Victoria, BC - Chickens

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.

explore bc - Victoria, BC - Peacock in Beacon Hill Park Explore BC - Family Road Trip - Bug Zoo in Victoria BC explore bc - victoria bc - bug zoo

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…

Explore BC - Beaver Lake Victora, BC explore bc - fairmont empress bee observatory Explore BC - Nap Time on a Road Trip explore bc - Victoria, BC - Rebar

Explore BC : Part 1 : From Fernie To Surrey

explore bc - fernie to surrey roadtrip with the familyexplore bc - different weather systems

Our family decided to forgo any vacations involving planes as a form of transportation this year and, instead, go on a tour of British Columbia by car. Not all of BC, of course, but a few key spots where we have friends and other fun attractions for the kids to enjoy. The idea of traveling with two young children seemed like a bad idea but with low expectations, we hit the road.

We left Fernie at around noon on May 30th and tried to do a few hours without stopping right off the bat. It wasn’t hard to do since the weather got cool and wet at about Cranbrook and it hit us really hard. With clouds above us and a fairly open road ahead of us, we just kept on going. Because we are traveling with a 1 (almost 2) and a 3 year old, I thought I’d tell you what we did to keep the smiles on their faces, which was the most exhausting part of the whole trip.

In our “fun car bag” we brought toys from home, a couple cheap toy fans from Extra Foods cheap bin, some new toys, stickers and books. There was talk of a portable DVD player but that didn’t happen, although, I think it would have helped.

Our first stop was Christina Lake. By the time we got close to Christina Lake, ears were popping and we didn’t know how to teach a three year old how to fix her ears. How do you teach that?! It was time for a run around! Christina Lake has a huge, beautiful beach. We tried eating picnic style on the beach but the kids were way too busy with the water and sand, to eat anything. But the second we got back in the car, guess who was really hungry…FUN! PJs on and ready for a few more hours with sleeping children we got on the highway again and 10 minutes later we drove straight into a severe hail storm. Slow u-turn and a nerve wracking crawl back to Christina Lake, we checked into a motel but not without getting completely drenched. So much for getting ahead. It ended up being just fine. We got up the next day and carried on to Osoyoos.

explore bc - road trip - christina lake explore bc - road trip - hail storm - christina lake

Before we got to Osoyoos, we needed a strong cup of coffee. Let me tell you how little there is going across British Columbia. Very little. Imagine my surprise when we drove through Greenwood, a town that might still be living in 1955, and spotted a little place called Copper Eagle Cafe. I wanted to hug it.

explore bc road trip greenwood bc - copper eagle cafe

Osoyoos. What a great place to take the kids. I was tempted to stay in Osoyoos for two weeks but the rest of our trip to the coast sounded too good to give up on. Our kids are happy enough on a beach throwing rocks into the water, and we did do that, but we also found Rattlesnake Canyon, an amusement park that our kids were too small to really enjoy. We ended up doing the bumper boats and Roman cried almost the entire time. They loved just running around the park, which you can do for free, but we’ll try again in 5 years.

explore bc - road trip - driving into osoyoos explore bc - road trip - osoyoos bc beach explore bc - road trip - rattle snake canyon explore bc - mountains and roads - road trip

Back on the road with some not too excited children so the toy fans came out. They were great for a little while and then, of course, they turn into weapons. Children. Not fast enough, we got to Surrey and went directly to a park just off highway 1 so we could all stretch our legs and go for a walk. The park is called Tynehead Regional Park and if you had a dog, this would be a prime place to take your pet if you’re driving to Vancouver because they not only encourage dogs in the park but also have a large off-leash area. Plus, the whole park is beautiful, which I wasn’t expecting in Surrey. The kids loved walking across the highway on the pedestrian bridge and walking through the many trails in the forests and meadows. We stayed at a friend’s place that night in Surrey and then drove to the big city of Vancouver. That story comes next.

explore bc - road trip - surrey pedestrian bridge

Explore BC : Part 2 : Vancouver

Follow Saving Knots/Small Town Social on Instagram and see more pictures from our adventures.