Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Vacation

We took a few days of vacation last week, traveling to Canada (oh, Canada! How I love thee) with my brother and sister-in-law. This is the second time we've taken a summer vacation with them, and it was even more fun than the first time. We try to go for a long winter weekend with them so that the skiers can get together, but I'm not a skier, and this is the vacation to which I look forward all year long. This vacation is my favorite.

I love the beach - most any beach that is good for walking - but this place is like heaven on earth, for me. There are some fabulous places to camp, to go rustic and to stay in luxury. We aim for somewhere in the middle, with comfy rooms and fantastic food. Then we spend our days hiking, and try to burn off all of that good food.

I don't think I've taken photos of my food before. Food bloggers do it, and now I can see why. The food on this trip deserves describing: fresh halibut, all-you can eat Dungeness crab, wild Pacific salmon, tuna, skate wing, mussels, clams, a variety of salads and desserts and was a foodie's paradise.
Mussels and clams in broth with nasturtium, cilantro and potato
Salad with edible flowers
We ate all of our meals together, and the conversations were fun. At the breakfast buffet, David would load up his plates with a variety of baked goods, cereal, etc. This photo was taken just seconds after my brother said to him, "Hey, the French are calling; they're running out of croissants!"
We rented bikes for a few hours and went cruising. We got to know the bike man. We hiked coastal trails and beaches. We climbed up and down high places and saw tremendous panoramas, surging waves, sunshine and mist, sunset and morning fog. We saw old-growth trees, lichen and moss, ferns and salal that was taller than any of us.

The peace, the open spaces, the wild Pacific Ocean, the creatures, eagles, ravens - we even saw a whale in its summer feeding area! - the friendliness of the locals, the purity of the salt air...oh, it was heavenly.
Just behind us, the fog is slowly evaporating. This is where the whale surfaced several times, showing us dorsal fins and tail.
You can see the islands (behind Jim & Caroline) beginning to appear out of the mist.
This is the place to which we retreated right after Katie's Celebration of Life, five years ago. It feels like coming home, as we've been there a number of times now. It was comforting to spend the days preceding the "anniversary" with family in this haven. I felt so much gratitude to God for His creation, and for allowing us to make this trip again. It is a privilege and a joy. We also spent a day in Victoria, about which I've written before. It's a city I love and never tire of visiting.

I hope you enjoy the photos in the slideshow. (Note the "ugly laugh" one on the beach. Oprah always talked about her "ugly cry," so it's only natural that I should have an "ugly laugh" picture.)


Robin said...

Such beautiful photos! You've really whet my appetite to go there!

ChiTown Girl said...

Looks like it was a wonderful trip. I'm so happy you were able to take it, and spend time at your 'happy place' for a while.

And, sister, there is NOTHING ugly about your laugh! You are gorgeous all the time!!

Ellen said...

What a lovely place and I enjoyed your photos...where was this at? One day my family needs to escape to that place of tranquility you you rent a home or go B & ing?

karen gerstenberger said...

Ellen, this was in Ucluelet & Tofino, as well as Sooke, BC. We have stayed in a variety of inns & cottages up there, & there is camping available, as well. Lots of houses for rent, too!

Karen said...

Great summer vacay, but the slide show wasn't working and i am deeply disappointed not to see your ugly laugh! haha. Love your parents anniversary shots. They are so classy. Also love sweet Katie's memorial video, with pages out of your scrapbooks. Such a good mother to that radiant girl. August is almost over for another year, and life carries on. ((hugs))

Busy Bee Suz said...

Love all the food photos....and of course the people photos too. [I used to be able to eat that many croissants too!}
I'm so happy that you and your family get to enjoy time together doing what you love; communing with nature. And good food!!!!
I an ugly laugh, and uglier laugh and the laugh that scares my children. LOL!