Saturday, February 2, 2013

Canadian VayCay, Day Two: Waterfalls & Artwork

Sorry for the delay—I had three 12-hour work days in a row and got a bit behind on my storytelling.  No worries: and we continue!

So we wake up in North Vancouver, thinking about going to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.  But it’s about $32/person.  To walk through a park.  Granted, yes, they have a “cliff walk” that just looks insane…

…but $32 is still $32… especially when you’re from the US and you’re in Canada (ba-dum CHING!  Ahh, yes, currency jokes rule.  Hooray for our currently hideous exchange rate…)  and there’s a perfectly good park just a few miles down the road FOR FREE.

So we hit up Lynn Canyon Park instead.  Loads of trails, several suspension bridges, and a cute lil’ ecology centre.  And tons of beautiful waterfalls.  There were a lot of early morning runners there, and I can totally see why.  If I lived here, this would be the perfect place to start your day.



We even got to see Sasquatch….sorta.

PS—If you didn’t already know, I’m a sucker for hilarious signage:


Maybe if these folks were a little more flexible, they wouldn’t have fallen…and seriously lady—climbing in a dress?  You’re just asking for trouble.

After we got our morning hike in, we headed to the next locale on my Canadian Bucket List: Tim Hortons.

Photo Jan 17, 1 02 20 PM

Timbits (aka, donut holes) and a Café Mocha – life is good!

In case you’re not a hockey fanatic, Tim Horton played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for about 20 years, along with a few other US teams.  He & a partner opened the coffee & donut chain in 1964.  Ten years later, Horton died tragically in a car accident, but his memory lives on every day, across Canada and the extreme north US, with over 3600 locations.

After we got our coffee & donut fix, we headed over to Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry to Vancouver Island.

Now—if you’re considering a trip to Vancouver, I HIGHLY recommend making the jaunt across the Bay to the island.  HOWEVER—you need to factor in the cost.  We didn’t look up the ferry fees before we got to town, so when we finally looked up the fee schedule online, we got a little bit of sticker shock.  The ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo costs about CAN$80 for two people and a car.  EACH WAY.  Fees differ depending on what part of the island, or what part of Vancouver, you depart from.  We wanted to go visit friends in Comox on the island, so Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo was the closest route for our trip.  And if you don’t need to take your car with you, the cost is considerably lower.

There’s a bit of wait to get on the ferry, but no worries—they provide free wifi in the line-up queue.  Since we couldn’t use our phones or data plans while on our trip, we were pretty stoked about just HOW MANY free wifi hot spots we were able to find.

Finally—we board the ferry, park our car, head up to the passenger area…and we’re off!

Photo Jan 17, 2 32 54 PM

It was SUCH a beautiful clear day.  We got amazing views of Vancouver and the islands around us.  It’s about a 2 hour ride, so when we weren’t staring out the windows, we watched a movie on our laptop.  There’s also a food court on board, if you want a snack or lunch.


After we disembarked in Nanaimo, we began our drive up the coast to Comox.  The road signs promised us we should watch out for deer and elk…so we did.  And saw NONE.  Thanks a lot, Island. Way to overpromise & under-deliver on the wildlife front.

Around 4pm we rolled into Comox to meet up with my friends Nico & Naomi:

Naomi & Nico teWinkel

Nico’s a computer-aficionado/app developer, and Naomi is an amazing artist/web designer.  I’ve known these kids for about a decade, and they are just some of the greatest peeps on the planet.  Naomi & Nico took us for a delicious dinner at Atlas Café in Courtenay.  We had some amazing, garlicky hummus & pita, and the Hubs & I shared the Pork Schnitzel Cordon Bleu, because it sounded like all kinds of bad-for-you rolled into one.  Totally delicious.


Afterward we went back to Naomi’s art gallery and she gave me free reign to pick out some “souvenirs”.  I was like a kid in a candy store!  Naomi’s art is bright and fun and very Dr. Seussian.  She also recently started making Mullies: super-adorbs handmade stuffed “monsters” that you wouldn’t mind finding in your closet.  They’re all unique and come with their own name.  Masher got to come home with me, along with a print of one of my very-favorite paintings, and a card that reminded us of Rocky.


If you haven’t yet, you should go check out her online gallery.  She does such amazing work, and even makes custom paintings.

We finally took our leave from our friends, and headed to our hotel in Courtenay, the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa.  It was a little late when we checked in, so we didn’t get to explore, just went to our room & crashed.  But you’ll get to see more of this gorgeous beachfront resort tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Funny ... I don't mind the exchange rate at all right now! But the ferry is ridiculous. My MIL lives in Courtenay and we've been there many times - I've even had lunch at the Atlas! And my SIL got married at the Kingfisher. Small world!