Prince Charming Is That You?

Frog

It was a rainy day and on the walk in Buttertub Marsh we saw a frog. I had seen one earlier but it had jumped out in front of me and scared the beejezus out of me.

I in turn squealed and jumped startling everybody I was with.

Cute little guy, he just stood still, watching us walk by. He patiently posing for the picture and waited for us to leave him alone. I wonder if one of us had kissed him if he would have turned into Prince Charming? I’m not yet ready to take that chance.

One of the ladies in the group had recently joined Plenty of Fish, the dating site. Now we get stories of what she’s finding online. So far kissing the frog sounds like a better bet but one of the other ladies did meet her husband online. I have seen too many true crime shows to date online. In my little head that just never turns out well.

There were also a ton of slugs out on the trail, I always think they are dog poop (even though dogs aren’t allowed on the trail) until I look a little closer. I would take a picture but I’m always to busy going “Ewwww….” to remember. Long gooey, slimy looking things ranging in colour from brown to olive green and some surprisingly large.

So today I learnt that the rain, while it keeps some of the other critters away, brings out the frogs and slugs.

Snake In A Tree

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I’ve been going for walks in Nanaimo with my friend Anne-Marie and a group of ladies that meet to do the loop around Buttertub Marsh. It’s a lovely walk and often we see birds, sometimes a rabbit, there is an orange tabby that shows up every now and then but I did not expect to see the above snake in a tree. Actually if you look closely you can see that it is two snakes in a tree.

Do snakes climb trees? I guess they do. I’ve heard lots of theories on how the snakes got there and opinions on what kinds of snakes they are. I don’t know the answer to either but I’m now taking tree climbing off my list of things to do in Nanaimo.

After a quick google search turns out it’s the common garter snake but there were also pictures of the other snakes found in and around the Nanaimo area. WTF where have I moved? There are several snakes in the area, hopefully the garter snake will be my only encounter. Also if you try to grab it apparently it will release a mixture of musk and feces and fight to get away. If that doesn’t work it will attack and bite you.

Yuck and yikes.

All I wanted was a picture and then we left the two snakes to carry on with whatever they were doing……

Hansel and Gretel Candy Shop

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he last stop in Chemainus was the Hansel and Gretel Candy Shop which reminded me of the candy store in Banff, AB that we always stopped at when we did a trip to the mountains as a family in my younger years. Actually I still always stop at the candy store if I go to Banff.

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Hansel and Gretal has a huge selection of alls sorts of candy, whatever you’re looking for they probably have it.

The ones that made me laugh and I had to get some were the Bonbons!

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They come in an adorable little box and I’ve always believed I should be a lady of leisure, eating bonbons in bed. Now tomorrow morning I will be. They come in many flavours, I really liked the blue raspberry and the cherry. The toffee and chocolate were good as well, actually all the flavours were really good!

Also got some gum balls in wild cherry and root beer flavours. I love anything root beer and the gum balls were very fresh and soft. It’s always disappointing to get old gum balls that are hard and very hard on the teeth. These were not like that at all and the flavour lasted for quite awhile.

After the candy shop we got a screemer from the ice cream store out back, they layer slushy with soft ice-cream. Very tasty!

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Charming Chemainus

The next stop was Chemainus, a charming town know for it’s murals:

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It seems that every shop has a mural in Chemainus, including the Post Office:

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Then we stopped at the beach:

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Love this guy:

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It was a beautiful sunny day. Watching the families play and looking out at the bay it was a nice stop to sit and just soak up the sun. Also to have a lovely conversation with my friend who had moved to the area a few years before. It was a similar story to mine and he loved the change in lifestyle, the pace, the weather, the diversity of things to do in the area. He was a wonderful guide for the day, filling me in on things to do, some history and interesting tid bits about the area.

Thank you Rob!

It’s also a reminder that if you are going somewhere, to visit or to live and you know somebody there contact them! There was a time when I wouldn’t have felt that I knew Rob well enough to bother him but if travel has taught me anything it is if you know somebody reach out and say hello. Nine times out of ten they will be happy to see you and show you around, people are generally pretty awesome and if you don’t know them well it’s an opportunity to get to know them better!

Also in Chemainus there was a car show with some pretty awesome vintage cars:

 

 

 

 

 

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And Skulls! (I thought they were very cool…..)

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Next stop was The Old Town Bakery!

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The Old Town Bakery in Ladysmith, B.C. has so many good things that it was hard to decide what to get.

The cinnamon buns were a must, I chose a chocolate pecan one and a basic cinnamon with slivered almonds both exceeded my expectations and were so good!

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I also chose a strawberry tart that had my name all over it:

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I rounded out my order with peanut butter cookies, some buns and a mental image of the treats I was leaving behind. They have peanut butter cup cookies! A large peanut butter cookie with a whole Reese’s Peanut Buttercup in the centre, next time I’m definitely getting one!

My first visit to The Old Town Bakery will not be my last!

Yellow Point Cranberries

Cranberries

Just outside Nanaimo there is a Cranberry Farm but this next series of posts wasn’t suppose to start with the Cranberry Farm.

It should have started with pictures of The Crow and Gate pub that is just outside Nanaimo. It’s a beautiful little pub, with really good food (I had the crab cakes) and a lovely garden that you can roam around in after you eat.

I took pictures but with the sunny day I couldn’t see the screen on the back of my camera very well and missed the camera telling me there was no memory card. When I realized this at the Cranberry farm I took this as a reminder that I am quite often a walking gong show. Now I will have to go back to The Crow and Gate pub which I am not sad about at all, I am disappointed that I don’t have the photos I did take.

Once I got the memory card in and remembered to take the lens cap off my day of picture taking started at the cranberry farm. They are in the early stages, won’t be harvested until September or so. I’d like to go back for that to see how they do it.

There is also a gift shop that has all sorts of cranberry treats like cranberry jellies and cranberry honey which I really want to try.

The cranberry farm:

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Buttertub Marsh

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What a great name for such a beautiful little area. It is found¬†just off Jingle Pot Road, I feel like I’m living in a Beatrix Potter story. Buttertub Marsh is a bird sanctuary within the city of Nanaimo. No dogs or bicycles are allowed on the 2km trail that circles the marsh. It is home to a wide variety of birds and often we see a bird watcher or photographer set up on one of the observation decks.

A friend that lives in Nanaimo meets up with a group of ladies to do the loop around the marsh everyday and happily I was invited along. It’s a wonderful walk and there are so many birds, flowers and other creatures to see.

Like this guy:

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I’ve also seen rabbits and ducks and other small birds that I can’t identify by name. There are lots of beautiful flowers as well. It’s a wonderful way to wind down at the end of the day. An easy 2km stroll to ease into the evening.

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Nanaimo!

Frank Ney

It’s been awhile since I posted anything here and there have been lots of changes.

Basically I broke my life, on purpose. I sold a bunch of stuff, packed up and moved from Calgary, Alberta to Nanaimo, BC. Life had become stagnant in Calgary, I felt I needed a change but didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’m still not sure I have an actual plan but I’ve landed in the beautiful city of Nanaimo and so far it’s been great.

I’ve found a wonderful little apartment that is close to everything I need, there is a lovely walk I do every day along the water and have seen this little guy several times. At least I think it’s the same one that I’ve been seeing. He’s always in the same spot and seems to like to say “Hello”.

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I figure with the wonderful calm, fresh air and a new start a plan will come together. Change is stressful but through this whole transition I’ve been surprisingly calm, especially since I’m prone to being an anxious person. The calm either signifies that I’ve made the right choice, am on the right path or that I’ve lost my mind an the big freak out is coming.

I don’t think the freak out is coming but I will need to come up with a plan for what I will do next. In the mean time I have been getting to know Nanaimo, reconnecting with old friends and settling into my new life.

The photo at the top is a statue of Frank Ney, he was once the mayor of Nanaimo. Apparently he was a bit of a nutter, played a part in creating the bathtub (yes bathtub) races that take place every year and also allowing his children to play a part in naming some of the roads. This explains Jingle Pot Road and few others.

So far Nanaimo has been welcoming and lovely, it feels like the right spot to be for now.