The next stop was Chemainus, a charming town know for it’s murals:
It seems that every shop has a mural in Chemainus, including the Post Office:
Then we stopped at the beach:
Love this guy:
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:
And Skulls! (I thought they were very cool…..)
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!
I also chose a strawberry tart that had my name all over it:
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!
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:
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:
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.
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”.
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.
When I arrived in Tijuana for my Taco and Tequila tour I was greeted by a big smile from LUE. He is a shepherd – greyhound cross and has one of the sweetest temperaments I have ever seen in a dog. So well behaved and he followed me everywhere. Having lost my own dog last year seeing LUE was just what I needed along with the sun and seeing my good friend again. LUE also slept with me every night and I enjoyed the company.
You hear so many stories about Tijuana but where we were is so nice. It’s just a suburb with people living their lives in a beautiful location. Their place is right on the ocean and there is a pool area to lounge in over looking the ocean. I could sit out there with my buddy LUE for days (and I did). Just listening to the ocean talking and laughing with the neighbours and feeling so welcome. It’s amazing that I returned home. To go outside without eight layers on was such a welcome change.
It was the perfect break to debate the next step in my life, sometimes you need to step out of your everyday life to figure things out. While I don’t have all the details worked out the sun and fun in Tijuana certainly helped.
I haven’t posted in awhile and I feel it’s time to get back at it.
I’ve been working but my six month term ends the end of this week. Now I’m back to what next? This has really been what’s taken over my thoughts for the last few months of the year. The good news is that I have choices, there are several paths I could take but which one?
I could sell everything and travel. Awesome! How awesome would that be? The problem is what comes after the money runs out? I feel I need a better plan. There is also the possibility of moving somewhere warmer and avoiding another Calgary winter, very appealing but where? What do I do when I get there? I could even go back to school but for what?
I have possibilities flying around in my head and am now resigned to just getting through the next week. Then I am going to visit a friend in Mexico! There I can step back from my life and take a look at it. I find that often when we’re living in the familiar, everyday routine, it’s hard to get the big picture. Going to Mexico for a week I am hoping for a revelation or a good dose of common sense. Either way we hope to come home with a more concrete plan.
Life is full of possibilities and keeping an eye out for opportunity. In the next few weeks that is what I will be doing. Thinking of possibilities and looking for opportunities, who knows what could pop up when actually paying attention and not just walking along grumbling about the weather.
Change, even good change is stressful and thinking of making a big change is scary but what is the alternative? I’m not so sure I like the status quo and if I don’t make a leap now then I probably won’t. The plan now is to instigate change but also to know what I’m leaping towards. That is the answer I’m hoping to find. Perhaps the universe will throw me a bone and give me a clue as to the path I should take.
Just a photo of the water falling. It is one of my favourite photo’s from an amazing trip. The is just the fall part of Dettifoss, it kind of gives you an idea of the power of the fall. It is by volume the largest in Europe.