10,000 Steps A Day

Rainbow Nanimo

Just before I left for Nanaimo back in July I bought myself a fitbit, a little step tracker that simply counts the number of steps you do in a day and uploads them to your computer. It’s a very easy, lazy way to keep track of how many steps you do.

In the summer and especially in a place as beautiful as Nanaimo, it was easy to get in 10,000 or more steps a day. When you can see a beautiful rainbow and walk along the waterfront it’s easy to get out.

Now I’m back in Calgary and the last few days have been snowy and cold. The good news is that I live close to a mall so I can go and walk in circles until I have my steps for the day done but it doesn’t make for a very entertaining walk. Suddenly those 10,000 steps seem more like a chore. Also it might be bad for the bank account, walking by all those sales.

When the weather is better it’s a great motivator to get out and enjoy the fresh air. It also goes well with my other hobby, photography. Armed with camera and fitbit I spent many lovely afternoons wandering around Nanaimo. When the weather improves here I’ll do the same here, I’ll miss the rainbows and sea walk but Calgary has a lot of great walks as well.

I made a New Year’s resolution to walk 10,000 steps a day. Now I’m wishing I was back in the land of rainbows when I made that resolution. The weather is suppose to warm up later this week and then I’ll be back outside where I find it much easier and much more enjoyable to get the steps done. Many of my long term goals involve hiking and in the big picture the 10,000 steps is nothing compared to what I will need to be able to do for the South West Coast Path or many of the hikes through out Europe. It’s a start though and one I plan to keep up.

If you don’t have one and want an easy way to motivate yourself, I love the fitbit. I find it motivates me to get off my ass and also to push myself to walk more. I just have the simple one that counts steps but there are also ones that track stairs and also your sleep patterns. The online support allows you to track your food and weight as well. I’ve been ever so pleased the little gadget and am curious to see how many steps/kilometres I do over the next twelve months!

In the six months I’ve had the fitbit I’ve tracked just over 900km’s and the fitbit rewards you with badges for the distances you walk. Daily badges for steps in 5,000 step intervals and also distance achievement badges, I just got one for 804km the Serengeti badge, next one is for 1,184 km and I find the badges to be a great motivator as well.

Anybody else have a fitbit? You can also connect with friends and walking groups on the fitbit site to provide even more motivation.

Vancouver Island Exhibition


I missed the Stampede in Calgary this year, which isn’t really a big loss. I grew up in Calgary and the Stampede is there every year. I will make it again and the donuts will still be in the same place, for many, many years to come.

Instead I got to go to the Vancouver Island Exhibition or VIEX!

Well, it’s much smaller than the Stampede and is set up in Beban park, comparatively to the Stampede I believe it would fit in the area where people wait to get into the Stampede. There are some rides, in fact The Monster was there. The big old yellow and black ride that spins and goes up and down? I don’t think I’ve seen it at the Stampede for years, I’m not sure I trust a ride that no longer makes the Stampede requirements.

There was also a Wild West show and a haunted house, The Hillbilly’s Revenge:


There were stables with animals, probably my favourite part of the exhibition.

Look it’s Wilbur!


An Alpaca …..
(Don’t let it spit at you, I’ve seen this happen to somebody and believe me if the Alpaca’s ears go back, move away QUICKLY! )


There were also chickens and such but I don’t really find poultry that exciting. Then there is the Home Show, this was sad. I LOVE the home show at the Roundup Centre all the cleaning gadgets, knives that slice through word AND tomatoes, the slicers and dicers, the spices and fudge, all the things you never knew you need but are now being sold as a must have. At the VIEX I believe there were about maybe twenty vendors and not a single knife or tomato in sight.

There was this though:


That’s a cremation booth giving away a bbq. Seriously………

Pipers Lagoon Hiking


After swimming at Pipers Lagoon I want for a walk.

Walking towards the end of the beach there is an area that has trails that lead to all sorts of beautiful views. It really is a wonderful place. The trails are all short and easy to follow. There is also a calmer bay on the one side that when the tide is in is a perfect place to swim in calm waters. While the tide is out you can walk across the whole bay or even see a deer:


Otherwise stick to the paths and discover lots of scenic lookout locations:

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Pipers Lagoon Swimming


As I said on Monday my plans for the weekend were changed but not all was lost! First I went to the Cedar Farmers Market and then in the afternoon we went to Pipers Lagoon.

It is so beautiful and on a hot day it was just what I wanted. We started by settling on the beach and then going for a swim. I’d been swimming a lot in the local pool, well swimming is a bit of a stretch what I do is more of a mean doggy paddle, anyway I’d forgotten how fun the ocean is to swim in. How much more buoyant you are in salt water. It was also the perfect temperature for the hot day. Cool going in but once in it was lovely.

There were quite a few people there but not enough to make it crowded.

I went with my landlady and her sister and we bobbed around, floated on our backs and chatted away in the water. It was a lovely time.

Once out of the water the fun wasn’t over, there is a walk to do as well!
Those pictures will be my next post but for now here are a few more of the beach and one of some GREEN seaweed. I don’t know why but seaweed fascinates me, probably from growing up in landlocked Alberta it’s still a novelty.

Cool shower on the way to the beach:


Stretch of beach:


Rocks at the end of the beach (I thought they looked nice):


The previously mentioned seaweed!


Lucy The Seal And Walking Along The Harbour


When I go for a walk by the sea wall I always stop on the fishing dock to see if Lucy is there. I’ve heard that is her name, she hangs out there all the time waiting for scraps from the many delighted fans she has.

After the snakes in a tree and frogs scaring the beejezus out of me Lucy makes a nice change. Also the walk along the sea wall is beautiful. It’s an easy path to walk that goes by places to get ice-cream or coffee, winds through Maffeo Sutton Park and continues past the Marina.

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There are also so many beautiful flowers to admire along the way:


See geese relaxing:


It’s a good way to start or end a day. It also tends to be a little cooler by the water on those hot days. Also you can watch the planes taking off and landing:


Also watch boats drift by, the ferry making it’s way over to Gabriola or whatever these guys are doing (the two pictures together make me laugh because I’m so mature….):

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Prince Charming Is That You?


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


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


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.


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!


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!