We got back from Nanaimo late on Friday. We followed Hwy 99 from Lillooet down to Whistler, Squamish and to the BC Ferries terminal at Horseshoe Bay, spending five hours driving up and down and all around in the shadow of the Coast Chilcotin range of the Coast Mountains.
It’s been years since I've been on Vancouver Island, but my oldest brother and his wife recently moved there after 11 years in Mexico. It was a good visit, but two days is not long enough to juggle a family visit and sightseeing. It was long enough to make us look forward to our next visit. Maybe next time we'll see more of Punkin, their orange tabby, who hid in the closet the entire time we were there. What is it bout male orange tabbys?
I was really looking forward to seeing the Harvest Moon rise up over the ocean as we were sailing to Nanaimo, but it was too overcast and we didn't see even a hint of the moon. I saw it briefly the next night during a quick trip to the local grocery store. It was big and beautiful and orange like Rusty, hanging in the sky low over the ocean, but I didn't have my camera with me! Linda Hubbard in New Brunswick and Joanne in Manitoba were on the ball and got some nice pictures.
Wednesday was cool and overcast as we had a look around town, including the Snip and Stitch Sewing Centre . They had lots of beautiful and very tempting sewing machines on display with racks of sewing and quilting accessories, and a great selection of beautiful fabric, though none of it priced and I wasn't in the mood to ask, so I just picked out a few remnants and this cute little paper piecing kit with enough fabric for either a sunflower or coneflower. They had a number of different "mini" designs packaged like this that included fabric, which I thought was a cute idea and might work its way into a Christmas present or two.
Thursday morning started off as overcast, but the sun came out by noon and the rest of the day was gorgeous. We had lunch at The Thirsty Camel Cafe and had a fabulous freshly baked Pita stuffed with falafels, veggies and other good stuff! Just that alone made me wish we could spend more time there so we could go back and try the rest of the menu. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the waterfront. Don't ask me why, but people kept asking me for directions! Guess I looked like I knew where I was going - luckily for them, they were asking me to direct them to places where I'd just been.
I love being by the ocean. I grew up on the Great Lakes in Ontario - not exactly ocean, but they were big enough, and Erie certainly had its own distinctive smell. Then I spent a couple of years in Halifax on the east coast in the early 1980s before I moved west and became landlocked. During that time, I visited another brother who was teaching school waaaay up north in what was then called the Northwest Territories, now Nunavit, on Victoria Island (69N07 105W03) where I stuck my rubber-booted toes in the Arctic Ocean. And now I have a home away from home in Nanaimo.
I'm not strictly vegetarian, as I do eat the occasional seafood, and living on either coast offers the best opportunity to find it fresh and plentiful. My brother and sister in law barbecued prawns for us the second night we were there, and it was delicious! Friday we drove back the way we came under sunny skies – it didn’t look like the same highway. We stopped in Squamish for gas and lunch and asked the nice clerks at the Chevron station where their favourite fish and chip shop was. They kindly directed us to the Wigan Pier Restaurant . I haven't had fish and chips like that in years! Hot and crispy in an “Old English” setting. If you're passing through Squamish and have a hankering for fish and chips, fish burgers, fish butties (breaded fish sandwich), crispy chips, poutine (ugh), chowders, savoury pies, etc., I highly recommend this great little restaurant. I know it will be a regular stop for us whenever we pass through Squamish.
And I continue to collect fabric. I saw these Laurel Burch designs in Nanaimo but didn't buy them. Yesterday I found them at my LQS (Local Quilt Shop) and purchased some accents for my Christmas projects. But before that, it’s back to work on my current project(s).
Until next time,