Wash / Van Trip [part 6]

On the sixth day of our trip we made our way off Vancouver Island. We left our cute little cabin and stopped at Coastal Kitchen Cafe for a delicious breakfast before heading to the ferry. 

The ferry ride was beautiful. Again, most people sat inside reading or talking while we walked around the whole ferry taking in all the sights. 

Once we arrived in the city, we stopped at Lucky's Doughnuts for a treat and coffee. Their salted caramel old fashion may be my favorite doughnut ever [that is some high praise!]. 

The Airbnb we stayed at wasn't too far from Lucky's. It was a cute little place which worked perfect for us.

It was the middle of the afternoon and we didn't feel like driving after we had spent most of our day already in the car and on the ferry. We ended up walking to Queen Elizabeth Park which was about a mile and a half away. The gardens were beautiful and the views of the city weren't too bad either. On our walk back home we were treated to an amazing sunset which was quite nice too.

We ended the night by eating at Tacofino, a restaurant which originated as a food truck in Tofino [on Vancouver Island]. 

Wash / Van Trip [part 5]

On our last full day on Vancouver Island we began by going to Avatar Grove after breakfast. Before arriving at Avatar Grove, the road turned into mainly big gravel, with lots of potholes. At one point we almost turned around since it didn't seem we were headed the right direction. We eventually found it, which was quite worth it because we got to see Canada's Gnarliest Tree. 

We ate our packed lunch at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. There were a bunch of Steller's jay birds hanging out by us. They were really excited when a couple got done eating so they could go scrounge for crumbs. I think they were waiting for us to leave as well. 

We walked the trail which took us to Botany Bay and Botanical Beach. We saw some tide pools and unfortunately a deceased octopus. 

After a few hours we took a break and headed to the Renfrew Pub for a beer. It was a little soon for supper, so we went and walked a shorter trail to the water for some more spectacular views. 

For supper it was back to Renfrew Pub. Before leaving we walked the docks a bit trying to get a closer view of an otter out in the water. 

On the way home we made a few stops to get a better view of the sunset. Even our little cabin welcomed us home with a beautiful view.

Wash / Van Trip [part 4]

On our first morning in Canada, we leisurely made breakfast and packed our lunch before heading out to explore. Upon leaving, we took a quick detour to the top of the hill that our cabin was located on to take in the view. Not too bad. 

Our first stop was at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. We never quite knew if we were on the right trail. Some trails were super rocky, while others took us back to the road for a bit until we hit the trail again. In the end we finally found the potholes and made it just in time to watch a guy jump in as his friend watched. 

East Sooke Regional Park  was our next stop. This area is huge and we could have spent all day here if time allowed. It didn't, so we picked one trail to explore. We were kind of hoping to spot an otter or two, since they are known to be in this area, however, they must have been hiding from us this particular day.

After our hike, we headed to Victoria to visit Eric's cousin Nik. It had been roughly 25 years since they had last seen each other, so it was due time to get together again. 

Upon arriving, we were greeted by Herbie + Doogan, two playful labradoodles. I was mainly smitten by Herbie [probably because of his name]. The weather was beautiful, so we sat in the backyard catching up / getting to know each other. 

For supper, Nik's husband James made fresh pasta [which was fantastic!]. I watched as he made it look so simple.

I made myself useful by making sure all their pets were entertained. I specifically got along with Francois the cat. He enjoyed the attention / pets, while I got my cat-fix. 

I'm so glad we got to spend an evening among great company. We heard some great traveling stories, plus got some tips of places to check out before we left Vancouver Island.

Wash / Van Trip [part 3]

Day three was a busy travel day to Vancouver Island and it almost didn't happen.

The inner-island ferry we needed to take was cancelled last minute. There was a lot of back and fourth between two of the workers [both on completely different pages about what was going on] as well as us calling to make sure we wouldn't get charged the a fee for not showing up for our ferry to Vancouver Island. 

After a lot of confusion and ferry rides, we got on the ferry we originally were planned to be on to get to Canada. Long story short, there was A LOT of inconvenience for other ferry riders to accommodate about 15 people who were stuck due to the cancellation. 

We eventually arrived in Canada at our scheduled time and continued on the road to our Airbnb in Jordan River. On the way, we stopped at 17 Mile House Pub for lunch where we also got to see the last quarter of the Packer game. 

The roads to Jordan River were twisty and beautiful, however, it was nice to finally arrive at our destination and get settled in. 

Although our cabin was quite remote, we were right in between lots of beaches and trails. The first area we checked out was China Beach where Eric discovered a waterfall that was a bit off the beaten path. Next we went to Sandcut Beach. 

Before heading back to our cabin, we went to Sooke [the nearest town with a grocery store] to pick up dinner. As we left the grocery store the sun was starting to set. We found a beach near the road, parked and ran down the trail to get a few pictures of the end of our first day in Canada. 

Wash / Van Trip [part 2]

Normally we spend a few days on Orcas Island, but for this trip there was so much else we wanted to see that we decided to keep our time here short. This means we had only one full day to do everything we had planned. 

For breakfast we ate at Cafe Olga. Finally. We had tried to go the last time we were on Orcas, but they had just had a fire a few months prior. 

After breakfast we headed to Moran State Park. We made the drive to Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands. The view on the top is fantastic and a must visit for us. 

We didn't have much time before whale watching, so we kept our trip short so we could drive to Deer Harbor in time. Of course we made a quick stop at Brown Bear Baking to pick up an orange morning bun for later. 

We arrived 30 minutes before our whale watching tour with Deer Harbor Charters and unfortunately found out we had accidentally scheduled it for the wrong day. Luckily two others didn't show, so we were able to go! 

This was our third time whale watching and the most successful. Our first time we saw a few orcas and even had one swim under the boat we were in. Our last time, we saw many marine animals, including minke whales, but no orcas. 

I took plenty of pictures of all the whales we saw, but also did put my camera down to enjoy the moments we had with the beautiful creatures. 

[I'm still trying to identify who we all saw from the J, K AND L pods, so I'm limiting my pictures for now and will do another post just about whales later.]

After our time with the orcas, we stopped at Island Hoppin' Brewery. It was a nice way to relax, as well as try some new beer. 

As dusk began to creep up on us, we made our way to Rosario Resort. We stayed at this resort a couple times in the past and it's my favorite place to be before sunset because of all the deer that make their way out around the grounds. 

My deer friends did not disappoint and I got to hang out with a few of them before heading back to our favorite spot to watch the sun set. 

Eric especially wanted to visit this particular spot since the last time we were on the island we got to watch a couple of silly otters sitting on boats. I honestly didn't think we get the same show as last time, but one was waiting on the pier for us...until I scared him off [by accident of course!]. 

We eventually headed back into Eastsound to have dinner at Mijitas, however, not before I took a picture of the yellow building I take every time we visit our favorite island.