Vancouver Island Mini Vacation – August 2012

After our trip to Colorado and New Zealand, we were done with trips for the summer.  We found out that we were going to need to be out of the house for 5 days while they sanded and restained our floors so rather than sitting in a hotel in town we decided to take a trip up north.

We had gotten travel info for a number of years on Vancouver Island and thought it would be fun to “go abroad” or “out of the country”.

We hoped on an early morning ferry from Anacortes, WA  (same ferry as the Kayaking trip this past May)

Owen was able to work on the ferry ride to Friday Harbor.  The kids and I enjoyed the ferry.  I love the little town of Friday Harbor.

It was so fun to go past the island that I kayaked past this past May with my mom.  So many memories along with feeling impressed with how far we kayaked.  Does it remind you at all of the New Zealand islands (okay not quite as blue/green water).

After arriving in Canada …

We drove to Victoria.   Thanks to Owen’s many trips this past year we were able to stay at the Marriott.  My kids discovered the benefits of the concierge lounge.  The view was amazing from the hotel.

Brett saw the cruise ships in port and wanted to hop on one and sail way.  Dinner began my Fish and Chips sampling from many many different vendors.  By the end of our trip, I had had my fill for at least a few weeks.

The next morning we headed out-of-town along the eastern side of Vancouver Island in search of Horne Lake Caves.  I had read one line about it the travel info we had and planned the next day or so around it.  It was a 2 – 3 hour drive.

We loved the outdoor recreation for kids in Canada –

We drove along the water and it was beautiful.

The turn off the highway along a dirt logging/cabin road for 11 km made me want to come and spend a week at a cabin along Horne Lake.  We arrived and Becky and I were able to get on the next cave tour.  It was too unsteady for Brett to be able to do so he and Owen headed to the lake to throw rocks into the water.  Becky and I donned our Head lamps and hard hats and went exploring.

We saw lots of great sink holes and snakes on the way to the entrance.

Becky wasn’t so sure what I had signed her up for.

We saw lots of stalactite and stalagmites..

We had a great time.  I am ready to go back and try out the “Extreme Rappel Cave Tour” when you rapel down a 7 story waterfall “Rainbarrel”.  Maybe next time.

Becky loved the bridges.

We then headed back south an hour or so to the town of Nanaimo.  Fell in love with the town (and of course with Owen) while Owen and I took an evening walk along the boardwalk.

Loved the “boats” that paid for a slip in the marina..

what is it about a seaplane that makes you just want to take its picture?

We walked a little further and there were probably 20 or so different rock sculptures that people had created just for fun.  Some great engineering at work.

We walked out onto a pier to watch the locals crabbing.  This little boy want to help so back it was killing him along with the man’s patience.

The activity on the water was so fun to watch.

The views looking back towards the town were memorable…

Last look back…

Grabed some fish and chip’s and ice cream and headed back to the room to hang out with the kids.  I’ll stop here and pick up on Vancouver BC (not to be confused with Vancouver Island) part of the trip in my next post.  I figured this one was long enough.

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