That’s right. Canadian Road Trip TWENTY SIXTEEN.
Sorry to have ever so slightly dropped off the edge of the earth. Sadly I don’t have any kind of wilderness survival story that stopped me from writing; I haven’t trekked through the Himalayas or canoed down the Amazon. Instead, I got a new job. A job where I get paid to write for a living. Not this kind of writing, but still, writing and it turns out that when you write all day, coming home and writing more isn’t all that appealing (hence why I haven’t written since the end of October).
Nonetheless, I realise this isn’t an excuse and so I am BACK. Hilariously, I’m back with the last post of the Canadian Road Trip, which took place nearly a year ago now. I could have just left it, but seeing as it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken and this was one of my favourite days out of that, it didn’t seem right not to tie up the loose ends I’m sure you’ve all been desperately waiting to hear about.
By the way, don’t panic, I didn’t get completely boring. I did go on a bunch more trips after Canada and I do vaguely remember what I got up to.
Up to this point
Seeing as it’s been about six months since I last posted about this trip, here’s a quick run down of what we managed up Vancouver. I, along with three of my friends, started in Washington DC, then picked up a car, stopping along the way at Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Nashville, Chicago, Niagara and then Toronto. At which point my friends jumped on a plane home and my mum stepped off of one, so that we could continue the trip on to Ottawa, Niagara, Quebec City, Montreal, Banff, Lake Louise, Kamloops, and finally Vancouver.
If you’re desperate/want to make my day, you can always have a cheeky read right here and then comment nice things on all the posts: https://travelteatv.com/2016/10/29/a-day-in-seattle-running-around-in-dressing-gowns-canadian-road-trip-2016/
I liked Vancouver Island very much. It’s very rare for me to start a sentence with a straight up positive comment, so you know I really mean it. We got there by sea plane, as you do. Because sea plane is a method of transport that I often take and it wasn’t exciting at all. Almost an everyday occurrence for me.
I jest. We were obviously very excited. Funnily enough I hadn’t ever been on a sea plane before, but when we got on, we sat next to a couple that frequently did, who took great pleasure in pointing out all the islands and sights to us. They were quite fancy and even pointed out a small group of islands they lived on. They took a boat there with all their food shopping – Tesco don’t deliver there (yet).
When we arrived, we had a wander round, then got some lunch, before jumping aboard a boat and speeding out to sea in the hope of finding some whales/other wildlife to look at. You know what, we managed it. Well, I mostly sat still and looked around, but the guys driving the boat found them. It was rather nice.
Well, it was and it wasn’t. It was lovely weather; the skies and sea were incredibly blue. The whales we saw were gorgeous. The landscape was epic. But, I do have a few negative points to make. Firstly, the boat was super busy and it didn’t make for a particularly soothing ride. I mean it’s hard to be fancy with a stranger practically sat on your laptop. Also, as soon as you see any wildlife, you’re fighting to keep your eyes on it as other people stand directly in front of you to see the same thing; great doors, terrible windows, people.
Secondly, I will admit I felt bad for the whales. I’d never considered what happens when you go whale watching. I suppose I just thought you drove around in the hope you might get lucky. I didn’t realise that all the whale watchers chat to each other and say when they see whales, meaning that as soon as you see a whale, a million other boats turn up and crowd them. Legally the boats have to stay a certain distance away from them, so I’m sure it isn’t dangerous or anything, but still it would probably be nicer for the whales if boats just steered clear of them. Yes, I know I literally went out on a boat to do that exact thing. I’ll say nothing more.
The day was getting on once the boat trip finished, so we got in a cab and went to out hotel – the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, which is just outside Victoria. I think it’s my favourite hotel. In this trip alone I stayed in at least 10, but there was something special about this one.
It was fancy, but still welcoming. The beds were comfortable. The bathroom was beautiful. The views were fantastic. I’ve just realised I never went in the swimming pool, but there is one there. We only stayed there for one night, but I’ll be back. (I don’t mean that as a threat.) In a super helpful fashion, I have no pictures to prove this, but please take my word for it.
Our family friends joined us for the night and the next morning we had a wander round Oak Bay. Spoiler alert: it’s nice. The shops are cute. There are nice art galleries. It isn’t too busy. Plus it’s full of British people. It was confusing at first, but not necessarily a bad thing. My mum met someone that grew up down the road from her.
I don’t have anything more specific to say about this place, so you’ll have to make do with a single verb: go.
At this point I’m realising the issue with leaving it so long without writing about what happened: I’ve forgotten where we went after this. It was on Vancouver Island and we drove there before we got on a ferry. I liked it because there were a lot of thrift shops. Umm so yeh, sorry enjoy that mystery.
I do remember that on the ferry on the way back we saw another whale, just having a ball, swimming along. Which was pleasant.
When we got back from Vancouver Island, we had one more night at our family friend Kathleen’s house before returning the following afternoon, so we spent the morning in her local neighbourhood; Steveston. It’s south of the main city of Vancouver and somewhere you just might recognise, if you’ve ever seen ‘Once Upon A Time’. It’s very nice. When I was there I hadn’t actually seen the show, so didn’t really understand, but now I have seen it I can understand how cool a town it is; they let the show leave signs up over shop fronts, meaning some shops aren’t actually what they seem.
My mum and I wandered along the sea front, watched people fly kites on the beach, meandered around shops and got fish and chips with Kathleen. Whether or not you’re a fan of the show, it’s worth a visit.
So, yeh. That was Canada. I will be going back. Hopefully it will be soon. You should stay home so that it is still nice and empty when I go hiking. Unless you really want to go, in which case I won’t stop you.
I’ll post videos soon.