Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vacation, Day 4 - Port Angeles WA to Qualicum Beach BC

Wednesday, we had to get up earlier (earlier than we had so far, and in fact earlier than my alarm goes off at home) in order to pack up and get in line for the ferry an hour before it departed.

Once in line, we were able to leave the car and wander around a bit, so of course I tried to find a cache, but the location was disgusting, so neither Nathan nor I was willing to crawl around or feel around looking for it (the hint indicated it was down low, and under something).  But we did enjoy the view of the water in the morning.

When we got on the ferry, we headed up to the upper deck, near the stern to watch the dock get further away as we set off.  It wasn't very exciting or dramatic, though, and we eventually headed inside, where we played cards to pass the time.

Bye Bye, United States and cell service, for the next few days anyway...

Passing through customs was pretty easy, though they did look at our passports closely, and at the letter my ex signed, giving me permission to bring Nathan into Canada (and out of the US).  Glad we took that step!  He also made small talk with me, asked where I work, etc., but we were soon on our way.  We found free street parking in Victoria easily, right around the corner from the parliament building, which itself is right around the corner from the Empress hotel.  Speaking of which...

After walking past those iconic sights, we went off in search of breakfast.

We found a nice little coffee shop that conveniently happened to be where we'd need to turn the corner for our next destination.  I gave Nathan some teasers, such as that it was a museum that featured small things.  Well, the items themselves were small, by museum standards, but many of them would seem big to US.  He was thinking along the lines of Miniature World, which is actually a real tourist destination in Victoria, but not the one I was taking him to.  Instead, we went to the Victoria Bug Zoo.  So, fair warning to those of you icked out by bugs to skip ahead a few photos.  But you know what?  I'm not a fan of bugs, in fact, they give me the willies.  But it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I didn't HOLD any, don't get me wrong, but I didn't get creeped out juts being near, them, either, and the guide was full of all sorts of information about them.  However, he did NOT understand that photography, especially of small objects indoors, requires the subject to HOLD still.  He'd wave his hand around incessantly, so that everyone could get a good look, but one or two good pauses for those of us with cameras would have helped A LOT.  Oh well.  Here are the photos that came out okay:

This bug is enormous.  The guide was NOT a small man.  Rather tall and gangly like a stick insect, in fact.

With the millipede, he demonstrated that they made good fake mustaches, and also unibrows.  Um, no thanks.

They gave the cockroaches a "realistic" habitat--a domestic setting.

The cockroaches were successfully moving this wagon around

After the bug zoo, we went back to the waterfront, debated taking a boat ride somewhere, but they were all so expensive, that I figured if we were going to spend that kind of money, I'd rather see if Nathan would prefer to do the ziplining, which I'd written off as too expensive already.  He would, so we set off for Nanaimo, but on the way back to the car, saw the waterfront closer and the parliament building from further away than last time.

Near this park, we found a geocache cleverly hidden inside a funnel-shaped lamppost

It took a while to get out of town, and I certainly felt weird not having my phone to navigate by (don't want to use data/minutes/whatever while in Canada).  I pulled over at a gas station once we were out of town a bit and bought a paper map booklet, but it's very different, and not as easy to use while driving (and Nathan isn't the BEST navigator, though he's learning.

We weren't in a HUGE hurry to get anywhere, so we pulled over at a viewpoint...

...and drove a few km out of our way and walked 1 km to the Kinsol Trestle.

When we were most of the way across, we spotted a cat far below.  We called it, and sure enough, it made the trip all the way up to the top of the bank to meet us.  She was SO friendly!  And soft.  Some people were speculating that someone dumped her out there, but I doubt that's true.  (Or if it is true, was very recent, but we won't think about that.)  She was just too friendly and trusting and soft, and even smelled like she had a family (smelled of fabric softener or whatever).  There are houses around (as evidenced by that photo about dogs) so maybe she's just free roaming, and has a big territory in which she's comfortable.  What a view for a cat to experience every day, though, huh?


We walked back to the car, with Nathan demonstrating jumping like Mario (from Super Mario Bros.) while I tried to capture it on camera, and failed.

We got to Nanaimo, but they were done with the ropes courses for the night, which is what Nathan REALLY wanted to do, so we decided to just come back the next day (it's only about 45 minutes between where we're staying and there.)

Somewhere along the drive, I saw this tow truck, with a license plate cover that says "My other car is a hearse."  I don't know, it just cracked me up, the implication that the driver is just THAT into retrieving and transporting the "dead."

And who knew there were conspiracy theorist Canadians?  The bumper stickers say "9-11 was an inside job" and ""

We checked into our resort about 6 or so.  It has a pool and waterslides (one big one, a few smaller ones) and mini golf.  Nathan REALLY wanted to hit the pool (we didn't have access to one the prior night, in Port Angeles, and I guess he was getting withdrawals).  It was not hot, not even really warm, and it was RAINING.  But he was desperate, so he did it.  Then we got dinner, and finally headed to bed, ready to get up early-ish on Thursday for another full day of fun.


  1. bumper stickers are a huge part of culture shock for me when i return home (to seattle). germans just don't do the bumper sticker thing, i have no idea why. i wanted to say that parliament building is prettier than the famous basilika in the vatican (don't tell the pope) - at least in my opinion.

    1. It is, indeed, very good-looking for a government building. :-) Bumper stickers often amuse me, when they're not the same old same old. On other people's cars, though--I don't put bumper stickers on mine, same as I wouldn't get a tattoo, though bumper stickers ARE a little less permanent, I suppose. Just what if I end up not liking it? Anyway, it just cracked me up to see conspiracy theory stickers on a car with BC plates. :-)