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Canada wrap-up
August 31st, 2009 by Kate
Phoebe the "rock" star!

Phoebe the "rock" star!

 

Tessa with most important rock climbing gear - leg warmers...

Tessa with most important rock climbing gear - leg warmers...

 Not to be outdone by Jeff, Tess and Phoebe went rock climbing a few days ago.  They scrambled up the rock face like it was nobody’s business.  Rock climbing out on a real mountain is a far distant cousin of climbing in a gym, and for some reason makes the “mother of the little mountain goats” a bit more nervous.  Alas, they were in safe hands and had a blast. 

 And since we needed yet another jolt of adrenaline, last night we went with our couchsurfing hosts Kyle and Robin to a game called Manhunt.  For those of you who live in Phoenix – I am SO setting up a game like this when I get back so watch for details next year.  Basically, it is a giant game of tag with people you don’t really know in some kind of urban setting.  IT IS SO MUCH FUN!

 The organizers post the met-up date/time/location on a group they’ve made in Facebook, and tons of people just show up.  Last night the game was held on the campus of a school plus all the neighborhood surrounding the school and there were about 40 people.  Sometimes it’s in a park, sometimes a forest preserve, but most often in urban areas including downtown Victoria.  Everyone checks in at the appointed time, gets a yellow armband to wear, finds out what the boundaries are, and then everyone rock/paper/scissors to determine who is it.  As you get tagged, you become “it” too, so by the end of the game most people are “it” and are hunting for those that aren’t.  Mind you, you can’t tell who has been tagged and who hasn’t.  For me, it was mostly running, hiding, and laughing – but as beginners luck would have it – I won the first game! 

We all had a total blast and it was a great way get some exercise and to meet a bunch of really cool people in BC.  If you Manhunters are reading this – thanks for an awesome time and for letting us crash your game!

So we’ve moved on from Canada now – passports and all (oh that is a non-online story) and we’ll be in the US for a few days before leaving the comforts of North America.  We had an absolute blast in Canada – it is  a beautiful place with lots of great things to do, but I think the biggest impression that was left with me was how wonderful the Canadian people are.  Thanks in large part to couchsurfing.org, we have great new friends that I am sure we will stay in contact with forever – and we fully expect you all to come and visit us in AZ during one of your winters!  Shout outs to Nathan & Mel in Calgary, Jodi & Nick in Canmore, Chad in Revelstoke, Andrea, Liesje & kiddos in Vancouver, Kyle & Robin on blackberry hill in Sooke, Diane & Nick in Duncan, Anne & Kellea in Parkville and Kyle & Robin (again!).

Some travel highlights we recommend:

  • Fiasco Gelatto in Calgary
  • Bamff Hot Springs Hotel (we’re going to come back here and stay someday when we’re rich, and/or for Phoebe’s wedding)
  • Revelstoke – we liked the whole town (and they have a great local brewery too)
  • The Hemlock Forest in Glacier National Park
  • Gort’s Gouda in Salmon Arms
  • The Columbia Icefields (the drive between Jasper & Bamff is amazing!)
  • The Granville Island Market in Vancouver (kicks Pike Peak’s market butt!)
  • Stanley Park in Vancouver (rent bikes and cruise the outer loop for the best view of the city and waterways)
  • The BC ferry between Vancouver & Vancouver Island
  • The Dutch Bakery on Fort St. in Victoria
  • Sombrio Beach between Sooke & Port Renfrew
  • The farmer’s market in Duncan (find the people selling the venison sausages)
  • The Parksville annual Sandcastle Contest (Jack Gape – we’re going to build a monster castle next year buddy – I have tips from the pros!)
  • Butchart Gardens in Victoria (that’s Butt-chart to Tessa)
Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Sambrio Beach, Vancouver Island

Sambrio Beach, Vancouver Island

Tessa, Phoebe and couchsurfing host kid Kellea on tree roots at Cathedral Grove

Tessa, Phoebe and couchsurfing host kid Kellea on tree roots at Cathedral Grove

Girls on fallen giant red cedar tree in Cathedral Grove

Girls on fallen giant red cedar tree in Cathedral Grove


3 Responses  
Nina writes:
August 31st, 2009 at 4:19 pm

It is cool to watch your progress. We talked at the Sandcastles in Parksville I was working at the exit gate.
Have a wonderful trip. Nina.

Melisa Mace writes:
September 24th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Ohhhh, I have such fond memories of Vancouver. I was about the same age as Phoebe when we drove there from California (in at turquoise Galaxy 500 that had “Tupperware” Dealer stickers LOL). I was mesmerized by Butchart Gardens and the Totem poles! Thanks for rekindling those special family memories, it’s great to read the ones you are making!
XO Melisa

Natasha Kay writes:
June 7th, 2010 at 10:47 am

I was a volunteer at the Cupcake Festival in Basel last weekend and overheard you mention your blog name while we sold you cupcakes. It’s been really inspiring to read about your adventures and I think it’s so great that you’ve done this!

I am actually a Canadian expat living in Switzerland and hail from Victoria, BC. I had to chuckle that the BC Ferry (between Vancouver and Victoria) was one of your highlights because you’re right, it’s amazingly beautiful…and yet if you ask ANY Victorian what their biggest complaint about living on the island is, they will say “the ferries”. It’s always good to have things put in perspective by a fresh set of eyes.

My husband proposed to me at Butchart Gardens, too. Or…Butt-chart Gardens, if you will. ;)

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