Barely two months home, and we were off again. But this time, we weren't gone nearly as long—it was still the same season when we got home!—and we stayed in the same country. What could possibly make us pack up our backpacks to hit the road again? Two very, very good reasons: Mark's best man getting hitched, and Mark's ultimate frisbee team playing at Nationals; both of which very conveniently happened to be in Vancouver, and only a week apart. In between all that good stuff, we had a couple of fun road trips in our stellar Rent-A-Wrecks* exploring beautiful British Columbia, and long overdue visits with friends and family.
Radiating out from Vancouver in spurts, we visited Tofino on Vancouver Island, taking in the magnificent splendour of vast stretches of beach (often enshrouded in impenetrable fog), towering cedars, mossy rainforests, and bogs full of lichen and stunted, gnarled trees. Then on to the mainland where we did a loop to take in Whistler (and happy relive our engagement there, 10 years ago this winter!) and through the mountains and glorious landscapes that changed with every mountain pass and curve in the road, to the arid Okanagan Valley where we tasted our way through the orchards and vineyards while ospreys soared overhead. Then back to Vancouver via Canada's desert (who knew?!) for all the wonderful wedding festivities befitting the most perfect pair, and happy reunions with old high school mates. Good times, I can assure you. There just may have been some jumps to the left and other such dancing-related shenanigans.
*A note about our car rental experience in Vancouver: Apparently August is a very busy and popular time for renting cars, so fleets sell out quickly, and for the remaining cars the rates are extortionate (like $149 per day; this is five times the rate for renting in Ottawa). But fear not! For a more respectable rate of about $40 per day, you can Rent-A-Wreck, which just means the car has a few more km on it than regular rentals, or has some other fun quirks that you will grow to love. For instance, our second rental, a Malibu with almost 200,000 km, was a bit bi-polar and prone to random freak outs (the car alarm would go off if the car was unlocked for too long, very embarrasing), with non-functioning A/C, and had a bit of trouble maintaining speed to get up those steep mountain roads. We lovingly called her Ursula, The Little Car that Couldn't. Well, she did, but barely.
|First glimpse of the Pacific through the trees.|
|I love this quote seen on an interpretive sign in the forest:|
There are themes everywhere... tender youthfulness laughing at gnarled oldness. Mosses and ferns, leaves and twigs, light and air, depth and colour chattering, dancing a mad-joy dance... only apparently tied up in stillness and silence. You must be still in order to see and hear. —Emily Carr