Category Archives: Travels

Still standing

Dimly lit at mid-day in late December, this topped fella stands in Mt Doug Park close to Elizabeth’s place.

The days are getting longer and spring is generally a more hopeful time, but even the late December day in photo had some sunshine. Sometimes ‘still standing’ is a real accomplishment (even if your branches are mostly gone).

Ferry photos

Everyone likes the Ferry!

Graham's modeling shot #1
Graham’s modeling shot #1

That is not strictly true. For folks that live on the Island or who take the ferry a lot, the ferry is an inconvenient, expensive, and time consuming necessity for getting back and forth to the mainland. When I lived in Victoria, I felt that way; the ferry was something that you rush to, grumble about, and then ignore while you read your way across.

Township on the ferry LIKE A BOSS
Township on the ferry LIKE A BOSS

Now that I live on the prairies, I miss the ocean and the ferry feels like a real treat. I’ve taken a handful of ferry trips since moving away from BC, and for the most part I now spend them as a tourist: walking on the decks, looking out at the water, and marveling at the scenery ( and occasionally looking for wildlife).

David and Graham were kind enough to also be up for a walk on the decks, even though it was a bit chilly and windy in December.
Selfie with another ferry in Active Pass!

Of course, being on the island is great too and is really the point of it all.

David’s modeling shot on the beach in Mt Doug Park

Family visits

Part of the Xmas visit involved a trip to see Elizabeth in Victoria. Fun times!

Graham and I at Agrius
Graham and I at Agrius

We went to a super-awesome nes restaurant called Agrius.

David and me
David and me
Elizabeth and Erik
Elizabeth and Erik
We saw a 3D movie, and were the only ones at the late showing! So I obnoxiously took a flash photograph
We saw a 3D movie, and were the only ones at the late showing! So I obnoxiously took a flash photograph
A photo of Nanna and Pop that Unkle Mike has
A photo of Nanna and Pop in the garden from Unkle Mike 
The best zucchini from the best gardener!
The best zucchini from the best gardener!
This squash was also very impressive. It was like holding a toddler!
This squash was also very impressive. It was like holding a toddler!



While I took next to no photos from the wedding in Toronto, I did take some photos at the Royal Ontario Museum. We saw the Chihuly exhibit, which included about a dozen massive illuminated blown-glass installations. Cool!






We also went to the first people’s exhibit and the Pacific Islands exhibit, as well as a special exhibit on the gender/sexuality fluidity of wakashu in samurai-era Japan. They have whole floors and wings we never got to see. If I lived in Toronto, I would absolutely get a year’s membership and go a bunch of times!

Graham with the 4-story totem, stolen with love from Haida Gwaii
Graham with the top of the 4-story totem, stolen with love from Haida Gwaii
Birch bark canoes, which look light and flexible enough to navigate some rocky rivers. I’d try one!

Since we were there on a weekend, there were some special events including a parade and interpretation of flags from Ghana, complete with singing and dancing.

Ghanian fabrics and song abound
This is a coffin from Ghana, where it is common to bury people in something symbolic of their life. The fisherman might get a massive ornate fish; a successful business man (or car guy) might commission this Mercedes.

Toronto Wedding

It’s been a while since we went to Leif and Christina’s wedding in Toronto.  This wedding was for our National Teammate Jason and his lovely bride Rebecca.  There has been a lot of travel this Summer and Fall so far, and more coming up.

Us with our friend Rommel and his wee daughter

As the wedding was approaching we realized we didn’t have appropriate outfits and also didn’t have a lot of time to figure that out.  Graham ended up ordering a custom suit online,  he plugged in his measurements and picked out the finishings he wanted and they sent him a suit in the mail.  It turned out pretty nicely, and the jacket fit me well enough that I may order one as well!


Graham’s successful try-on of the mail-order suit

It was such a lovely wedding, complete with 10-course banquet, that I didn’t take ANY photos. Just enjoyed it!

Elizabeth birthday visits


Sibling smiles with deer in the background


I didn’t think I’d be back in Victoria so soon, but when the new owners of the apartment requested it in the first week of September, I ended up traveling to Vic and Van about a month after my last visit. The main impetus for the visit was bringing furniture from Vancouver to Elizabeth and Erik in Victoria, but it also happened to occur on Elizabeth’s birthday. Bonus! We played badminton with Elizabeth’s new birthday kit, saw the utterly ridiculous Sausage Party movie, did yoga, hung out, and ate great food.  Not much prose here, so enjoy the photos!

Local Victoria deer eating up the gardens
Elizabeth in the Township kitchen where she bakes up a storm each day
Birthday breakfast mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice and Vueve Cliquot.
David and Elizabeth enjoying the new counter stools
The new furniture filiing in the living room
The new furniture filiing in the living room

New Homestead

Casa de Einarson, Courtney/Comox 2016

My first stop on Vancouver Island was Courtney to visit the Einarsons new place. All the kids were coming back for a summer visit, and I dropped in for a few of those days. It was beautiful!

A former neighbour had a rabbit farm, and during the ‘great bunny incident’ they were freed and their progeny comprise a self-sustaining bunny population in the neighbourhood. These dudes are EVERYWHERE.

After my Mom and Dad moved off of Thornhill, I still visited semi-regularly to see the Einarsons. It was nice to stop in and see everyone at Christmas, and also nice to visit the goat farm in the country. They moved at the end of last year, and I was delighted to go see them at their new place.

Leif and Katja in the Gazebo. We had a few glasses of wine and a game of Catan out here.

The new homestead is beautiful. This part of the Island is so lovely, with tall mountains, lush valleys, and ocean never far away. The area was settled by Europeans for farming, and I saw wheat being combined there on July 30 (early compared to sK). You can buy pasta made with local durum.

The backyard has a series of patios, with a gazebo, fire pit, and patio. There is also a substantial frog pond full of monsters.

We took a walk down to the stony beach where we flipped over ricks to see crabs scuttle away. We caught frogs in the pond, chased bunnies, and had some outstanding dinners. I look forward to another visit in the future.

Leif, Auntie Jordan, Katja, and Jerry the Bullfrog

Old Homestead

Ladies at Goldstream
Ladies at Goldstream

Mom grew up spending summertime at the cabin with Nanna and Pop and her five brothers. It is a beautiful spot, on the waterfront of the Finlayson arm nestled between Mt Finlayson and the Malahat in a little shake and shingle cabin. It was sold a long time ago, but the road to get there drives through Goldstream Provincial Park, which anyone can go and visit.

Mt Finlayson, home of the mysterious moving stairs
Mt Finlayson, home of the mysterious moving stairs

We went during my last visit to the island, and looked down Finlayson arm with the tide out from the vantagepoint of the Goldstream nature house.  Everything looks a little smaller now.

Awesome green forest
Awesome green forest

I remember the Halls Marina (undoubtedly a different name now) being soooooo far away. It is a good place and it was nice to go back.

The view to Halls
The view to Halls

Tour de Van Isle

Kitty Coleman Beach in 'greater Courtney'
Kitty Coleman Beach in ‘greater Courtney’

I just got back from a week in BC, complete with visits to Courtney/Comox, Victoria, and Vancouver. There was lots to see and do, and during this time I spent very little time at the computer or on email. …and Nothing burnt down! Good to know.  More posts on the specific visits later, but for now enjoy these general seaside shots.

The Schwartz Bay to Tsawassen ferry is a pretty nice trip, especially when you aren’t used to seeing the ocean and islands all the time.  In this part you can see Mount Baker
Mom and Dad go for a walk on deck
Mom and I sat on deck through Active Pass. Cover your ears for the horn!



Tourietiest tourist that ever touristed
Taken by the tourietiest tourist that ever touristed

In June I went to Toronto for the 2016 PREMUS conference. I have been to this conference 3 times before, and this was (probably) the best one.  Although it didn’t have an exotic location (from my point of view), it was really well-organized and the science was top-notch.  Well done team!

Arc de CNE
Arc de CNE

I packed very light so I didn’t bring my regular camera. My smartphone is going on 5 years old and this seems to be geriatric for a smart phone, so I only took a few slow-loading snaps. The arc above is at the entrance of the CNE. The conference was at the Allsteam Centre, which prides itself on being a ‘green’ facility. They encourage folks to bring their own water bottles and there was no printed schedule for the conference – folks were asked to download the program. This was ok for some things, but for quick reference between sessions a tiny view with lots of swiping to the right page my old phone wasn’t quite cutting it.

Ever since I left the city...
Ever since I left the city…

After the conference I went to visit Leif and Christina and their two little ones for a couple of days. This was a super fun visit, including some crafts, great meals, picnic, walk, and a visit to the Kensginton/Queen street shopping districts. It will be great to see them all again in Courtney for Einarson homecoming 2016!