Monday, July 16, 2018

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Bright Friday, and Summer Trip to Powell River

I'm back! My extra-long weekend has been wonderful! What do we have in store? We have Thursday's wacky outfit that I wore to work, WW and then to Book Club (late night!), and L and I went to visit his mom in Powell River for a couple of days! I have oodles of pictures to share (you've been warned), including a few purchases. You know I always like to fit in a bit of shopping!

Did I mention cat pictures? We also have those. 
"Okay, just this one cuddle."
 I always give Vizzini lots of love before we go away.

Here's Thursday's outfit, which ended up being wildly inappropriate for the weather, as summer has arrived here, with temps in the upper 20s and even into the low 30s.
I was so looking forward to wearing this outfit, and was counting on it being slightly cooler than it was. Colour!

This is my entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go on, you know you want to visit!


  • Shirt - Replay, vintage 90s, thrifted; purchased here for $5.00
  • Trousers - Banana Republic, thrifted; first worn here in June with beaded cream
  • Shoes - Chie Mihara; first worn here in June with my chicken top


I built the outfit around this completely eye-searing shirt.
"A cat is the best accessory."
Vizzini just decided to flop right where I pose. He wouldn't move, so I posed around him.

90s-does-70s double-knit polyester did not work well in the sun. I roasted most of the day, even in my air-conditioned office, and tossed this shirt into the wash as soon as I got home at 10:30pm. Sweaty!
"Time for the back pose? Here's the back of my head."
 I loved these green brocade trousers again, and really liked how my mom's vintage belt looked threaded through the low waist belt-loops.

The stuff:
I fell for these shoes anew on the second wear - they were so incredibly comfortable to wear. I did a full 10 hour work day, followed by Book Club - and I walked home from Karen's house in them!

Circular bling:
 I've had this 70s-era belt of Mom's since the 80s, when I "liberated" a bunch of things from her closet. She reads my blog (hi, Mom!), and often sends me emails telling me about the pieces that belonged to her.


  • Belt - vintage 70s, Mom's
  • Earrings - local
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes


L and I were up bright and early on Friday morning, getting our travel stuff ready. While L picked up our rental car, I looked for Vizzini.
"I'm not happy with you, Woman."
 Uh-oh, he knows something's up.

I moved in closer.
"I know those knapsacks mean you're leaving!"
 He does. Look at the fury on his face!

This is a cat who is about to destroy something we love.
"Could be shoes, could be a bookcase. You won't know until you get home!"
 He pulled down the curtain and the curtain-rod in the bedroom while we were away. I bet it made a racket and scared him to death, ha ha! I fixed it when I got home, nothing broken (this time), but what a monster!

I'm a light traveler - not a huge amount of items come with me when I go anywhere - I prefer to just do variations on a theme. This time, it was this full white skirt, with two different shirts on top for sun coverage.
Knowing Friday would be mostly sitting in the car for the 3-hour trip up-Island, then sitting on a ferry for an hour and a half, I wore loose clothes that wouldn't crease.


  • Shirt - Dept, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) in April during Ally's visit
  • Skirt - Angel Eye, consignment, Vancouver; last worn here (2nd outfit) for a June weekend brunch
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) in June with my lettuce dress
  • Cami - Esprit, c. 2008, no longer tracked


I also like long sleeves to keep my tattoos covered, both for the sun and for L's mom, Louise who is not a huge fan of them.
I also don't want to stand out too much in Powell River - it is a mill town (a pulp and paper mill), and is mostly blue-collar, although with the tech boom, many people have moved there to take advantage of the lower housing costs vs. living in Vancouver.

I still stood out. Both L and I were hollered at and complimented a lot on our outfits.
 Good thing I didn't go dressier! I was tempted, though...you know me, heh heh.

I brought my hat, but it was just too breezy.
 This hat requires a free hand if I plan to wear it and there is any chance of a breeze!

The stuff:
 I wore these shoes all weekend. They're an excellent travel shoe.


  • Amber ring - c. 1996
  • Turquoise/silver ring - local
  • Earrings - Mango's (I dropped one on the hotel bathroom floor, so I need to glue it back together)
  • Gold hoop earrings (not shown) - 5th anniversary gift from L


I wore an assortment of this jewelry with my different outfits over the weekend. Nothing too heavy in the hot weather.

Okay, for those of you who aren't familiar with where I live, I'm on the west coast of Canada, in Victoria. We are the capital of British Columbia (BC), which is one of the provinces of Canada. It's a very large province, larger than Texas!
As you can see, Victoria is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. There's Vancouver to the east, and Seattle in Washington State to the south. Your eyes do not deceive you: we are below most of the US border!

We often travel to Powell River (where L is from). It's a bit of an ordeal to get to, as well...we live on an island. There are no bridges, as we are in an earthquake zone, so to get off the Island you either have to take a ferry or fly.
We take the "blue route" there by car and ferry, but you can also go through Vancouver or Nanaimo and hop multiple ferries up the mainland coast. Most of the island and the mainland is forest and/or mountain, and there are very few roads.

We last traveled to PR here in August 2016 (I wore the same shoes!), and I last went up-Island (as we locals refer to it) in January here to Mt. Washington with my girlfriends.

I live in an incredibly beautiful part of the world (in my opinion!), so I usually take a ton of pictures. Skim as you like, I don't mind.

I don't take any pictures of leaving the city (suburbs and highways, yawn), and only start once we hit Goldstream National Park, as the bottom of the Malahat Drive.
 Mt. Finlayson is straight ahead through the trees. The Malahat Drive is cut out of rock on the side of the lower Island, very steep on either side and a little scary to drive.

Mt. Finlayson to our right.
 It was a lovely hot day, bright blue skies.

The road is very claustrophobic in parts, as the giant Douglas firs, moss-covered cedars and arbutus trees loom.
Being in the forest is amazing. If you click through the 2016 visit to PR link above, you can see our walk through the forest there.

Now we're on the open highway, past the Malahat, on our way to Duncan, the closest city to Victoria as we head north.
 We started out early, so not too much traffic yet.

I love seeing cool cars.
 I would totally ride in that!

At the entrance of Duncan is Silver Bridge.
 Duncan is not interesting.

Neither is Nanaimo, and here we are past that city, over an hour further north, and we see our friend, the Gnome!
 I nearly missed him! They've put up a barrier between the down-Island and up-Island traffic since I last passed by here in January. As I discovered then, the Gnome is what my friend Ross refers to as "Nice from far - far from nice" - he's really gross up close (the Gnome, not Ross!).

North of Nanaimo is a huge stretch of highway (speed limit 120 kmph) with nothing but skies, trees and mountains in the background.
 I like this odd-looking tree. Vroom, vroom, go faster, L!

We're headed for Courtenay/Comox.
 I've never been to Campbell River.

And now we enter the Comox Valley.
 I've never been to Cumberland either. I'm not much of a traveler, even on the Island.

The ferry to the mainland leaves from Little River, near Comox, just outside of Courtenay. We have a new ferry on the route! The mighty Queen of Burnaby has been retired!
 We got to the terminal about an hour early (a good idea on a July weekend), so I walked to the beach  to check out the new ship and get some Zen time on the beach before dealing with people.

Hello!
 This is a typical BC beach; lots of driftwood logs, seaweed, some scrub plants, pebbles and sand.

The tide was out/low, so all this extra beach was exposed.
 The mountains that you can barely see in the background are where we just came from - way, way down-Island.

Our new ferry is the Salish Orca, and has a corresponding First Nations orca pod design. Pretty!
That land must drop off really steeply for the ferry!

I like the patterns of the pebbles from the tide receding.
 This is all ocean water, by the way. Very cold! No one swims here.

I was searching for sea glass and/or interesting shells.
 Broken clam shells, and few bits of mussels. I like the purple bit of shell there in the middle.

Selfie in front of the ferry!
 It was windy, so I pinned my hair back.

And I took my shoes off and scrunched my toes in the hot sand.
 It felt wonderful, although I had to clean all the sand off very thoroughly. No sand in the rental car!

There are lots of houses along the point.
 I'd think the ferry would be a bit disruptive (horns going off all the time), but wouldn't you love to live here, just for the views?

Someone built a fire-pit on the beach.
 That iron ring is for the fire itself - you really would not want to cause a fire here on the beach! Forest fires are a huge problem in BC in summer.

I laughed when I saw the shadow in this picture.
 Otherwise, it's just a purple shell. Hmm...that would be a nice hair colour??

We're close to CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Comox, and one of the Air Force jets was doing swoops of the area.
 A beautiful day for being in a plane!

Time to board this new ferry!
 We were perplexed by the arch as we drove on - we realized on the way back that it raises and lowers on hydraulics to "lock in" the cars at either end of the ship.

Looking to the left/east as we board.
 A small beach, the breakwater, the buffers for the ferry (needed in bad weather), and in the distance is the coastal mountains, where we're headed.

Look how spiky the mountains there are!
 There's even still a bit of snow up there!

Okay, here we go!
 There are two ramps that are lifted inside the ferry - looks like we are going down to the lower level! To the right, L!

Yes, we have to go down there.
 Once they load the lower decks, the ramps are put back down for cars to load onto the top deck. It's like Transformers, only a ferry and no giant robots.

We headed to the forward lounge and grabbed some seats for chilling out in during the 1.25 hour trip.
Looking back at the beach I was just on
 Once we were settled in, I took a wander around the decks and took some pictures. Have you ever been on a ferry? They are a part of life on the west coast, but I realize they are a novelty to anyone who is land-locked.

I went outside and looked down onto the upper car deck.
 I see someone through that sunroof, hee hee!

Looking up at the main control area.
 Oh, I see I can go up another level! How cool! Lots of people were outside, taking advantage of the cool breeze as a respite from the hot sun.

Up I went to the next level, looking back down on the stern of the vessel.
 The Sunshine Coast (the strip of the coastline including Powell River and other coastal towns) is mostly wilderness, so many people had kayaks, bikes and other outdoor gear.

This is such a shiny new ferry!
 All gleaming white paint, and no rust. I like that they installed lots of chairs, tables and benches for passengers to enjoy the views.

This one's for my Aussie readers!
 Thank you for the life-rafts!

At the bow of the ship, looking down to the vehicles on the upper deck.
 Dude chilling out in the bed of his truck. You aren't allowed to stay in your car if you're on the lower decks.

At the bow, looking back at the two passenger decks.
 Behind the large windows is the cafeteria. There is also a gift shop, computer/work area, kids play area, and lots of seating (with TVs). It's like a Tardis: bigger on the inside.

After a nice chunk of reading time with our headphones on (L and I both look forward to lots of reading on the ferry both ways), we're nearing Powell River.
 As you can see, the town goes right down to the water!

Waiting in the car as we dock.
 Our ramps have been opened!

It's very steep as we exit!
 I see sky! Let us out!

Here we are, coming off the docks, and into town.
 A short drive to our hotel, and then L and I went to his mom's place for dinner.

She's a snowbird, spending her winters with her boyfriend Dave in Arizona. Look what she brought us!
 Yay! Panthers and Dolphins ponchos! How awesome!

We hung out with Louise for the evening, then met her and Dave for breakfast at the hotel. Here's my Saturday outfit.
 Same outfit, different blouse (no cami).


  • Blouse - INC, thrifted; last worn here (5th outfit) in October 2017 with black culottes


This blouse is 100% silk and was amazingly cool to wear in the hot weather.
 I put my hair up too - whew, I'd forgotten how hot hair can be!

Me and L - klassy couple!
 His funky shoes (Fluevogs) and linen shirt covered in hammerhead sharks got a lot of attention. His shirt is a band (the Frances Luke Accord) we saw during our September 2017 trip to San Francisco (here and here).

A guest in the hotel lobby raved about our outfits, and some people yelled out their truck window that we looked great. We felt like celebrities - it pays to dress up!

L and Louise.
 On Saturday morning, we strolled the few blocks to Marine Drive, which is the main drag, full of lots of shops and restaurants.

Oh, yeah, the view is okay, I guess.
 That's Vancouver Island across the strait, and those snow-capped mountains are where Mt. Washington is located (see my girls' trip link above).

I liked this lawn chair on the sidewalk.
The little bit of art added to it was fun. 

L, Louise and I browsed in the second-hand/thrift stores along Marine - there are lots of them! I found a few things, and Louise found a lovely dress for only $10.

In the Willow Rose Boutique (link here 'cause I love!), I found a pair of awesome leather and cork sandals.
 I love the nice wedge detail of the leather wrapping around them. The pewter colour will be really versatile.

Not too much toe - I don't like my full toes hanging out in my sandals.
 The wide straps really secure these to my feet well. No wobbling.

Nice back detail, and the ankle straps are stamped with a four-leaf clover.
 Makes sense, as these are by Lucky Brand.

And look! Brand new!
 Never worn. I suspect these are from Winners - I recognize that sticker. I did not pay $110.00 for these - they were only $38.00.

Here they are on:
 A nice secure fit. Love! Can't wait to wear them.

In the jewelry case, I spotted these lovely wood and sterling silver earrings.
 I like really strong shapes in my jewelry.

The silver .925 stamp is there.
 These were only $5.00.

In another store (sorry, I lost the name), I found...gloves! Yes, it's the perfect season to be buying gloves.
These are nylon with down feather filling and fleece lining, and are fingerless. Only $6.00 - very good! No idea what brand they are, but I bet I'll wear them a lot in a few months.

Louise had a funeral to go to, so L and I had timed our day to meet up with some of his friends from high school who were also in town.
 L with Susan and her husband Briggs were here visiting her family. They live in Oklahoma now - one day we'll make it out there to visit them. What an adventure that will be!

And Christina (now living in Vancouver) and our dear (and silly) friend Kelly.
"W" is for woo!
 Kelly used to live in Victoria, but moved back to PR many years ago - miss you, Kel!

The high school gang:
 Aw, great to see you guys!

We hung out on the patio of the Coastal Cookery (great food), then everyone went their separate ways. We planned to meet up with Kelly for some more drinks after he ran an errand, so L and I wandered around a few blocks, killing time and taking some more pictures.

Down in the ferry dock area, there was a big signpost. Hey, L, which way is Victoria?
"That way!" 
 I wanted to loll about on the grass, but it was too hot. L, take my picture in front of all these boats!
These are all mine!
 The points in the background are where the mill is, and near to where L (and his mom and step-dad) used to live.

We popped into this very typical Powell River store. 
 I spy a whole lot of taxidermy! There were bears, deer, raccoons, skulls, and yup, that's a hornet's next above L's head.

We met up with Kelly again at the Westview. It's call that because it has a view...to the west! Shocking, I know.
 The ferry from the Island is coming in. Must be about 4:15pm.

L and Kelly on the deck.
 Rock on, my guys!

We went to Dave's place for Saturday evening - we had takeout Thai food for dinner while we waited for his son, daughter-in-law (hi, Lou!) and grandson to arrive from Ontario. They took the long route, up the mainland coast from Vancouver, so arrived later in the evening.
 Dave's place has an amazing view. There's another ferry docking - I think that's the Texada Island ferry (Texada's one of the populated islands in the strait between the mainland and Vancouver Island).

Later in the evening, I went out on the deck and took scads of pictures of the islands, boats and the pending sunset.
 The Vancouver Island ferry just visible and Vancouver Island in the far distance.

Looking north as the sun goes down. 
 We watched a bald eagle getting badgered by crows. Eagles eat crow eggs/babies - the crows are not fans, and chased the eagle off.

Zooming in on the mill north of town.
 Many of the long-time Powell Riverites worked there, including L and all of his family.

A tug carrying barges of crude wood, ready for refining into paper (the first barge), and for stoking the fires to run the mill (the subsequent barges).
 There is a lot of boat traffic, including lots of little pleasure craft coming in to dock for the night in the marina (where I posed earlier).

 And...sunset as the tug and barges arrive at the mill.
 L, Louise and I walked home shortly after. It was a long day of sun, drinks, food and people.

And we had to get up for the first ferry back to the Island.
 Just a sliver of a moon to light our way back to the hotel.

While we were in PR, they had Logger Sports Days on. This is as close as we got to it: driving past on the way to the ferry at 7am on our way home on Sunday.
 Not my bag, not even the "standing block chop" or the "double buck". Link here to see what the heck I'm talking about, and here's a great little YouTube video of some of the sports in action.

But no, not for us! Back we go, into the beast's maw!
 I mean, let's get on the ferry.

This time we were on the upper deck - there was not as much traffic as on our arrival to PR, so no cars on the lower deck on this trip.
 We went right to the front. Boo ya! That means we get off first(ish)!

Here's where we figured out what the big arches were. Oh yeah, they move!
 The walk-on passengers are silhouetted. They literally walk off the ferry from the bow before the cars disembark.

Driving back down-Island, coming from the ferry terminal, and cruising down the hill into the Comox Valley.
 Another gorgeous day.

Yup, nothing but road, mountains, trees and sky.
 We discovered that our car had a sun-roof, but it was just too hot - temps hit 30 degrees while we were driving down.

"Nice from far, far from nice" - here we are back at the Gnome.
 I left this pic uncropped because I didn't realize I'd caught this cyclist while we were zooming past.

Climbing back up the Malahat...
 Nothing but sky!

We are usually just raring to get home at this point.
 No stopping at the lookout!

Mt. Finlayson appears as we come over the crest.
 Hydro-electric towers.

The steep sides as we come down in elevation.
 Most of the rocky cliffs are covered with nets of chainlink to keep any falling rocks from hitting cars.

Home!
 Greater Victoria (as opposed to the City of Victoria, where we live) is home to Canada's Pacific Naval Fleet. Now you know.

I had brought this outfit with me to PR to wear on Saturday, with my plan to wear the silk shirt on the trip home, but I'd taken the wrong bra with me. Oops!
 L dropped me off at home while he took the rental car back so that I could shower and change, so I wore it anyway, wrinkles and all.


  • Shrug - Le Chateau, thrifted; last seen here with my polka dot dress for the vintage fair in June
  • Dress - Huanba, thrifted; last worn here in a 90s look in April


Minimal make-up for a quick walk down to Floyd's for brunch, and then home again. I know, I am very wrinkled and my bra is showing. Don't care! It was 29 degrees out!
"Oh, are you home? What did you bring me?"
 Guess who missed us?

He acted all nonchalant.
"Uncle Nick was adequate. You owe me a lot of kitty treats."
We gave him lots of attention. He's been very needy since we got home.

I was rather hot in this shiny shrug, but I hate the feel of sunscreen.
 I took it off in the diner (non-air-conditioned!), and fanned myself.

All ready for the great outdoors.
 We chilled out last night and today, enjoying the heat and not being at work on a Monday.

Vizzini, did you miss us?
"I guess so."
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and I hope you enjoyed my trip!

I'm also joining Samantha's link-up at Fake Fabulous while she drops off the face of the earth for the summer.