Sunday, June 16, 2013

There and Back - Journey for a Funeral

Hey, I'm back! As you might have guessed, L and I had to go back to Powell River to attend his step-dad's funeral this past weekend. Fortunately, both our jobs allow us a generous bereavement leave, so we left on Thursday. This is a big, picture-laden post (as my travel posts usually are), so don't say I didn't warn you.

I spent Thursday morning putting together a quick and small travel/funeral capsule. Vizzini helped.
"I won't let you go!"
 He burrowed into my skirt. How do cats/pets seem to know when you're about to leave them?
"If I stay on the skirt, the Woman can't go."
Our friend Zeb came in twice a day to feed the monster. Apparently Vizzini adored "Uncle" Zeb and rubbed all over his legs.

I didn't want to bring a ton of clothes with me. I also knew I'd be sitting around quite a lot, visiting with L's mom and his relatives.
My new-to-me purple cardigan made a great outer layering piece (I didn't take a coat). I thrifted it here a weekend ago for $5.00.

The top underneath is one that I wear around the house. I have worn it a couple of times on the blog:

  • January 2012 for a very dressed-down day at work (during moving/renovations); and
  • October 2011 for a casual Saturday out.

It's by Calvin Klein and I thrifted it for $12.50. It gets a lot of wear around the house. I think I've even played Ultimate in it.
The parachute skirt is one of my favourites. I last wore it here back in May (last outfit) for a casual brunch outing. It's wonderful for traveling, as the more it wrinkles, the better it looks.

I also wore this scarf that the wonderful Lynne gave me some time ago.
It's a python sort of print, in an olive-green. I tied it the way Secret Squirrel showed us! Thanks for the easy tutorial - I used that knot all weekend!

The shoes are my Enzo Angiolini gladiator sandals, last seen in the all-neutral June 2012 capsule (recap here) where I wore them 7 times.

For accessories, I am wearing my leather cuff, silver feather earrings and for rings, my spoon ring and snake ring.

Cardigan (Jacob, thrifted), tee (Calvin Klein, thrifted), skirt (Cute Options), shoes (Enzo Angiolini, consignment), scarf (gift from Lynne), cuff (Guess, thrifted), earrings (locally-made), snake ring (homegrown vintage, 80s), spoon ring (About Tine).

We started with a lovely sunny day. I never tire of the grand scenery here.
 It's so green! Most of the road has been blasted through the rock, so the sides of the road are really steep.

This is an arbutus tree - they are rare, and only found on the West Coast. I like how this one is growing right out of the rock face.
We also have tons of fir, pine and I think that's a chestnut tree in the lower left corner.

Mount Finlayson towered over us.
It's hard to take it all in. It's so beautiful.

L and I had the roof up on the convertible for the early part of the drive.
That's either a raven or a hawk. We saw lots of both.

I took a shot of L:
He's looking sombre.

I liked the drama of the power line towers looming over us.
Nearly sentient.

I had lots of time - LOTS of time - to take pictures on the Malahat. Why?
It's a construction zone right now! Greaaaaaaat....

We crawled along at about 3 kmph for an hour.
Yup, still crawling.

We finally got past most of it near the summit.
Tourist spot
You can see the spatters of rain starting to hit our windshield. It got cloudier as we drove further.

I caught a shot of the giant hockey stick in Duncan.
Yeah, I don't know.

This mountain is called Mount Prevost. My mom's sister, my Aunt M, lived at the foot of it just outside of Duncan when I was a kid. Every summer, my brother and I would be shipped up-Island for two weeks to stay with my aunt and uncle and cousins.
I have some good memories of those trips; some funny, some weird. Chickens, the smell of hot hay, being introduced to "The Time Warp" by my cousin Cathy.

Onward! We passed Nanaimo, which means we get to drive fast!
We go up to 130 kmph (about 78 mph) on this stretch. It's about 1/3 of the trip and we make it in about an hour.

Some of the mountain ranges on the island still have snow on them.
The clouds loomed - we had to put the "lid" up on the car when it started raining.

We made it to the ferry with half an hour to spare (thank you, delaying construction).
I took that out the door of the cafeteria - I love how the light is breaking through the clouds.

Because we're a small car, we're nearly always one of the first on the ferry. And you know what "first on" means!
First off! Well, after the walk-on passengers (only two here), of course.

We hung out with L's mom and brother on Thursday night, then on Friday got ready for the funeral and tea afterwards.

I took my pictures outside since it was nice out (and a bit windy - my hair looked better than that).
The purple cardigan worn over a black cami with a black belt over it. The skirt is my grey Plum pencil skirt, last seen here in April with a candy-cane bustle.

I'm linking up to Patti's "Visible Monday" over at Not Dead Yet Style. This weekend wasn't about me, so I didn't work at making myself visible; it was about being there for L and his family. There are different ways to be visible - sometimes one doesn't need to "shout" with bright colours. I ended up being perfectly appropriate for the funeral and tea (I admit I was shocked at people in shorts and t-shirts - have a little respect, people!).
You can't see them because my feet sunk into the lawn (L's brother mowed it the next day), but I'm wearing my black kitten heels, last seen here (3rd outfit) in April with my snowflake skirt. For accessories, I wore my Grandma J's jet/rhinestone choker and some rhinetone studs, along with the spoon ring.

In the evening, I switched to my olive maxi again, and took the belt off. Way more comfy.

This is my mother-in-law's backyard - she loves to garden.
On Saturday, we had all of her brothers (4) and sister (1) over, plus all of their spouses and some of their kids/grandkids. L and I played frisbee here with a bunch of them. I ended up climbing into the flower garden a few times to retrieve the disc.

While I was prowling around on Friday looking for a spot to take pictures, I saw this robin checking out the herb pots.
What a lovely fellow!

I picked some strawberries - look how luscious and ripe they are.
I've never tasted better in my life. I had them on my cereal.

The flower garden is glorious. The peonies were in full bloom.
 Delicate pale pink.
 Vibrant and rich.
I am always envious of other people's gardens, as I have such a brown thumb myself. I am terrible with plants.

There was a graveside service, then everyone went to the local hall for a memorial tea. L did the eulogy - I teared up several times. He did such a wonderful job - I was so proud that he'd captured his step-dad's personality so well.
Lawrence loved to fish, so all the tablecloths were sea blue, and were decorated with upside-down fishing lures, hence the eye on the "flowers". I was informed that these are called "hoochies" - everyone had a laugh at me. In my world, "hoochie" is how I dressed when I went out clubbing as a teen. Oops! Ha!

This is Lawrence:
L's brother put together a photo memorial, and L's mom made the centrepiece. The rock on the right is from a town in Manitoba where he grew up, and that's a fishing trophy on the left.

It was a really emotional day - very rough for all. We spent a quiet Friday night.

On Saturday, L and I went out to find a frisbee (for the aforementioned disc-tossing), and to pick up liquor for all the relatives that would be descending that night.
I know, bad pose. I didn't have a lot of time.
 I wore the pencil skirt again, and a Smoking Lily top.
I had to sunblock myself up to the eyeballs - it got really hot out! I did play frisbee in this outfit! Unfortunately, I got a spot of bleach on the front of the tee (*sigh*) so it won't be worn "for good" anymore.

L and I went for lunch at the Jailhouse Cafe. It used to be...a jailhouse. We sat next to the old doors.
I really love that cat painting too. The food was amazing, and although the owner/cook is a little gruff, he was really nice. We've been there before with our friend Kelly, and if we lived in PR it would be "our" diner.

I didn't take any pictures of the big family reunion (I'm not good with crowds of people at the best of times), but it was fun (wine and frisbee helped).

We got up at 6:30 am today and packed up for the trip home. You will forgive me - no make-up and wet hair!
I put on the Smoking Lily top back to front, layered the cardigan over that, and put the loose skirt and sandals on again. I had my brass leaf earrings (Plum), spoon bracelet (About Tine) and my spinner ring (Twang & Pearl) on.

After 3 days, we were really missing Vizzini. I took this picture the morning we left.
Can't you just feel how soft and warm his fur is from sitting in the sun?

Waiting at the ferry dock - and there she is, the mighty Queen of Burnaby!
That's Vancouver Island (the northern part of it) in the far background. I think that's Harwood Island directly behind it.  There are lots of islands between the mainland (where PR is) and Vancouver Island (a monster-big island where I live).

This is where you drive onto the ferry, that lane that curves to the right.
This area has just been re-done to make it look all nice for tourists. It's pretty but it's a ferry dock - nothing special, really!

Driving onto the ferry:
We have to hand our boarding pass to the ferry employee standing at the little station.

Then we get to drive on.
That dude in the vest directs the cars where to go - they have to make sure the weight of all the cars and trucks is evenly distributed. Nothing fun about a tippy ferry!

View looking towards Vancouver Island.
A good shot of the mountains.

Getting closer...
Passengers aren't allowed in this area, but don't you just want to clang that bell?

And we're in the Comox Valley!
From here, we head back to the Island Highway. It's part of the Trans-Canada Highway - it goes all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast of Canada. Mile Zero is on the waterfront in my city, Victoria, way down on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

Although it looks cloudy, it was smoking hot for the whole drive down. We kept the "lid" on the car since it would have been sun in our faces (and sunburn!).
The scenery changes so fast.

Only an hour later, and we passed the blasted tree.
I bet it was struck by lightning at some point, but it seems to be still growing.

I nearly missed the gnome! He's had a new paint job - now he has a blue shirt!
I hope you enjoyed my travels - although it was a sad trip overall, there were some bright spots.

Like coming home to a very lovey kitty:
"I didn't miss you a bit." 
 I actually took these pictures before we left. I like to look at them on the camera when I miss my bub.
"I slept on your robe and shredded your chair some more."
But I took this one when we got home. He was so happy to see us! He rubbed all over us and is being very needy. 
"Lies! I had Uncle Zeb."

I missed Tamera's Black and White Party - thank goodness Vizzini was on the ball (and in his black and white tux, of course).

It's really good to be home...


  1. Welcome home after a difficult trip, Sheila. The gnome! The ferry! I feel like I can come along on your trips now. Hugs to all of L's family, and thanks for sharing your travels with Visible Monday.

    PS I always take pictures of my kittehs with me when I go away too.

  2. Glad you returned safely...those silver shoes are amazing!

  3. Fun taking a virtual road trip with you! Love those dramatic cloud shots on the water.
    Sorry it had to happen for such a sad occasion.

  4. Am getting ready for a funeral today too (mother in law), was wondering what to wear, thanks for the inspiration, a little colour rather than all black is a nice touch.

  5. Lots of great pics...
    glad to hear that you are safe and sound.
    That skirt is so versatile and the sandals are fabulous!

  6. What a beautiful (and sad) trip. It looks like it was still a nice visi, even with the sadness.

    Vizzini looks so soft and lovely. I'd love to bury my nose in that pretty fur and nap with him in the sun. (I do a lot of napping on Sundays). My mom is moving and we may be losing the kittens due to animal limits. I am sad, because I will miss them terribly! Hopefully they will go to new homes though.

  7. This post will make a wonderful memory for you and L. So glad you shared this journey with us, both the road trip and your attire. I think I could almost smell those peonies from here.

  8. Great post, and I admit to feeling a little emotional when you shared all those beautiful details that people had added to the service. A difficult trip. But your post moves into and out of it so well. Sometimes I forget how beautiful BC is, and so full of chances to go on boat trips. The mighty Queen of Burnaby!! I love that parachute skirt. T-shirts and shorts? And adorable Vizzini.

  9. Lovely photos, it's nice that you still had some joy out of a trip for such a sad reason. It's good you got to say a fitting goodbye. I like your chosen outfit too, I can't imagine people turning up in t-shirt and shorts!

  10. Welcome back! I'm glad the travels went well and that you were able to squeeze in some fun things along with the funeral. I'm drooling over those fresh strawberries - I bet they were delicious!! And the Jailhouse place looks really neat too!

    And I love all the Vizzini pictures! I start to miss my girls too when I'm away for more than just a day or two!

  11. Looks like you had a nice trip despite the sad circumstances. I find funerals are a great time to get caught up with family and friends that you don't see often enough. Looks like your capsule wardrobe served you well.

    Love the Vizzini shots. Such a cute little face.

  12. What a full weekend. You looked lovely throughout, but of course it was highly emotional and sad too.
    Gorgeous scenery, and what a lovely garden.
    I bet Vizzini missed you, he's such a handsome boy! xxx

  13. I always enjoy your travel pictures--such a gorgeous place!1 Glad everything went well--the memorial tea looked amazing.

    I know you were at the party in spirit and Vizzini represented well!! He certainly is photogenic-the big ham!

  14. Good to have you back. It sounds like your family honoured Lawrence with a good send off and family meetup. I am glad the Roman Knot travelled with you, certainly looked good on you. Great travel capsule too,to cover lots of requirements...

  15. Sad event ... but it looks like the family did their best to remain celebratory of his life. Love every outfit ... drapey skirt, poor ruined blue tee, silver sandals ... all of the pieces. Pretty travel pics, especially robin and the garden!
    But I always love your photos of Vizzini ... my lot rarely cooperate. At my place, today, is a rare photo of my Evil Twins, Janie and Posh. Feel free to pop by to see my babies!
    Have a grand week!


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