Monday, February 9, 2015

A Very PR Weekend: Travel, a Cat of Comox, and Home Again

I'm back! It was our annual-ish trip to Powell River, a very small logging town on the west coast of Canada, to visit my mother-in-law, Louise, as well as L's brother. Yes, it's a holiday, but it's also a rough social situation. Travel, anxiety... "I'm dreading it" face.

  • Sweater - cashmere, thrifted; bought for wearing around the house here in November 2014.
  • Jeans - Ralph Lauren, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) in October 2014 
  • Boots - Ash; last seen here with a football jersey in January

We headed out early on Thursday. I got some last-minute cuddles with Vizzini.
"I cuddle begrudgingly."
Not a particularly fashionable outfit - I wear this pants/sweater combo around the house. I also took another soft sweater and a simple skirt to wear on Friday.

Added the octo-coat and a cashmere scarf.
"To hat or not to hat?"
I took the hat, and was glad of it, as it poured for much of the time we were there.

Where is Officer Vizzini?
"Are those travelling backpacks I see?"
Keeping the neighbourhood safe while we were away.

I found him in his little hidey-hole behind the curtains, at the base of his scratching post:
"I'm just going to sleep here until you get back."
Uncle Nick looked after him just fine; in return, Vizzini tried to eat his buttons.

I always take lots of pictures on the 3-hour drive from Victoria to Courtenay/Comox - it reminds me of what an amazing place we live in.

The start of the Malahat Drive, a steep, winding highway that climbs up from Victoria headed north on the island.
I love how all the trees along the road are just coated in moss right now.

Looking down on Victoria from the top of the Malahat.
My part of the world is temperate rainforest. Very damp.

We had a lot of fog.
We basically drove through clouds.
Nice light traffic - I hate when there are a lot of cars on the road.

You always want to get past the logging trucks - they are scary-big.
And everyone's zooming along at 120 kmph (about 75 mph).

I liked this sign at a car lot outside of Duncan.
A classic vintage truck!

As we passed Nanaimo, this fabulous rainbow arced over the highway.
That's the only blue sky we saw the whole time.
The other side of the rainbow, near the airport.
It turned into a double rainbow very briefly - can you see it?

I don't really think about it because I'm so used to it, but there is a lot of logging equipment for sale along the Island Highway.
Your classic bulldozer/tractor with a rear grabber, and that tractor on the right has a front attachment specifically for picking up logs.

I got a glimpse of our big-handed friend on the way up!
The gnome!

I like this stretch north of Nanaimo - it's referred to as the "new highway", even though it's been built for over 10 years.
You can go really fast here - it just zips along. Much of the old highway was very winding, following the natural terrain.

This is what a logging truck looks like without logs on it.
I like seeing how the rear 3 wheels fold up to make it more compact. It's still a darned big truck!

L and I have driven this highway dozens and dozens of times.
Secret selfie in the rear-view mirror!
I have never seen an elk along it.

A big long lonely highway.
Almost there!

L and I listen to CDs both ways, and sing along and talk. I love the road-trip aspect of this journey every time.

We've arrived at the ferry terminal in Comox!
It's pretty windy - that windsock is blowing horizontally!

That's us in the mirror paying for the ferry, with the pedestrian waiting room through the chain-link fence. It costs $75 one way to take a car with two people to the mainland - it gets more expensive every year!
Not our car - we rent an SUV because my old bones can't take 3+ hours in our sports car!
We were first in line! And look who I spotted!
I see the ferry has arrived, on the right.
It's a Cat of Comox!
"I'm an old patrol-cat, makin' the rounds."
He was a grumpy-looking old fellow, but he seemed to own the place.
"Yup, lots of cars."
The terminal has had a face-lift in the last decade or so - I've sat in that waiting room (a long time ago) when it was unheated. Brr!

L and I head straight for the forward lounge, where we plug in our mp3 players and read for the 1.5 hour sailing time.
That's Powell River, at the foot of the coastal mountains. You can see the steam coming off the pulp mill on the left, through the window.

The town is built up along the side of the hills, right down to the waterfront.
It was too windy to go out on the decks this trip.

Coming off the ferry, it's just starting to get dark.
We left home at 10:30am and arrive around 4:30pm. It's a long trip.

On Friday, we went for lunch at the Shinglemill Pub.
It's on the edge of Powell Lake.
Pretty quiet this time of year - they get a big influx of campers, hikers and tourists when the summer rolls around.

Everything is starting to get green again.
I walked back to Louise's from the mall - no sidewalks! No one walks anywhere. Thank goodness the bears are all in hibernation still!

We got up to catch the 7am sailing on Saturday morning. I always worry until I can see the ferry coming in.
There it is!

And here we go...
It's a little nerve-wracking driving onto the ferry at times. There are always giant transport trucks taking things back and forth from the Island to the mainland. Powell River is pretty isolated.

Back on the island, driving down into the Comox Valley. Those mountains in the clouds are still on Vancouver Island.
It's a very big island, and mostly non-populated. You can't even drive to the other end - there just aren't any roads.

It was rainy on the way down.
Traffic picked up once we were closer to Nanaimo - being a long weekend, many "down-Islanders" drive up-Island to go skiing.

There he is! The big-handed gnome!
You can't really get an appreciation for his size until you see the house and the gas station near him.
"Hello! Look at my huge hands!"
We hit a bunch of traffic outside of Duncan (my guess was people going for brunch), so while we were paused at Silver Bridge, I admired the structure.
So cool. I love bridges.

Some nastiness on the Malahat coming down.
Rain, more big scary trucks, clouds and fog.

Power lines:
They're connecting across Finlayson Arm, an inlet of the ocean. Civilization is that way!

And there's Mount Finlayson.
That drop-off goes straight down - this road is cut out of the side of these mountains.

Back through Goldstream Park.
And we're home!

L and I have been holed up at home all weekend, not really doing anything other than napping and playing games and watching a bit of TV. It's been really restful and relaxing.

On Sunday, we went for brunch with Nick and Karen, so I made an effort - the only effort I made all weekend!
Weekend hair! I feel like I haven't done my hair for ages!

This is my entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go! Now!

  • Sweater - Jeanne Bekker, consignment; last worn here in December 2014 with a tell-tale heart
  • Skirt - Plum; last worn here in January (same day as the Ash booties)
  • Boots - Prepare Guide, Fluevog; last seen here (2nd outfit) in December 2014 for a weekend brunch.

Actually, that last outfit with the grey boots, the blue sweater and snakeskin skirt - that was my other two-piece outfit that I wore while I was away.
After hiding from people for a few days, it felt weird to be out in a busy environment again. I have a feeling tomorrow will be difficult until I'm back in the swing of things.
Just simple colours and textures.

The stuff:
Love these woolly boots!

Tough bling:
Jewelry as armour!

  • Necklace - The Bay
  • Ear-cuff - Claire's
  • Snake and spider rings - homegrown vintage 1985ish 
  • Red ring - Oscar & Libby's
  • Spinner rings - consignment and bought new/local
  • Stud earring - can't remember

Vizzini was waiting for us when we got home.
"Oh, were you gone?"
He's been very good and has been getting a lot of lap time with us.
"You better not go back to work!"
Sorry, buddy, but you'll have to do the lounging for us for now.

And how the time flies! This Friday is Shoe Shine, Valentine's edition! 
See you there!


  1. Your road photos are so quintessentially BC. No need now for me to leave Vancouver. Rocks, trees, hills, fields, trucks and farm equipment, and signs advertising mythical wildlife, sprinkled with towns of shopping malls and no sidewalks. You look happy to be home. I'm glad you had a safe trip and Vizzini kept guard of your home. Love that skirt!

  2. Yikes that's quite a gnome..... I have a pair of Ash biker boots that I live in and have lasted for years!!!

  3. Super cute brunch outfit and hair! Looks like you have this trip down to a science. I'm sure you're glad to be back home.

  4. Look at the hands on that gnome! And I love Ferry Cat, he looks like he has truly seen it all. Thanks for sharing it all with Visible Monday, xox.

  5. Rainbows! What a fun travelogue, to an unusual destination. It feels like we went with you -- and complained about your selection of CD's. :-)

    You know what's interesting? I'm not sure how, but you convey your emotional state through your blog with such clarity that we grasp what you're feeling. I like that. It draws us closer to you.

  6. Tricky conditions, but you made it there and back safely and hopefully without too much stress.
    Lovely textures in that last outfit, and cool hair too, of course! Bet Officer V was delighted to have you back home again. xx

  7. I love everything about the "I'm dreading it" photo -- the expression, the composition, the outfit! The outfit, actually, is a perfect example of you taking basics and making them special. It isn't just boots - it's boots with studs. It isn't just pants - they're a great saturated colour. I mean, your "laying around the house" sweater is cashmere, for crying out loud! Sheila, you just naturally ooze style!

  8. Oh, were you gone?....oh, that makes me laugh! It's not the roads as much as the other drivers, yes? You'll be back in your groove before seems to happen that way.

  9. The weather looks typical for this time of year....I always think of Tony Onley's watercolour paintings when it is foggy and grey. That gnome is rather large, I have never passed by him on our drives up island. I will look for him next time we go north.
    I bet your kitty is happy to have you both back safe and sound.

  10. Thanks for taking us along on your road trip! I rather enjoy being a passenger on road trips, but visits to family are usually anxiety-inducing, and I'm always glad to get home to my little apartment.

    You and I have an almost identical hair swirl going on right now, except mine is dark orange and magenta!

  11. You look so cute when you do a punk sort of look. You get a sort of special glow. Oh that gnome! What a very familiar looking set of pictures-lol. I do hope you waved at me as you went through Courtenay and out to the ferry. There's a little shop downtown Courtenay selling Fluevogs now, and it's right next to my favourite cafe. I will try to tempt you to stop and meet me there next time! xo

  12. Oh I'm all homesick for BC now!
    Loove the cat hiding behind the curtain shot. Classic! Our cat was doing this today too.
    Seeing all that water reminded me of how I felt the sky was sitting on my head at times.
    Logging trucks are so cool.
    Thanks for sharing your road trip! xo Jazzy Jack


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