Monday, January 27, 2020

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Road Trip! Up-Island to Powell River (Bonus Shopping Expedition!)

Hello, my friends, I'm home! L and I drove up-Island (as we locals call it) and took a ferry to go visit L's mom and brother in Powell River. 
Here we are rockin' it out on the ferry, many hours after we started, but I'll get to that shortly. I have oodles of travel pictures - I live in a cool place - and stuff to show you, so let's get 'er going.

Thursday night, getting our stuff together. Vizzini can always tell.
"This bag must be important - it has pictures of me on it."

We left him in the good care of Ross and Cat while we were away.

I pack very light when I travel. I wore a variation of this every day.
I wore this exact outfit on the way home. I wore a different set of socks/underwear/t-shirt each day.

  • Sweater - Jay Jays, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) in October 2019 for Yvonne's closet swapover
  • Silver jeans - H&M, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) a couple of weeks ago for brunch
  • Shoes - Gabor; last worn here (2nd outfit) in December 2019 while shopping with a friend
  • Poncho (below) - Ralph Lauren, thrifted; purchased here for $27.99
  • Coat (below) - Danier Leather, consignment; last seen here earlier this week

I was startled to see the Castle's tower wrapped in scaffolding while out doing my stair picture.
Although it's rainy season, this is a good non-touristy time to do their renos. I'm sure all this rain and wind is hard on the structure.

Since we would be driving for about 3 hours, plus sitting on a ferry, then sitting around gabbing with friends and family, I dressed appropriately, in very stretchy, comfy clothes.
The sweater is cotton, with a cotton tee underneath.

I sleep in my tees, which are mostly souvenirs from the bands we've seen.
The jeans are my beloved space pants. Super stretchy and just a little "out there" for the sleepy, semi-rural town and its inhabitants.

The weather up-Island this time of year can be pretty much anything, so I also brought my acrylic poncho that I thrifted back in October.
Although I've never worn this on the blog, I do wear it frequently. It's my computer poncho - I wear it when I'm reading the internet so that I don't get chilled from all that sitting around.

With my coat and assorted accoutrements for any kind of weather.
The leather jacket has extra insulation so it was nice and warm.

  • Toque - gift from Caro
  • Wool scarf - thrifted
  • Quilted gloves, thrifted, Powell River

I actually thrifted these gloves on a previous trip to PR, a few years ago.
Fully bundled up - I was dressed this this at one point.

I was also dressed like this at another point.
The poncho was wonderful, as I stayed as cozy as I needed to be, whatever environment I was in.

This is my outfit for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style.

The stuff:
I wore the same shoes and accessories for the whole trip.

  • Leather cuff - Guess, thrifted
  • Studded cuff - vintage 90s
  • Earrings - gift from Lise

So, here* is a map of where British Columbia, Canada is, and here is Vancouver Island (where I live). Victoria - my city - is on the southern tip. Just so you know where we're going.
*all links 'cause I love
Coming up to Goldstream Provincial Park - note all the trees covered in moss.

L and I haven't had a car for over 3 years, so we rented a nice little SUV for the ~225km drive each way.

It was cloudy, rainy, windy and sunny. You're going to see it all.
Gaining elevation as we hit the clouds on the Malahat Drive.

I was impressed that my new little camera took such good pictures as we zoomed along.
Looking south - on a clear day, you'd see mountains with Victoria in the distance.

We just drive until we're at the ferry, no stops. It's about a 2.5-3 hour drive, depending on the weather and traffic.
The Malahat Summit - that's the Saanich Peninsula across the water.

We spotted several rainbows on our way up.
We are driving on the Island Highway - most of it has dividers to separate oncoming traffic.

The Island is full of fertile pockets with dairy farms and other kinds of produce-growing areas; we passed a hazelnut farm and tons of wineries.
Sunny as we approach Duncan.

There are many rivers on the Island, and many bridges. I'm fond of these old steel ones.
North of Duncan.

Another rainbow!
Very light traffic - in the summer, this is packed.

Passing the Nanaimo airport.
That's the biggest plane they can handle - it's a tiny airport.

North of Nanaimo is a long stretch of two-lane highway both ways.
So glad we didn't encounter any logging trucks, like that one on the left! Scary!

And as we approached the Comox Valley...another rainbow!
No elk, though. I have never seen an elk on this road.

But wait, how about some more rain first? I'm so glad L is a good driver.
Driving at 110 km/hr (about 70mph) is terrifying when it's stormy or snowing. 

Many parts of Vancouver Island are nothing but trees, mountains and wildlife.
There are lots of hawks and bald eagles, like this guy.

After a quick stop in Courtenay for Subway for a late lunch, we made it to the ferry with plenty of time to spare.
Our snazzy little car.

I got out and stretched my legs, and found a map of the last leg of our trip: the ferry to Powell River.
It's about 1.5 hours to get there.

I strolled on the beach for a bit, taking pictures.
The sand was wet from the rain.

There's our ferry waiting for us, the Salish Eagle.
This is a new ferry, just put on the route a couple of years ago.

I zoomed in on these ducks.
I don't know what kind they are.

I know this is a loon, though.
Just like on the dollar coin, the "Loonie."

Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox is very nearby - planes were going overhead every few minutes.
Very loud. 

There was a lot of kelp and seaweed on the beach due to all the stormy weather.
I like the pale green inside that shell.

I love standing at the edge of the ocean.
Especially in groovy shoes. 

Oops, better get back to the car!
The ferry only runs 3 times a day, wouldn't want to miss it!

We were almost first on.
I always find driving on the ferry very exciting!

I went for a stroll around the decks, since it was sunny by then.
"This is Sheila, your roving reporter, and it's VERY WINDY out here!"

Looking back at the Island.
We call that sea a "light chop."

Only a few other brave souls dared to go outside.
It was too cold to sit on a bench! 

Looking down at the cars - that's us on the right in front.
We were first off! Woo! #ferrygoals

I see Powell River in the distance!
That's the Sunshine Coast, the mainland of BC.

Getting closer...
That "shield" is down during the sailing, and lifted so that we can drive off.

I love the colours in this picture - it looks like a painting to me.
That's the ferry dock pilings, along the bottom, leading to the actual dock on the left.

By the time we checked into our hotel it was evening. We met up with L's former coworker and friend Mark for some drinks. After that, we met up with our dear friend Kelly for dinner. Great to see them both!

On Saturday, we went to L's mom's place to see her and L's brother.

Same outfit as the drive up, but a different sweater.

  • Sweater - J. Crew, thrifted; last worn here in December 2019 with pink and flowers

As the family settled in for a long day of hanging out and catching up, I headed out for some Mental Health time: a good long walk and a visit to some of PR's second-hand stores.

My first stop was the Salvation Army. We have a Sally Ann in Victoria, but I don't go to the one downtown (icky) so I had low expectations.

I was thrilled to find a wonderfully bright clean store, filled with amazing finds, starting with this incredible dress.
I am a big fan of the Chinese cheongsam-style dresses - the hot pink accents caught my eye, as well as the luxurious feel of the fabric.

Ooh, the splits on the sides are lined with hot pink satin!
The entire dress is lined in pink satin!

Look at that amazing detail.
The pink handmade frogs, and the little black buttons.

But this isn't a traditional cheongsam (which I do see a lot of in thrift stores); it's got a zipper!
I love the woven leaf design in the black fabric.

There's a black button at the top of the zipper - that's a nice detail.
The black fabric is rayon and silk.
 The lining is polyester.
And it's made in the USA! Score!

But's not just a dress. There's a matching jacket!
OMG, feather cuffs.

Pink satin lining.
Maribou cuffs! Eee!

More frogs and more black buttons down the front.
I have a swanky event to go to in a couple of weeks - I might be wearing this outfit!

This is by Sue Wong and for something that's a size M and not an actual size, I was amazed at the perfect fit of it. I've never heard of Sue Wong before (here's her bio, drool over the dresses in her gallery here), but she seems to specialize in fancy clothes, since the 80s.
Both pieces were $9.99! I'm sure this set is from the late 90s/early 00s - I remember cheongsam styles being very popular then - and I'm positive that this would have retailed for over $200 new. Wow! As I was trying this on, I kept going, "OMG" in my head. I had butterflies, I was so excited!

I hemmed and hawed over this black beaded viscose/polyester dress.
It looks good on - this is also an early 00s style that I remember.

Look at that gorgeous iridescent beading!
The straps perfectly cover the bra straps.
 They even have a nice little tab and snap fastener to ensure your straps stay in place. Quality!

Bugle beads all down the back slit, which is nice and high for striding about.
I don't know this brand at all - Freesha.
There's nothing about them online, so I'm guessing this brand is defunct. $24.99 seemed like a bargain, even if I only wear it once. I couldn't leave it behind!

My dear mother-in-law had also just given L and I our Christmas gifts - cash - so I wasn't going to quibble. I bought a couple of things I might not have otherwise, since it wasn't my money.
 Like this crazyass skirt. I can see "messages"and "symboles" on it.

It has a really high walking slit. I like that!
I couldn't resist this soft fleece!
 Look how fuzzy that is!

I think this is handmade - there are no tags or evidence of tags.
 And it was only $4.99.

I also bit on this floral blouse.
 I am a sucker for "granny chic" - wave anything floral near me, and my hands will go all grabby.
And it has a bow!

It's only by Suzy Shier, a Canadian mall chain.
But it was only $4.99 - close to what this would have been on a sale rack - and it's washable and I'll probably get a bit of wear out of it.

I don't usually buy unpackaged tights, but these did not look worn.
It's not everyone who can carry off lavender tights with white lace and dots. I'm a little nervous about it myself. But for $1.99, why not try?

That was my trip to the Salvation Army - I left with a big bag stuffed with my goodies, and ventured down to Marine Ave.

I very rarely shop retail, but Powell River's independent boutiques are up against the behemoth of online shopping too (just like Victoria's), so I'm happy to poke around and see if there is something that speaks to me.
There was! And I had gift money for just this perfect moment. Look at that amazing pattern!

I love the grey and white stripes.
Nice smocking in back - I can see this with my high-waisted pink satin pants, right?

I love this print.
 Palm Beach? Miami?

It's by Guess and was marked down to $53.00 from $89.00.
Louise approved of this purchase. I liked being able to show her right away what I'd found, what she'd bought me.

I popped into another little thrift store and dug around for a while. This turquoise sweater leaped out at me.
I know a vintage sweater when I see one.

Yup, Pringle - I have a belt by them (pic here)!
Can you imagine sweaters today having measurements like this (34/87)? I knew this cardigan would fit, since my bra is a 34. You often see vintage slips sized with chest measurements as well. I'd say this is from the 1960s.

I spotted this cuff in a cabinet and asked to look at it.
I like the etched design, which is only on the "top".

This is lock for the hinge. You push that down to open it.
I can tell by those two loops on the edge that this used to have a safety chain on it.

The etching overlaps at the hinge (there's also a small dent there on the right). The bracelet is hollow.
 And it is marked "Sterling".
I can't tell what the stamp is, though. I paid $8.00 for this which seemed like a good price.

I spent a bunch of time in one consignment store, but only came away with this faux fur hat.
It is ginormous. It was $10.00.

It's called the Cossack Hat and it's by M&S Collection. Looks like it retailed for around $45.00, so score!
I can't wait to wear it!

We were up early for the first ferry back to the Island on Sunday morning.
We're off the ferry and headed back through the Comox Valley.

I don't take as many shots going down-Island, as we're both pretty exhausted and just ready to be home. Three more hours of driving...
The open stretch, headed for Nanaimo.

Before we knew it, we were back at the top of the Malahat.
Practically  home! 

Thanks to my wonderful driver! Ready to be home, love?

We were greeted by our ecstatic kitty.
"You know where my treats are, Woman."

I have it on good authority that Ross and Cat spoiled him.
"Okay, a bit of scritching is most welcome." 

L and I both spent Monday relaxing and decompressing from our long trip. It's great to have the extra day!

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


  1. You certainly do shine in your travelling outfit, Sheila. I admire your ability to travel light. We'll be going on a short break next week, and I'm stressing about what to take already! I think I'll take my poncho, as you've just reminded me :-) Cats eh? They are clever, and know when you're about to abandon them! I love your account of your drive up to the ferry, the scenery is magnificent and also a bit scary at times. How fabulous that you spotted that bald eagle! Love your Sally Ann finds, especially that magnificent cheongsam-style suit and the floral blouse. Also, well done on finding the Pringle sweater in the other store. And the cossack style M&S hat! Bet Vizzini was glad to have you home an extra day! xxx

    1. Thanks, Ann! Clothing when I travel is almost purely all about function for me. I was amazed at how versatile the poncho was.

      Yes, the kitties always know! He was very happy to have us home for an extra day.

      Thank you! I love taking pictures and showing off where I live to you guys. I'm so excited about all the great thrift finds.

  2. How good you are with your travel packing; talk about light!

    What fabulous finds. The Cheongsam dress and matching jacket is beautiful - no wonder you got butterflies! I think the skirt is really fab and I bet it looks wonderful on. I'm like you with florals; I find them irresistible and your blouse is gorgeous. The tights are amazing. The Salvation Army did you proud!

    I loved your Guess top - the design looks like a photo. The cuff is very pretty and you've gone all European with a Pringle cardigan and a M&S fur hat!

    It's good you had time to wind down on Monday from your trip.

    I was in a charity shop on Friday and they had a basket full of hand knitted mice filled with catnip; I immediately thought of Vizzini...

    1. Yup, I have no time for fussy things when I travel.

      Thanks - I'm super-excited about the cheongsam dress and jacket. I had a lot of fun poking around.

      I think it is a digital print on that blouse, for sure. I often see M&S, but not Pringle! I knew that was a good find.

      Having Monday off was the best - we got to hang with Vizzini! He would eat those mice, ha!

  3. Powell River looks so beautiful (even in winter!). So nice you could have a long weekend and a get-away. Mid-winter just begs for a break from routine. Does Vizzini give you the cold shoulder when you've been away? My cat does for at least a half day. Once we've been suitably punished he forgives and seemingly forgets.

    Absolutely great finds. I can't wait to see how you wear them. I am particularly curious as to how the fleece skirt will work. The hat I think was made for you - I already have a mental picture of you rocking it.

    1. It's a very rustic place, Nana - good to visit.

      No, Vizzini is always really happy to see us, and wants to be held while he drools all over us. He's quite a sucky little guy when one of us has been gone for a bit. We don't get any "vacation revenge" from him.

      I hope you liked how I styled the skirt yesterday. I love the hat, and am looking forward to wearing it soon! Thanks so much!

  4. Great to see your side of the world. Love the Chinese pieces. Lise

  5. Oh don t you just love road trips that include a ferry! I do, because that means the UK! And what an amazing bargains you found again! It s likes little holiday to get away for a few days isn t it! Even two nights away feel so relaxed! I ll bet Vizzini was happy to see the both of you again!

    1. Ha, actually I'm not much of a ferry fan, Nancy, but I guess that comes with growing up on an island and being dependent on them. If we could fly to PR, we would!

      I had such a good shop, didn't I? It was a good mini-break. Vizzini was very happy to see us, although he does love Cat and Ross.

  6. Oh you did so well with your thrifting on your tip, and it's always interesting seeing photos as you travel.

    I really like that beaded dress you got! I saw a similarly patterned bolero in an opshop and decided against it - when I went back it was gone, so I'm glad you got this one and I'm looking forward to seeing how you style it and your stunning black and pink set! :)

    1. Thanks, Mica! I am also a fan of the beaded dress - those boleros and tops and dresses in this style were quite the thing for a while in the 80s/90s. I hope you find another one.

      I'll be wearing all of these soon!

  7. What a wonderful travel report! Thanks for the pictures. I want to explore more of BC and your part of the world. Its natural beauty and contrast to where I live appeal to me. Reports like this heighten my interest in going there.

    Your news reporter photo makes me laugh. :)

    1. It's just gorgeous, Ally - you would love riding a motorcycle on that open highway!

      Lol, I'm glad you liked that!

  8. Oh the ferry looks like a lot of family fun! Love the views and the beautiful part of the world you live in. And that two piece pink dress/jacket - movie star! xo


    1. Ferries are not exactly fun in my book, but they are for kids and people not used to this part of the world, Patti. It is really beautiful here, though, I agree. Thank you - I can't wait to wear that!

  9. Hi, nice post. I follow you # 381 ,follow back?

    1. Thank you for your comment. No, I do not follow other bloggers without personal interaction first. I hope you take the time to build your blog and get to know your followers. It's not just about the numbers.

  10. There is so much awesomeness at play in this post I don't quite know where to begin! Your silver ensemble is utterly stunning and when you added the pops of blue into the picture, I honestly gasped aloud.

    The travel photos are equally breathtaking - and they've got me yearning to return to the Island all the more asap (it's this fall will make six years since I/we were last there - where does the time go?!).

    And your thrifted finds, well, naturally, I adore them all (especially the "granny chic" blouse). :)

    Thank you for this gem of a post. I know how much time and energy goes into an entry like this and want you to know that it is acknowledged and sincerely appreciated.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Autumn

    1. Thanks so much, Autumn! I love big, juicy comments like this. :)

      Six years since you've been over here? Time to come for a visit! I would love to meet up.

      I was happily surprised at the bounty that PR had for me in its second-hand shops. So much good stuff!

      Aw, you are so sweet. I do some prep work on these big posts by editing my photos, and I write really fast, with just one read-through. They still take a couple of hours, though. I appreciate that you get how much work it is!

      Thanks again, my dear!

  11. Lovely travelling outfit, love your space pants and comfy booties!. Great layering, perfect for comfort whatever the weather and/or conditions. I admire that you rock even in your travel gear!, looking fabulous!.
    And I'm admiring too your purchases, the cute dress lined in pink, the fab Guess shirt and the cardigan!. Such a booty!
    I've enjoyed particularly your pictures and maps, it's lovely to have a look at the place you live in, the magnificent trees, the sea!. And I'm always amazed by how long distances are in your neck of the woods. A three hours drive would take us to a completely different region or country (sorry for this euro-centric remark! ;D)

    1. Thanks, Monica, it was a perfect travel outfit - not too constricting, still stylish, and able to layer/unlayer as needed.

      I did so well in the thrifts! It was a pleasant surprise.

      Yeah, it's an amazing place, and I love doing these travelogues as it helps me appreciate it myself. Everything here is really far away and often remote! I could fly to London faster than it takes to get to PR.

  12. Thanks for taking us along (at least virtually) on your trip. I would have squealed at the Cheongsam dress and jacket, and I've always hoped to find a Pringle of Scotland sweater one day. Tilda Swinton did an ad for them a while back and their contemporary knit wear is really cool. The bracelet is a very cool piece too. It's always nice to get back home to our kitties!

    1. You're so welcome! I came across all the Tilda Swinton images when I was digging around for info on this one. I love their contemporary stuff - I never see it here, though. Getting home is one of the best parts of traveling - the happy face of that little kitty. :) Aw!


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