Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | August 10, 2017

Back In BC: Entry #7

I am technically no longer back in BC, writing instead from the comfort of my living room as the Wifi at my hotel last night was atrocious, so I gave up trying and went to bed. Seriously, I’ve had better access in small Northern communities, and that’s saying something.


So many great artisan stalls at Nautical Days.

I last left off in Ucluelet, which I miss already (and may be plotting another return before the year is out). From there, I drove myself to Courtenay, BC, where an auntie, uncle and cousin make their home. The drive went fairly smoothly, and beautiful. Had I had more time, I would definitely have taken time to stop along the way for pictures.



Fancy old cars – from around 1915!

Once in Courtenay, after getting all the hugs from my auntie, we ventured out to the last day of Nautical Days in Comox, the annual festival that has artisans and music and all sorts of fun things. I was very tempted to buy many things, including a wishing bowl and a gorgeous piece of stained glass with a starfish on it, caution over them surviving a trip home kept me from whipping out my credit card. It was hot, hot, hot outside, so we didn’t stay too long, though we did take a look at the old cars that were out for the parade (including two “General Lee”s complete with racist confederate flag on top and novelty horn noise) and a walk on the dock where I saw seals swimming by kayakers and the sailboats.



One of the seals playing in the harbour.


Kye Bay

After leaving nautical days, my auntie took me to Kye Bay, so I could cool off in the ocean. She sat on the sand for a short time while I frolicked, but the tide snuck up fast and soon she had a wet towel and had to move off to the rocks and driftwood logs to sit. It was beautiful, and I was so, so glad to swim in the ocean, to tangle my ankles in seaweed and watch the little fish run away from me. My uncle, who had been visiting out of town friends who were camping at Qualicum Beach, joined us to sun for a little while, until we got hungry. So we met up with my cousin, who just graduated and is now a whole head taller than me, and we all went to the Whitespot for a delicious dinner.


Fireworks over the ocean.

After dinner, we chilled at the house for a bit, before making our way back to Comox for the end of Nautical Days fireworks. It was spectacular and totally worth staying past our bedtimes to see!

The next day, I hugged my family goodbye and climbed back in the car to make my way back toward Vancouver, but not before stopping at Grey Owl Tattoo, to get a couple of pieces down. My friend Jenny owns the shop, and this was actually the first time we’d met in person, since we’d become Facebook friends through roller derby, which she played when she lived here just before I joined, but had missed crossing paths as she had two pregnancies that kept her off the track while I was on it!

So it was lovely to meet her (though we totally failed at taking a “we meet at last!” pic) and lovely to get my art, though I am going to go back to put colour in the quill I have behind my ear, I think.  I wasn’t sure, and then ran out of time anyway, as I had to head to Ladysmith to catch my great aunt and uncle before my ferry. It gave me time to decide on colours, though, and it still looks cute in the meantime.


The hazy sun from the ferry.

I had a lovely lunch with my great aunt and uncle, though the visit was far too short, in part because of my travel anxiety meant I had to arrive as early as allowed for my ferry. We had a nice visit, and I got to learn about their recent trip to Norway, as they’d only been back the night before!

After that, it was off to the ferry, where I stayed outside until it was too chilly, hoping to see wildlife. It was pretty smokey and overcast, though, so no luck. Then after the ferry, it was back to Burnaby to drop off the car (with a couple of missed turns and recalculated routes, especially since my GPS kept telling me to turn on streets that did not exist), then a taxi to the Travelodge Airport Vancouver, where the bed was comfortable but the Wifi lagged so much I lasted all of five minutes before just deciding to go to bed.

And now I am home. I head back to work tomorrow (boo!), and spent my afternoon doing laundry and my evening dropping off gifts.  I miss the island, but it was good to see my niece and nephew. Maybe some day I’ll take them to Ucluelet and Tofino with me. For now, though, I’ll daydream about when I might next be able to go back.

And so ends this journey. Hopefully my next one won’t be too far away… and will have much better health than my last two vacations have dealt me.

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