Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | June 17, 2019

Retreating to Recharge #1

I’ve been finding myself feeling a little burnt out, lately.  Nothing serious, just a few issues compounding and making me feel more drained as a result: last year’s lack of summer made it hard to get through the dark of winter, and the return of kidney stones hasn’t helped matters. Work hasn’t been stressful, per se, but  it has been busy, and it became clear I needed to push pause. And the best place for me to do that is on Vancouver Island, to revisit spots that hold my heart.

If you’ve read through some of this blog, you probably have noticed Tofino and Ucluelet have be a frequent repeat in my travels, because I truly love it here, like a part of my heart is at home here.  Of course, I am going to add a few new adventures to old standards, because it is good to discover new things.

This picture shows a small blue car parked by a tree.

The adorable little hybrid they gave me at Budget!

Take yesterday, when I flew out on Air Canada at an ungodly hour of the morning. Since I booked on points and was still recovering from my body deciding to make its own stupid rocks inside me, I upgraded to business class to Vancouver before hopping on my flight to Comox. Very comfortable, plus I was able to nap since I’d had to get up at 4 a.m to be at the airport around 4:30 a.m.  I rented my car in Comox, too, but it’s something new. They gave me a hybrid! It’s a little slow on the steep hills, but the Toyota Prius is adorable with its teeny teal body, and it is very, very good on gas.

This picture shows a blue butterfly, the Blue Morpho, landed on a sign that says Blue Morpho.

I was beginning to think I wouldn’t get a shot of one of these beauties with wings unfurled, but then this gorgeous Blue Morpho landed right on the sign for its species. Amazing!

I went to the Old Country Market (a.k.a. Goats on the Roof) again, but also stopped at Butterfly World for the first time ever on my way out of Coombs. It was a small garden space, but well worth the admission, and not just because they also have orchids and tortoises and tarantulas (which are caged and I didn’t look at them because they are scary).  The greenhouse was full of colourful butterflies and I spent so much time chasing them and photographing them.  It was wonderful, and I spent about an hour and a half there even though I’m not quite used to the heat and the humidity they have to keep for the butterflies to thrive in!

After that, it was back in my car for the drive to Ucluelet, where I’m staying in my favourite spot, the Terrace Beach Resort. I’m not in a unit with a hot tub this time (I booked too late) but I still love my little cabin. It’s called the orca, and has a little living room/kitchenette that is separate from the comfy bedroom, and a barbecue on the deck so I can cook for myself.

I went to bed relatively early last night, because of getting up for the plane, and had a lovely and comfortable sleep. The air smells like the ocean here, and I love it. I mostly puttered for the morning, but did go out and walk the lighthouse route that I love. I’ve been mostly sedentary of late, and it felt nice to be a little active.

This pictures shows a scenic view of the ocean through greenery.

A hint of blue sky on the coastal walk on the Wild Pacific Trail.


This picture shows an octopus in an aquarium tank.

This gorgeous cephalopod made me so happy today.

After my walk, which included some time picking over the rocks on the coast and taking at least one new trail detour (a little bog walk that seemed newly-marked even if it isn’t a new spot), I came back and had a snack, then went to the Ucluelet Aquarium, another old favourite. I got some new there, too; this year, they have swimming scallops, which look like mini clams but they literally swim. Also? The octopus came out (I’ve only ever seen them crammed in corners) and it was awesome.

After that, it was back to my little cabin to make myself some dinner. I cooked up a delicious meal on the barbecue – apricot chicken and baby potatoes roasted in a bit of oil with onions, feta, and spices – plus a little salad on the side. It was really good. I’ll probably have dinner out tomorrow, but I have enough to make another of this meal another day, and it was so good I’m already looking forward to it!

But for now, my belly and my heart are both full, and I am very, very happy to be here.

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