British Columbia, here I come!
Every January since 2011 I’ve written a list of places I want to visit in Canada. For a couple of years, I made the mistake of publishing said lists on this blog. I can officially say that I’ve been to 0% of these places. This year I left BC for the first time for a week in Edmonton with work, but I didn’t see much and it wasn’t my plan or choice so I don’t really count it as a ‘seeing more of Canada’ success. The first half my 2014 has suggested that the second half will go in much the same direction, so I’ve decided to take a stand. No longer will I waste away long weekends ‘relaxing in the city’, looking at Tripadvisor reviews for places I don’t get around to booking, or complaining that nowhere is pet friendly (lies). Ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan for the summer. And it looks a bit like this:
June 13-15 – Bowen Island
Yes, that’s today. We’re heading to Bowen Island after work for a weekend with my brother and his girlfriend, and of course Dave is coming too. I’m very much not looking forward to the horrific Pet Area on the ferry, but am thankful that the journey is only 20 minutes and know that the outdoor hot tub on the deck of our beach-side guest suite will be more than worth it. I’ve been to Bowen Island before, but only for a day and it was a couple of years ago, so I’m looking forward to more exploring. It’s been an intense week for me as I completed a 5-day intensive personal development course in a basement with no shoes on, so I’m looking forward to some fresh air and relaxation.
June 28 – July 1 – Penticton
The Okanagan Wine Valley has been on my (useless) yearly lists since moving to Vancouver, and the journey will finally be happening over the Canada Day long weekend. We’ll be taking Dave and staying in a little pet friendly motel right at the bottom of the Okanagan Lake. I’m planning on spending most of the weekend tasting wine and eating cheese outside some of the country’s most beautiful wineries, followed by a swim in the lake to cool off. There’s also hiking, walking, and more eating to be done. Dave is disappointed that he won’t be tasting the wine, but is looking forward to the part where he gets to eat treats.
July 31 – August 5 – Cannon Beach & Portland, Oregon
The BC Day long weekend trip to Oregon has become somewhat of a tradition, and this is the third year that we’ll be driving down the Oregon Coast. It’s not seeing more of Canada, but is an extra special trip for us as we’ll be taking Dave back to his homeland! He was born just outside Portland, and although he definitely considers himself a Canadian puppy now, it’ll be fun for us to know that he’s actually back in his hometown. We’ve booked a little cabin right on Cannon Beach for three nights, where we’ll be doing a LOT of beach walking (and probably going up to the Goonies House for the third time). Dave has been trying his paws at swimming recently, so this will be the ultimate beach to test his bravery! We’re driving back via Portland where we’ll spend one day and night testing the ‘dog in the city’ type of vacation. I can’t wait to be back there, and will be hunting down my new favourite salt & straw ice-cream that I tried at Coachella. Yummmmmm.
The following trips aren’t really part of my summer plan, and they don’t involve seeing any of Canada. But I’m going, so I may as well tell you.
October 1-8 – England!
Yes, I booked my flights and will be gracing the UK with my presence for the first week in October. There will be plenty of family time but hopefully some time with friends too, so if you’re one of them you can expect the Facebook planning to commence in September.
November 4-12 – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
I did it! I actually convinced James to book a trip to Mexico! I’ve been talking about heading south for a while, but James was concerned about safety, and then we discovered Hawaii and didn’t dream of going anywhere else for our sun holidays. After some insightful conversations with friends who have vacationed in Mexico, I did some more research and realized it’s not the death-by-cartel, can’t-leave-the-resort, don’t-drink-the-water kind of place that I thought it was. Except maybe the last part. There are some very beautiful and very safe areas to travel to, and I soon realized that in comparison to Hawaii it is very, very cheap. One Friday night when James came home from work I launched into what was essentially a presentation consisting of pictures of cheap, luxury hotels, sample happy hour menus with beers for $1, and a map of the Predator set which is just outside Puerto Vallarta. I was prepared for this to be an ongoing discussion, but after about 3 and a half minutes James said ‘you’re not going to stop going on about this, so let’s just go. Just book it and tell me when.’ I did what I was told (see how it ended up that way?!) and we’re going in November.
Here’s to 2014: the year of vineyards, beaches and hot tubs!