On Easter long weekend we headed to Vancouver Island again. The last time we headed in that direction was on New Year’s and it was our last getaway before our son Neil was born in late February. Incidentally (or not) this was also our first getaway with him five weeks after he was born.
Our dear friends Jan & Warrick invited us to spend the long weekend with them and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out of the city for a bit. Last time we visited they were in Australia (and we stayed at their place), but this time they were around, and it was great to spend time together in their wonderful house on the Cowichan River.
It took us a a while to pack. Not so much for ourselves but mostly for Neil. We ended up bringing a small backpack with our stuff and a huge backpack with all of his stuff. Mostly it was full of diapers though, as we are using cloth diapers and brought enough for four days without doing laundry. Finally we managed to put everything on the stroller with the car seat on it, but then Gili realized he still needed to carry the stroller down the stairs…
We managed to catch the two buses easily and arrived to Horseshoe Bay with time to spare. When we got there we realized we were not the only ones going to Vancouver Island on the long weekend. We’ve never seen such a long line-up for getting on the ferry as foot passengers! We waited for half an hour just to get on and once on the ferry we barely managed to find a place to sit. We bumped into a few people we know on the ferry and had a yummy lunch with fresh bagels from Siegel’s Bagels. Neil slept the whole time and eventually woke up to feed, but went back to sleep quickly after.
When we finally got off the ferry we saw it was as busy on the other side with foot passengers wanting to get on. We found Jan and Warrick who came to pick us up (and had to wait for about an hour due to the ferry being delayed), and were very happy to meet Neil for the first time. When we got to their place I was ready for a long nap while the rest went for a short hike in the forest behind their house.
We spent the next few days hiking trails nearby. The hikes varied in distance, length and scenery, but were all pleasant with mixed views of forest, the Cowichan River, the ocean and blue skies. Neil, our nature loving baby, was a champion sleeper again and was very considerate with allowing me to have my lunch first before demanding his. We also hung out by the fireplace drinking hot chocolate and had many delicious meals followed by a multilayer chocolate cake and ice cream.
We introduced Neil to Shadow, the first cat he met and he even got a chance to pet him. Last time we visited we spent a lot of time with Shadow but this time we were a bit busier. He still occupied his favourite spot, way too close to the fireplace, sticking to it even when the fire was out.
From all the hikes we have done on the Island my favourite one is actually just to go down to the Cowichan River by the house. It is so quiet and relaxing, and Jan and Warrick are very fortunate (and smart) to have it as their back yard.
On Monday it was time to pack up a lot of dirty diapers and start making the long way home. An hour’s drive, a two hour ferry ride and two buses later and we were back home. Neil was a trooper throughout everything. When we were on the Island in early January we could only imagine how life would be after the “storm”. So far it’s awesome…