Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back from vacation

We've just returned home from our customary long vacation at Pacific Playgrounds - our fourth year in a row, and the most times we've ever been back to the same spot. It feels like a home from home.

This time last year, I posted on how the setting has stayed the same, but how the things we do have gradually changed over the years.

The campground itself is unchanged. The pool, the river, the beach. The generous helpings of delicious ice-cream at the little shop.

We meet a lot of familiar faces, too. Some folks have been coming here since the parents were children themselves, which says a lot for this place as a family getaway.

We spent more time fishing this year, and a lot more time swimming in the river rather than just floating down on tubes. The adrenalin-inducing rope swing into a deep sinkhole has gone. Maybe removed for safety, or maybe the rope finally broke - I don't know how many years it was there.

We've been staying longer and longer each time. At the end of last year's trip, the kids didn't want to leave. As an experiment, we booked in for three full weeks this time. I can't afford to use up that much vacation, so we all drove up on the first Saturday to set up camp. I then returned home on Sunday to go to work for a week. That felt strange, having the house to myself, but it was wonderful to be able to hop in the car Friday afternoon at work and head straight up the highway. A three-hour drive and I was there by tea time, and launched straight into my vacation without all the usual packing/towing/setting-up hassle.

Sad news to report. We lost our little hedgehog while we were away. Luckily we took him with us (the dog always comes too, the cats stay home fed by a neighbor, and the other small animals go to a friend to stay). He's not been well, unable to stand upright, and we learned that he had Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome - a well-known degenerative disease with no cure. For a few days, he seemed to improve, and we hoped it might just be an infection affecting his balance, but then he went rapidly downhill and we had to face reality.

Apart from that, it was an enjoyable break from routine. And please accept my apologies for a deficit of photographs. We simply didn't get the camera out once during the whole time!


  1. Welcome back, Botanist - sounds like a wonderful time was had by all (except your little hedgehog - so sad to read)

    Being familiar with the Island I have enjoyed many a vacation on it, however this spot is new to me - thanks for sharing.

    I think your idea of working through one of the weeks was splendid - you get a little alone time (not bad to have once in a while) and mom and the kids get to miss you (not bad once in a while).

    Anyway...I'm so pleased you all are now Canadians, and I'm sorry I never commented about your citizenship event earlier - but I'm doing so now - Welcome to Canada, we are thrilled to have the lot of you to now call "family".

    Cheers, Jenny

  2. Sounds like a lovely vacation. We go to Key West every other year and it's the same-- home away from home. We aren't going this year (which is sad) but that's the way the economy bounces! Cheers!

  3. Jenny, we did have a good time, apart from the loss of a pet. The Courtenay/Comox area is beautiful. And thank you for your words of welcome.

    Delores, thank you. Although we enjoyed being away, it's still good to get home again.

    Danette, sounds like you have a bit further to travel to your "home from home". I hope you make it out there again soon.

  4. Sounds like a lovely holiday, despite the sad loss of your little pet.
    We are moving into the time of our life when the kids really dont want to come camping with us any more which is a little sad in some ways.

  5. Sounds like you had a fantastic time, Ian! And trust me, I know exactly what you mean about never taking the camera out the entire time. As much as I love taking pictures of my travels, sometimes the quest to get that perfect shot gets in the way of having any actual fun. Which is what you went on vacation for in the first place! :)

  6. Sounds like you had a great vacation. It's amazing how a little time of way can rejuvenate a person. Glad you had such a nice time.

    Also, my condolences on the loss of your pet. I guess you can take some comfort in knowing it is no longer suffering.

    HOpe your transition back to work had been an easy one. All the best.

    1. Sorry about the typo, I meant to say a little time AWAY.(:

  7. Mynx, we're a long way from that stage yet. And over here, people often go camping on big family outings with all generations involved, so there's hope for us yet :)

    David, it was fun. We tend to get the camera out more often when we're visiting somewhere new, which this certainly isn't.

    Andrea, getting back to work has been a bit of a shock to the system, but I'll survive :)


I love comments. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

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