Monday, November 12, 2012

An impromptu grand day out

With Remembrance Day falling on a Sunday this year, all the parades and solemnities took place yesterday, leaving us with a day off today. There are some benefits of both of us working for government. After all the work earlier this weekend, we decided it was time for a family outing.

Much debate about what to do. Nothing too onerous - it was already well past noon by the time we got our act together, and rain clouds loomed. Megan wanted to ride the Mill Bay Ferry, so we planned our afternoon around that. Drive down the Peninsula then up the highway to Mill Bay, then cross back to home on the ferry.

Things didn't start off too promising. As we rounded the Saanich Inlet and headed north, we remembered that it was time for the annual salmon run at Goldstream. Kids wanted to stop, but we were deterred by the heaving parking lot as we drove past. The salmon run is always a big attraction and it's often difficult to find anywhere to stop.

Minor disappointment mended by soup and sandwiches at Tim Hortons in Mill Bay. And donuts. Don't forget the donuts!

With time to kill before the ferry, we cast around for things to do. Again, the things the kids wanted to do were too far off, or would take too much time. More disappointment. Gypsy needed a walk, so we settled for a visit to a tiny park just out of Mill Bay, that we've not noticed before.

From then on, the afternoon was pure magic.

The park was down by the water, and deserted. The trail led up by a small creek running into the sea, and we were treated to our own private salmon run. We stood, entranced, for half an hour watching large fish battling their way upstream.

On the way there and back, we passed a field with a herd of deer grazing. None of us have ever seen so many deer together at one time. Must have been thirty or more.

We got to the ferry just in time, and boarded. This is only a small run, a 25 minute crossing, with room for fewer than 30 cars on the open deck. We climbed up to a narrow viewing gallery overlooking one side of the car deck. Matthew went exploring. When we next saw him, he was waving to us from the door of the bridge on the other side of the ferry. The captain invited us up and explained to the kids how to steer a ship without a rudder - this design just uses the engines on either side to steer as well as drive.
Megan got to guide us in to the dock at Brentwood Bay.

This made our day.

Back to work tomorrow. *Sigh*


  1. A cracking day out- admit to being envious because I've never steered a ferry- the park sounds like a magical find, almost like a reward for being spontaneous!

  2. There's some memories to treasure for sure.

  3. Hi Ian .. sounds a lovely day out - unexpected, but just worked out just so ... the salmon run must be amazing to see .. and kids with 'toys' - great to see their enthusiasm ... soup, sandwiches and donuts don't sound too terrible - Hortons could have been shut.

    Wonderful to see your family day out .. thanks - Hilary

  4. Wow, that sounds like an awesome day out! Here in the U.S. we had Veteran's Day on Sunday, with almost everyone having that Monday off. Except for me. Alas, I work in the private sector. We slubs don't get to rest and honor the Vets.

    And I've never been to Canada, but I've heard of Tim Hortons. I must say I'm intrigued by rumors of their donuts. Mmmmmm!

    You have such a beautiful family, Ian. You're very blessed. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. I feel sort of silly that I didn't realize Veteran's day wasn't a "Monday" holiday.

  6. Very cool your kids got to see the bridge.
    And never forget the donuts.

  7. Lily, the park was tiny and out of the way, and we regard the whole afternoon as a reward for being spontaneous.

    Delores, that's for sure!

    Hilary, watching the salmon was one thing, extra special was watching the kids cheer "their" fish on up the stream.

    David, private sector here had to work too. I'm in public service and Ali in education so we both get the holiday. We are fortunate like that.

    Kimberlee, I know it varies from place to place, and maybe the States is different from Canada, but here Remembrance Day is always the 11th, and either that or the next business day is a holiday.

    Alex, that was indeed cool. I love that people here are so laid back and friendly like that.

  8. That was a grand day indeed, Ian. That must have fueled your hunger for new adventures..and hopefully stirred some new ideas for your novel. Your kids are lovely, so cute :).

  9. Unikorna, we used to do this sort of thing a lot more when we first moved over. It was all so new to us. It's good to reawaken that adventurous spirit once in a while.

  10. This sounds like a wonderful trip! More pictures! More pictures! More pictures!;)

    We are enjoying a long city enduced holiday weekend too. There are definitely perks to working for the gubament! Cheers!


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