We had the day to kill on Saturday, as the wedding didn’t start until later, so Eric and I decided to rent bikes and explore Quadra Island.
I had grossly underestimated the size of the island. I kind of had the image in my head before we arrived of it just being the resort and a marina, with maybe some forest. But there was a small town (like four stores), and people live there (it has a population of nearly 2,500 according to Wikipedia). Even though we were biking for two hours we didn’t quite get to explore the entire thing. It was really hilly also. MAN it was hilly.
You can see Eric huffing and puffing up the hill in the background. I had to abandon my bike a few times to walk.
I’m eating like an absolute champ around here so it was nice to squeeze in something active.
We also did some general exploring around the resort, and Eric found a friend.
Eric the Eagle!
I am not sure how Eric the Eagle and Eric the Man both had nametags… Such a coincidence.
Sunday morning (Canada Day!) we woke up basically just in time to make it to brunch, and rolled ourselves out of bed and into the lodge for some food.
I saw this along the way:
And it made me laugh, because that man kind of looks like Richard Dreyfuss, and that is absolutely the shirt he let Bill Murray borrow in What About Bob.
I saw some of our family and friends in the restaurant, so we did the ol’ “how are you feeling this morning?” thing, and regaled each other with tales of what time we eventually went to sleep after the wedding. And then I loaded up my plate with buffet goodness…
And then Eric and I waddled back to our room for a nap.
We awoke about an hour later feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. We took the water shuttle from our resort to Painter’s Lodge to see what kind of activities were going on for Canada Day.
We do actually say ‘eh’ a lot in Canada. That is one thing that is not just a stereotype. It’s when you ask a question and you want someone’s feedback, like “Wow, that’s a beautiful sunset, eh?” I don’t think there is any other word that works as well as ‘eh’ does in this context, so I fully embrace saying it. How else would I end my questions, eh?
Anyway, we immediately saw this when we docked at Painter’s Lodge.
That’s a big salmon, eh?! Campbell River is known as the salmon capital of the world (self-proclaimed, I am pretty sure), and Painter’s Lodge resort is famous for its fishing. They have these stations set up right on the dock so they can clean the fish immediately. And if you are staying there and catch a fish, the resort staff will clean it, cook it, smoke it, or freeze it for you so you can either eat it there or take it home.
We also saw a ton of seals. The salmon guts go right back into the water so the seals pretty much stalk the dock for food. I didn’t get a decent picture of them, but they were cute. They reminded me of my cat Winnie.
After Eric made another new friend…
We picked up our car and headed to downtown Campbell River to check out the Canada Day festivities.
We found a parade!
And it reminded me of the parades that used to happen in my hometown, with random vehicles decorated, and tractors.
We also came across a market on the water with tons of vendor booths selling various jewelry, pottery, and other knick-knacks. And they had a few authentic European food stations set up, so I made a beeline for the pierogies as soon as I saw them.
They weren’t quite as good as our Ukrainian Nana’s homemade pierogies, but they were still delicious. And that coleslaw was actually pretty good also, and I usually am not a fan of that stuff.
We perused the market for a bit, before continuing down the water to the historical pier.
There were a lot of boats. Boats everywhere!
So many clouds also. It was overcast and chilly. But we still wanted ice cream, so we got some from a little shop on the pier and sat down to take in the view.
And then we headed back to our car and continued along the highway for about 20 minutes to Saratoga Beach.
It was pretty, but man it was cold. I really wanted to swim in the ocean, but it was just too cold. I’m not usually afraid of cold water swimming, but I was already freezing in my jacket. I couldn’t do it. Ah, one day I will swim there.
But we had a good time walking along the beach enjoying the view and looking for crabs and shells.
When we finally got back to our resort, Eric met up with our Dad for an intense game of chess.
Please note the denim on denim. If my dad isn’t wearing a tropical shirt, he is wearing denim.
I watched them for a bit before heading to our room to leisure around. I thought maybe since the chess was life-sized it would make it more exciting to watch. I was wrong.
Later that evening, Eric and I again took the water shuttle into town to meet up with Chrissy, Allie, my aunt, and their friends for dinner at Quay West, a restaurant located right on the ocean with a beautiful patio.
We were also there to see the fireworks display, which were set to go off on the wharf right beside us.
Our reservations were on the patio (for optimal fireworks viewing), and beautiful though the patio was, it was FREEZING. We are Canadian though (eh?!) so we sucked it up. Well, after some of the boys ran home to grab a ton of sweaters to pile on us… Then I sucked it up.
I started with the seafood chowder, mainly to warm me up, but also because I wanted to try the local seafood.
This picture is not doing the chowder justice at all. It was really good, and had tons of seafood in it.
For my main I obviously had to get salmon, since I was in the salmon capital of the world.
It came topped with crab, shrimp, and cheese, alongside corn on the cob and rice. And the salmon was honestly amazing. I was not disappointed.
And I would have gotten dessert, but Eric and I had to book it back to the resort. The fireworks started to go off around 10:20, which was bad timing for us, as we had to take the water shuttle back to our resort and the last boat was at 11. We were only able to stay for a few fireworks before we had to head back. But hey, if this was the only thing to go wrong during our island vacation, I will take it. It was great to see everyone at dinner, and I will take that over the fireworks any day.
And that was our last day at April Point.
(View of the resort from our water shuttle)
I will miss this view from our cabin patio, even with the clouds.
And I will miss these people.
But at least I took a million pictures. I had a great time! And my vacation in the west isn’t over just yet!
The next day we packed up and left for Salmon Arm (where my mom and Eric live, in the BC interior) at 5:30 am, but that is a story for another post.
Hope you guys are all having a good week! And Happy Fourth of July to all my American chums, eh?!