We’re preparing for my sabbatical, piece-by-piece, and when we pack, the animals think that they’re helping! Goofs 🙂
Port Townsend Part #2
Our first full day in Port Townsend, we decided to hang around town and visit the farmers market and Aldridge’s (very fancy, very $$$ specialty store) until the marine science centre opened at noon. We did miss the Rhododendron Festival Parade down main street, but there wasn’t enough time to get everything in I guess!
The farmer’s market was very well appointed and we ended up buying some salad greens to go with the truly ridiculous seafood I bought at the grocery store the day previous, and we stopped off at Aldridge’s to buy some very $$ garlic vinaigrette that I didn’t like *too oily, not at all vinegary enough!
Then it was time to head to the marine science centre plus museum, and also to visit the venerable grounds of Fort Worden.
I loved the science centre, and a highlight was the octopus ‘Sylvia’ who was zooming around his aquarium tank. I have never seen such an active octopod! Go Sylvia!
Then we checked out the small marine science museum, and walked to the Fort Worden lighthouse, a few clicks away, but it was a nice day and finally warm and sunny, so we figured why not walk it out?
Then we went back to the car and drove closer to the parade grounds of Fort Worden, and parked to walk the trails to the artillery batteries, of which there are many. I do not like them, I think that they are dank, creepy and disturbing. Ian loved them. I just wanted to sit in the sun and snooze, hahaha.
It was a lovely day of being outside, in the sunshine. We haven’t strung together two nice days at all since, or before, so I think we were truly fortunate that one weekend.
And for dinner, we made shrimps and fish salad, and enjoyed a few bottles of beer out on the beach. Did I mention that the beaches were basically across the street from main street/the hotel? It was SO nice.
Next up: We take part in a historical Rhody Festival event: Rhody run 10k!
When the dentist isn’t so bad
Because you have this little cuddlebug on your lap the whole time! Her name is Rizzo and she is a rescue dog from Mexico. She is only 1 year old, but she’s incredibly well behaved and the loveliest little pup. She stayed with me during my appointment and snoozed on my lap (well, lap and chest lol) and made the whole experience so much better. (well, that and the fact that my teeth looked pretty good!).
She is in ‘good etiquette’ classes right now and her owner is looking to have her assessed by St. John’s Ambulance to be a support animal. I think she’s the right dog for the job!
Gidget goes for a kayak ride!
The weather was SO NICE this weekend- just phenomenal. Very warm for February (which isn’t unheard of here, but last year was really nasty) I loved it! We went for a long walk after Oats’ farrier appointment/our riding on Saturday, and then on Sunday we had the trifecta: Our first VIRA race of the season (the first race was cancelled due to snow/ice, the second one we were in Mexico for, so voila!) and then I went riding while Ian went to buy life jackets with Gidget, and then we got the inflatable kayak Ian got for Christmas and went for a paddle after the barn!
What a great day!
The kayak requires a few kinks to be work out: Seats, leaking, etc. But we are going to figure it out and enjoy ourselves 🙂
Gidget seemed to be having an ok time too!
Sidney Spit for BC Day long weekend
The ferries were absolute NUTS this weekend, but not for us! We wisely didn’t travel. Instead we made a super nice dinner, I had a Working Equitation riding lesson on Saturday and then on Monday we went to Sidney Spit.
You take a small ferry (passengers only), lots of water (none on the island) and off you go! It’s a lovely island only 30 min boat ride from Sidney and the sand….Oh man the sand. It is glorious! You can walk forever, but be aware- the tides come in very fast and then you’re wading back, which we were, ha.
It has a forested section as well and is quite large. Part of it is a National Park and the other part is privately owned. There are campsites you can book through the feds too, which seemed tempting to me (a bit anyways). The weather was glorious not too cold (never a given here, lol even in summer!) and sunny, not too hazy or cloudy.
We cruised up and down the beach, relaxed on the beach for awhile while Ian built a ‘dog cage’ in the sand for Gidget, and then ate our lunch and walked through the forest paths. Incredibly, the time goes by so fast! We got the 11am ferry and then took the 4pm home, ok well straight to the barn so I could ride/medicate Oats and then home by 6:30pm. A busy and full day, but so great 🙂
And my vacation continues! I wanted to write more last week but work got tooooo busy. After we spent some time in Princeton (there isn’t much there, ha. We did some swimming, hanging out in the river, and running), we zipped off to Christina Lake which wasn’t too far.
There isn’t much of a town there but WOW the lake, it is just incredible. So warm- the warmest I have ever felt in Canada. Remarkable! The lake is also quite large but you can access it from a few different points. They do not allow dogs anywhere near the main lake at the provincial park, so we packed up our dog and went to the next park over where there was a big campsite AND they allowed dogs at the dog beach. Plus, the dog beach was super nice- usually it’s crappy and miserable, but this one was great.
We camped the two nights in Christina Lake at a small campsite that had it’s own river access with a sandy beach- I can’t tell you how incredible THAT felt, it was soooooooooo awesome. We basically had our own swimming hole shared with the other campers, and it was a very quiet campsite. So fortunate! I loved it.
We swam, camped out, went into ‘town’ for an ice cream and generally hung out in the sun for a few days. It was blazing hot out so that was key to be near the water. So amazing though 🙂 Gidget on the other hand had some complaints about camping…To be continued 😉
Saving the birds
Yesterday was a pretty crazy day- so many incidents with wildlife!
In the morning I was working (as per usual now that I am working from home during the pandemic) in my living room, and BANG! A poor little hummingbird just splattered hard against my patio glass door. 😦 I was instantly up and looking for it, and it did not look good…It was flat on the ground, all its feathers splayed out, not moving.
I yelled for my husband and we gathered the poor little hummer up on a book and I brought it some sugar water. I watched it (during a meeting for work, ha) and after about 15 minutes it started actually looking around at things, and then it perked up and flew off! 🙂 SO relieved. I was very worried about the little dude.
And then after work I had some time and the weather was pretty nice, so I went for a walk with my husband and dog, and I put my bunny out in my backyard for some fresh air. I went to check on him after the walk and to my surprise, a racoon was digging in our raised gardens!! I yelled at it and he took his sweet-ass time sauntering off, and I was pretty worried because my RABBIT was still out there too! Sheesh. Except…My dog saw the racoon and ran straight at it barking like Hound of the freaking Baskervilles…And scared the bejeezus out of my poor rabbit! He was terrified! He took off, so I had to chase the racoon off, catch the rabbit (thankfully contained in my yard) and chase off my dog from the raccoon. Chaos!!
There was fluffs of fur flying everywhere, so we were concerned that the racoon had somehow scuffled with bunny, but nobody had any injuries. Tucker bun did have a bloody spot on his foot, so we cleaned it up but there was no scrape or anything there today, so who knows?? He was exhausted after that, poor bun bun.
And THEN I had a jump lesson at the barn, which was great. I finished up and went to sweep out the crossties and found this:
Yeah, a baby bird kicked out of its nest. Not again 😦 I thought it was definitely dead, so I went to sweep it with the broom and it MOVED. OMG. I freaked out, called my husband, and put gloves on and picked it up. It moved so weakly… I couldn’t put it back into the nest it fell out of (in the window-well of a locked locker, behind a grate where the window was) so I found another barn swallow nest inside the barn, got a step ladder and kind of tossed the little baby up there. Hoping for the best for it!! I hope it survives.
So, that was a very exciting and emotional day for me. It’s so hard when it’s wildlife animals…I feel so bad for them. I want to help!!
Happy Easter weekend!
I did have a pretty fine weekend, all things considering COVID…and my injury, ugh.
We had our dressage lesson on Thursday, then on Friday it was Oaty’s day off, so my husband and I went on a hike to a local area (Cowichan) and got snacks at Tim Hortons after.
Saturday I rode, and it was….eh. I was really hoping to recreate the nice canter I had on Thursday in my lesson. WRONG. It was crummy, ha. Fortunately, the next day was another opportunity and I let things go by then.
Since we’re not allowed to visit family or friends, or eat indoor at restaurants, our entertainment options these years remain very limited. Sooooo we decorated our Easter gingerbread house, and dyed fake eggs that my husband picked up at the buck store. Fun! The eggs were kind of lame though and barely dyed, taking on a barely-there pastel effort, compared with the very vibrant dyes. Oh well!
Sunday we did our egg hunt and my husband hid 40 foil eggs! Yes! I missed a few hahah but in the end got them all. It was finally a pretty nice day for riding, and we worked on some calm lateral work at the walk, and a nice contact in the trot, and called it a day walking around the outdoor. In the afternoon we took a couple of beers to the beach and listened to music, which was pretty chill and nice.
Monday I had off but my husband didn’t, so off to the barn it is! I worked on some similar things to Sunday, remembering to keep my expectations in check- and Oats was pretty good! Left the shitty canter alone, ha. I headed to the beach after riding with my dog and we enjoyed the chilly sunshine that day too.
Then it was back to work, and a jump lesson, and then a truly horrible ride (yesterday) where Oats lost his brains again and had shit fits at every single corner of the indoor….I guess forgetting that absolutely nothing had changed in the less than 24 hours since we had our jump lesson the evening previously? I really got on his case for that. He is WAY too old for his BS shenanigans?! Plus the temperature had dropped quite dramatically and it was COLD at the barn, and a lot of the horses went crazy. I guess it was too tempting?? He was fidgety and nutty in the crossties, so I kind of figured he was reacting to the weather or something yesterday…HORSES! God. Let’s hope today is much, much better.
BC Day Adventures on horseback
So I have a friend who is big into trail riding- she has a great trail horse, and all the fun gear like a speaker that hangs on the breastplate of her saddle, and a TRAILER! I am a self confessed trail riding chicken with my own horse. Other trail horses, no prob. Trail ride on Oats? Ughhhhhh…no.
However, since our other friend has a horse that is recovering from a torn ligament and will likely be off for a year (god, now that is another bad story entirely 😦 ) Our trail friend had nobody to ride with, and so I gathered up my courage and said I would ride on the trails with her. And so, a plan was made!
We went up to Glenora on Sunday, to the Cowichan Valley Trail that is basically a section of the Trans Canada Trail. There are a few trail options at the trailhead there, but we took the most basic one- straight ahead 🙂 It is very horse-friendly, with lots of parking, two small paddocks, hitching posts, water and a manure pile.
I asked my husband to come as our lead rider on his bike! We were honestly not at all sure how Oats would be on the trail, so we thought it would be safest to have a hand on the ground just in case the horses got nutty.
They didn’t though! Good as gold! I was really impressed and surprised. Oats can get silly waiting- he tries to rear, or go in circles, but otherwise he was as cool as a cucumber. From the minute I got on, he was just chill. He is NEVER like that at home on the trails, so I was pretty surprised.
We even got to the trestle and the horses were like no big deal?? Even my dog is afraid of bridges (but she is a huge wimp, sooo…).
We chatted, rode, had snacks and water from Katie’s saddlebags and I even rode up behind Ian to grab a Clif bar out of his backpack while he was cycling. I never thought I would be able to do that?! It was so fun, and just a really chill day.
Rocky (Katie’s dog) was also really well behaved too. The trail was busy, lots of cyclists, runners, dogs, but the horses and everyone kept it together and I was appreciative of how respectful and careful the cyclists and other trail users were. Yes! Plus it was great of Ian to come and ride his bike, because then he could pick berries for us- there were thimbleberries, wild blackberries and huckleberries. Yummy!
What a great day.
Nelson is great in the summer!
After spending time in Kelowna, we headed up to Nelson to do a little exploring, trail running and eating/drinking. And it was fabulous! Very hot, sunny and gorgeous out. We stayed at a cool hotel downtown- the Adventure Hotel- which is pet friendly. Great because we had both critters with us 🙂
We went on a trail run on the Trans Canada Trail, and there were SO many thimbleberries!! Very tempting, and I guess, tempting for bears as well…
Since it was quite hot in Nelson, we did the run in the morning, and did a little bushwacking and found an old railway (still had the ties), followed it down to the lake, while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. It was a gorgeous little interlude.
Then we got back to the room and the sun was very intense. We grabbed a drink/shower, and went for a walk along the waterfront with Gidget. It turned out to be a pretty long walk and WOW I had a terrible headache by the end of it. Turns out Ian and I both got a bit of sunstroke that day….I felt awful for the entire day. Never shook it.
We then went to a local brewery and enjoyed a beer, and by that time I was developing a miserable headache…
We chilled in the room for a bit, feeling like crap, haha. Then we went to this cool Hungarian restaurant and the food they had was pretty great! We only went out to eat at places that we could sit alone, nobody close by, and outdoors. This one fit the spot!
The next day we had to pack up and begin the loooooooong drive back to the Island. Of course we had ferry drama- but we made the 6pm!! if you can believe it!! And we were all pretty darned tired, Gidget, Ian, Tucker and me. 🙂