Tag Archives: beach

Tofino – it just keeps getting better…

starfishAfter leaving Tofino in the fall, with it continuing to be cemented as my top “happy place”, I was a little hesitant about heading back for a spring visit. We’ve always visited in the fall and I just didn’t know if spring would bring us the same kind of experience or 7 days or straight rain.

snow out of port alberniHeading westward out of Port Alberni and the weather had us wondering… We spent the night in the Walmart parking lot in Port Alberni and were pleasantly surprised to awake to sunshine. 30 minutes down the road and we were staring at snow and wondering what things were like on the other side of the mountain…???

TUFF City skate parkWe rolled into Tofino with the sun just breaking through and breathed a great big sigh of relief. Hunter has spent weeks waiting to get back to the Tofino skateboard park as that is where things really clicked for him in the fall. As parents we were cringing as he hoped to relive an experience and we were worried about him being rained out. After a quick brunch we went straight to the skatepark to catch the sun while it was out. Hunter was thrilled to discover that he has gotten better over the past six months and that he can successfully tackle more of the features.

lee condos & bootsThe foundation of our stay was unit 37 at the South Chesterman Beach condo’s, which was very generously lent to us by a friend for the week. It is a one bedroom unit with pull out couch, great amenities and you walk right out of the complex to South Chesterman beach. Not only was it great to have a bit of space to spread out in when it rained, and a place to dry our gear, it was also nice to be able to walk right out to the beach with our surf stuff. (P.S. – it’s for sale and is used as a vacation rental if anyone is in the market…).

We surfed almost every day, rain or shine. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not cold in my super duper wetsuit that I bought in the fall. The waves were great – even better than California! It was a nice place to finish off our surfing for the trip.

We went out for at least one beach exploration a day, mostly at low tide to see what we could find.

We also wandered out to Frank’s Island every day to play in the tide pools – an experience we really missed in the fall. Every day we found something new and different.

We made it back to the bike park once and the skate park a number of times.

puppies playing cardsWe also had fun with daily/nightly card games, in between playing outside and getting school work done.

sunny tofino beachOnce again – worrying turned out to be wasted energy… yet another fabulous stay in Tofino 🙂

south chesterman beach low tide

Week Two in Oceanside – the Beach House

campfireGrandma Lynne generously rented a beach house in Oceanside for a week as everyone’s Christmas present this year. It was a great chance for Hunter to catch up with his cousins and for all of us to just “play”. Being right on the beach, everyone could just come and go from the ocean all day, which was also helped by the hot tub… where you could just chill out – or eat ice-cream!

kids hot tubhot tub ice creamEveryone had a great time out in the water surfing or boogie boarding…

We also had lots of sand castle building, kite flying and bubbles throughout the week.

hunter & taeya kite flyingNo family trip to Oceanside is complete without stopping at Legoland, which never disappoints and always has some new experience or highlight.hunter in the stocks legolandOn our way home we stopped at the local strawberry fields for bargain priced strawberries fresh from the field!

strawberry fieldsNo family vacation is without it’s ups and downs, especially with twelve people in one house. We all survived, finished happy and are grateful to have been able to spend quality time together again this year.

Jumping Jellyfish & Peaceful Panthers on Jupiter Island

tim hunter on rocksWe headed north the other day for a family road trip. Uncle Andy was off to go marathon canoe training with a group of people on Jupiter Island so we all jumped in the car to tag along. After a MUCH too early start for some of us (up at 6:30 and out the door by 7:00) we all managed to wake up and get into the fun.

tim over beach rocks

After dropping Andy off we headed over to Blowing Rocks Preserve. It is a Nature Conservancy site that has a great reputation for successfully modelling full scale coastal habitat restoration. There is a coastal limestone ridge that runs along the beach that makes it a neat place to explore at both low and high tides. At low tide you can run along the beach and check out the structures from underneath. At high tide, they turn into blow holes with the surf pushing through them. We were aiming for the low tide experience but unfortunately it was a high wind day so the tide never went out as fully as anticipated. As always, we still managed to have fun – we ran along the beach avoiding the jellyfish and then ran along the tide trying not to get wet (some were more successful than others…).

We headed back into town to meet up with Andy and have a lunch picnic at the Jupiter Island Lighthouse. It is a really well maintained historic site. We had hoped to just walk up the stairs and check out the view but that’s not an option and we all voted that the tour price was a bit steep.

We decided to head west over to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and check out the animals. It is by donation only and a great place to spend a few hours on a sunny afternoon. The trails are easy to walk and the animals are well displayed. We found the above bee hive on the black bear trail (makes sense and all – bees… honey…). In addition to having animals for engagement and education, the sanctuary also does rescue and rehabilitation.

All of their animals come from rescues or seizures. They have 6 panthers and they were all seized from people that were trying to keep them as pets or for other purposes???