Two Months To Go

The view from my desk. Jealouscauseyoushouldbe.

Oh hey halfway point, where did you come from?

Someone at work the other day mentioned that there were only six months left until Christmas. Enter heart attack. Where is the summer going? Has it technically even arrived yet in coastal areas of BC? According to the numerous melancholy status updates on my Facebook feed, it most certainly has not. Tofino has been unnaturally grey this June, and after yesterday’s October style rain I am going to agree with all of you: Summer has gone AWOL.

For the most part I’ve been ok with this, believing that I had endless amounts of time in which to enjoy the summer to come. Until the Christmas comment, which shoved everything into perspective. We only have 60 days until we pack up and blow this popsicle stand. I’ve been distracted by my 40 hour work week and dazzling Parks Canada paycheck so much so that I forgot that grey skies and translucent skin, while the norm 75% of the year, were severely out of place in June.

So here’s hoping for July and August. May the last 60 days of our summer in Tofino be bathed in sun (preferably on my days off, thank you), margaritas (from Sobo, natch) and SPF 60 helioplex sunscreen (because pale really is the new tan. Vogue told me so).

In other non-related news, we had a surprise visitor this week. Becky from Campbell River! I say that like it’s her title or something. Like she’s the only person from Campbell River. Goodness Alex.

Anyway, Becky came out (for one night and one night only!)…

Sorry, Mammi Mia script running through my head again. Where is Emily when I need her? I just sang the opening lines of “Don’t Go Wasting Your Emotions” and all I got was a stink eye from Colin. Ugh. Boys.

Again, anyway, Becky brought Timbits with her which means she automatically became The Best Person Ever. I ate every single sour cream glazed timbit in the box and I felt no shame. I felt my arteries harden, but no shame.

It was honestly so great to have visitors, especially since Colin and I were both off and had the time to hang out. Our days off fall between Tuesdays and Thursdays which I know is wildly inconvenient for those of you with real jobs, but we would still be so, so happy to have people any old time. So I’ll extend the invitation again. If you’re thinking of coming, just let us know when! We have lots of room in the house and our backyard is actually a pretty rocking campsite too if you swing that way.

Take this as a reminder to yourself as well: there are only 60 precious days left until September. Enjoy them. Come visit. Amen!




Household Goes Surfing

Sorry for neglecting the blog over the last week. My new job at Parks Canada leaves me wiped at the end of the day, so I haven’t had the time to write a post let alone think of anything interesting for you to read. However, today is my day off and so I will tell you all about the fun times had by our household.

At the beginning of June we acquired Alex whose sole job is to occupy our spare bedroom. That, and be a surf instructor. But his main job here is to occupy the room. He does a delightful job of it. The surf instructor thing also comes in handy when we all go out surfing together. I guess we’ll keep him.Even though Colin now has this cockamamie idea that I will start surfing all the time with him if Alex gives me lessons. Where he gets these ideas….

That’s Alex teaching Carolyn how to successfully stand up on her board. Carl and Colin were pretending not to listen but secretly trying to glean some tips.

We love Alex. He cook, he cleans, he teaches us to surf. Plus he grows basil in the window. And will you look at those CURLS!

Alex, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. But we really like you and hope you stay forever. Or at least until our lease is up.

Carolyn doing a popup, an essential surf move that is impossible to master if you don’t do pushups or like to eat a lot of trans fats.

At least, that’s what I tell myself. Blame the trans fats.

There they go! I should mention here that I went for a run this day and was too exhausted/sore/lazy to work up the energy to go surfing. After the Rip Tide Incident of 2010 I am extra wary of getting into the water when I’m already tired.

So I sat on the beach, read a book and ate a waffle. No joke. Ate a waffle on the beach. It is an excellent combo and you should try it. Beach and Waffles is the new Chicken and Waffles.

Just lovely. I waded in up to my calves and felt very at one with my surfing friends. Really connected. Then I went and ate my waffle.

It was a totally amazing night to be out on the beach. Freaking gorgeous. Cold and windy yes, but really really sunny too. Lovely.

So pretty.

Long after I got bored of reading and ran out of waffles, everyone finally came back and we packed up to come home. A successful household surfing excursion was had by all.

The End.

Tomorrow, a post about our recent backyard barbecue and a new recipe experiment!

New Jobs and New Summers

Happy first day of summer!

I celebrated by going for a run. You heard me. A run.

I don’t usually run. I don’t like all the jouncing and pounding and sweating and just the general nature of running and how it equals working out. That certainly explains the extra 20 pounds sitting on my thighs and tummy. But I ignored all that and went for a run. Luckily I bough a very cute, flouncy pink running skirt/short thing from LuluLemon in anticipation of running once or twice this summer. Never underestimate the power of pink ruffles on your bum. You could rule the world.

I plugged in the newish Britney Spears cd on my phone and got to work along the Lighthouse Trail. Frig that CD is good. Awesome for workout. I pretty much exclusively listen to Britney for any workout, because her tunes are rockin and I like to think that Britney also hates working out and made the CD only so that we could all survive exercise a little easier.

But that’s just me. Listen to what you like! I don’t quite understand the runners who listen to classical music, but to each their own.

The run went pretty well for about a half an hour until a nasty old basketball injury kicked in, causing my right calf to seize up like a vice. It literally feels like all of the muscles and tendons turn to rocks. I tried to push through it but soon remembered that trying to do that makes my whole right leg go numb. Yeah, freaky! I decided to pack it in then and come home, all but dragging my bum leg behind me.

So, my kinesiology friends, please explain that one to me. Colin tells me it’s because I don’t stretch enough, but if you have met my dad you would know that we are the connoisseurs of stretching in this family. So please help, my thighs really need the exercise, and the whole calf thing is way too good of an excuse for me to not run.

As far as yesterday goes, I’m still processing a lot of information. While I already have a good knowledge of the National Park here, working for Parks is a different beast. Government stuff, rules, processes, contracts, etc. Lots of STUFF. I did learn a lot yesterday while working at the Wickaninnish Interpretive Center, which beats all other offices as far as views go. The front desk (where I’ll be working) looks out on the south end of Long Beach, and yesterday the seas were so calm we saw both grey whales and harbour porpoises hanging out in front of the center while we sat at the desk. Unreal.

Over the next few days I’ll be bouncing around to different offices, learning the ropes at each one. I expect to be pretty brain dead for about a week, but I’ll do my best to remember to take pictures and whatnot, so you can see all the fun stuff I get to do at Parks.

Part of my job is dog patrolling on the beach for half a day, which means they pay me to walk. On the beach. For hours. Oh yeah, and tell people to keep their dogs on leash. But really, mostly walking.

I love my job.

First Day

It was intense. Lots to remember. Brain fried. Will write more tomorrow.

What’s New?

Not much? You sure? I bet you have something interesting going on. All of you are so awesome and interesting. You must have something to share!

Me? Oh, not too much. I came home this week for a nice extended visit. It’s been heavenly. I visited with lots of people I love, ate all the things I can’t get in Tofino (Starbucks, how I missed you) and hung out on my couch in my PJ’s. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now!

I even stopped by the old stomping grounds at Bisou Bridal because I missed those ladies so much. It never ceases to amaze me how totally different that job is, compared to the others I’ve worked at, but it is without a doubt my favorite place to work. Happy people and pretty dresses, what more can you ask for?

Colin came home too but had to be back to work on Friday. He got stuck in the ferry lineup for 4 hours and then the ferry left 20 minutes late. I think my travel luck is starting to rub off on him.

Tomorrow, I’ll come back to Tofino. I’m sad to leave home as always, but I have a lot to look forward to. On Monday I’ll be starting a job with Parks Canada. I’m really excited to start working with Parks even though it means I have to wear the same exceedingly flattering uniform that Colin does. Once I get the full uni I’ll post some pictures, but here’s a good description for you: dark green, high waisted pants; dark green, high waisted shorts; dark green skirt (long and short, oh god); beige button down collared shirt (long and short sleeve, ooh la la); red flannel vest, green and red flannel jacket, dark green rain jacket and (not kidding here) a FOREST RANGER HAT. I do have the option of a green baseball cap, which I can honestly say will always be my first choice.

To counteract all of the forest-y goodness, I will be curling my hair and painting my nails and wearing lip gloss on a daily basis. It’s all about a healthy balance!

So that’s what is new with me. What’s new with you?

An Ode to Home

I’m home. I love home.

I love Maple Ridge. I know I hate it during the winter. I hate it with a passion. I hate the rain, I hate getting stuck in the inexplicable traffic between the bridge and 207th. I hate that there are no good places for dates in Maple Ridge. I hate that it is so freaking far from Kits, where I work.

But lordy do I love coming home in the summer. I love my house, I love that the air smells like flowers. I love my kitchen and my bath tub and my bed. I love that my dog has a heart attack when Colin comes over and I love being close to all of the people I think are the cat’s meow.

I love the movie theater with its delicious popcorn (I saw Bridesmaids last night – so funny). I love being here for the Stanley Cup Finals. I love waking up feeling nervous about game 7.

I love going to Costco.

I love knowing that I can come home whenever I need to and just soak up all this love and happiness and know that everything is going to be okay.

I also love that I have an amazing, wonderful boyfriend who will not only text my mom behind my back to arrange for me to come home, but will come home with me and be my big old (literally – 25 years old) tower of support.


Funny Things Visitors Asked Today

“Is the water swimmable in Tofino?”

Define ‘swimmable’ for me.

Does swimmable mean warm? If so, no, the water in Tofino is not swimmable. It is freezing cold all year round. The water tends to hover between 9 and 11 degrees Celsius here. Only children – who for some strange reason are incapable of feeling cold until they turn purple – are able to tolerate the water for any length of time. Everyone else needs to wear a wetsuit or endure the extreme pain that is the Pacific Ocean

Does swimmable mean void of deadly predators? If so, then no, the water in Tofino is not swimmable. Last year, they found this beauty in the waters of Alberni inlet:

Remember that? Lord, it haunts my dreams. There are also jellyfish, sea lions (which are nice except when they think it’s fun to bite you – not cool), crabs and any number of creepy things in the waters off of Tofino. Also, THESE:

These make me do my creepy creepy creeped out dance. Hundreds of these Humboldt squid washed up on the shores of Tofino two years ago accompanied by schools of herring. I didn’t go in the water after that. For real. They washed up at the beginning of August and I closed up shop as far as swimming of surfing went. Just thinking about getting in the water, I could feel those giant tentacles wrapping around my legs.

Does that not give you the heebie-jeebies? It totally still gets me. Ugh.

So no, if your definition of ‘swimmable’ means void of deadly predators, you would be remiss to swim here.

I should note that those Humboldt squid haven;t been seen since, but that does not help me at all. If it helps you, please go forth and swim in peace. I will not be joining you.

Does swimmable mean that the water is pretty and sparkly with nice waves and sandy beaches? Then yes, the waters of Tofino are swimmable. I personally think these are the prettiest beaches in all the world. Plus, in the summer the waves are nice and moderate, great for kids and beginner surfers. There might not be any palm trees waving in the breeze, but gosh darn it our beaches are nice.Also, we have a variety of beaches from which to choose, each with different characteristics. Want to go surfing? Incinerator Rock at Long Beach, Cox Bay or Chesterman, depending on the swell. Want the prettiest beach for a nice sunset walk? Chesterman is your beach. Want to let your kids run wild with sand castles? Mackenzie or Middle Beach. Want to beat your bongos and camp overnight for free? Stay away from Tonquin your dirty hippie!

Sorry, that was leftover rage from summers fraught with sleepless nights. Tonquin is great for picnics and chilling and even playing bongo drums, just please refrain from doing it at night. Alex needs to sleep or she will come down there and stab your bongo with her kitchen knife.

I personally have a tough time classifying Tofino water as ‘swimmable’ because of my own personal definitions of the term. I grew up on nice warm lakes where the only predators I had to worry about were greasy dudes from Surrey. I also have a healthy fear of the ocean that constantly perplexes Colin, who grew up right here on the west coast.

I told all of this to the nice man on the phone, who listened patiently while I waxed poetic about sharks, giant squid and freezing temperatures.

Not really. What I said consisted of me saying something like “Yes, the waters are completely safe and very swimmable. Bring your wetsuit.”

Do as I say, not as I do, my friends.