Friday, April 25, 2014


Shock - right?!

An actual - honest to goodness - new post.

Yup - I have crawled out from the rock under which I have been hiding to bring you this post of our trip to Vancouver Island.

Sorry. But here's the thing. On the road, after Cassia is in bed, I have very little to do - I can either read, surf the net or write a post.

Here?! In the comforts of a home? Well, let's just say there is a very large black box with a shiny black screen that once turned on provides me (and the rest of us here) with a whole evenings worth of entertainment ….. even if there isn't anything on.

Ahhhhh….the luxury of a TV. I know, I know - far from a luxury for most of you, but for us - TVless since 2006 - we tend to over indulge the few times of the year that we get a few days …. or weeks of TV at our disposal 24/7.

Anyway, enough of that. Being the procrastinator that I am I have been slow to get a new post up. But now with only two more nights left at Derek's mom's place before we once again find ourselves seeking out hotspots for our wifi time, I'm realizing that I should at least get something up to show you what's been going on in our world for the last few weeks.

If you recall, following the last post, Cas and I were on our way to Vancouver Island, and Victoria specifically, to visit with my mom and sister. 

Here's how it went.

Getting on to the ferry at Tsawwassen (a mouthful right?! Ta-wa-sen). Thankfully Derek's mom was headed to Salt Spring Island for a few days so we were able to hitch a ride with her. The ferry terminal is 1 1/2 hours from her house so we had to make sure we left with plenty of time because you never know what the line up will be like. We were lucky today - we left at 9:00am and arrived at 10:45 and JUST got on the 11:00am sailing. Close - good thing it was Thursday and not Friday - cheaper too. 

Cassia with her Grandma - we are on our way up from the vehicle levels.

And where do you head on a big ferry with a 4 year old? Why, the play area of course. Audrey and I sat and enjoyed the mayhem fun from the comfort of our seats with some coffee.

It was a coolish day so I just went out for a few pictures.

The black line is the border between the USA and Canada.

At one point along the 1 1/2 hour journey two BC Ferries pass.

Pulling into the Swartz Bay port on the Island. Here, Cas and I parted company with Derek's mom who drove off to only get in another line and board a second ferry to get to Salt Spring Island. Cassia and I walked off the ferry to the bus stop where we boarded the express City Transit bus to downtown Victoria and my mom's apartment building. No more pictures of our trip - we arrived at my mom's at around 3:00pm - happy that our travel day was behind us.

We tend to stay close to home (my mom's place) when we visit but we did plan to take a day trip to downtown Victoria. It is a bit of a walk but it was such a nice day it worked out ok. Once on the Island I realized that Victoria, in fact, has quite a few craft breweries. Who knew? 

For a few minutes I entertained the thought of visiting them all but then realized that that probably wasn't going to fly. Me and Cas going from brewery to brewery for some reason seemed a bit weird without Derek there. Oh well. We did however make our way past Phillips Brewing Co. since it was on our path. 

A little further along we found this wall. I'm not a fan of graffiti myself however when it is presented like this I am more inclined to call it art.

This is the Capital Iron building, a place we usually stop, but not today - today we are continuing a little further for our annual trip to look around Value Village. I always stop in when in Victoria to see if I can find some clothes for Cassia. Today, I was on a mission to find some work pants for us for the summer.

A beautiful mural facing a large parking lot.

And another across the street. I parked in this parking lot for 3 1/2 years while I worked in Victoria in the mid 2000's.

Our next destination was Chinatown to pick up some spices for my sister and her husband. 

It was a little more challenging then I expected. Although I loved it - Cas wasn't' to fond of the fragrance of the Chinese food shop.

You just have to love the buildings and pedestrian friendly feel of downtown Victoria.

Many stores sell Northwest art and tourist items.

A short detour to show Cassia where I used to work as an Intern Architect. Bas Smith Architect Inc. was located on the second floor of this green building.

And…the first Architect office I worked at in Victoria - we were on the third floor of this building.

We then headed down to the harbour.

Hmmmm …. apparently someone with some BIG money was in town.

We stopped to look at the cute little harbour taxis.

Nice painted whales outside of the Visitor Center.

As well as beautiful flowers. Nice to see at this time of year.

We continued our walk towards the Parliament Building and then headed to the left - we were headed to the park.

Along the way we came across this display of Totem Poles. Funny, I actually didn't know that they were here.

Beside the Totems is the Historic Site of Helmcken House.

And finally, our destination - Beacon Hill Park.

United once again with the Canadian Geese back in Canada.

Hard to walk by a large Magnolia tree and not take a picture - right?!

So - I was thinking to take Cassia to the Royal BC Museum and Imax this year but then I realized that the petting zoo and a trip for ice cream was probably going to be a more popular choice!

Cassia was last here a few years ago with my mom.

All that goat time made us hungry for ice cream so we made the trip over to the Beacon Hill Drive In. Derek came here when he was a kid. 

Then back to the petting zoo - through the daffodil field of course.

Funny how, not one, but two stamps can bring so much happiness.

As your can imagine we were pretty tired by the time we made it back to my mom's just before dinner.

A nice mom and daughter day for Cassia and I.

During the week we also made three trips to the playground near my mom's place. On our last trip there Cassia took the shovels and rake that my sister - her Aunty Dee - gave to her. They'll also come in handy this summer with our container gardens.

Cassia made a few friends over the days - here she is with Keegan.

As these things do - our trip seemed to pass in a flash and it wasn't long before we were leaving. My sister came down from up Island for a day grabbing a bit of away time from a busy spring at Damali Lavender Farm and her and her husband David's two businesses Fresh Start Edibles and Warm Land Waterworks
Here's a parting shot of Cassia with my lovely mom and her Oma. 
Derek's mom came to take us to the ferry and back to her place. 

This time we were about 1 hour early for the ferry so we once again visited the playground that they have at the ferry terminal.

Hmmmm …. I think my eyes are closed.

Like deja vu - right?! Back on the ferry and back ….

to the play area. Gosh, I remember when Cassia was the littlest kid and looked up longingly at the big kids up on the top of the slide. 

Once again passing the other ferry.

As we boarded the 5:00pm ferry, this time we also had dinner on the ferry, it wouldn't be for another few hours until we were home. 

A view of Mt. Baker in the USA on our way back to Chilliwack.

So, that was our trip. I distant memory now…….

Funny how time can go so slow and so fast all at the same time. It seems like a long time since we arrived back into Canada and to Derek's mom's place. On the other hand it seems to be taking forever to get to May when Derek and I start our new job.

Our new job? 

Hmmm…..have I neglected to tell you what we are up to this summer and where?!

I have - haven't I.

Sheesh. Guess we got the job and just carried on - happy with knowing that we would soon-ish be making money again. It's been awhile since we last received a pay cheque - back in October.

I'll save all that for next post. 

Ha ha! Ya - in a few weeks you are thinking. Nope - I'll try my best to arm wrestle Derek away from the laptop to get that up for you this weekend.

Thanks for checking back in with the Wood Clan!

And dare I say, not giving up on us!



  1. Such a wonderful visit you had.
    Now down to the business of a Job?
    Wow, I am waiting to hear!

    1. It was nice George and yes now back to work. We are looking forward to it - one place for 5 months!

  2. No way!! I'm not good at waiting.....

    Lovely tour of Victoria, especially since I'll most likely not get to visit. Sure was wonderful reading your words I was just there!

    Now "work pants"...hummmmm?? :)

    1. Ha! Sorry Cj - now another night! Sorry that you won't make it to Victoria - but ya - it's a long way from where you are.

  3. Lots of wonderful pictures. It's a wonderful place, Vancouver Island and Victoria. Too, too long since we've been there.

    Mike Goad

    1. Thanks Mike! It really is - nice in the spring with all the colours and well ahead of the rest of Canada.

  4. Been checking every day and almost gave up, please don't leave us in the dark for so long. Missing you all

  5. Sounds like a lovely trip, I'm sure you Mom was happy to have you both there. I haven't been to Vitoria for years and years, lovely memories, thanks for the tour.

    1. It was Contessa. I have actually been following your trip home just didn't get a chance to comment. Nice that you got your taxes done - I did too although they wouldn't have been near as complicated as yours - but I was just as happy to have them sent off. Thanks for the tour up the Thompson - we managed Skihist and Gold Pan Prov Parks for two summers so we were through there every day.

  6. Tell Cassia that her biggest fan in Dublin,Texas Loved seeing her life in Canada.This grandmother thinks she is such a beautiful little girl and hopes she has a fun summer.Keep us posted,Cassia...

    1. Ha! I knew you were there Vadam! I put in more pictures of her than normal just for you - well, and all those other Cassia followers! She'll have a fun summer with mom and dad in the forest working - but we'll find some fun stuff for her too of course.

  7. Glad to catch up with you again. I was wondering about all of you. We are stuck waiting out weather - trying to get home.

    1. I've been following you guys reading every post - just not a lot of time here to comment in - nice to see you in places that we have been. It was so cold in Amarillo when we were there we didn't get to see anything other than the Big Texan!

  8. Beautiful area where you were....having never been there, likely never will be either, it looked very nice!! .We had not given up on you, knew you were taking a break......

    1. It is beautiful BlackSheep - I hope you can see it in person one day! A longggggggg break! But still - not as long as yours - right?!

  9. We were wondering where you were going to set up for the summer. Looking forward to hearing where you're new job is.

  10. Enjoyed all the pics. Brought back some great memories. Spent 9 hours in Victoria, off a cruise ship. Beautiful city. Was our favorite stop of an Alaskan cruise. Did a pub crawl tour. Definitely not enough time.......

    1. Thanks Jerry! Ha! A pub crawl! Well, Victoria would be a good place to do that - sample any local craft brew? Nope - that wouldn't have been enough time - hopefully you will make it back one day.

  11. been reading through some of your posts! wonderful photography !!


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