Sunday, July 29, 2007

Second segment of vacation journal

Ah, now, we're back on our computer! Seems our little friend vundo crept in again. Our browser was inaccessible, but we've been able to use our microsoft streets and trips all along. Norton asked to run this afternoon and that's how we found out. All along we just thought it had to do with a setting getting changed when we used an internet link at a pub in Duncan or N. Cowichan.
Monday, we drove around Duncan and walked around town and looked at their totems, then tried to find Cowichan Cultural Center. No luck after walking many, many blocks. Too much ground to cover by foot. So we hopped into the truck. We took the tour at the Cultural Center. I swear our guide had a George Monday accent - no kidding. Then we drove to quaint Chemainus walked the mural tour and the streets near the bay/inlet. Exhausted, we drove back to the campground and made chili browns for dinner. :>)
Tuesday, we drove to Lady Smith situated on a hillside overlooking the water, and walked all over town. Then we drove down to Transfer Beach and watched the water, boat traffic and people, then ate lunch. We drove to Cowichan Bay. Pretty, reminded me of Brinnon with all the cars parked on the land side and the close in, shoulder to shoulder shops on the other. Then we drove to Duncan to get groceries, wine and cider. We bought some Okanogan Cider. So much better than what we can buy at home. We drove home and made chicken cacciatore in the dutch oven. What a success! Fingerlicking good!
We stayed 3 nights at the Cowichan River campground. The rain hung on.
We drove to Goldstream Campground Wednesday morning. We took a wrong turn, got in a bit of a pinch and well, the truck has her first ding in her bumper. :>( Nice campground, well spaced out and best of all . . . sunshine! After setting up we drove into Victoria to look around and get our bearings. We came home and cooked a beef roast with vegetables in the dutch oven. Probably the wrong type of roast for how we cooked it, so it was on the tough side, but tasty still. If only we'd had some cornstarch or flour to make gravy! The next day we were up early and drove into Victoria. Unfortunately, it took so long to find a parking place we were both dying for a washroom with the lovely BC single ply TP. We walked down to the harbor and strolled along the edge watching the float planes, wee ferries, kayaks and all manner of big excitement on the water. Then we walked around downtown shopping and people watching. We ate at a beautiful restaurant and sat out on their deck to enjoy the water view. One of their umbrellas became airborne and dropped down below. wonder if it hit someone's car? We walked and shopped a little more and then stopped to enjoy some street performers over the edge of the upper walkway - some jugglers and a marimba band. We drove around some lovely neighborhoods and found Craigdarroch Castle where we took a tour. On the way out of town we stopped at Salty's and had the best fish and chips we've ever had - chips cooked to perfection, fresh cole slaw, crisp, tender, delectable fish, served with fresh tarter sauce and a nice smooth ale and lager for Norm. Oh, my gosh! I want to go back! We took a drive out to Sooke and Saanich. Such pretty areas! There was a place that looked like it would make for a great stay - Sooke Harbour House, I believe. We went home in time to charge up the batteries for the sleep machine. Although, Norm had to run into to the edge of town to buy more gas for the generator. I stayed in camp to watch the generator and to get briquets ready to make brownies in the dutch oven. By the time all was done, we only had time for one game of cribbage before bed. Friday we were up even earlier. We drove to The Butchart Gardens and stayed there until around 1:30. So many beautiful flowers and views! What a vision Mr. and Mrs. Butchart had to create the gardens from a quarry! After that we worked and worked until we finally found Merridale Cidery. Oh my! Ciders that taste like wine! And others, too. Now we're back at camp to make dinner. Tomorrow we pack and up and head for Seal Rock and then home. After dinner we drove into Victoria to find a liquor store to buy more Okanogan Cider to take home. Before that we went ahead and drove around downtown. So much going on! Must be fun to stay in a motel and enjoy the city at all hours of the day.
Up earlier than ever - 7:30 - and on the road at 9:30. We're sitting at the ferry terminal, hoping they'll fit it us in. Ah, great! We're off the ferry and it's only 12:54! Heading home! The wait for the ferry was only about 40 minutes - much better than nearly 4 hours. We opted to go home via Tsawwassen. The same port we started at. The Victoria port wasn't the best place to go check out with a tent trailer in tow. It's a crowded lot in a busy area of the city. It took about 30 minutes to get through the border. Once we were at the head it was fast though. Traffic through the Seattle area was slow, so we didn't reach Olympia until dinner time. We stopped to eat at a Red Robin near Black Lake Blvd. We got home around 9:30 or 10. Unhooked, got out what we needed and headed to bed.

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