Travel day to B.C.: Cars, Boats, and Customs
Parksville, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Today we traveled with our friends Michelle, Youssef, and their three kids, to Vancouver Island, B.C., to start a week-long vacation. We've traveled with them before to Cannon Beach, OR, and we always have a good time.
First, we drove from Seattle to the fishing community of Anacortes,ferry through the San Juan islands. This is one of the most beautiful boat rides you can take -- even more beautiful on a nice, sunny day. We stopped at Orcas Island and then in Friday Harbor. Jenna, Michelle and Youssef's oldest girl, and I spent a lot of time on the observation deck of the ferry, looking for Orcas (several Orca pods swim around the San Juans). Unfortunately, we didn't see any.
After three hours, we arrived in Sidney, B.C., and went through Canadian customs. Before 9/11, this kind of trip was a breeze -- but now you need to bring passports and birth certificates. The Canadian customs officer asked if we had photo ID for the kids, which surprised me. We'd never been asked for that kind of ID -- but, as I said, things have changed.
After passing customs, we took the Trans-Canada Highway 1 all the way up to Nanaimo and then to Parksville, our final destination. This was only an 80-mile trip, but it took us three hours (with one stop) to get to Tigh-Na-Mara, the resort in Parksville. We were rewarded with an amazing cherry-pink sunset on our balcony.
We found that the rooms we booked weren't what we had asked for, so Brenda was soon on the phone sorting it all out with the resort staff.
The kids were all wound up, as you would expect after an eight-hour travel day. It took three stories and lots of bargaining with them to finally get them to sleep at 10:30.