We just got back from an amazing trip to ‘The Island’ (Vancouver Island). I’ve never been so it was great to share in the enthusiasm with my children. Now the trek out west took over 3 days, with one unscheduled overnight in Hope, BC. What a great name for such a beautiful town. Unfortunately our van decided it had enough of the mountain driving and crazy heat (30+ degrees C). We didn’t know it at the time but the water pump seized up and the temperature gauge quit working! So as we pulled off the Coquihalla hwy into Hope to fill up for gas, the engine coolant gushed out and the engine was smoking! Luckily (no, it wasn’t luck – our guardian angels were looking out for us that day), we were less than a block away from a mechanic who stayed late into the night fixing up our van so we could leave the next morning. We had some time early the next morning so we decided to tour around the little town. As we were walking, my husband (a chiropractor) started saying ‘what a beautiful place to set up a practice’. It is nice, but give me flat open places!!!

So finally, day 3 of the road trip started again only to come to a screeching halt at the Vancouver Ferry. Hello…..why didn’t anyone warn us NOT to go on the Ferry to the Island on a Friday?? 3 hour wait!!!! That really tested my patience, in which I failed miserably – I ended up being in a foul mood until we got to our final destination in Parksville where I could finally relax, enjoy the ocean water and the seashell picking. Luckily we stayed at a kid friendly motel which had a mini-golf course right next door. Remember the bean jar?? Well, the kids earned enough beans to go mini-golfing. They had a blast with their Auntie’s!! (And Hannah was the best ball retriever ever….didn’t have to bend down once).

Of course, we were in town for a wedding, so later on that day/evening we attended a beautiful wedding/baptism/reception.

The next day we went to mass, then decided to check out some of the sites around the Island. We checked some HUGE trees (500-800 years old) in Cathedral Grove, and some beautiful waterfalls in Englishman river falls. Next, off to Victoria (the capital of BC). We were able to find an air-conditioned motel (I guess it’s rare in Victoria), the temperature was crazy!!! I believe it broke all kinds of records this past week. We were able to go down to the wharf and enjoy some of the sites.

Next day……on the way home. As we reached Kamloops the temperature reached 39 degrees C on the van (and our tempers were getting the better of us), we had a quick stop in an air conditioned restaurant. That cooled us down and we were on our way again. Luckily we were able to find a fruit stand and picked up some really yummy peaches! (We missed the fruit stands in the Okanogan due to the crazy wild fires near Kelowna). A tenting stop in Barriere, BC for the night led us to close day 5 of our trip. (Just a tip, tenting with kids is great, except for one thing…..after being cooped up in a van for the day they have some extra energy to burn – especially the 18mo. Having a toddler jumping on my head until she conked out is not my idea of fun!)

Finally the last day of the drive…

It started out great, only a 15 min wait for the Ferry back to the mainland (and we got to see a Killer Whale Pod!!!) and we were back on the road again. We managed to stop a few times in and around Jasper, BC. We stopped at Mount Robson (the highest point in the Rockies) and at Malaigne Lake (our photos don’t do it justice). It was at this point that my husband decided that he wanted to sleep in his own bed and decided to drive through all the way to Saskatoon. We made some great time after stopping in Edmonton, AB for a top up in the gas tank. It was 10:30pm and the kids all fell asleep, so he drove (god bless him) straight until we reached home at 3:30am. I probably would have drove us off the road, I was head bobbing the entire way back!

So that’s our trip in a nutshell. Even though it was fun, and the kids did relatively well, I don’t think we will ever do that again in that short of time. Definately not enough time to take in all the sites.

Since I’ve got a ton of pictures, I’ve decided to do a gallery. Double click to enlarge photos.

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