Getaway to Gibsons

To celebrate our 1-year anniversary (yes, already!), the Artist and I left the city for a few days and nestled into the charming marine community of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. We used Air B&B for the first time and greatly enjoyed waking up to this view from our studio suite by the sea.


The last time I was in Gibsons, I was a child and don’t remember anything. So it was fun to be back and experience more of the culture of this artsy 4200-person town that almost seems like it has as many boats as people.


Gibsons Marina

Tourism is the main economy here. Not a huge surprise when you read (all over the town) that this small coastal community became popular thanks to the longtime hit Canadian TV show The Beachcombers, which first aired in 1972 and ran until 1990. It was filmed in Gibsons, where Molly’s Reach restaurant and Molly’s Lane featured prominently (Molly’s Reach was a cafe in the show— it only opened as a restaurant after the series ended). We ate dinner one night at this iconic landmark decorated with newspaper clippings and photos of the cast on location.




their classic fish taco

Persephone is the main character’s boat in the show, now sitting outside in a small park outside the restaurant. I have never seen an episode, but now I want to watch one after being immersed in this piece of Canadian television history. Crazy to think how CBC could make the longest-running Canadian comedy/drama about a log salvager who made his living travelling the BC coast looking for logs that had broken away from barges and booms and selling them back to lumber companies. “Beachcomber” means “a vagrant who makes his living by searching beaches for articles of value and selling them.” Small town coastal life in a nutshell, eh?


Lower Gibsons (by the wharf) contains a variety of home and clothing stores, restaurants with great patios overlooking the water, a great gelato ice cream shop, the Gibsons Public Art Gallery, a visitor centre, and some professional offices. I loved their unique street signs and their wooden bird feeders decorating the street posts. So much charm and colour in this place.



cute clothing stores in Molly’s Lane


Gibsons Public Art Gallery


IMG_3378And what would a post on Gibsons be without a few shots of the fabulous scenery?



To the Island

My less frequent posts as of late have been in part due to a vacation I took to Vancouver Island. I like to call it my “To the Island” trip as a take-off on Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

She felt… how life, from being made up of little separate incidents which one lived one by one, became curled and whole like a wave which bore one up with it and threw one down with it, there, with a dash on the beach.

I visited several small towns along the east coast that I’ve never been to before, including Crofton, Ladysmith, Duncan, and then up to Nanaimo and down to Victoria (which I have been to before since I lived there as a grad student).

I’m not one for small towns, but I concede there is a certain charm to them when visiting. I was pleasantly surprised at the plethora of used bookstores and vintage/consignment clothing shops in a number of places. Aaron Espe captures the small town life in this song:

And I’ve tried to capture some photos that, even if they don’t exactly characterize the town, at least characterize my experience of that particular town:



There’s only one main street running through Ladysmith. It hosted the town’s annual “show and shine.”

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If that wasn’t rural enough, I was about to get even more country by staying on this picturesque farm on the outskirts of town.


A day lounging at the beach, petting goats, and walking the boardwalk around Crofton’s harbour.

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The town doesn’t look like much from the highway, but once you turn off and actually get into the downtown area, it has some really quaint spots. Duncan is also known as “The City of Totems.” Apparently there’s over 80.

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Home of Nanaimo bars and Diana Krall. Lovely, colourful harbour city.

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I took the least amount of pictures here, probably because I took so many when I lived in this city. In any case, I love visiting this old “home” and running the ocean route along Dallas Road I used to do as a student.


Pico Iyer says we carry many versions of home inside of us and I think that is very true. Sometimes we may even call a place home that we’ve never lived in but dream of living in, because we spend just as much time thinking about it. I had never thought about that until he said it, but it made sense. Vancouver was home to me long before I moved there. So, where is home for you? Small town, big city? Both?

Here’s the TED talk if you have fifteen minutes: