Sunshine Coast Road Trip

A little late, but here are the rest of our Sunshine Coast pics from our trip in May. First part is here.

The Artist and I drove the Lower Sunshine Coast all the way to the last town, Egmont, stopping at most of the small towns along the way.

Here’s a brief look at our one-day road trip:

1. Roberts Creek

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2. Davis Bay

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3. Sechelt

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4. Halfmoon Bay

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5. Madeira Park

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7. Francis Point Provincial Park

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6. Pender Harbour & Garden Bay area (view from Pender Hill)

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This short but steep hike with incredible views was one of my favourite things we did.

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7. Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park (& Skookumchuck Rapids)

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The rapids were supposed to be “medium” height but this is about as good as they got.

And last but not least, a black bear we saw from the safety of our vehicle (phew!)

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Honeymoon

Hello world! A big and wonderful life event that the Artist and I had been planning for five months happened on May 16 (pictures to come later) and now that it is over and life returns to “normal,” you shall see me back here a little more often again.

After the “I do’s,” we hopped on a plane to Mexico. I had no idea where in Mexico we were going for our honeymoon, but I knew it was a) going to be warm, 2) not a resort, and 3) something I didn’t have to plan, so I was perfectly content to be surprised. We arrived in Los Cabos on the Baja California Sur five hours after we departed in Vancouver. I had never heard of the place before anyway (I’m very unfamiliar with Mexican geography), so it would have been a surprise regardless!

IMG_1376IMG_1380We stayed about 1 hour from the nearest town, San José del Cabo, in a small boutique hotel on the east cape called VidaSoul. It was wonderfully private with excellent views and cuisine. The Artist thought I would enjoy the modern architecture. I did.IMG_1228IMG_1254Being so remote and without a car, there was only one place to eat nearby, and that was at the restaurant attached to it called Crossroads. Everything we ate there, we liked.

breakfastThese people sure know how to do guacamole well. Since being married to a Texan, I’m starting to recognize good guacamole when I meet it.lunchIMG_1250Waking up to this view was a beautiful way to greet the morning. And falling asleep to the thunderous waves was a perfect way to close the day.IMG_1265IMG_1257As peaceful as the place was, we ended up renting a car halfway through the week to explore more of the area. The city girl that I am had to get some time in exploring a town, so we walked around San José del Cabo for a day, stopping in at shops, restaurants, churches, and art galleries.IMG_1311IMG_1296IMG_1292IMG_1323IMG_1286IMG_1277We felt every bump along the dirt roads in our little Nissan Sentra. It was quite the ride.IMG_1370Instead of car traffic, you’re more likely to wait for cows, horses, and mules here.IMG_1354IMG_1344We went snorkelling a couple times, one time in nearby Cabo Pulmo. I worked on conquering my fear of deep water/drowning by going on a 2 hour boat trip, getting dropped off at various points in the ocean (sometimes in the middle of nowhere!) and being told to “just snorkel around here for 15 minutes.” Thank goodness for the life jacket. The only other time I’ve snorkelled was in Hawaii, and just from shore. But it was a lot of fun! Having an underwater camera made for some great shots of all the creatures that live under the sea. And yes, I had that Little Mermaid song running through my head a lot.

I read Beauty Plus Pity by Vancouver author Kevin Chong while down there and quite enjoyed it, so much more than his first novel, Baroque-A-Nova.

IMG_1445We did a lot of lying around on the beach, which was exactly what we needed. One of the best and rare things about the beach below (apart from the great snorkelling) was that there were trees! Without their shade, you’ll quickly burn lying out in it all day (even with sunscreen on, as we soon found out!)

IMG_1440Thanks for the r&r, Mexico! Until next time, adiós!IMG_1505IMG_1253IMG_1432IMG_1405

Pa-cif-ic

1. peaceful in character or intent

2. of or relating to the Pacific Ocean

As the Pacific makes contact with the shore

drawing permeable and perpetual water lines

that encroach on me

and my sandy patch of safety,

 

the rhythm of the waves rocks me to sleep regardless. Finally—

the coming in and going out

the opening and closing

the rising and setting of twenty-four hours—

 

letting me know: it is finished.

another day to pack away, another tide to turn

 

Put to bed the accusations I carry

the arguments that tarry

the resentments I marry

 

Resurrect the hope I bury

the joys I hurry

the future I rob with worry

 

Threaten, thresh, thrall me with your pacific love.

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” (Psalm 42:7)

 

I spent last week in the Pacific Ocean — not the entire week, but a good portion of it – swimming, snorkelling, surfing in it; lying beside it, accompanied by my new e-book reader I got for Christmas, which, I must say, I really love, especially when travelling.

My family took a vacation to the island of Oahu, our first family vacation since I was twelve or some age like that I barely remember, and my first tropical destination.

I know that in this blog I set out to read the city and its various textures, but this vacation was more about reading and relaxing in the city/on the beach, so that’s why the genre of this post is less critical and more travelogue. That being said, here are some shots of the various textures of Hawaii: sand, beach, ocean, palm trees, plants, volcanic craters, and Honolulu skyscrapers.

Diamond Head - a volcanic crater

View from Diamond Head. Only takes about an hour (round trip) to do this hike and get a great view of Waikiki and Honolulu

Hanauma Bay, also formed from a volanic eruption. A great snorkelling spot

Honolulu skyline from a catamaran

I read George Eliot’s Victorian novel The Mill on the Floss about brother and sister Tom and Maggie Tulliver before heading to Hawaii. One of the reasons why I enjoy Victorian novels so much is confronting new words that I’ve never heard of before that I like to try and weave into my everyday speech (though I have yet to be successful with “tergiversate”). One such word was “pacific“:

“Both the men now seemed to be inquiring about Maggie, for they looked at her, and the tone of the conversation became of that pacific kind which implies curiosity on one side and the power of satisfying it on the other.”

I have never heard or seen “pacific” used in this way before. I always thought it only referred to the Pacific Ocean, but apparently it also means “peaceful in character or intent.” I guess that makes sense considering similar words like pacifism and pacifist. Have you experienced the phenomenon of being introduced to a word for the first time, and then seeing it crop up everywhere? Well, I’m exaggerating slightly because “pacific” didn’t quite crop up everywhere, but it is a key part of this song by Graham Colton that kept coming up on my iTunes shuffle playlist:

Pacific is my new favourite word — I like that it refers to both a place and a quality or condition – being at peace. Hawaii is a pacific place in both senses of the word. Given this locational inspiration and my encounters with the pacific in my reading and listening, I felt compelled to try and write a poem teasing out these meanings. The result is at the top of this page.