A lazy day 

A lazy day Well since we arrived a day early at Pacific Beach State Park we got to enjoy a lazy day of R&R today. Including knitting, colouring, beach walks and exploring the shops and sites of tiny Pacific Brach. Including an amazing cookie at Surf House Espresso. Our biggest effort we had to make today was moving from our beach side site across the road to our pre-reserved electric site.

Odometer start of day

Odometer end of day

Wildlife sightings: a few shore birds but not even many of those.

Fibreglass Egg sightings:

South down the 101

Well today we covered a fair amount of ground. Our morning started bright and early at 4:30 am. We had to be ready for customs inspection at 5:10 and I wanted to take Rosie for a morning walk prior to the inspection, so we got up and headed out for a morning stroll through sleepy James Bay. We returned and awaited our inspection which went smoothly. After loading the ferry I remembered how much I loved the Coho. It’s like riding BC ferries back in the 80s where there were benches to sleep on. My plan was to nap on the ferry and charge my devices. I ended up with a prime bench / table combo with electrical outlet, however a chatty couple from Ashland Oregon joined me and I didn’t get any napping done. We arrived in port Angeles just after 8am and the plan was to check out Joann’s fabrics as it was the last day of a sale. It didn’t open till 10 so we hit up Walmart for some dairy and fruit and a look around. There were lots of RVs that had spent the night. We found a fabric section in Walmart and ended up getting a bunch. Rosie and I went for a short walk befor hitting up Joann’s and hitting the road. We did see a quilt shop and stopped to see if they have row by row but they were closed.
We headed out South West on the 101 to start the adventure and find a place to camp for the night. I was thinking Forks area but decided to skip La Push as I’ve been there before it was noon when I arrived in Forks we went to the visitor centre and saw that the Twilight fame is still flocking tourists. We got another picture of Bella’s truck and did a look on their dog walking trial. They recommended Pacific Pizza when I asked for something quick and with trailer friendly parking. Parking was easy however I was frustrated with the restaurant. They had pizza by the slice and a salad bar which would have been quick but I though ordering a small pizza and taking it over to the picnic site I’d past seemed like a more Rosie friendly idea. I ordered the pizza she said it would be 20 minutes so I said I’d be back in 15 I was just letting the dog out. It wasn’t too hot out I just like to check on her. When I returned I asked if mine was ready and was told not yet… I waited and waited watching numerous people order pizza by the slice. Then someone orders the same pizza as me for eating in. It was ready in about 10 minutes, I was still waiting and was now quite frustrated. I inquired again if mine was ready and was told no. I would have left and gone elsewhere but they have you prepay. I finally was about to ask for my money back as it had been close to 40 minutes when she went and checked. Mine was ready and when she handed it over it was luke warm at best it had definitely been sitting under a warming lamp. I told them I was unimpressed and took it. Rosie and I had a lovely picnic of cold pizza that tasted good at least. Then we were back on the road.
We stopped briefly at Ruby Beach but it was too busy for Rosie and I so we kept on going.
We passed a few campgrounds by beaches that were all full, I was a little worried where I’d sleep tonight. We went for a beach walk at 1st beach and then continued on the road.
We kept going until we reached the turn off for 109 and headed out towards Pacific Beach State Park where I had reservations for tomorrow. I was hopeful that it might have space as it’s off the 101. We arrived at 4:45 just after they closed the office at4:30. There was two sites listed as available when I saw that the first one was still free I took it without checking the other out. It was a beautiful beach side site. We set up camp and walked the beach then had a nap in our lounger before dinner. Then it was another beach walk and watching the sunset before bed. Life is good.
Odometer start of day 232.5

Odometer end of day

Wildlife sightings: do seagulls and shore birds count?

Fibreglass Egg sightings: one scamp on the 101 just outside of Port Angeles.

On the road again. 

Well we are on our next adventure Rosie and I headed south today with #dornytheboler. We stopped in Deep Bay for lunch with mom and a walk on the beach before driving non stop to Victoria. I’d planned on stopping but just kept on driving. I arrived in Victoria at around 4pm but couldn’t check in until 7:30 so I had some time to kill. After living in Victoria for a total of about 7 years I knew that it wasn’t RV friendly. I stopped first at tillicum mall to use the restroom and take Rosie for a bathroom break on the trails there. Then we decided to venture through downtown and out to Dallas Rd for a walk along the water.

 

 

As I drove through Victoria I was constantly surprised by all the changes. I was happy to find some easy boler friendly parking and we went for a walk along the waterway. I decided to grab a ice cream cone at Beacon hill drive in before heading over to Blackball Ferry to check in for the night. Free camping right downtown Victoria after parking for the night we went for a stroll along the inner harbour enjoying all the buskers. Then it was back to the trailer for a bit of reading before bed as it will be an early morning.
Odometer start of day 0.0 km

Odometer end of day 232.5

Wildlife sightings: a bald headed eagle down the beach at deep bay that Rosie insisted on chasing and a few seagulls including one eating an ice cream cone at beacon hill drive in.

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 2 bolers and an outback on Hwy 19 and one blue and white boler on Mckenzie Ave in Victoria.

Planning another adventure

I’m planning another adventure. It’s been on my todo again list for a while but after taking a summer job this summer teaching online I figured I could afford a little adventure on my 2 weeks off. So I’m headed down the coast. The last time I did the Oregon coast I was a teenager on a family roadtrip. It was filled with one mishap after another and is often referred to as the ‘worst family vacation ever’ but it’s all the one with some of the best stories to look back and laugh at.IMG_8147

My destination is Fort Bragg as I’d really like to see Sea Glass beach for myself. The trip down is a bit of a meander along the coast. I’ve reserved some sites but not all as I’d like to play some by ear. The trip back is a bit more rushed.  Here is the tentative itinerary.

Night 1- port angeles to Forks area – no reservations yet

Night 2 – reserved at pacific beach state park

Night 3 – reserved at cape disappointment state park

Night 4 – reserved at RV resort at cannon beach

Night 5 – walk up only Nahalem Falls campground.

Night 6 – somewhere near Lincoln city

Night 7 – Dunes city Oregon.

Night 8 – somewhere on the southern Oregon coast

Night 9 – make reservations for redwood forest area

Night 10 – reserved at mackerricher state park / Fort Bragg.

Night 11- somewhere Southern Oregon /northern cali

Night 12 – stay with family in McMinnville

Night 13 – centralia

Night 14 – mount Vernon area?

Night 15 – Deception Pass

Night 16 – Home I work the next day

Last day of R&R

I like to keep busy both at home and on vacation but every now and then you need a down day to relax and rest. Today was one of those days. I slept in. I finished my book. I packed my suitcase to see if I have any more room for shopping and I spent a few hours at the beach visiting with my Cuban friends the beach dogs. I watched the sunset snuggled up with my favourite one. I’m so tempted to sneak her in my carry on.

A day on the water

Another busy day. Today we had reservations for the ‘sea tour’ which is a trip on a catamaran out to an island. You stop on the way to snorkel and then there is some downtime on the beach and a huge buffet including lobster. It was a wonderfully relaxing day with little pops of excitement. The boat we were on was called Lira and our crew was amazing. Every now and then they’d stop the boat for some entertainment and get everyone up dancing.

My recommendations is bring your own goggles or mask as the ones they provide have been well used and aren’t super clear. It’s not the best snorkeling but they do drop some bread in the water to attract fish.

The island you stop at is Cayos Blancos and it has amazing white sand and turquoise sea, even more stunning than Varadero.

Despite trying to stick to the shade as much as possible I got too much sun so it was a pretty low key evening of reading my book.

Havana a whirlwind tour

Havana was a whirlwind tour. Prior to flying to Cuba we’d arranged a night at a B&B (Casa paticularrs) in Havana through Home Stay. It’s a great way to find affordable accommodation in Cuba and I totally recommend it if you are a bit more on the adventurous side. Our first day in Cuba we asked around to find someone who had a classic American car that would drive us to Havana. Yesterday morning we got picked up in ’54 Chevy for our adventure to Havana. The pre arranged price was $140 CUC which I think was the return rate if we’d planned on returning the same day.

Our driver was well aware that you got a lot more in life with a smile and a handshake especially if that shake included a tip. We started our trip at 8 and we had a lovely combination of guided tour and time to relax and enjoy the ride. Our first stop was at the tallest bridge in Cuba and the lookout. There was live music, drinks, a washroom, vendors and a lovely view. However the parking lot that was a car show in the making was equally as appealing.

Our first stop in Havana was at the castle to pickup cigars then it was into the city to do a lovely guided car tour with a few scheduled stops. Although the parking was free each time we stopped he tipped a guy that was there keeping the cars safe. It made you wander how much money he walked away with at the end of a full day after fuel costs and tipping costs.

Our tour included…. it was so nice having a vehicle to show us around so we got a better lay of the land.

After a slight mis-communication about the arrival time at our B&B we arrived 2 hours early. Our driver made yelled up at our building until a neighbor responded. Who then got in touch with the owner who arrived within 5 minutes to let us in.

We enjoyed a bit of downtime in our air conditioned room prior to heading out on foot to explore our neighborhood. Although there were lots of signs indicating a room for rent we were in a less touristy neighborhood but the appeal was being 2 blocks from the waterfront walk way. We located some ‘landmarks’ in relation to our location and then headed off with no particular destination in mind. We saved the waterfront for a bit later in the day when it’s suppose to be popular with locals and zigged and zagged through the streets of … occasionally asking directions to a ‘casa de la cambrio’. Everyone was happy to help however my Spanish wasn’t good enough to fully comprehend the directions. Eventually we went in to an air conditioned lobby of a large hotel knowing they could do an exchange for us. I asked the rate which was slightly lower than the rate we got in our lobby in Varadero   I was going to exchange more money as practically everything needed to be paid in cash. She then told us in broken English that there was a tadeka Casa de Cambrio just a block away that would have better rates. So we continued on our adventure confident we could find the exchange office. When we did I was happy to notice it was across the street from a giant ice cream parlor I’d read about. We waited in line with the mostly Cubans waiting to exchange money. I was surprised how many were exchanging money vs going to the bank next door. I’m guessing either exchanging tip money or switching between convertible pesos and national ones. We then enjoyed some ice cream before circling around to the water and back to our B&B. We had a bit more downtime before venturing out after dark to find a restaurant from the guide book. We found the street and block but couldn’t find the restaurant so we went to a different one. It was located on the roof top terrace and was excellent. The food in Havana is much better than the food at our resort.

The next morning we got up and had a hot shower and breakfast before catching a taxi in a pink convertible ’52 Chevy to the giant art market. We explored the 1000s of pieces of art in various styles as the market began to come to life. My favourite piece of art was still in Varadero so I crossed my fingers it would still be there when I got back.

The next stop was the Havana Club Rum tour and drink at the bar.

We then started wandering the streets of old Havana which I could do for days. We generally zigged and zagged in the direction of a few of the places on my to see list.

Although I’d wanted to try catching the Hershey train back to Matanzas and then a taxi to Varadero the locals all seemed to look at me like I was ‘loco’. It wasn’t the first time my travel plans made people think I was crazy. When we first arrived at our B&B we had our owner phone for information and found the trains to be 4am, 11:30 and 4:20. The 4:20 would have worked well timing wise but although we couldn’t figure out why he knew that was a train we shouldn’t take. The 11:30 was ok but not the 4:20. We felt 11:30 was too early so arranged with Pedro for a 4pm taxi back to Varadero. When we met our taxi it was a small Russian car. We hadn’t been specific about what type of taxi we wanted. The drive back was in eventful and I slept most of the way. He did stop in the art market in Varadero so I could get the piece I wanted. It was a low key night back at the resort but we did take in a evening show at the pool.