Monthly Archives: July 2014

Vacay to Saskatchewan 2014: Day 2 (July 2)

Part 1: The trip and the ferry

So, the trip west from Victoria to Regina is a bit complicated. First, we live on an island, so we have to get off of it. Now, there are a few ways to do this. One is to fly. There is Harbour Air or the HeliJet right out of downtown Victoria to Vancouver, or the main airport, which is about 20 minutes out of the city which would have taken us right to Regina. But that would be easy. And we wanted to visit friends on the way. Plus, the main reason for our trip, the wedding of Jeremy and Nikko, was in Maple Creek, so we would have had to rent a car anyway. So, we decide to drive. But, in order to get off the island, that meant the ferry. So, BC Ferries it was from Swartz Bay near Sidney, to Tsawwassen outside of Vancouver it was.

Here is the last stop on the way to the ferry – our neighbourhood gas station to check the oil and tire pressure, like good little car travellers!


And with coffee in hand (or in cup holder), we set off.


On the way to the ferry (The Swartz Bay terminal is about 30 minutes from our house), we stopped in Sidney at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre (, not to go to the aquarium, although someday I want to go to the actual aquarium, and then I can tell you all about it, but really to go to the gift store to get some stuffed toys for the three boys of our friends in Brooks, Alberta who we were going to stay with both on our journey out and back. We settled on sharks for each of them!  Who doesn’t like a cool stuffed shark?

Sidney is a nice little city, right on the water (You can read up on Sidney here:  Sidney is a bit of a “book town”, as you can see from this website: My parents especially love driving up to Sidney on a weekday morning to peruse the bookstores and then have lunch.

Here is a quick view down to the main street in Sidney, sitting in the car getting ready to roll.  I didn’t take any other pictures in Sidney, but next time I will.


After making our purchases, we headed up to the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay (, purchased our tickets (I won’t talk about ferry costs here – this is a vacation post, not a political outrage post…) and waited in line for about 20 minutes before the ferry boarded.  Then, we boarded:



All on board now!


The ferry is a nice way to travel, especially in the summer when you can sit outside on the decks.  Here we are pulling out of Swartz Bay:



And relaxing on the deck:



And it’s good knowing there are sufficient safety measures in place, even though I never feel anxious riding on the ferry like I do on an airplane…probably because the proximity to a surface is somewhat closer…


Enough liferafts for all…



We enjoyed some lunch, not knowing when or where we would get supper, and relaxed and enjoyed some more of the scenery.



Once we got off the ferry, we knew our next challenge would be to get through Vancouver and environs to get to Highway 1, which is the main highway across Canada.


Here is a random picture of the ceiling of the car deck – don’t know why I snapped it.  The sunroof was open, and it looked kind of cool…


It takes an amazingly LONG time to get out of Vancouver, I have to say. But the beginning of that journey, and the sights along the way to where we eventually spent the night, is for my next post!


Vacay to Saskatchewan 2014: Day 1 (July 1)

So, after a few weeks away from posting, today I present the first post in a several-week long series of posts about our 11-day adventure from Victoria BC to Regina, Saskatchewan and back. Today is a short July 1 post giving you the preamble and showing some pictures of the Canada Day ( fireworks here in Victoria.

But to start, for the first 11 days in July, the vacay plan was roughly as follows:

July 1 – Tuesday and Canada Day, was all about cleaning the house, doing laundry and packing for a 10 day trip back to Saskatchewan (did NOT spend any time at the Canada Day celebrations downtown during the day – just hit the fireworks at night).

July 2 – leave sometime in the morning, catch the ferry to Tsawwassen ( , and then head out on Highway 1 and see how far we get

July 3 – get to Brooks Alberta ( where we would stay with friends

July 4 – spend the day in Brooks Alberta

July 5 – head off to Maple Creek ( for the wedding of Jeremy and Nikko (and baby Asher)

July 6 – have brunch (also part of the wedding celebrations) and hit the highway for Regina ( – get to Regina in time for a BBQ hosted by our friend Andy

July 7 – hopefully spend the day in Regina visiting with Susan (recovering from spinal surgery – if she is back from Saskatoon) and Darca, and then possibly having supper with brother Mike and sister-in-law Nadine

July 8 – back to Brooks…starting the trip back home

July 9 – spend the day in Brooks

July 10 – head back to Vancouver – anticipating a very long day

July 11 – back to Victoria, home and kitties!

Now, this isn’t entirely what happened, although for the most part we ended up where we “needed” to be in time to do what we “needed” to do. But more details will be revealed as the days go on. But before that, here are some pictures of those Canada Day fireworks. Firework pictures are NOT my specialty. There are always lots of people in the way, and I never time the shots right. I did fare a bit better when I switched to the emPhone, but still not the best shots.

But the way, did you know that Canada is 147 years old this year? 150 in 2017 man!! That will be a party!

So, as promised, fireworks pictures, and then off to prepare tomorrow’s post – the start of day 1.