The weekend is here and I’m dreaming of airplanes, beaches and far off, exotic destinations. I’ll admit, I suffer from a near constant state of wanderlust. Alas, those endless buckets of money I ordered still haven’t come in–wonder what’s taking them so long? ;)
In case you’re stuck at home this weekend (like moi), here’s a little virtual vacation courtesy of our easter weekend trip to Salt Spring Island–it’s the largest of the gulf islands, nestled between the mainland and Vancouver Island in the Salish Sea. Four years in Vancouver and Grant and I had never made the trip, so we decided to hop a ferry, bikes and picnic basket in tow, and do a little exploring…
Salt Spring is made up of hilly, winding roads sprinkled with hidden coves, purple starfish, tiny seafood restaurants, baby lambs, patches of daffodils, wandering geese, sculptors, painters, felters, cheese makers, wood carvers and beer brewers. Blink and you might miss an honor box–a wooden crate or stand filled with farm eggs or flowers, “manure tea,” or fresh vegetables–just leave some money in the cash box and take what you like.
Cell phone reception is weak or non-existent across most of the island. No checking facebook or incessant texting allowed. Instead, you can bike up (very) steep hills or wander through artists’ galleries or slowly wind your way around the island by car, stopping to taste fresh truffle-topped goat cheese and just-bottled pinot gris. Better yet, collect a little of everything–meyer lemon lavender jam, island baked bread, cheddar-chili shortbread, salted caramel chocolates–and have a picnic at the tippy-top of Mount Maxwell, where you can spot bald eagles soaring above the fir trees.
It’s a bit like a choose your own adventure story, with options like “pretty,” “prettier” or “prettiest”: you can smell the heady salt of the ocean from a secret beach scattered in broken mussel shells or watch sea planes take off from a sun splashed harbour. Late at night, hundreds of frogs croak in symphony as constellations flicker overhead.
There is something about the precise combination of salt air, homemade jam and baby animals that makes weekday stress instantly recede into the background. Just thinking about it makes me feel a little lighter. And, since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, I’ll let these images do the rest of the talking. Happy weekend–whether it finds you on a new adventure or under a cozy blanket!