Sunday, November 12, 2017

Our Honeymoon- Tofino!

The last stop on our 3 week roadtrip was Tofino, BC- it is a gorgeous little town on the island, and quite pricey, but everyone said it was a must-see so we decided to make it the big splurge of our trip. We rented a car in Victoria and drove the 4.5 hours to get there through beautiful forests and winding mountain roads.

On the way, we stopped at Cathedral Grove for a short hike through a beautiful ancient forest. Totally recommend! Then finally we made it to Tofino and checked in at our hotel- the Ocean Village Resort, which is actually a bunch of cabins on the beach. It was the nicest spot and I couldn't recommend it more to anyone! It was on Mackenzie beach, and was great for stand up paddle boarding and exploring tidal pools. They also surprised us with a lovely bottle of wine, since it was out honeymoon :)

We absolutely loved Tofino! The mornings were cool and foggy and the afternoons were sunny and warm. We explored the different beaches, hiked a bunch of trails, ate amazing food (seriously, every restaurant there seemed to be 5 stars on google), and relaxed. One day we rented stand up paddle boards from our resort and spent a couple of hours trying not to fall in. I only fell in once! It is much harder than it looks!

We had 4 nights and 3 full days there so we decided to do one "special activity" on this part of the trip. I told Cam I would be down for whale watching, a hot springs excursion, or a surfing lesson. Without hesitation he wanted surfing so we signed up for a lesson! It was SO MUCH FUN. Neither of us had surfed before, and admittedly neither of us actually managed to surf during our lesson (I saw Cam get us for a few seconds once, I never did!). But we both really enjoyed trying because it was a lot of fun to ride in on a wave on the board and to take a spectacular spill! We will definitely try to again one day.

After Tofino we drove back to Victoria to return our rental car, and ventured back to Vancouver to catch our flight home (my one regret when booking this trip was not thinking to book our return flight out of Victoria- oh well).

We absolutely had a blast on the honeymoon. It was the trip of a lifetime and we agreed that we should try to recreate it for our 25th wedding anniversary!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Our Honeymoon- Clearwater, Osoyoos, Vancouver (again), and Victoria

 After Jasper we headed down south and spent a night in a KOA in Clearwater, BC. We didn't have any plans for Clearwater, expect as a rest to break up the long drive to Osoyoos, BC. It was a very scenic drive, however the smoke came back in and it was HOT.

After Clearwater, we drove down to Osoyoos! Cam has family there so the plan was to visit them while we were out west (even though they did just come to the wedding, it was great to see them). We stayed at Shira Villa, which I booked solely due to the fact the hotel room had a giant hole in the wall between the bathroom and bedroom, but it actually ended up being a very nice hotel. Who knew? While in Osoyoos we went for a hike along the canal trail and we swam in Lake Osoyoos. It is a really neat area- it is a desert, but also full of orchards! Then, of course, we visited Cam's aunt and uncle for dinner and had a wonderful time! The next morning we drove back up to their place for brunch with them and one of Cam's cousins (and his friends) who had just come in for the weekend.

The only downside is we really wanted to visit an observatory while we were there, but the smoke was just too heavy! You could barely see the view from our hill-side room.

the hole! also the bathroom was HUGE

After Osoyoos we drove back to Vancouver for just a night and ended up going out for dinner with my friend Sarah from high school, who moved out west years ago, and her boyfriend. Of course, I got no photos of that, but it was really nice to catch up and reminisce on old times!! Oh, we also returned our rental car, because we were headed off the mainland!

The next morning we took the train and then a bus and then a ferry, and then another bus (omg) to Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island!! We stayed at the Swan's Hotel & Brewpub and I totally recommend it. It was such a cute little suite. While in Victoria we ate some delicious fish and chips (natch), went to the museum, where they had a Terry Fox exhibit, checked out the Parliament Buildings. Then we rented a new car and were off to Tofino!


Terry Fox's leg!

Our hotel room had two of these beautiful juliet balconies

I never did find a way up to that "second floor"

Our Honeymoon- Banff and Lake Louise!

After Revelstoke we travelled eastwards to Banff, AB!

On the way to Banff we drove through Yoho National Park and hit up Emerald Lake and Natural Bridge, and Takakkaw Falls. It was a gorgeous park to drive through and the weather really started to clear up!

Emerald Lake

Natural Bridge

Takakkaw Falls

In Banff we were actually camping at a park called Two Jack Main. They had what are called "equipped campsites" so each site comes with a tent, sleeping mats, a lantern, and a propane stove. We had vacuum-packed some sleeping bags and pillows and bought a few basic cooking necessities and a cooler while on our trip, so we were go to go! We spent 3 nights camping and actually took it pretty easy in Banff.  A lot of our time was spent in Two Jack Lake and hanging out at the campsite. Camping in Banff was interesting. We got a whole spiel about bear safety as there was an aggressive bear in the area (yay?). And it got SO COLD at night. I had to sleep in all my clothes. And the campground had no shower. 'Twas a really romantic honeymoon spot ;). But all jokes aside, we had a really nice time!!!

home sweet home

it was very cold

bacon making

drive by elking

We did venture out to Lake Louise, but unfortunately the timing of our trip meant we were in Banff on a long weekend- so it was....not pleasant. We ended up hiking about 3km from the town to the lake, which we hadn't been planning on doing. It was a nice hike! But still glad to have seen it, especially as the smoke finally cleared and it was a beautiful day! We ended up skipping Moraine Lake because of the crowds.

hike to the lake

Cam dipping his toes in Lake Louise

After 3 nights in Banff we drove up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, AB! The Icefields Parkway is 232 km of beautiful mountain views and glaciers. We stopped off and hiked to Columbia Icefields (really neat hike through the rocks, though it looks closer than it is, so be prepared!). And we stopped at a multitude of waterfalls along the way, including Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. We actually drove through Jasper and stayed in a cabin at a KOA in Hinton, AB.

We had 3 nights in Jasper, but actually didn't do too much (a theme of our trip- relaxation was #1 priority. We both really enjoyed Lake Jasper, which is a very shallow lake. We walked super far out into it and it never hit our knees! We also did laundry in Jasper #funtimes. But yay to showers and clean clothing! Our favourite Jasper Activity was the Jasper Planetarium and Telescope experience. It is an inflatable planetarium where they teach you about constellations, outer space, and history of the Jasper area. Jasper is a Dark Sky Reserve and aims to keep light pollution to a minimum! After the planetarium you get to look at the night sky through two different telescopes- one with your eye, where we looked at Saturn, a nebula, and the moon's surface. The other telescope was hooked up to a giant monitor and we good look at things more closely. There was also a meteor shower that night so we saw a few of those fly by too! It was a very fun experience and I definitely recommend you check it out if you go to Jasper!

Home in Jasper

view from our porch

Lake Jasper

Elk friend I made in the middle of the night

I also convinced Cam to finally go to a Hot Springs while were there and we went to Miette Hot Springs one evening. It was a little busy, but relaxing in the hot waters (and we dunked ourselves in the cold water too). Really cheap, so I recommend others check it out. You can also rent old-timey swimming costumes for a $1, but Cam was not game.

And then after Jasper it was time to head south!
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