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Katie and Andre's West Coast Adventure: Part 2
By:  Andre Marchand   (2014/08/04)


Making a trip out to the west coast is something that I have done many times in my life to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In the past I have traveled with my parents and siblings, but now that I am old enough to travel on my own I feel that it is up to me to make the trip out west to visit my family. Family will always be something that is important to me, though as a ski racer I cannot contain my desire for adventure or the urge to experience new exciting places. Luckily for me, Katie also has family out west, and a very similar appetite for adventure as I do.

Since our flight was from Calgary to Vancouver, we decided to spend our first few days in beautiful British-Columbia under the city lights of Vancouver. Here we visited with our respective families, explored the local coffee shops, and ate out for pretty well all our dinners. One of the best places we went to was a sushi place called “The Eatery”.

This is best sushi I have ever tasted in my entire life!

While in Vancouver, we visited Jericho beach, which was only a few minute walk from where we were staying. Here I got to try my hand at stand up paddle boarding (SUP) for the first time.

 I’m no expert like Peter Beisel (who runs What’s SUP, stand up paddle board lessons out in Owen Sound (www.owensound.ca/business-enterprise-centre-summer-company) but despite what the picture suggests, I was actually standing and paddling around in the waves. If you look closely you’ll see the two little sea monsters, Katie’s younger cousins, are desperately trying to flip me and they eventually succeeded! Oh well, swimming in the ocean was fun too!


Though we could have spent our entire trip in Vancouver, the time had come for us to continue onto Vancouver Island, so we took the ferry across from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. If you haven’t done this, the ferry ride across is one of the most beautiful rides you can go on! If it’s a nice day you can stand on the ferries upper deck and look at all the mountains and the small islands surrounding Vancouver, while you sail across the ocean.


It looks much better in real life, the Iphone camera doesn’t do it justice

When we finally arrived at Katie’s grandparents, where we would spend the next week on the island, we were greeted with delicious food, and a surreal garden that Katie’s grandmother devotes timeless hours of care and attention to.


It is a very peaceful place that is also equipped with a hammock that is nice for reading in.

They live near the ocean, which looks very beautiful in the evening, so we frequently walk down to the shoreline.


We don’t see any oceans in Ottawa, so it’s always a novelty for us.

And we saw this…


As I said before, no trip is complete with some adventures, so we headed up for a long hike in the coastal mountain range, near Mount Washington.


Here’s me on our way to loop around Mt. Castlecrag and Mt. Frink, a 36km journey starting from the parking lot of Mount Washington. This trek had some serious hiking over rockslide zones and a lot of vertical elevation gains, but it was all worth it for the views.


After my feet recovered, we left Katie’s grandparents to head to Tofino, where we would surf (or at least attempt to) and lie on the beach.


Tofino is a great place! So nice! Yes that is me surfing without photo-shop ;)

Once the sunburns go away, our final escapade will be a day of mountain biking near Courtenay. We're looking forward to hitting those west coast trails before we go back to Ottawa.!

See you back in Ottawa soon!

Andre M.

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