Why Drive to Tofino indeed?

As much as I love where we live, there are times that you just need a change of space and location.  For some reason on the Island that place has always been Tofino.  Maybe it’s the waves and all the dynamic motion but we go there at least once a year and always in the off season.  This year we lucked out and I got a super good deal to 2 nights at Cox Bay Beach Resort through #TravelZoo.  We always stay on Cox Bay.  I guess it’s because it’s wide open to the wild blue yonder.   Thus some pictures of our mini trip (2 nights and really 2 days).  It was SUNNY when we got there and there wasn’t enough wind to fly a kite.  Cooked our own dinner one night and had #Tacofino burritos the other night and had lunch at #WolfInTheFog.  Also drank WAAAAAYYYY too much #TofinoBrewery beer.  Yay for the Kelp Stout!

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Holy Harvest Batman!

So, the harvest here at the Farm is going well, so well that we have to do some more tomorrow after finally calling it quits after it got too dark to see what we were picking.

Our intrepid band of neighbours/retirees/friends (and one random fellow who came with another friend) gathered at 9 this morning and proceeded to harvest the siegerrebe and then the petit milo.  Just so people know, all our friends volunteer and spend their day picking which is not easy work as there are often sore backs involved at the end of the day.  Last year we even had a detached retina (which granted may or may not have been a direct result of harvesting but it’s fun to add to the list of ailments).

We were fed lunch and dinner graciously prepared by Val, it was amazing.  Childcare was also provided by Val and Rosalind and the TV. Thank you all so much.  We love our family.  My parents, the buggers happened to have appointments in Vancouver and missed the whole thing!  Though they will be here for the rest of the harvests coming from other vineyards.

What we want to really say is thank you to Brian, Mike, Penny, Mia, John, Carol, Jaime, Sarah (and Ezra, what a duo of troopers, Sarah for just have given birth 6.5 weeks ago and Ezra for being a good little baby all day long), Ninja, Laura, Mel, Dave M., Kathy, Leslie, Storm, Ken, Rosalind, Val and Brendon (or possibly Brandon? spelling?).

Troops, we crushed 7458 pounds today, that’s 3.729 tons!  That in itself is a BIG day!  Congratulations to us all!

S2S among other things

It’s been a while since we posted, and things have been afoot.  Not the tasting room reno that is supposed to happen before we open (I’m procrastinating) or the guest blog I’m supposed to do for another blog, but things like Snow to Surf (yay, we didn’t capsize and yay, we weren’t last!), moving a vineyard and getting going in the garden.  Also things like horse riding lessons and more sickness.

The Jaunty Jeggings have participated one more year in Snow to Surf and we weren’t last, actually we climbed out of the bottom 10 this year!  Yowza.  We do the canoe leg and I thought it was worse this year because I got soaked and I didn’t last year but it could have been the combo of tide and a headwind and being hit broadside by waves.  Oh well.  We saw a couple of boats dump over and there were reports of other canoes dumping over at the launch area but I didn’ t see it as I did the running bit of the canoes leg this year.  Man am I out of shape for running.  Canoeing was fine but the running…gah.  It was more of a slow jog, however a lovely friend took these pictures and ran with me most of the way and I’m ever so grateful to her:)
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We’re moving our foch vineyard because it is oriented the wrong way and was too close to the southern fence line so doesn’t get as much sun as it should, so we’ve been poking away at that.  All the wire and fence posts are gone now and half the vines have been transplanted.  We’ll see how they do this year.  It might be a bit late to transplant them now, but what can we do.

I finally got into the garden with R, our next door neighbour.  For those who don’t know, we do a sort of communal garden between R, Ben’s parents, my parents and ourselves.  We all help with weeding and planting and we all reap the rewards.  Granted the last few years I haven’t been on the ball with the garden but perhaps this year is the year.  I’ve got squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers started already but I’m feeling further and further behind.  We did get a row of potatoes and some onions in the garden today and I finally planted all the garlic I was saving last week.  Gradually we’ll get there.

There’s also the horse riding lessons we started at Balance Equestrian Center in Campbell River.  This week was lesson #2 and can you see the grin, (it’s a bemused one, I didn’t get the really big one)?  Ben sighed when he saw it and predicted he’ll be working up in in the Tar Sands for a few more years.  Miwa LOVES it.  Whooo boy does she ever.  Ru-chan just wants to pet the horses.

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Now I’m sick, the girls are sick, Ben is sick and my ears are stuffed so I can’t hear a thing.  Ah well, such is life. Goopy eyed chick is fine now but I’ve had a sick chick by the woodstove for the last few days and through experience I knew it wasn’t going to make it.  I kept it hydrated and fed it as best I could but today it died.  So I saved one and I lost one.  We moved the meat chicks out to their coop on Sunday and they are happily pecking away at the grass.  We went the route of a semi movable chicken coop, I don’t like to move it much because we inevitably squish one or two during the move.  What we do is move the attached outdoor cage to new grass.  At this age though it takes them a while to peck down grass.  The important thing is that they are happy and wandering freely in their pen.  Once they get bigger I can take the pen away and let them really free range.  Too many crows and eagles right now, who knows how many we’d lose!

I’m reading Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and it’s pretty engaging.  I loved following him on Twitter when he was on the International Space Station.  I was leary of the book because it seemed to capitalise on his newfound celebrity (though that is what happens, cash is king) but it’s turned out to be a good read.  I especially like his thoughts on a minus one, zero or plus one person.  I have often had the same thoughts and I concur;  I will always aim to a zero.  Sounds negative but you have to read the book to understand.  It’s rather uplifting.

A nice place to live.

Sometimes it’s fun to complain about the weather but this really is a nice part of the world to live.  Today the girls and I biked out to Rebecca Spit where we met the rest of the Family to have a picnic in the lovely weather.  I stress “I” when I say “the girls and I biked” as they were sitting in the Chariot and were being trailered about.  However, Miwa was very good company chatting with me the whole way.  I did have to walk up the last bit of Misery Hill as the girls were just too heavy and I’m just too out of shape.  However, we did get to the Spit before everyone else so I guess I’m in better shape than I thought I was.

Here are some fun pictures of the first beach day of the year.

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And we’re off like a herd of turtles!

March 4-6

Jill, Miwa, Ru, Tak and Mitzi started out from Quadra Island, I started out in Fort McMurray. We were aiming to meet up at the Vancouver Aquarium.  I had to make one brief stop to pick up a Piggyback Rider for Miwa (pictures will follow once we actually get to use it).  I also had an extremely fortuitous series of transfers such that I never waited more than 2 minutes for a bus, and only had to run once.

The ferry was a little late, so I did a short walking tour of Stanley Park and got my shoes soaked.

We met up and went into the Aquarium.  Jill and I were making sarcastic remarks about the people who buy the cheesy tourist photos when Mitzi walked and said, “I bought the photo!”

Ru-chan at the Quadra Island tank
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Miwa and Ru-chan had a blast.  They both really liked the Belugas.  I liked the Amazon exhibit, since I had wet, cold feet.

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For dinner we decided to go to Kintaro, a Japanese noodle house (Ramen-ya) on Denman.  Jill was opposed, since we were going to be in Japan the next day, and could have all the Ramen we wanted then.  Mitzi and I thought it was hilarious, for exactly the same reason.  Tak expressed no opinion on the matter.

We then headed off to the Airport Fairmont.  It’s expensive, but being that close to the airport is priceless when you have kids to get to a flight on schedule, completely de-stresses the whole situation.  Plus, they have a pool, and kids love pools.  Well, to be fair, who doesn’t love pools?
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After the pool, we put on a movie in an effort to keep the girls up as late as possible to mitigate the effects of jet lag.  Unfortunately, the second part of that plan, where we get to sleep in, was partially foiled by an alarm clock that went off at 5:20.  It must have been set by the last guest.  Damn you, whoever you are that stayed in room 1205 on March 3rd!

We had an in-room breakfast and Miwa and I went for a swim before we packed up and headed off to the gate.

The flight worked out not too badly, the girls both slept for about 4 hours at about the right time.  The worst part was when we had to circle around due to congestion at Narita.  It ended up being a 10 and a half hour flight.
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We dropped our bags off to have them shipped to us the next day, then headed out on the train (the JR Narita Express), then the Seibu-Shinjuku line for “The Tokyo House” as Miwa calls it, though technically it is in Fujimicho, Higashimurayama-shi, a suburb of Tokyo (though, home to Shinjuku is really only about 45 minutes).  The trip (at 2 hours 25 minutes) went fairly well, except that Mitzi was convinced that only she knew how to get where we were going, despite clear evidence that she was the only one who had no idea where we were.  Her plan was to stop and ask for directions every 200 to 300 meters, but Jill and I were happy following the clear signage, posted every 50 meters or so.  Oh and Tak wandered off twice and we had to wait for him to realize he was alone and come back.  Standard travel fare, really.  Tak and Mitzi usually take the bus but it’s 3 hours long plus another bus to the Tokyo House so Jill and I said no, we’d rather take the express train and be a bit more awake for the trip.  What inevitably happens is that we all fall asleep on the bus ride and then wake up at 1 in the morning or can’t go to sleep until 2 or 3.  Anyhow…..

Shinjuku….We’re not in the country anymore!
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We got to the house at just before 9pm.  Jill’s aunt, Tomoko Obachan, had dinner ready for us, so we ate and managed to stay up until 10.  Except Ru, who fell asleep in the taxi from the last train station to the house.

We actually made it until 4:30 this morning before we got out of bed, so the jet lag prep helped.  We will see how tonight goes.