Last of the Road Trip posts over there! (long)

http://www.southend.ca/last-of-the-road-trip-posts-long/

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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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Bottle Shock.

Well, after a week of filtering and finishing the wines we finally bottled today.  We now have over 600 cases down in the basement almost ready for sale… after they get over their bottle shock.  I think I’m in bottle shock.  The fact that we won’t have to label or cap the bottled wines is unbelievable.  I keep wondering about the free time I’m going to have. (Caw, caw, is that the Black Crow???!!!)

How are we able to do it?  Luckily the bottling went well with only a few mishaps so overall I’m pretty happy.  We had a great crew of people out, Ang, Carol, Dave, Erin, Luke, Storm, Ken, as well as Ben and I.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Our lovely sister Rosalind took Miwa to daycare and entertained her afterwards as well as entertained Ru-chan.  On top of it, Val took care of  Ru-chan for the morning.  And Tak and Mitzi  roused themselves from their jetlag stupor to help with Ru-care.  Seriously people, we could never do this without help from the family.  Never in a million years.  We also had a wonderful lunch from the folks at Gowlland Harbour Resort (whom I called up and asked if they could do that for me and they did, nice people that they are, thank you Mariana and crew!).  It was seriously needed after hauling the cases all over the place.

The boys from Artus were super good and got it done.  With their expert operating skills and our amazing crew, we churned out over 600 cases in about 5 hours!  Consider that if we did it ourselves we would be doing it over several weeks and still labeling and capping a year later.  Case in point, I labelled the last of the 2012 Ortega and Black Crow a week ago.  Not much of that left yay!

Now, we’re all going to sleep.  Good night.  Will post more pictures tomorrow, here’s a teaser.IMG_0328