The aftermath crash of an empty, quiet house since our July company departed resonates with a small shush of a vacuum. We reclaim our space like a puddle of water spreading back into cracks and crevices. A tiny empty nest sensation pervades but more the satisfaction of time well spent with these family members from Ontario over the twenty days. Ten days with my brother-in-law Dan then a three day turn over before my step daughter Crystal and her cousin Melanie arrived for ten days. We packed on the kilometres showing all of them our beautiful west coast island home.
We covered as much as we could cram in to make their trip memorable, driving out to Long Beach on the Pacific Rim, walking across the Kinsol Trestle,in Shawnigan, Sail boating on our little Auklet, backyard BBQ’s. We did Alpine walks in Paradise Meadows at Mount Washington along with a ride up that mountain on the ski lift. We swam in the Nanaimo river, took in the Sand Sculptures in Parksville, and the weekend blast of our cities Bathtub Race.We took them on the tiny Mill Bay ferry over to Buchart’s Garden in Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Peninsula and a tour through the capital city Victoria.
Ah, Victoria yes, walking the historic downtown with Bob and his brother Dan, pointing out the architecture, when what I thought was a gush of water from an overhead flower box -Victoria is known for its flowers-was in fact the faecal bombing of a passing seagull. Oh yes, landing square on top of my head. Feel the seeping into the hair if you will. In all my years living along the ocean with seagulls wheeling overhead have I ever had such a magnificent soaking. This prompted an immediate return to our motel, driving with all windows down because the high piercing reek of rotten fish permeating the car, and a jump into the shower.
I handled it well. Laughed, didn’t lose my cool. I took it as an omen of good fortune. Ya.
Then there was the exhilarating drive following the dictates of our Google Maps when searching for the quickest route back from the Saanich Peninsula to Mill Bay, rather than taking the tiny ferry back across or driving back through Victoria and up the Malahat, which took us through hairpin roads and down into Goldstream Provincial Park .
We were good hosts and ambassadors and had a ton of fun being tourists ourselves in our own backyard. Leaving Bob and I promising we need to continue exploring this big island for ourselves instead of waiting for company to come.