Where to begin? At the beginning!

I’m going to have to cut this down into a few posts because I have so much info and pics and not enough time. SO here is the long version first day of my trip to Vancouver Island.

Wow, Vancouver Island is beautiful! It has such a big British influence, and with lots of English tourists too. It is, afterall, the capital city of British Columbia!
I got the fancy pacific coach bus from Vancouver and it drove me to the ferry. Sitting up so high and in my comfy seat it made me want to do some more bus touring – like maybe a coach trip somewhere? I’m investigating!! Anyway, we then got to walk around for an hour and a half while the ferry went along.

It was HUGE! Like a mini cruise ship!

It had about 4 restaurants and shops and then another level on top with just seating.

This is what our ship looked like (another one passed us)

We passed through all these little islands with houses and it made me think about the people who must live there.

Then the bus drove me to Douglas Street (which is the main street in Victoria) and I walked up to my hotel and checked in. The place I stayed at has several restaurants, a pub and nightclub on site. The first night my room looked out on the rooftop sand volleyball court and bar.

That was all well and good during the day but when the music didnt stop until 2am it was a bit much for me. I ended up going down at about midnight to complain to the front desk, but they were all booked out and couldnt move me. He gave me some earplugs but they didnt work. So the next afternoon when the music started I ended up going down to inquire if there were any other rooms available since I was still there for 2 more nights. It turned out that I was in luck, and they moved me to another room on the other side of the hotel. I slept like a LOG for the rest of my trip. AMEN! Anyway, back to day one haha.

So after I’d settled a bit in my room I went for a walk down to the harbour.

There were so many people about!! I walked in some souveneir stores and then headed down towards the empress hotel.

It’s a beautiful ivy covered old building, and a bit further along was the parliament buildings.

I really felt the English touches, and noticed English accents and even Irish around. I hadnt noticed that in Vancouver for a while and it was nice!! Then I noticed right down beside the harbour there was a market on. As I walked down to check it out I realised that there were about 12 stalls that featured native first nations selling their wares.

They were actually sitting there, on the grass with their beads and wooden carvings on the ground – proud and strong. I had to stop myself from crying. I’m such a strange person. This was the first real group of first nations I had ever seen together in one spot and it touched me so deeply. I was way too shy to ask the questions I wanted to and couldnt buy anything. I felt unworthy.

So I walked around some more and then I got a lemon lime float. The sound of a brass band drew me back to the parliament buildings and I noticed signs saying that the roads will be closed off tomorrow.

I later found out that there was actually going to be a proper parade with floats and bands and everything the next day! Very exciting! hahaha.

Stay tuned for day two!


My adventure kit and latest finds

To have a good adventure you need to have a good tool kit. My handbag is always an integral part of my adventures, as I always try to make sure that I bring along important things I might need. You never know when it’ll come in handy. I guess that month I spent in the girl guides rubbed off in some way. So what tools are important? First of all you have to start with a good bag. This bag needs to have personality, and be rugged and reliable. You never know what kind of situations it will be put in or what kind of things it’ll need to carry. So far I have stuck with this bag.

I dont know if it is real leather, I got it as a sample from my old work so it probably isnt. It features some studs and fringing (that I cut into different lengths). You may also notice my little friend hanging on the side.
I got him on a trip to Noosa at one of the fave QLD stores I discovered while living in Brisbane, called Mombasa. They used to have a cool website but I couldnt find it on google, so I hope they are still around. Anyway, this lil guy is so cute and I love that he comes on every adventure with me.

Wanna take a look inside my bag?

Ok most importantly would be my camera (I cant technically take a photo of the camera as the camera is taking the pics, so this is my case instead). When travelling and exploring you must always have your camera with you – you never know what incredible things you may encounter and your friends wont believe you have seen big foot unless you get a photo!

A wallet (with some local money) is equally important! You wont be able to pay admission fees or buy any food or water without it, so make sure you bring along your wallet – with some ID too just incase you need it. It helps if your wallet is bright and cheerful and also is an added benefit if one of your lovely friends bought it for you.

Sunglasses! You never know when your eyes might start squinting and you might need some sunglass protection. You also never know when you might have to go incognito and put on some rockstar shades. If you have them in your adventure kit you are well prepared.

Journal and pen! It also helps if one of your best friends bought this for you! When you are on one of your adventures you wont be able to fit your laptop in your handbag, so bringing a journal to write in when you are looking at the incredible scenery is important. And when you have about 10 journals to fill up then you have to start somewhere!! Haha. You should always carry a pen in your bag because I guarantee you will always need one.
An umbrella is essential if you are travelling anywhere that is prone to sudden and unexpected showers (Vancouver is exactly ths type of place). I cant tell you how often an adventure has been saved by my umbrella!!
A big map is also essential. Especially one that is waterproof and rip proof! How awesome is that!! hahaha. I even tried ripping it and nope, it is unrippable!

This map has saved me many times from getting extra lost and if I got it out more often and read it it’d save me even more I am sure.

It has written little tips and ideas about places to go and things you should see and the street names are quite big. This is also important!!
My ipod is another important part of my day. This saves me from long bus rides and walking through dodgy parts of town while pretending to not hear people ask me for money. This is 8 gig, and it is full to the brim with my music – which is a huge part of my life. I cant believe I was silly enough to almost give away this ipod because my ex bought it for me and I thought it’d make me sad. I’m glad someone talked me out of that! hahaha.

My asthma puffer! Sometimes I get a little breathless and it is very important that I bring my puffer with me. I dont get asthma too badly, so as long as I keep it under check I am fine.
I dont ever wear lipstick, and dry lips are my enemy! So I carry my Lucas Paw Paw Lotion, which is not only great as a lipgloss, it also works on burns and insect bites. AMAZING!!
My little heart purse carries bandaids, hair clips, a mirror and paracetamol. Never know when a headache can come on or a little cut, and by getting out my little purse problem solved and the adventure doesnt have to be over!!

This is my latest addition! My Canadian cell phone! It’s really cool and has a little pop out keyboard so I can do some mobile browsing on the go! I also have a feature that gives me the time locally and then I have chosen canberra (there was no melbourne and I wasnt going to choose sydney) as my other time option. So it tells me what time it is back home in Australia – too cool!

So those are the basic things I take along on every adventure. I always feel pretty covered for almost every certainty. What do you make sure to always have with you??

Here are a few of the litte things I’ve bought recently.

Some gorgeous locally made Lace earrings.

A Canadian hat – warm enough for winter! Hahaha its a little funny but I love it. Cant wait to wear it!

And today I bought a vintage Agate ring from a funky consignment stall at blim market. It’s so pretty and different!! I love the detailing at the side and around the stone.

Hope your weekend was lovely and full of lots of adventures!!