Posts by: WantsToTravelMore

Butchart’s Gardens

The Butchart Gardens is likely one of the most famous Victoria, BC attractions, even though it’s down the highway in Brentwood Bay. The lesson from this trip is not to hesitate to go on an overcast day.  With cooler temperatures and a neutral grey colour all around, photos were easier due to the lack of harsh shadows.  This wasn’t my first time to the Gardens, but the first time during the pandemic.  The staff were super well organized and made sure our group of four were sorted out and on the right paths. We were provided with handouts that helped […]

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Errington Farmers’ Market

The Errington Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM.  It is about a 10-minute drive from downtown Parksville.  Errington is a spot in the woods away from the main Island Highway.  The market itself was a quiet affair due to the pandemic.  If you are wanting really fresh produce, and you are at the beginning of your self-catering trip, this would be a good place to start. The fair is held in a playing field, next to a walking trail.  I imagine parking is interesting at busier times, so keep your wits about you. There […]

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Giovanni’s Ristorante and Lounge Qualicum Beach

It you are planning on dining out in Parksville-Qualicum during a pandemic with its accompanying labour shortage, plan early.  We had a couple of failed attempts at Lefty’s in both Parksville and Qualicum Beach.  In Qualicum Beach we found Giovanni’s Ristorante and Lounge and lucked out with a table for our party of six.  They were working hard in hot temperatures and the demand of being one of the few sit-down restaurants open that hot Thursday nights.  At lot of these places close at 7 PM.  For example, in Coombs, we dined at Cuckoo’s and managed to arrive for 4:30 […]

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Robert Held Art Glass Parksville

When on vacation, I often like to look in on different shops and galleries because for a change I’m shopping for fun, not necessity. One place worth popping into is Robert Held Art Glass. It’s in Parksville on the main 19A highway and is near Rathtrevor Beach and the local bowling alley, Sunset Lanes. There are demos of the art of glass blowing and, as the images show, his capturing of flowers in glass is evocative of impressionism. It’s definitely a spot to go for unique gifts for friends and family. He was working in the back on the day […]

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Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Bowser BC

Vancouver Island University (VIU) has this site called Deep Bay Marine Field Station. It’s located in Bowser, BC, which is about 30 minutes down the road from Qualicum Beach. My family had been curious about it for years and had some bad luck. In 2014 we tried to visit the Field Station and last year (2020) we rebutted by COVID-19, but this year we struck it rich. Between 10 AM and 4 PM they were open. VIU has a research station where they are working on selective breeding of oysters and, more recently, scallops. It’s an industry initiative because they […]

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Imagine Van Gogh: The Immersive Exhibition, Vancouver

Located in Canada Place, if you are fond of Van Gogh’s work, you may well find it interesting. It runs until September 7, 2021. The presentation uses a copyrighted technique called Image Totale. We purchased tickets in advance. There was good signage and at 11:30 AM we were behind too other small groups. The COVID-19 protocols were in place and masks were required. The staff were all masked. The set up was that if you needed the bathroom, do it first. The first things you see are large screens that are suspended from the ceiling. Light shining around the screens […]

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PNE Winter Lights 2020

The PNE Winter Lights display in 2020 was an unexpected surprise for us as a friend suddenly had tickets she could not use. I had originally not considered this as an option because of the huge popularity and the idling of cars. (I really don’t like drive through anything.) However, it was after Christmas and my family bubble was happy to spend some time seeing some Christmas lights. Do we headed out to the Vancouver PNE grounds and drove through. As you can tell from the photos, the lights were wonderful. It was odd when I realized we were driving […]

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Fleurs de Villes Noel Vancouver

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be writing a travel article on this last day of Autumn 2020. In downtown Vancouver, where the day time population of office workers dramatically dropped, there was a need to keep the lights on – in more meanings that one! Fleurs de Villes Noël Vancouver ran from December 4-13 with very inventive arrangement of not just flowers, but all types of plant life. My wife and I walked about and enjoyed the route, which covered parts of the streets of Robson, Burrard, Alberni and Hornby. Given that so much else was shuttered (e.g. Stanley Park […]

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Coombstock the Hippie Store

We were sad to see in Coombs this summer that Coombstock the Hippie Store was liquidating. The lady working that day made it quite clear that she was unsure what the owner had planned, although online distribution seemed to be in the works. As of writing, there was no dedicated website. Coombstock’s sale, however, inspired my son and daughter to buy cool sunglasses, tank tops, balloon pants, hippie hoodie – overall an Indian Subcontinent meets the hippie movement with some odes to Hawaiian shirts. As you can tell from the sign below, the owner was fairly clear about mask-wearing given […]

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Coombs Antique Attic and Collectibles

For those of you looking for a staircase leading to a Hemp store in Coombs, you now have a new antiques store. Coombs Antique Attic and Collectibles has a variety of memorabilia and a decent selection of Depression glass. My daughter found a selection of old LPs which she took advantage of. The fact someone so young has a turntable is fascinating. My mother was an avid antique collector and I’m always curious to see if instances of her collection show up. If you are looking to decorate a basement hideaway and want it to be retro, they did also […]

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