Tuesday, April 24, 2012

coffee sack chairs....

I have a little decorative update from Breakers today.......we had the idea months and months ago to re-cover our stools with coffee sacks. We had tons of them from our coffee supplier and they're a rustic brown burlap with really cool prints from the bean growers all over the world. Anyway, we finally got around to to it and couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

Don't they look good? They're all a little bit different but my favourite is this green and red print, I think I wan't to make something for home in this print. 

I think they add a little bit of texture to the space and look AMAZING with our ever-so-good wood pile wall. Talking of which, I still get all warm and fuzzy inside whenever someone makes a comment about our wall. It's funny because everyday someone says how much they love it and so many people take photos of it :) :)

We've also got the  menus looking pretty swish thanks to the help and impeccable design guidance of my talented sister. I love them printed on brown card....it's all coming together eh!

And finally.......Neil's "decorative stumps" that he reclaimed from the abandoned logging piles have found a new home outside on Breakers mini patio......

Whale watching....FAIL

So, the other day we decided to go whale watching. Great idea no? It was kind of a last minute idea.... the weather was beautiful and they had space on the boat, done deal. With about 5 minutes to spare we grabbed our jackets and headed down to the dock. We were all rather excited having never been whale watching before. We've seen whales while out on the water and even from the beach several times but in my mind the thought of going out in specific search of whales was sure to lead to magical encounters. Hmmm. Unfortunately not. 

The trip started off beautifully, we set off from 4th street dock in Tofino with the sun shining upon us and bald eagles circling up above. The water was calm and everything looked as unimaginably beautiful as Tofino always does on a sunny day. (As usual my photos do the place no justice at all.)

Sea planes zipped by us and we motored along through the islands of Clayoquot Sound passing pristnie deserted beaches and endless forested mountains. No word of a lie.....I nearly cried, it was that beautiful.

Then.......we hit open ocean. The swell picked up and things got a little rough. We were up on the top deck and it was all ok until we got near the whales. We reached a spot with a couple of other whale watching vessels bobbing up and down on the swell...apparently there was a Gray Whale and her calf about 50 feet from us. The skipper stopped the boat and that my friends is when it all went wrong....
We were now bobbing up and down and left and right and being bounced all over the place in a totally haphazard sort of way whilst desperately trying to spot Mamma whale and her baby in the choppy water. Without any warning Miss Bel vomited all over her life jacket and over most of Neil's right leg. there was a brief moment of quiet then Seb puked over his life jacket. Things had officially taken a turn for the worse. Within a few minutes it was my turn although I had by then managed to clamber down into the tiny toilet cubicle in the cabin, phew. To save you too many yucky details, things went on like this for about half an hour or so with not a sniff of a whale to be seen before skipper decided to turn back toward the calmer waters of the inlet.  I felt better almost as soon as we were out of the rough stuff but the kids spent the entire trip in a smelly daze of sea sickness and probably now have a well established fear of boating that will be hard to shake. 

And most disappointing of all was the lack of wildlife to be seen. It's not uncommon to see Gray Whales, humpback and Orca not to mention sea otters, porpoise and the occasional wolf on the shore. 
We did spot a pretty large black bear munching on grass on a beach, if you're got a magnifying glass handy you might just make him out in my photo below......sorry, I know I'm in need of a bigger lens :)

Oh and lots of bald eagles. If you use your magnifying glass again you'll be able to spot one sitting in his nest looking right at me in this pic.....

And so that was that. Our whale watching adventure was...unpleasant to say the least. It wouldn't stop me from going again and I know we were just unlucky that day but next time I think we'll leave the kids at home :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I almost forgot....

On our walk to Flo we came across this cool heart shaped tree trunk...

Isn't it the coolest! If only Neil would've had his chainsaw in his pocket we could've taken a wee slice to make a lovely heart shaped chopping board :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Florencia Bay....

....other wise known as Wreck Bay or just plain Flo, is a beautiful beach at the end of 1.4 km trail through the rainforest just north of Ucluelet. Of all the beaches in this area it's one of the lesser known but perhaps one of the most stunning. The beach is named after the ill fated 200 tonne Florencia which wrecked in the bay in 1860. It was also the sight of a minor gold rush at the turn of the 20th century when placer gold was found in the black sand at the mouth of Lost Shoe Creek. We had a look but sadly found none on our little stroll :(

On the trail to the beach I was happy as a sandboy to see some beautiful Swamp Lanterns close to the path. These sunny yellow flowers otherwise known as Skunk Cabbage (eeugh...I much prefer Swamp lantern!) poke up through the boggy ground each spring and remind us all that there are sunny days on the horizon :) At this time of year they smell quite nice in a sweet and musky sort of way and not at all skunky. They get that name from their slightly less pleasant smell later in the year when the cabbagey leaves are big and the flowers start to wilt.

At the top of the scary looking steps that lead down to the beach we found a strange stash of garbage which, upon closer inspection, appeared to be mostly Japanese. We guessed that this must be a collection of debris washed up from last years Tsunami . I've heard a few people talk about japanese things washing up on the beaches here but this was the first I'd seen myself. There were pop bottles, air fresheners, juice boxes and even a shoe that had clearly been afloat for quite some time.  All a bit eerie for my liking. 

These are the scary stairs leading down to the beach. I wouldn't like to walk down these in the rain!

This beach is stunning and was totally deserted except for us which made it extra special. The driftwood was huge and there was A LOT!  Quite the challenge for a three year old to navigate. 

We were a bit paranoid about keeping the kids near to us on this walk, there's been a few Wolf interactions in the area over the last few weeks and especially on such a quiet beach it's best to be super cautious. I'm sure Seb and Bel are going to be scarred for life by my constant screams to stay close and look out for cougars and wolves. At least Seb was armed with a light saber ;)

Back on the trail, more swamp lanterns and a pretty salmon berry flower. These are blooming in my back yard and will hopefully soon lure in some hummingbirds.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

He's at it again....

....but this time he wore the right shirt :)

We continued our quest for stumps and headed deeper up the logging road and into the woods. The weather was about a million times nicer than on our first excursion and the road (if you could call it that) took us up a hill to a spot with a stunning view across the valley.

While Neil made himself happy sawing things up, I had a wander around taking in the scent of the trees, the perfect silence (between spates of sawing) and the warm spring sunshine. 

This is the view from my imaginary cabin :)

Monday, April 02, 2012

For Auntie Tasha...

I STILL haven't got around to posting any pictures of our trip to England and it's been bugging me mostly because I know that there is a certain someone who really, really, really wants to see these photos. These are for you Tasha...the kiddies loved spending time with you, hopefully it won't be so long before we see you again.

Hehe! Love this one of Grandma trying so hard to smile and hold on to both kids for a photo. It's harder than it looks!