Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ukee...the aquarium and Big Beach.

We do, we love it! It's the sweetest little aquarium with the nicest most approachable and knowledgeable staff. It's a not-for profit organization aaaaand they release all their creatures back into the ocean every year! 
I love that!

On this visit, more so than ever before, Seb and Bel went nuts as soon as we got in the door running from tank to tank, squeeling, ooing and ahhing. Luckily it's just one big room so even when they were running about in different directions like crazy folk we could still keep our eyes on them. I was more worried for the poor little sea creatures getting manhandled by Isobel in her hyper excited state! 

The highlight of our visit was watching one of the staff feed the octopus with a live crab. It was fascinating to watch the Octopus change colour and texture according to his emotions. They are such interesting creatures!

After the aquarium we grabbed an ice cream then headed down to Big Beach to dip our toes in the water and enjoy the sunshine. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer at North Chesterman Beach.....

I've been lucky enough to have seen some nice beaches in my life but Chesterman Beach on a perfect sunny day is about as good as it gets in my book. 

west coast magic....

Yes, in case you hadn't already guessed it's my favourite place in the whole wide world! We spent last week in Tofino and Ukee. We had some of the most amazing weather I've ever experienced in that part of the world which is pretty lucky considering we were tenting. We camped at Wya Point near Ucluelet and it was paradise. Tucked into the twisted rainforest, snuggled into a cocoon of ferns and salal, our little orange tent made the most perfect home. I felt like we could've stayed forever.  Looking at the photos makes me want to get in the car and go back. Right now. If I shut my eyes tight maybe I can smell the campfires, ocean and cut cedar, hear nothing but the soothing rise and fall of the waves. 

 A few spongey moss-covered steps from our tent was this beach......

And yes it really was this empty, save for the odd other camper strolling peacefully or perched up on a rock taking in the vastness of the empty pacific view. 
It's name is Ucluth and its tucked away from the busier tourist spots down a windy single track gravel road on the treaty lands of the Yuu-tluth-aht First Nation. Just around the rock headland to the north end of the beach is Florencia Bay, another of our favourite spots. 

Our campsite was a walk in site and we arrived at 11pm which made for a fun time setting up camp with two kiddies in pitch black! Trekking back and forth to the truck to bring in all our supplies in the dark was an experience but it was so worth it to wake up to nothing but forest and beach. I loved my morning walk along the sand to the shower, stopping to pick up interesting pebbles along the way. 

I lit fires that always fizzled out and Neil lit fires that blazed and crackled and hissed.We ate s'mores and warm soup and quite a lot of bacon.  Abandoned our shoes and when the forest grew dark around us we talked and warmed our toes by blazing flames. 

 I feel like this is how life is supposed to be lived. 

My connection to this place comes from somewhere deep inside me. Even if I only found myself here as an adult. I was meant to find it. As if a long string was gently tugging me along, inching closer and closer for all these years. Even if, for now, we can't live here, I want it to be a place that is stored deep in the hearts of my children. Feelings, smells, tastes and images ingrained into the fabric of what they are and what they will become.  

This magical place at the end of the road.