I took the opportunity to be a tourist in my own backyard this week.
Monday night I had been chatting with both my children via text messages.
Then I received one from my son that had a photo of the back of my car sitting in front of my home.
He has just asked me where I lived, because he was bored and wanted to look at photos of the B & B on line.
My initial thought was it was some sort of Google Earth image, but then it dawned on me.
“Are you here?” I asked and flew to the door.
I spotted my son from Tofino getting out of a Jeep and then noticed who was driving, my daughter from Alberta.
They had arranged the whole thing without the smallest of hints to me.
What great kids.
I took an afternoon off and we decided to head to Cape Scott.
It was absolutely pouring. We saw the sign for Raft Cove. I knew this was a local surfing spot so I asked if they wanted to check it out.
Zac looked at the map and said oh it’s about a kilometre hike.
I figured I could handle that.
Of course we had brought Maya along with us and it quickly became apparent that a Shih Tzu with four-inch long legs was not going to be able to make it, so we bundled her up and the kids took turns packing her along the trail.
I was amazed by how great my new waterproof hiking boots were working out until about the halfway point when I slipped into the first puddle that went over the top of them. Apparently they are not waterproof if the water goes in that way.
I thought we would never get there, or my heart would stop.
Finally we reached the beach. Even though the rain was insane, it is an incredibly beautiful spot. We walked along the beach checking out the huge Bull Whip Kelp which my son explained they use at the Tofino Brewing Company to make beer.
We were surprised to see numerous items with Japanese writing on them washed ashore from the 2011 Tsunami.
The highlight was coming across a Marine Marker which we photographed and subsequently phoned the RCMP about.
Being a tourist in my backyard is something I remember fondly from when my kids were growing up.
As a single mom, I couldn’t afford expensive vacations, so we would visit local attractions like Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and go camping in a tent at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Drumheller, and Koocanusa.
Our favourite spot was Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park where we could float down the Milk River on our little inflatable boat, lay on the beach, hike around in the incredible hoodoos and take tours to check out the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the great plains of North America.
I always tried to take the kids somewhere that included an educational component.
It’s been great to be together again exploring the North Island and I encourage everyone not to forget to be a tourist in this beautiful backyard.