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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

It’s time to pivot!

I woke up with an alarm this morning because I had an early tee time and had to be down at Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club for 9am. The rain overnight had woken me up though at least twice in the night, so I knew the first thing I needed to do was check the weather radar to see if golf would be a ‘go’ or not for today.

The radar did not look too promising for the entire day! I quickly texted Ken and told him I wouldn’t be playing golf today because I don’t want to golf in the rain.

Now what was I going to do on another rainy day in Fanny Bay?


So what I haven’t mentioned in the blog is our upcoming European River Cruise! In the summer of 2021, we had planned a Christmas Viking European River Cruise, while the Covid numbers were declining in Europe and all indications were the border between Canada and the USA would be open sooner than tomorrow. We had originally planned to fly from Tampa, to Atlanta and then across the pond to Amsterdam, where we were to start our cruise on December 19th, 2021.

In September when things didn’t look too good for the US border to open for vehicle traffic, we switched our travel plans to fly out of Vancouver, to Amsterdam. Besides visiting our kids, and grandson, our flight out of Vancouver at Christmas was another reason why we are in Fanny Bay. We were really looking forward to visiting the Christmas Markets along the Rhine during the Christmas holiday season, but Germany is now seeing a 3rd wave of Covid and has had their highest number of Covid cases in the past week, since the pandemic began. We not only had a cruise down the Rhine booked, but we were to travel to Paris, Brussels and back to Amsterdam via train, staying in hotels and sightseeing after the cruise. Being a prudent, fairly risk averse person, I couldn’t get my head wrapped around how we were going to manage with public transportation, and eating indoors in Europe after our cruise was over, with Covid numbers escalating as they are. Changing our flights to return back to Vancouver immediately after the 7 day cruise, was going to be at least a $350 change fee per person plus the fare differential. Not a good use of our money, given we’ve already had a ton of expenses so far this year related to Newman and now Jerry. The good news with our cruise is we have a 100% refund credit guarantee because of Covid. We can use the funds we have spent to book another Viking Cruise within 24 months of the date of cancellation, even if the cruise is not within the 24 month window. We just need to book a cruise within 24 months, but don’t have to sail until whenever! So what are we going to do?


We needed to give 30 days notice to Lighthouse RV park in Fanny Bay that we are leaving, so Richard did that today. We will be leaving Fanny Bay on December 7th, and our ferry is booked for December 8th to Tsawwasen, B.C., after which, we will spend as much time as we want driving to Florida, going down the West coast and across the USA in our Newman and Jerry ‘bubble’, safely seeing the sights we’ve always wanted to see along the way.

I spent all morning working on the RV planning app I use called ‘RV Trip Wizard’ trying to determine what route we should take when we cross over the border, and what sights we should see along our journey. So far I have only made one booking in Seattle for two nights, as there are a few places I definitely want to see in that City. As I was working through doing my travel research, the sun came out! I had to quickly jump and grab my camera, purse, gore tax coat, hat and gloves and get in Kramer the Kona to go outside to enjoy some sunshine while it lasted!

Unfortunately, I had not even reached Cumberland, when the rain had started again. I got a brief reprieve from the rain, for about 25 minutes, before the clouds and grey moved back in again for the rest of the day.

I felt like having a nice wood fired, thin crust, pizza and there is a spot in Cumberland which was never open during the day when we were here last time. I wondered if they were open on Sunday. As I drove downtown Cumberland I saw that a lot of the downtown restaurants were closed today. I was getting a bit anxious that there was nowhere to eat, until I saw a bunch of cars parked outside this one establishment.

The Waverley hotel, in Cumberland or as the locals call it ‘The Wave’. The original hotel was built in the 1890’s when Cumberland was a mining town. The locals at that time used to call the hotel the ‘Hug’n Slug’ because the miners would come in at 7pm after their shift and all be huggin’ each other and by 11pm, after they had far too many libations, would be sluggin‘ each other.

When I arrived at ‘The Wave’ the sign outside said ‘Bluegrass & Brunch’. I could hear some live music coming from inside and thought this might be a good place to escape the rain and have some lunch! I was asked for my BC proof of vaccination QR code and ID and was told that the kitchen had been slammed, and the wait for food would be about an hour. I was ok with an hour wait for food because there was live bluegrass music playing and I could enjoy a drink while I was waiting for my brunch.

The Bluegrass quartet playing today. I’m not sure if they had a name, but I enjoyed them while I waited for my brunch.

‘The Wave’ is on two levels and I was asked if I wanted the lower or upper level. I chose the upper level to be closer to the band.

Entrance to ‘The Wave’.

The menu today was only Brunch.

My Eggs Benny finally arrived after close to an hour wait, but they were delicious and I enjoyed listening to the bluegrass music while I waited for my brunch. Brunch was $18 with a soft drink. Apparently ’The Wave’ has a tradition of being the best live music venue around in the Comox Valley, and books acts from all over the world to perform. I definitely was glad I stumbled upon ‘The Wave’ for brunch today.

I wanted to go for a hike in Cumberland, but it really started raining, so instead I drove down to Cumberland Lake Park to see what photos I could take there. When I arrived the park was pretty deserted.

No cars at all in the parking lot.

No one was out in those dragon boats today in the rain.

The rain front was hanging over the lake in the distance and I knew the weather was going to get worse, so it was time to jump back in Kramer the Kona and I headed into Courtenay for a hike.

Millard Nature Park, Courtenay, right next to the big box stores where I parked.

The entrance to the park on the right and on the left the ’big box’ stores are located for the City of Courtenay.

While there were no trail signs, it was pretty clear where the trail was, with all of the fallen leaves in the forest making a great pathway through the forest. There were quite a few trails to choose from too. While it was raining pretty hard outside the forest, in the forest with my hood up on my jacket, it was quite a pleasant walk.

The beautiful colours of the forest floor.

I saw water and while it was a bit steep and quite wet, I found a less steep way to get down to the water. Richard would not have been pleased if he knew I was hiking down wet trails!

I’ve never seen a sign like this before in the forest!

What a great sign!

I was just about to take this photo and something jumped out of the water. It threw me for a loop. I guess there were fish jumping, but I wasn’t fast enough to catch them in my photos.

A pretty scene in the forest.

The trail through the forest brought me out near the road, and I walked back up to Kramer the Kona in the pouring rain. I only spent about 30 minutes hiking through the small forest. It seems that vagrants must live in the forest, because there was a lot more garbage than I’m used to seeing on the trails.

The exit to the park with some garbage on the ground. There were empty bottles and clothing in some other spots in the park, so I didn’t stay too long wandering around as I wanted to get home before dark.

I drove back to Fanny Bay in the pouring rain. I had a tailgater on my butt too as I drove home. The Coastal Highway is very, very twisty and in the pouring rain, I prefer to do the speed limit, but yet, some people still insist that isn’t enough. Annoying!

When I got home I had to check my bucket of course to see how much rain was in it now.

Almost 11 litres of rain in my bucket since Wednesday morning! UGH! Enough already with the rain! I’ve had it with rain and grey. Will the sun ever shine for an entire day here?

With the time change from last night, it was completely dark by 5pm tonight. I do not like these shorter days, although the extra hour of sleep last night was kind of nice!

As I was writing the blog, Richard was sending me pictures of his dinner in Mexico. He ate outside at an Argentinian Italian restaurant. His meal sure looked good!

Dinner in Mexico City this evening.

As I was chatting with Richard he sent me pictures from the Fort Erie Walmart tonight. Our amazing carer, Liz snapped them and sent them to Richard.

Walmart Fort Erie

Walmart, Fort Erie tonight.

With the land border opening tomorrow for Canadians to cross into the U.S., the first time the land border has been open since February 2020, there were over 50 RV’s and trailers parked just waiting to go to the US tomorrow. That Peace Bridge sure will be busy tomorrow as well as every other Canadian/US land border. I was reading that an RV park in Alberta had to overflow RV’s onto their baseball diamond and parking lot, because there were people who arrived 15 days ago waiting for the border to open, and it had snowed in Alberta too! We won’t be a part of the mass exodus to the U.S. tomorrow, but we will be making the trip south in a more leisurely, relaxed fashion - which is not usually our style. We want to take the opportunity while we are on the West coast, to enjoy this trip and really enjoy being tourists. We aren’t pleased that we had to cancel our European vacation, and we definitely aren’t pleased with a leaking roof in Newman after putting a new roof on him, a blown engine in Jerry and the cost of the replacement engine…and who even needs to mention the crappy weather we’ve been having since we got here on the Island. We will spend the next month preparing Newman and Jerry for their next journey and also enjoy our next month on the Island exploring new place and old haunts. Its good to know when to PIVOT and we are definitely flexible enough to know when its time to do that!

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