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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Lunch bag let down again!

“Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a wonderful feeling, Everything’s going my way!” I’m sure you’ve heard that song before. Its from Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s OKHLAHOMA, from way back in 1955, but the song still applies to today!

When you wake up to a view like this one, you know its going to be a gorgeous day!

We were up early this morning so I could have a quick visit virtually with my doctor back in Toronto. The good news about being in B.C. still, is being able to get prescriptions refilled, before we head to the States for the next 5 months. My doctor is able to prescribe in B.C., so it worked out perfectly to be able to see him virtually. Virtual medicine is great when you don’t need an examination!

Richard had to make a few phone calls this morning while I was speaking with my doctor. The big issue we had to investigate before crossing the border is; cell phone plans. I’ve got a data plan on my IPAD, as well as of course, on my phone. We were thinking we might need to get a new cell phone with a US number and plan for me when we crossed the border, but for $25 more a month, I can have my cellphone as if it is in Canada. My IPAD we will keep in airplane mode with the cell service off, and I will tether it to Richard’s phone to use his data, when I need to do the blog, until we get to Florida, where we have wifi and I will connect there for my IPAD. We are definitely glad we got that taken care of this morning as we really didn’t want to get a new phone or have to turn my Canadian phone off as we travelled.

Richard also had to call Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson to pay our deposit for our 2 night stay in Tucson. After Tucson we are staying near El-Paso for one night and I was able to book a Harvest Host spot outside a great Mexican restaurant. I think we might have to get take out that night! I’ve not gotten anything booked past El Paso, but plan on doing some investigating tomorrow, on RV resorts in the Houston area, near some Clubcorp golf courses we can play. I think we’ve decided we will take our time to Florida and get there near the end of December, so we can play some golf along the way, as opposed to driving like mad for 7 days, to get to Plant City on December 24th, exhausted and needing to unload Newman when we get there. St. Stephen has secured us outdoor storage for Newman near his RV park in Zephyr Hills, at a very reasonable price, so at least we know where Newman is going to be parked, once we get to Florida.

Our plans this morning were to head to Nanoose Bay, and more specifically to Moorecroft Regional Park. If you read our blog last year you will know that Moorecroft was formerly the site of a youth camp, which is now managed under a Conservation Covenant held by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The covenant prioritizes ecological protection and enhancement and permits low impact recreational amenities. You can walk the trails, but you cannot bike the trails, for example. Moorecroft’s 35 hectares are home to Garry Oak meadows and coastal Douglas-fir maritime ecosystems.

We left Fanny Bay at 9:55am and we were at Moorecroft Regional Park by 10:30pm.

The sun was streaming in Kramer, the Kona’s windows as we drove down the Inland Island Hwy to Nanoose Bay. We tuned into CBC radio to try and listen to the 10am News, but instead of the news, we were able to catch the Throne Speech from the new Governor General Mary Simon at the Opening of Canada’s Parliament today. What a historic day for Canada, as the first part of Mary Simon’s speech was conducted in her native language of ‘Inuktitut’.

One of the best things about Vancouver Island is there is always a clean bathroom at the beginning of every trail!

Clean bathrooms at Moorecroft Regional Park. The temperature was +8C, but we still needed to have a hat, mitts and long underwear on, hiking by the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve got to get rid of that pack sack….where’s my mule?

That’s better. Just holding the camera!

Pondering the view.

Standing at Cook’s Point looking out over Second Bay.

Ah, that view…Second Bay, Moorecroft Regional Park.

I love the sun reflecting off the water in Arab Cove.

The trees grow sideways with the winds at Nanoose Bay.

A very rocky outcrop called Vesper Point, at the end of Moorecroft Regional Park. Of course Richard kept telling me to ’be careful!’ as I walked along the rocks.

Splash! The Salish Sea and views over to the mainland of B.C. and the Coastal Mountains.

We kept walking along the coast and then realized that we were in a ‘No Trespassing’ area.

A very windy bay in Nanoose Bay.

We hiked the Vesper Point Trail and the Meadows Trail today in Moorecroft Regional Park which took us about 1.5 hours


After hiking around Moorecroft, we decided to take a drive around Nanoose Bay. There are lots of beautiful vistas in this community, but also a lot of really windy, twisty country roads to navigate to get to either the one grocery store near the highway, or over to Parksville, where there are is a lot of retail. There is a nice golf course in the community though called ‘Fairwinds’, which we only had the chance to play 9 of the 18 holes last year. I guess if golf is your ‘thing’, having a golf course with a restaurant, might be enough to attract you to Nanoose Bay - which is still only 15 minutes from Nanaimo (the 2nd largest City on Vancouver Island).

We were really, really looking forward to some Korean food today for lunch in Parksville. We had been to Dosirak restaurant in Parksville twice last year for bimibap and really wanted to have some bimibap before we left the island. As we arrived at Dosirak though, we found out that they were closed on Tuesdays! OH MY goodness! Why do restaurants on the Island close on Tuesdays?!! Now what? How disappointing! We had to try and find something for lunch but we were in the mood for Korean food and they are the only Korean food restaurant in Parksville.

We had to get some printing done in Parksville, so in the meantime we found the print shop and took care of that. The print shop had hired a local artist to paint their store windows for Christmas which I found really neat!

It is nice that instead of just throwing up decorations from the dollar store, this business takes the time to hire a local artist to do some unique Christmas decorations!

We still had to find some lunch, so we settled on sushi. It is usually fast, delicious and inexpensive. There was a sushi spot, right near us, so Richard went in an ordered our sushi.

We drove to the Parksville Community Park to eat our sushi and couldn’t find a parking spot. We finally got a parking spot after driving around for 10 minutes and we walked over to the Boardwalk to sit and eat our sushi on a park bench. The temperature was +10C, but the wind coming off the sea, made it feel a lot colder!

My veggie sushi. What a disappointment! Sushi with only cucumber and lettuce in it? Who does veggie sushi on the Island with only cucumber and lettuce?!!! This is the second week in a row we’ve eaten in Parksville and been disappointed! What’s with the food in Parksville, that its just not up to Island standards? We had lots of great meals last year in Parksville with St. Stephen and his lovely wife Karen. What’s happened this year to the great meals in Parksville?

As we ate our sushi on the Boardwalk, there were some kite surfers in the bay having fun kite surfing. The winds were definitely strong enough to surf today!

The surfers looked like they were having a lot of fun today.

This kite surfer had stopped for a bit, but his kite was still flying.

Trying to keep warm on the park bench eating my sushi.

We had two more stops to make today before heading back to Newman.

Canadian Tire in Parksville.

We needed a new water filter for Newman, so Richard picked one up at Canadian Tire. Its best to change the filter every 4-6 months, and it was time to change Newman’s filter.

We also stopped in French Creek at the Seafood market to pick up some fresh halibut for dinner this evening. We are going to try the ‘Shore Lunch’ batter (which our friend Shauna Creswicke in Kenora gave us) on the fresh halibut in the air fryer this evening for dinner. We haven’t cooked halibut at home on this trip and we want to get as much fresh fish as we can before we leave the Island. Heading down the West coast of the USA though, we should be able to continue to pick up fresh fish as we head south!

While we were at the French Creek Seafood Market, we saw them unloading freshly caught hake into containers of ice. Richard asked where the fish were heading and he was told that the hake is sent to Ucluet on Vancouver Island, where it is processed (cut the head and tail off, clean the guts) and then it is shipped to the Ukraine. It is a low cost, high protein food, which is very popular in the Ukraine. I remember my grandmother Barton, from England telling me she loved hake and when I checked today on this fish, it is used for fish in chips in England, so that makes sense that she would love hake!

Hake coming off the ship and being loaded into containers with ice.

When we got back to Newman today, Richard ran the diesel generator to make sure that it worked. We haven’t run it since we’ve been here and we need our diesel generator to work when we are BOONDOCKING and don’t have access to shore power - somewhere to plug in. The generator worked perfectly and while it was running, Richard changed the water filter in Newman.

The water filter goes in the top right - inside that white container.

The clean, new filter going in.

The old, dirty filter coming out. We also have a Berkey Water Filter which sits on our counter top, so our drinking water is filtered even more before we drink it.

I’m really looking forward to our air fryer halibut dinner this evening. I think I may also make some sweet potato fries in the oven, while the fish is cooking in the air fryer. We are trying to use up all of our fresh fruit and vegetables before we cross into the US on Sunday. We don’t need any issues at the border because we‘ve brought something that we shouldn’t have with us. Our refrigerator is starting to look quite depleted, but we’ll stock up as a soon as we cross the border. I may even look for the first Trader Joe’s to shop at along the way, as I’ve been having Trader Joe’s withdrawal since we haven’t been able to shop at Trader Joe‘s since February 2020!

We were disappointed again today with the food in Parksville. Last week was the worst fish and chips ever at British Bobby in Parksville and today was the most boring sushi ever at a sushi shop. We’ve not been disappointed often with food on the Island. Hopefully we’ll have good food for the rest of our stay here, as we are definitely getting close to departure time!

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