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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Rainy Days and Mondays....

I’m sure if you’re old enough you will remember that Karen Carpenter song about how “Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down. Hanging around, nothing to do but frown. Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down!” I loved her voice...gone too soon.

We woke up to a lot of rain! I got up, looked outside and went back to bed. Why get up when you’ve got no where to go and its pouring? I slept for 9 hours and 20 minutes! Oh my goodness. This retirement gig is good! No alarm, I don’t have to get up when its rainy or Monday! Gotta love it!!

After a long workout at home in Newman we finally got on the road for Qualicum Beach at 12:30pm. I wanted to get a pedicure and the spot I had gone to last time in Q. Beach was fantastic. We arrived in Q. Beach to find the pedicure spot was closed on Mondays.

So we headed down the road to Parksville, thinking it would have more pedicure places as it Is a larger town, and not everything can be closed on a Monday right?

We saw a nail salon just as we were entering Parksville on the Coastal Hwy. We did a U turn through the Shell gas station and arrived to find that it was closed too! We knew all of the bakeries on the Island closed on Mondays but the nail salon? Come on...give me a break!!

After trying two pedicure places I said we should just go and find a spot for lunch. With the damp and cold +6C weather I said we should get a bowl of steaming hot chicken Pho for lunch. We knew there was a Pho spot near the Korean restaurant we had been to before in Parksville so we headed to the Pho restaurant.

And you guessed it didn’t you?


By now I’m wondering what is wrong with these two towns? Does everything close down on Mondays?

I finally googled Pho restaurants Parksville to find a spot that was open for lunch today and we lucked out and found a great Vietnamese restaurant close to where we were.

Finally something that is open today!

Hot jasmine tea. Perfect for a damp, cool day!

Hot and sour chicken, vegetable and vermicelli soup. Yum. There was no way I could eat half of this soup, but it was really delicious. $11.99 for a huge bowl of soup. Very authentic and a great spot to go and try some of their other speciality dishes another day. We both love Vietnamese cuisine!

While in Parksville we thought we would wander the downtown stores and see if we could find any used furniture or consignment stores to find a small table for Newman. Our quest for the holy grail of small tables! You guessed it...everything was closed today!!

We even tried the Salvation Army furniture consignment store but they didn’t have any small side tabes. They did have an interesting sign on their door though which I found quite funny. Being an “English major”, I tend to spot typos quite quickly....

Make sure you ‘re-frame’ from bringing bringing food or beverages into the Sally Ann Furniture store....LOL!

Richard wanted to get some epoxy glue at Home Hardware in Parksville so that he could glue the headlight covers back onto Jerry. Luckily Home Hardware doesn’t close on Mondays!

While we were window shopping in Parksville I found these neat prints of Vancouver Island that I may go back and buy. The time on the Island has been so special and it would be nice to remember it with some prints.

I love the bears going surfing!

Such a cool picture.

So appropriate. Camping in old growth forest.

For some reason we started taking about apple crisp on our walk around Parksville so I stopped into the organic grocery store and picked up a bag of B.C. Apples to make apple crisp when we arrived home in Newman.

As we were heading back to Fanny Bay I saw a government dock we had not seen in French Creek Harbour, so I asked Richard to pull in so we could take a look around the harbour.

Cute sign. This is the dock where you would hang your fish and brag about the size, if you had gone out on a chartered fishing boat.

Pier at French Creek Harbour.

These sea lions were barking up a storm. I zoomed in as close as I could and edited the shot as well. They hang out at the end of the harbour.

Birds hang out on each post. Quite territorial. The sea lions are just below the posts as well as on the backside of the rocks at the end of the break wall.

Low tide French Creek. I like the house on the point!

Houses on the harbour at French Creek.

The rugged, no hat look. It was chilly on the water!

Definitely a working harbour with lots of commercial fishing boats and a few pleasure boats too. The tall building in the background is French Creek Seafood Market where they purchase their wild salmon directly from local fishermen, ensuring that they always have the freshest, most sustainable seafood available. The French Creek Seafood Market sells Sockeye Salmon, Pacific Halibut, Pink Salmon, Spot Prawns, Coho Salmon, Ling Cod, Oysters, Mussels, Live Crabs, Clams, Smoked salmon and Albacore Tuna. Their facility was recently awarded the ‘MSC Marine Stewardship’ award for sustainable fishing practises. French Creek Seafood is also EU Certified which allows them to ship containers of their seafood products world-wide. Currently they are shipping B.C. Spot prawns and Ikura (salmon roe) to Japan and Albacore tuna and Ling Cod to China. They also make House Daily: Crab Cakes, Smoked Salmon Pate, Salmon Burgers, and Halibut Burgers when in season. I think we need to check this place out and try out Salmon on cedar planks on the BBQ! The weather is getting better so I’m going to need that recipe again for the salmon that we enjoyed back in Fort Erie, when I was recovering from my broken leg and good friends came and brought us dinner on our deck!

We found a little pub on the French Creek Harbour which looks like it might be a great spot for fresh seafood when the weather warms up and the patio is open. Of course it was CLOSED today because everything seems to close in Parksville on Mondays! We are usually in Courtenay on Mondays for my strength training but this week that is on Thursday. Courtenay doesn’t seem to close down on Monday’s like Parksville or Qualicum Beach. ODD...very odd...

We headed back home to Fanny Bay and Richard went to glue on the front light cover of Jerry, with our neighbour Jim’s help, while I started making the apple crisp for dinner.

Richard putting the epoxy on Jerry to affix the light cover.

Jim making sure that he gets the cover on before the epoxy dries.

Done! Now Jerry isn’t missing his front light covers! Good thing we did the repair today after the bumpy ride we had up and down Mount Maxwell yesterday on Salt Spring, we might have lost the covers!

Homemade apple crisp. We will be having this for dessert this evening! YUMMY!

Now that it is February on the Island we are noticing that more businesses which closed for the entire month of January are re-opening. We saw new signs of life as we drove down to Parksville today on the Coastal Hwy. More local advertising and new signs popping up. I think this is such a ’sleepy’ place that not much gets going until February.

We noticed that Milner Gardens & Woodland in Qualicum Beach is now open on Fridays and Saturdays so we will be making a visit there soon.

The seafood restaurant called Ship and Shore in Deep Bay, run by a husband and wife fisherman team, which has been closed since mid-December is re-opening on February 18th. Richard has contacted them about having dinner there on Friday February 19th - as reservations are strongly recommended. This little spot received the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award which they share with only the top 10% of all restaurants worldwide, so we are looking forward to their re-opening and being able to visit them soon!

Tomorrow morning bright and early Richard has to bring Jerry in to the Chrysler dealership in Courtenay to have the fuel sensor replaced and the ‘O’ ring replaced on the plastic tube that goes into the gas tank. I’m not getting up early to go with him, so I’ll have another work out day while I wait for his return. If he gets back in time maybe I can finally get that pedicure!

So despite being a rainy Monday on the Island, we still had another fantastic day exploring new places, with future plans to make!

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