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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


We’ll start today’s blog with a picture I took at the golf course this morning.

Ah, so beautiful! It’s spring on the Island. It really looks like spring, although it isn’t warm yet! +9C was as warm as it got today. It seems that after tomorrow most days will be in the double digit range, which will be nice. There is still a cool breeze off Fanny Bay and we don’t want to sit outside by a fire, in our lawn chairs, with the breeze! I’m hearing all about the nice weather back home and how people are out golfing. I’m glad that everyone is feeling like spring is in the air after a long winter in Canada!

We woke up today to another frost, which meant that our tee time at Qualicum Beach was delayed slightly by about 20 minutes. Curtis couldn’t play with us today so it was just the gruesome threesome of Ken, Richard and me. We were happy to hear that Curtis will be getting his first vaccine shot on Thursday. That means that the age of vaccinations is now below 80 in B.C. We’re not really sure how old Curtis is, we just know he hasn’t lost his sense of humour!

Waiting on the par 3-5th hole to tee off. I was able to take off my jacket by the second hole today. There was no wind and it was a lovely day to walk the golf course.

Richard made par on the 1st hole today for the first time since we’ve been playing Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club. He had a great 1 putt on the long, up hill par 5, to make par. I on the other hand 3 putted for a double. Ugh....never get above the hole on the 1st green!

I’m smiling, but I’m smiling through the pain. OMG am I sore today! Those Bulgarian Split Squats and the other exercises we did yesterday at strength training just about killed me. I was in bed by 9:30pm last night. I couldn’t take it anymore cause I was so exhausted from the workout I had and I have to go and do it all over again on Thursday! NOOOOOOO!!!!.

At the end of the day today Richard shot a sweet 41 and I was 42. Not bad...finally two good rounds at the same time! The course is drying up a bit more now, so we were getting more roll on the fairways.

After golf we chatted quite a bit to Ken in the parking lot of the golf course. We’re going to miss him and Curtis when we go home. We‘ve had a nice winter playing golf with the two of them at Qualicum Beach. It’s really nice to make friends with the locals, because how else can you find out stuff about the community or the history of a place? There is only so much to read on the internet, but first you need to know what questions to ask in GOOGLE!

I decided that since we were in Q. Beach I needed a pedicure. I’ve needed one for awhile and I really like this spot in Q. Beach, because of their protocols with health and safety. And they also play HGTV on the TV during the pedicure, so its nice to get caught up on the home renovation TV shows which I’m never home to watch!

It was busy today with people making appointments for next week. I guess people want their nails to look good for Easter, not that anyone is going anywhere for Easter!

The toes are now purple! Spring, easter egg purple! It’s nice to do something different for a change of pace!

We drove around Qualicum Beach trying to figure out where to go for lunch and on our way around the downtown area we saw that a new craft brewery is being completed in the Qualicum Beach ‘East Village’ area. Tidal Brewing Co. Lounge will be a great addition to the town, which does not have a lot of restaurants to eat at near the main retail strip on Memorial Avenue.

As we were driving by the Tidal Brewing Company’s future home I said “I know where we should go to eat! ’The Shady Rest’”. The Shady Rest Hotel opened on the Island Hwy in Qualicum Beach in 1924 and is the longest continuously-run business in Qualicum Beach. Thomas Kinkade Jr. opened the Shady Rest Hotel in 1924 when he saw that Qualicum Beach was becoming a tourist destination. It was one of the first buildings to occupy the Qualicum waterfront. Thomas passed the business on to his son Gerald in 1944 who ran it until the 1970’s when he handed over the reins to his son Tom, Jr. Then in 1985, the current owner Wayne Duncan bought the business. Many things have drawn customers to the Shady over the years. Besides the pub and the restaurants‘s clam chowder, the establishment has boat rentals, rooms for rent and fishing charters. More recently, the business has focused on using live music, daily food and drink specials and hosting big sports games to stay relevant (I guess not so much during Covid though). The view is what keeps people coming back, as ‘The Shady Rest ‘ is right on the water in Q. Beach.

The Shady Rest, Qualicum Beach.

As we drove up the Coastal Highway, really looking forward to finally eating at this iconic landmark, we saw that ‘The Shady’ was closed on Monday and Tuesday. DARN! I guess it wasn’t mean to be today for us to eat at ’The Shady!’ With spring in the air it would have been a perfect spot to sit out under a patio umbrella on the patio!

I thought for a moment and then said “We haven’t been to that restaurant on the water near Bowser yet. It looks like it is quite popular judging by the number of cars we’ve seen in the parking lot. Why don’t we stop there?” Richard couldn’t remember the spot I was talking about, but the good thing is we had to drive right by it to get home anyway, so we knew we wouldn’t miss it.

In front of the Sandbar Cafe in Bowser! Now that is a big fish!

The Sandbar Cafe and Art Gallery, Bowser.

We headed inside and were seated at a nice table overlooking the water. The menu looked really interesting, but Richard decided to have the daily special at $15.95.

Beef Bulgogi burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onion.

Beef Bulgogi Burger and fries for Richard. He would rate this a 9/10. The owners of this establishment are of Korean descent and they make all of their own sauces and marinades so Richard’s burger was pieces of meat, not a burger patty. We know now where to go for some authentic Korean food, which is closer to us than going to Parksville!

Cheese, bacon, macaroni and broccoli soup. It was very good!

My toasted BLT on marble rye. So good!

We really enjoyed our lunch at the Sandbar Cafe and Art Gallery. The walls were lined with artwork from local artists and we even found some more artwork by Carla Flegel from Deep Bay, Vancouver Island. We had bought a watercolour that Carla had done of Chrome Island when we were in Bowser a few weeks ago. Her work is very quirky and her frames are amazing and handmade. I just love her pictures!

Chrome Island by C. Flegel. Being in Deep Bay, Carla would have a great view of Chrome Island.

A quirky piece of art by C. Flegel.

We drove around a neighbourhood in Bowser we had not visited before and we found this very odd looking display at the end of someone’s driveway.

I really wasn’t sure what I was reading and seeing in this picture, so I zoomed in for a better look.

Look what is on their front yard! OMG. I think I’ve seen it all now on Vancouver Island. The displays that people put out in front of their homes! Priceless!!!

We headed home to Fanny Bay around 3pm and when we got home Richard checked to make sure that Jerry had not lost his front turn signal covers. Sure enough, they were still in place! That’s the good news of the day, besides it starting to feel like spring on the Island! And with spring comes showers...and that is what we’re getting tonight and tomorrow!

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