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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

We’re having technical difficulty!

We were playing 9 holes today at our favourite little golf course, Qualicum Memorial Golf Club, in Qualicum Beach. I had booked the tee time for 10:58am today, forgetting that we had a family ZOOM call booked for 1pm. We only play 9 holes at this course, and we figured we could still finish our golf before the 2 hours were up, to be able to jump on our call.

We arrived a bit later that we would have liked for golf and we were on the first tee as soon as we arrived. Richard never likes “arriving in a cloud of dust”, as he calls it but hey, we were golfing in +9C with no coats on today! What’s not to like? We were paired with a lovely couple who retired in Qualicum Beach 26 years ago after being professors at UBC teaching Zoology and Molecular Biology. I mentioned we had been seeing a lot of Bald Eagles between here and Denman Island. Jeff, the zoologist, mentioned that the eagles stay after the salmon spawn, so they are just hanging around eating other fish at this time.

8th green

8th green, surveying my putt.

8th hole. Short par 4..and the first par of the day. Golf boots are getting a workout but its amazing how 2 days of monsoon rains and this course has NO STANDING water and the ball doesn’t plug in the fairway! And NO Coats! No toques! and no golf mitts!

6th tee. Long par 4 and almost impossible to hit the green in two on this hole given no roll on the fairways.

Richard finished with a chip in birdie from the bunker on 9! A FANTASTIC shot and of course something to keep him coming back!

My cousin in Australia had set up a zoom call across 4 countries and numerous time zones! I have cousins in Ontario, my brother in Ontario, and cousins and an Aunt and Uncle in Ireland, and England. We dialed in at 1pm PST and no one was on the call. After much back and forth, I was able to set up a zoom call and everyone dialed in except our relatives in the UK. It was nice to connect and find out what everyone is doing for this very different Covid Christmas. In Australia, they are LOCKED IN and can’t leave the country! A second cousin in Australia who I met for the first time today, is unable to get back to the U.K. to be with her 97 year old mother (who is my granny’s sister). While we can’t see our families for Christmas, Zoom at least let us be with family for a few hours, which was really nice.

Family Zoom call

Cousin Colleen in Australia and her family on their summer solstice or longest day of the year. In Townsville where they live, they were having 34C with humidity at 7am this morning!

We were starving by the time we finished our Zoom call and decided try again to get some Big Foot Burgers on Hwy 4 past Coombs. Big Foot Burgers was about a 10 minute drive from Qualicum Beach, where we had golfed today.

Who is the Bigfoot?

Classic and 5 Alarm looked good to us! The milkshakes are apparently to die for, but unfortunately they are closing after today until January 2nd, so they had no ice cream, so no milk shakes for us today!

The Classic burger

5 Alarm burger. Next time we go there we will know to split a small fries. We had too much food for 2 people to eat! We enjoyed the burgers, but felt the place in Cumberland called “Cooks”, had better burgers than Big Foot Burgers.

Driving home after our burgers Richard told me to be ready to take a photo of a pair of bald eagles he had seen hanging around in a tree by Little Qualicum River. I couldn’t believe the bald eagles would still be there after all these days. He saw the eagles on Monday when we were driving back from Port Alberni.

Sure enough.....I had the camera ready and just as he said...BALD EAGLES!!

Its a bit crazy how many bald eagles we’ve been able to see and photograph already on this trip! And to have them hanging around together is crazy!

We are happy to be here on Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island, B.C., despite another special weather statement for tomorrow which is calling for “wet snow over higher elevations of southern Vancouver Island”. It’s better than being in lockdown, which is what we hear Ontario is going into on Christmas Eve, yet again. Covid cases have been very few on the Island, and even fewer on the North Island, where we are. Despite not being able to gather for Christmas, which is disappointing, we’ll make the most of it and Zoom, with anyone who would like to (hint, hint) and hopefully with no technical difficulties! Let’s get those zoom calls set up!!!

Won’t it be nice when we can actually meet for a drink again in a restaurant and not just have a cocktail on a virtual call?!!!

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Dec 21, 2020

Hi Ruth, I have been reading some of your blogs. Nice adventures. It is great to visit the island with you, it brings back memories since I almost moved there in my early 20’s. Merry Christmas and all the best this coming year. It is kind of cool that you are so close to Josh this year and like you said in your blog, there are hardly any Covid cases on the island. It will be a nice Christmas for both of you, when you can finally spend a Christmas with your son and distance is not a problem. Since he works from home, Covid is really not an issue anyhow. I look forward to some recent snaps o…

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