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Sunday, 29 October 2017

One more trip to the Island before the final move...

We had to cross the straight one more time to choose the quartz countertops for the kitchen. We happily obliged and booked the ferry to Duke Point for 10:15 last Friday. The crossing went smoothly untill we neared Duke Point. The ship encountered a large fleet of gillnetters fishing at the approach to the ferry terminal. Our captain stopped the ship, giving the fishermen time to corral their nets 'till there was a safe passage for the ferry to make landfall. We dissemberked a few minutes late and that's okay, everybody needs to make a living... We drove south to our new house to meet with Reena, our contact and go to person at the building site. We arrived slightly late at 13:15 and we were greeted by Reena and Kevan the painter, who had already finished painting the exterior of the house and was now doing prep work on the interior.

The exterior all painted.

A little mishap, a new window is on order.

The exterior colours look great! And the house is coming along nicely. The inside space looks even better than the first time we saw it. The great room with the living room, dining room and kitchen is going to be a fantastic gathering place. I am now doing research on kitchen appliances and where to get them and have them delivered and installed on time. Food preparation is a big thing in our house. Once we have moved in Shelagh will start the transformation process, turning this place from a house into a home. Over the winter months we will design and build the garden. We don't want any grass, so it will become a low maintenance California style landscape that needs little watering. Our climate is changing and less watering is a good thing.

The kitchen.

Reena lent us two sample books with quartz pieces to peruse. We had brought our paint chips, carpet sample and other bits and bobs to place against the stone squares. The choices are endless, but after some checking with tile suppliers and kitchen cupboard manufacturers we came to a decision. We e-mailed Reena our choice for the kitchen counters and that was our job done for the day. All this running around the Cowichan Valley made us hungry and after our visit with the kitchen cupboard people we stopped for lunch in Cobble Hill for a delicious pizza and a locally crafted beer at Pizza Prima Strada. A truly Neapolitan style pizza experience. They also have two restaurants in Victoria...

Mighty fine pizza.

After lunch we headed for our motel room at the Thunderbird Motor Inn. This motel is great! Clean rooms at an affordable rate, and since we are now repeat customers we got a discount! Wonderful, and Rita the receptionist was lovely as always. We got checked in and nestelled into our room with a glass of Pino Grigio. Earlier in the week we had booked an airbnb in Duncan for the first two weeks of December. The sale of our house in Langley completes on December 2nd and the purchase of our house in Duncan completes on December 15th. We will be homeless for two weeks, so we booked this suite in town to bridge the gap. I invited the landlady of the airbnb to our motel room for a meet and great and a glass of vino. She showed up at 17:00 for a chat, but had no time for a glass of wine. Her mother is in hospital and she was rushed off her feet. A very nice woman, the kind that makes you feel right at home. I'm sure we will have a happy two weeks at her home while we wait for ours to be completed.

We were peckish by now so we figured fish and chips from Salty's was in order. Shelagh phoned in the order and I went to pick it up. Salty's is a franchise fish and chip restaurant and there is one in Cloverdale near our home that we have never tried. We are really impressed with the one in Duncan. The staff is friendly and professional, they move like a well lubed machine and the food is great. We especially like the haddock. Shelagh ordered a two piece fish and chips to share (plenty of food for the both of us) a small coleslaw and their home made tartar sauce. Ten minutes later I went out to pick it up. They have autographed portraits of various "Coronation Street" actors on the wall, a British soap opera we have been watching for decades. Bellies full, minds racing, sleep came well for me but a little slower for Shelagh, who tends to worry excessively...

The next morning we slept in 'til 08:00 and after coffee and a shower we were ready to go back to the building site to return the quartz samples. The house had been unlocked by the tradesmen working across the street so we could leave the samples in our house for Reena to retrieve. Our return ferry was booked for 15:15 so we had some time to kill. We thought it would be a good idea to go to the Saturday Market in town where local farmers and artisans sell their wares. We had some great chats with the vendors as they welcomed us to the area after they learned that we had bought a house in their hood. Some are at the market 50 weeks per year, and some take the cold months off, usually the farmers, naturally. But some sausage and piemakers are there all the time. I saw a wood working artist who had awesome chopping boards and I have my eye on a rather large piece...

These pictures of the market were taken last month.

After the market we decided to go back to Cowichan River Park to see the fall foliage on the trees. The park has mostly evergreens so there was not much colour, but the river was running beautifully. I had hoped to see some salmon running, but there were none to be seen, we were prabably a few weeks late... The park will be one of our favourite places to go to for a picnic in most seasons, even on the warmish winter days. Leaving the park we went on the slow road to Duke Point. First to Maple Bay where we will spend many days taking in the views with a picnic, then on to Chemainus for a light lunch at the local Burrito stand. All along highway 1A up along the coast to the town of Ladysmith for a one hour marvel at the views, sat on a park bench enjoying some wine... Goodness me, how lucky we are to be retired and to live in such an incredibly beautiful place on this earth...

Maple Bay.


Transfer Beach Park in Ladysmith.

We drove north to Duke Point and we waited in line to board our ship back to Tsawwassen. Ahead of us a rented Ford Transit van, one of three, packed with men from Nanaimo who were on their way to Seattle to watch a football game. The Seattle Seahawks against the Houston Texans. They were having a lot of fun, there were foot balls flying through the parking lot and some Tequila was being shared. All good fun. Each venicle had a designated driver and all was well in the world. We hope they made it through customs allright... The trip home was uneventful and we got home to a simple dinner of soup and rotisserie chichen sandwiches on cheesy buns. Sleep came early and well deserved.

The view from Duke Point Terminal.

Arriving at Tsawwassen Terminal.

Now the time has come to really get packing and sorting. This move has to be seamless and as stress free as possible. If that is even possible... There will be some wine involved!


  1. Wow, I feel so super pleased for you guys. You are both sounding so happy and relaxed. What fun picking and choosing all the fineries that will grace your new home. What a great adventure!!! Enjoy!

  2. Thank you. Amazingly it is still more than a month away. Lots to do and organize. We will keep you posted...

  3. Looks like things are all coming together, having a new home built is fun. Did my first one in 1971, then after that bought 10 different older homes to renovate.
    Get things all together and the move will go seamlessly .

    1. The interesting part to this move is the two week gap between leaving and arriving. This time we will move using a big steel box container...

  4. Almost officially islanders! We spotted salmon in the estuary yesterday on our walk, kind of late for them to be there but they were swimming around the courtenay marina at the airpark

  5. Next year we will definitely check out the migration. We are so looking forward to a slower pace...

  6. The house looks great and you are finding all the secret hideaways to visit!

  7. Like those pictures taken at the market.

    1. In the summer months the produce is amazing! Mostly organic.