While our travels in 2012 didn’t take us as far afield as 2011, we did have several extended trips in North America. Picasso, our beloved little trailer, was our road home several times. Painting remained the focus for many trips. It is a pleasure to write about our trips and share photos. Thanks to all of you who read our blog – almost 3,000 views. Here’s a summary of the activity on Travels With Picasso from you, our world audience.
We look forward to more travels and more blogging. We love to hear from visitors. Watch for upcoming posts about our 2013 travel plans.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Today is Jean’s birthday. Happy birthday to the love of my life!
We have had a lazy day, sleeping late, and taking a leisurely walk along the waterfront to The Empress and back. Today’s weather was not great, but the rain held off until we were almost back to our condo. Along the way we got to see a wonderful exhibit at The Empress. Last year they decided to put bee hives on the grounds and make their own honey for their famous afternoon teas. These are working hives that are a bit dormant at the moment, but an interesting project. We also watched wildlife along the shore, including several minutes with a seal who had herded a school of small fish into a giant ball up against the jetty. He would get them into a tight mass and them swim into the middle to grab a mouthful of fish. A Bonaparte Gull, a California Gull, and a Pelican all tried to get in on the action, but the seal chased all of them away except the Bonaparte. He was small and quick enough to grab a fish here and there when the seal had them leaping out of the water. It was great fun.
We got a movie and will spend the evening eating in and watching The Bridesmaids.
Today we walked to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (they wouldn’t call it lesser Victoria) for an exhibit of Emily Carr’s work. This gallery/museum has one of the largest collections of her work and much is on display until next summer. It’s worth the trip.
This was about 1 1/2 miles uphill from our condo. On the way home we detoured through downtown, stopped at British Candy Shoppe for a bottle of ruhbarb ginger preserves, breezed through the Empress Hotel to look at people enjoying their $50 afternoon tea, and enjoyed the people along the waterfront.
No photos today since I did not take my camera. I was going to use my phone, but discovered that I forgot to charge it last night. I do seem to have found a chair in our condo that is aligned properly with the wifi to maintain a signal.
The first seaplane took off from in front of our condo at 7:45 yesterday. Then it was nonstop for 2-3 hours. A busy airport. After a leisurely morning we explored the west coast a bit, driving to Sooke and up to Port Renfrew. Once past Sooke this is wilderness with scattered inhabitants. Lots of logging. This coast is also home to one of the most remote hiking trails in North America. The coastal trail begins rather benignly, following the shore between the ocean and the road. However, north of Port Renfrew there is no road and only access by sea. The way is rocky and many headlands can only be gotten around a low tide. Port Renfrew is a small village at the end of the road – one store, one coffee shop, two restaurants, a couple of B&B’s, and two hotels. No gas station. The scenery there is beautiful with ocean shore, giant trees, misty rivers, and the harbor.
Today we explored the city. More on that later. We still are experiencing computer connectivity problems.
Welcome to Delta Tsawwassen (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)
Our trip to Tsawwassen was uneventful. We waited about 10 minutes at the border, which shows what traveling at midday on a weekday can do. Weekends can mean an hour or more wait. The Tsawwassen (after a while it rolls off your tongue) ferry terminal is quite nice. There are five different coffee shops, a dozen fine food stalls, gift shops, and rest rooms. On board the ferry there was a noisy deck and a quiet deck, three restaurants and a gift shop. Washington State Ferries can’t hold a candle to this system.
We sailed through the Gulf Islands under a grey sky. Thankfully it was not raining so we could go out on the deck and take some photos. How many pictures of grey are possible? The channels through the islands are beautiful with rock cliffs, garry oaks, and arbutus trees.
Swartz Bay arrived before we knew it. We unloaded and followed “Suzie” our GPS to a Country Grocery that I knew carried our favorite Canadian brand of sauerkraut. If you’ve never had Kuhne kraut, you don’t know what you’re missing. It has a famous secret recipe: cabbage and salt. Just like grandma used to make (at least my grandma). We bought six large jars. Five will go home and one will be baked with the country pork ribs we bought today.
Our condo was the next stop. For this trip I splurged and reserved a penthouse unit on our Worldmark timeshare. It is two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, etc., but the real highlights are the hottub on the deck and the view overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbor. Float planes land outside, tour boats leave (brightly lighted after dark), and the harbor’s Christmas lights call to us across the water. Unfortunately, it was getting dark quickly when we arrived, so photos are few. What photos I do have will not upload on this slow connection.
We’ve had a long spell at home with no travel. I have spent much time painting and posting my finished products on Facebook and my art web site www.paulbauck.com Now it’s time to travel a bit. This week we’re going to Victoria, BC to celebrate Jean’s birthday. We haven’t been to Victoria/Vancouver Island for about 24 years. Of course going at Christmas will be an added treat.
We will take the Canadian ferry through the Gulf Islands on the way over and the U.S. ferry through the San Juan Islands on our return. That should mean some good saltwater photos. If we’re really lucky we’ll see some whales as well.
If all goes according to plan our first travel post should be tomorrow evening from Victoria.
After the wedding we took one more day at Bodega Head and Jenner to see the ocean, the cliffs, and the birds. Then we headed to Yosemite for a quick visit. Day one saw us go to Hetch Hetchy to see the valley that was flooded early in the 20th century to give water and power to San Francisco. On our second day we visited Glacier Point and Yosemite Valley. It was beautiful. All of this was done without telephone or internet connections.
Yosemite evenings were in the company of friends Marc and Candace (the bride’s parents) and Antoinette and Steven. We stayed at the Evergreen Lodge and ate in their dining room. Over dinners we shared our day’s activities. Marc saw a bear and cub one day! Here are a few pics to capture this interlude.
Tonight we’re back in Seattle.
Here are a few pics of Emily and Adam’s wedding last evening on top of Mt. Tamalpais. As you can see the weather was beautiful, the scenery spectacular, and the wedding truly an evening to remember.
Congratulations to Adam and Emily!
More photos from everyone present will be shared on their Shutterfly page as noted on their wedsite: http://www.eatdrinkbemarried.wedsite.com/
Tonight was Emily and Adam’s pre-wedding party at his step-mother’s home in San Francisco. It was crowded and the lighting wasn’t ideal, but here are a few snaps. Seattle friends may recognize some folks. The sleepy little boy is suffering jet lag, having just flown in from the Ukraine.