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Published: April 26th 2010
We woke up late on our first morning in Nanaimo, to hear later that a pod of killer whales had swum by......
Our view out across the Strait of Georgia, back to the snow peak mountains was easy to take. We settled into our new home and local district - Nanaimo pop'n 80,000 is 90 mins north of Victoria on the East Side of the Island....It was more of an industrial city in the past, but has moved on with other activity. The Woodgrove Mall had a vast variety of shops such as Walmart, Sears and The Bay. That afternoon while driving down our street, we came across 3 deer on the side of the road, they live in the nearby woods but wander from home to home, great for the visitor....not so great for much cared for gardens.
We had heard the ski season was closing the next day at Mt Washington.....despite 7m of snow! Apparently people are over the whole skiing bit, so they close the slopes and wait for the mountain biking season. So on Sunday we drove an hour north and up into the snow covered range. The roads were good such that we
didn't need chains, but snow was everywhere and despite the fog and mist.....we managed to go tabogganing and do some fun things. Back home we hit the hot tub to warm up.....later that evening we had dinner on the deck by the water and saw some sea lions go by.
We had two quiet days as the weather turned grey, but this was the opportunity to go to the Indoor Aquatic Centre, largest in BC with Water slides, whirlpool, wave pool etc......the kids were in heaven and a good way to tire them out. Gracie met some friends and had a ball.
We headed to Vicotria on the Wednesday, capital of BC and the arvo was warm and sunny so we strolled the streets and wharf past The Empress Hotel. They say Victoria is more Britain than Britain and boy do they flog that one to death....ie. the red double decker buses, english style pubs and cobblestoned lanes......which means tourists everywhere......yuck - had to get out.....pretty as it was, glad to leave the CBD....we ran out of time to get to the Butchart gardens, but do have a chance to come back on our cruise to do it
then when more flowers are out.
We finished our time in Nanaimo with a dinner with our homex's Marilyn & Glenn, sharing stories over Aussie red and did manage to see the fins of killer whales swim by...plus got a great shot of a Bald Headed Eagle being hunted by a smaller black bird. We packed up the next day, said our goodbyes and caught the ferry from Comox to Powell River for our next stay.
We leave you with some of the more unusual things we have observed in Canada so far, not to take away from what a beautiful place Canada is and the friendliness of the people:
* It seems that everyone drives pickup utes and they are big....huge, almost size of trucks...they even
sell mini F250's -> F150's, and they are bigger than our utes.
* Right side driving is interesting, the wipers have gone on a few times and takes a while
to get used to looking to your left for oncoming cars.
* There are steakhouses, burger bars and family restaurants on every down town corner -
White Spot, Dennys, Ronny's, Boston Pizza, Mrs XXX, Mr YY along side Maccas,
Hut, Taco Bell and so on.
* Mexican Food is huge - almost national diet....You get chips with jalpeno salsa, orange
juice with chilli, out of control.....the groceries store have a whole aisle for it.
* The fast food joints have run out of ideas for the next big thing now its comical.....the
latest is the McMini chicken turkey ceasar burger?????? You can get a pizza made entirely of
stuffed crust with 5 cheeses.
* Ice Hockey is the #1 sport in Canada and they have just started the playoffs.....Vancouver
Canucks are the home team having just won their playoff series.
Get this 30 teams in the comp. they play 80 games in the regular season....16 teams make it
to the playoffs and play best of 7......then its 8, another best of 7, then 4 then 2. If the
winning team plays all 7 games they would have played 108 games....
* Have a look at this goal on youtube...it is being rated as one of the best
ever, and we happened to see it - wow.....The Sedin Bros. from Sweden are huge here.
If it doesn't work, type in Vancouver Canucks vs Calgary and
look up Daniel Sedin hat
That's all for now...
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