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Welcome to the Weekend: Island Time

Our drive to catch the Vancouver Island ferry was quicker than we thought and painless. As we waited in line to board, I got more and more nostalgic. By the time we sailed and I stood at the rail, I was choked up.

The majestic beauty here is more magical than I remembered. I knew this trip might be emotional but it’s harder than I anticipated.

The goofy scarf was to protect my hair from the wind but didn’t stay on long.

Waiting for the BC Ferry
WEARING- jacket (similar)pants (similar)shoestank top

We owned an amazing second home on the island for 13 years. We’d always planned to retire here, but medical emergencies and family issues caused us to give up that dream and eventually sell the house which we’ve missed ever since.

on the BC ferry to Vancouver Island

There was an escape factor to coming here. It felt as though we were leaving the rat race behind. The busyness of life ground to a quiet halt and it seemed I could almost feel my blood pressure drop. Life on Vancouver Island is very different.

on the ferry to Vancouver Island

Back home, the traffic is stressful, the crowds are annoying and the noise level is disturbing. There are quiet locations in California, just not where we live. That’s one of the things I enjoy about RV travel…the quiet.

I don’t want to second-guess our decision to leave the island… but being back reminds me how much it has to offer.

Everywhere we travel now, we wonder, “would we like living here?” Would this location provide the pace of life, level of activity and beauty we like?

Do you wonder what it would be like living in a totally different environment?

Now for some retail therapy. They’re amazing sales this weekend. This is a great time to buy summer clothes because believe it or not, pre-fall clothes will hit the stores in July.

Ann Taylor is offering 50% off select styles with the code SUNSOUT.

Loft is offering 40% with the code NEWNOW.

Lord & Taylor is offering up to 65% off select handbags and shoes and 35% off most other items with the code FRIENDS.

J.Crew is offering 25% off your purchase with the code YAYCLOTHES.

NET-A-PORTER sale is up to 70% off, no code needed.

Nordstrom is offering up to 60% off designer clothes, shoes, and handbags, no code needed

Hunter is offering up to 40% off, no code needed…rain boots for next winter? These are classic and wearable year in year out. I love these pink ones:)

Neiman Marcus Last Call is offering 40% off one item with the code JUNE40. I’m just guessing you could take it off each purchase:)

Neiman Marcus is giving up to 55% off, no code necessary.


Thanks for reading and have a great day!


Affiliate links may generate income for AWSL.


  1. There is something about the ocean. We’re devoted to the Olympic Peninsula(Kalaloch and Quinalt lodges especially). My husband and I considered Courtney/Comox as a retirement possibility.I don’t mind ferries and my husband lived in Powell River for a while. I leave British Columbia for Mexico or Arizona for part of the winter because I really do not enjoy continual grey.

    1. The continual gray really got me down. Perhaps because I’ve spent so much time in California. Being a snowbird from BC seems the best alternative Joanne. That’s what one of my brothers is doing.

  2. Jennifer, Comox/Courtenay is a beautiful place on the sea but with all the amenities one needs – hospital, restaurants, shopping…. It’s quite a bit cheaper than Victoria. I’ve loved all over the world and am happily retired here. Come see!

    1. My Dad retired to Courtenay and I remember it well. My brother just bought a lovely place in Comox which I’m anxious to visit. It’s a beautiful spot, I know!! I’ll be there this week:)

  3. I think about where to retire all the time! My plans have had to change many times in the last few years and I am working hard now to retire before 65. I too am looking for beauty and peace but also access to healhcare and transportation when I can no longer drive everywhere. I don”t want to be hampered by a large home or lots of stuff. It will happen for both of us. I hope your travels keep you coming back to Canada!

    1. You’re so right Janet! I want all those things too. I’m sure the right spot will show up and I hope I’m receptive enough to recognize it!

  4. I have never been to Vancouver Island, but it sounds wonderful. I would LOVE to live someplace slower paced and quieter, but the issue of jobs and now being near grandchildren arises. Sounds like you were more fiscally responsible than we were. We must work longer. But the dreams are there. I completely understand how it feels to return to a place you love after being gone awhile. I am jealous that you have options to move if you want to. Relish each moment!

    1. It’s a tough choice. The equity in our home will allows us to buy a less expensive place and hopefully enjoy more travel and time with loved ones!

  5. Hi Jennifer,
    We have bought a home on another famous Canadian Island clear across the other side of the country and you know that’s PEI! We don’t use a ferry anymore because of the bridge but it is like crossing into another world as it lies in the arms of the Gulf of St Lawrence. We had holidayed there with our sons for twenty years and since retirement is close decided to purchase an ocean front home that came up on the market. We have made many new friends locals, other Canadians and several American folks. We all love it so much more to this Island then THAT red haired girl!!! Soon we will downsize from our large Ottawa home to a more manageable condo and spend summers on the ‘Summerside’ Enjoy your holiday in BC I have an Aunt in Tsawwassen that I must get out to see! Vancouver Island is on our bucket list. Good luck with finding a residence…perhaps two smaller homes would work better the best of both worlds( can hear your mind wheels thinking about your grandson) we too have a grandchild arriving but we have to live our lives too..

    1. That is exactly what I’m thinking, Alison. I don’t need or want a large home so if we could swing 2 small ones it would be perfect. I’m crazy about my grandson and would hate to live too far from him all year long!! Your place sounds amazing. Ocean front is a dream come true!! You were smart to grab it when you could.

  6. I’m glad you were able to come for a visit to the Island, even though the weather didn’t really cooperate. It’s been a chilly spring here. Yes, the pace of life is different here, but if one works and lives here full-time, it can get hectic, too. I’m so glad for the proximity of the ocean and forests for de-stressing. Have a great visit.

    1. I think the ocean and forests having magical healing powers, Lorrie. Of course you’re right. Working here would certainly change the stress level.

  7. Karen McFaddin says:

    Vancouver Island IS magical, I agree. I’ll never forget our holiday there September 2001.
    Yes, we were there when the towers came down September 11, 2011.
    The kindness of the Canadian people brings tears to my eyes now…they knew we were American because of our Washington state license plate.
    On 9-11 we were about to leave for our day’s exploration, actually almost to the car, when suddenly our hotel’s owner came running out. He quietly said, “I don’t think you want to leave right now. I suggest you go back to your room and turn on the TV”.
    Of course we did and of course the shocking news of the terrorism affected us profoundly as it did the world.
    As we later left to explore the area, have dinner etc, we couldn’t believe the outpouring of sympathy and kindness expressed to us. Of course it was all everyone was talking about. Planes were halted, travel ground to a stop, life changed.
    Even the ferry ride back to mainland was so different, security was high, we looked at people with suspicion in our eyes even though previous to the attack we didn’t, I didn’t like it.
    Wow, sorry about the outpouring, your post brought back a lot of memories and reminds me not to let too much more time go by before we take another trip to the magnificent Vancouver Island!

    1. That day is very memorable to me too, Karen. It was awful. Washington State is lovely too. We’re very fond of the Olympic Peninsula. Canadians are alway so polite! It’s refreshing.

  8. You sailed right by our smaller island on your big ferry….
    Hopefully our normal summer weather will catch up to us.


    1. I know you had rough winter weather, hopefully this summer will make up for it. Which Island are you on Ali?

      1. SaltSpring Island…

      2. We love Salt Spring Island!! Your farmers market on Saturday morning is fabulous.

      3. If you have time…let me know…love to meet you..


  9. Nancee Webb says:

    You can take the girl out of BC, but you can’t take BC out of the girl!

  10. We love living here on Vancouver Island…and we just invested in a quarter share of a waterfront cottage at Otter Bay on Pender Island so we will be taking the ferries on a regular basis from now on!
    I do appreciate the quiet and we like the scenery and wildlife that this area provides us with…we saw Orcas out front of the cottage twice while we were there!
    You have a lot to think about with your choice of residence…but what an opportunity to be able to move almost anywhere that you want!

    1. What a fabulous place you have there Leslie! Our options are open but as you know, the real estate prices are insane here now. You do live in the most beautiful spot.

  11. Jane Swanson says:

    Hi. Jennifer,

    I have been to Vancouver island and stayed at the Empress…even did the high tea. Such a beautiful place.

    We are in our second home for the summer. A log house high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The town is tiny. not even a traffic light and mostly dirt roads. We enjoy the cool weather and will head back to Texas in Oct. janey

    1. That sounds devine, Janey! We’ve heard great things about Colorado and we do love mountains. I like tiny towns!!

  12. Jennifer, I found your blog fairly recently and am enjoying it very much. I felt I had to reply today because, on a smaller scale, I felt the same way you do. We lived in FL and had a small cabin in the north GA mountains. For some reason we thought we wanted to live in the mountains full time…..big mistake for many reasons. Needless to say, we are back to the past arrangement, with another small cabin in the mountains and we go up whenever we want to. The best of both!

    1. Welcome, Sharon! I know I wouldn’t want to live here full time because the rainy winters really get me down. My brothers both live here and my daughter is just a short ferry ride away so I will always want to come here. My son and grandson are in California, so I want to be there too! Ideally, I would like to have 2 smaller places so we could go back and forth like we used to. A small cabin would be ideal!! It sounds like you’ve made the right move! That is the best of both worlds.

  13. I love the ferry photos! I was born in Powell River and grew up on the coast, so riding the BC Ferries was a beloved part of growing up. Decades later, I’m a displaced coastal girl living on the prairie, but I love nothing more than returning to the coast and riding the ferries. Enjoy your island time!

    1. Powel River is a pretty spot! The BC Ferries are fun to take to all the small islands. Memories are very rich here…I adore it.

  14. Love today’s outfit….at 5’3″ very wide pants seem to gobble me up….but they look great on you! If you are looking for a quiet, beautiful, relaxing place to live with tons of places to camp in the surrounding area try visiting the Ozarks. We love it!

    1. These pants are meant to be cropped, which would look awful on me. Being 5’4″, they’re almost full length! We’ve never been to the Ozarks. Another spot to put on our list, thanks, Mary Ann!

  15. Jennifer,
    It’s never to late to return to where the heart lies. Just sayin’. Food for thought.

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