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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« welcome zoe! | Main | beachcombing, part one »

beachcombing, part two

(Today's Blathering is in two parts. This is the second part. Here's the first part.)

Yesterday after my Hot Stones Massage, Jeff and I drove to Long Beach. This beach was HUGE. And at low tide, it was also the widest we'd ever seen. The sand was damp and hard-packed except for way back near the forest, where piles of driftwood provided improvised picnic areas for sunbathers and beachcombers. The gorgeous day had attracted a lot of visitors to the beach; we had trouble finding a free parking space in the adjacent lots.

Jeff is keen on going swimming in the surf before we leave for Japan. I think I'll be content with wading up to my knees. :-) For me, the air is too brisk and water too cold to make swimming an appealing prospect...I'd rather go beachcoming or find a quiet place to read. Plus I confess the warning signs everywhere freak me out a bit, cautioning visitors about the riptide and dangerous currents and so on. I also can't help but notice that there aren't many actual swimmers...most people in the water are either wading in the shallow waves or out in wetsuits, surfing.

The main warning that has been hammered into our brains (in brochures, signs, tourist info flyers) is: "NEVER turn your back on the ocean!" Pretty dire-sounding, but apparently rogue waves (unusually big waves which appear without warning) have been known to sweep unsuspecting people off the beach. I think I'll stick with beachcombing. :-)

Yesterday we also walked a short hike up Radar Hill. Gorgeous view! Also lots of interesting plants I've never seen before. I've taken photos (maybe I'll post some later, in case any of you can help identify them) and hope to find a book about local plant life in the Inn somewhere.

We checked out the Wickaninnish Information Center, but it was disappointingly small, only taking about ten minutes to go through the entire place. However, it did have a nice restaurant on a sunny patio. :-) We shared crabcakes, Caesar salad, and garlic and brie on crackers. A decadent chocolate and caramel phyllo pastry for dessert, YUM. I also had an extremely nice pear cider which I hope to locate in Toronto.

On the way back, we checked out the town of Ucluelet. We mainly checked it out because of the unusual name (apparently it means "safe harbour"). A ton of whale-related business names. Later, we discovered that Ucluelet has dubbed itself the whale-watching center of the West Coast (or Canada).

Ucluelet is a charming town, with interesting shops and an area which is obviously booming with real estate potential...we drove around several forested roads which showed evidence of heavy residential construction. We also investigated a Roots resort in the area.

On the way back to the Inn we decided to stop off at Long Beach, where we clambered up some rocks to watch the surf and the sunset.

I've thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Wickininnish, and I love this area. As I've mentioned before, Jeff and I have already decided to come back for a future anniversary stay! :-)

Tomorrow we leave for the Japan leg of the trip, driving the car back to Vancouver via the ferry, staying at the Vancouver Hilton. We fly to Tokyo the day after tomorrow! I'm super-excited about visiting Japan for the first time AND seeing our friend Alison again.

Hey, I heard talking on the balcony below our room a few minutes ago and was in time to catch Jeff in his pre-treatment (Hot Stones Massage) foot soak. Looking forward to hearing how he enjoyed the experience. I took a photo, see below.

And HEY, according to a posting by Beckett in Blatherchat, the Snyders are now in the hospital, with Amanda about to give birth any minute! (if she hasn't already!!) All our good wishes go with you, Amanda and Scott!!!!

Today's Blatherpics

Jeff and me on Long Beach, waiting for the sunset.

- Long Beach.

- A sign at an entrance to Long Beach, warning people about the dangerous currents.

- Welcome sign for the town of Ucluelet.

- Sign we found at the Wickaninnish Information Center. Jeff is pointing to points on the map indicating Tokyo (top) and Vancouver Island (bottom right). We'll be flying to Tokyo the day after tomorrow. :-)

- Jeff, enjoying a foot soak before his Hot Stones Massage.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

Have you ever gone swimming in the ocean?

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