For my last day I went to the Breakwater with my family.
The Breakwater is located on picturesque Dallas road and is about a 1/4 mile out into the ocean. When I shared an apartment with my sister and her boyfriend in close by James Bay, I used to slap on the ol’ walkman (that’s right, the portable cassette player, I’m ancient!) and walk the Breakwater all the time. It’s a place to fill your lungs with the Pacific Ocean air and feel alive.
New for me this year was the addition of a railing along either side of the walkway. I was unsure about how I would feel about the railing as I consider myself a purist, who revels in tradition. The Breakwater, with no railings, was not for the faint of heart. You had to watch where you were going and you could truly be in a bit of danger if strong gusts of wind were swirling around.
This is a photo of the Breakwater I took last year so you can see how it was sans railing.
The verdict? I thought the railing was awesome. I even thought they should have done this years ago. It’s now much safer, wheelchair accessible and kinda looks cool, too!
There was also now a staircase down to the granite blocks below that the concrete breakwater is built on.
Of course, me and my sister descended the stairs and took the more extreme route for the way back to shore. I let her lead the way.
Walking the Breakwater is tradition for me everytime I visit the island. I love it. There is something absolutely invigorating about this structure and being out on the ocean.
I can’t believe that it took four parts to recap my trip but when I sat down to write the words just came flooding out! It was a memorable time for me, as most of these trips ‘home’ are. When you live in a different city than your family and close lifelong friends, the time spent with them is very precious. I miss seeing them on a regular basis, I don’t celebrate birthdays or the holidays with them in person and these yearly trips tend to encompass all of these missed milestones for me.
This visit was made extra special by my sister who gave me the most amazing gift.
My mother’s British passport from the late 1950’s.
As some of you know she passed away a number of years ago when I was 12 years old and there are many things I’ll never know about her life before she was a wife and mother. This passport gave me a small window into that unknown world.
For instance, she was 20 years old when she came to Canada, by herself. Not surprising as my mom is possibly the bravest human I’ve known. She stayed in Canada for a year and a half, then returned to England, only to come back to Canada again one year later. I think this was due to a suitor back in England who I believe she left for my father, the Canadian. She was employed as an Insurance Clerk in England before leaving. She was five foot eight.
The passport listed the address where she lived when she arrived in Victoria. Ironically, it was only two blocks from where my sister lives now. We drove by to check it out.
Then took a bunch of pictures like crazy stalkers and probably scared the bejeebus out of the people living there now! I imagined her walking up those front steps with her long legs and confident stride, all young and full of life. I can also tell you that that front garden would have been well attended, lush and blooming. She would not have been impressed with it’s current ‘wild’ state.
This was the best gift I’ve gotten and I love my sister for knowing how meaningful it would be for me and parting with it. Thanks, D:)
So there you have it. My time was up and I was off to the airport. As much I miss my friends and family in Victoria, I also missed my ‘other’ family in Ontario who I love very much. I was so happy to see Joe at the airport, grateful he would drive out at 1am to pick me up. Happy to see my fur baby, Louis and kiss his furry little face. Happy to feel the comfort of my own home and bed.
Thanks to my family and friends for a memorable trip and, god willing, I will see you all next year for more adventures:)
Even though I live in Ontario, I’m still very much a west coast girl.