Sunday, 13 July 2014

She's a Daaaaay Tripper

I love a road trip but lengthy ones are not on for me these days.  A day trip is almost as good and there are plenty of beautiful places on Vancouver Island.  I decided to take a day trip to Qualicum Beach and when I found out that my friend and neighbour, Vera, could use a bit of cheering up and a change of scene, I invited her along.

We had a lovely time and I was a very efficient shopper, cheerfully supporting the Qualicum independent merchants as I scooped up summer dresses on sale and assorted tie-dyed items.  I even bought some locally crafted rings which I fell madly in love with.  Qualicum, a pretty seaside down of a little over 8,500 people, many seniors, is filled with little shops carrying the types of clothing I love most and of which there is next to none in my own town.  Qualicum is not afflicted with Big Box stores, due to its very close proximity to the city of Nanaimo which serves the Big Box shoppers quite thoroughly and is a significant shopping destination for much of Vancouver Island's population living mid and north island.  At forty-five minutes down the highway from Comox, where I live, I could definitely manage a trip there each season for wardrobe rejuvenation.  It is a significant tourist desination so it tends to be feast or famine for these downtown shops, with business being abundant in summer and only a small trickle in winter.

 We also had a lovely lunch and visited two markets, the farmer's market which sets up downtown on Saturdays and the ever present and popular Coombs Country Market, known for its goats on the roof.


The day was also remarkable for the heat!  Thirty-one degrees is a bit much for me, but at least the car has A/C.  My friend is originally from South Africa so she is a little more used to heat than I am, though she did live in London for ten years.  She wore a beautiful dress and looked as fresh as a daisy all day.  The dress I had on before leaving this morning was making a nuisance of itself with the straps constantly falling down my shoulders.  I hastily pulled it off and could not decide what to wear in place of it so finally settled on some loose cotton shorts and a blouse.  I spent the day feeling rather damp, wilted and sticky with sunscreen.

I also had a very severe attack of allergies.  Nothing life threatening, just the most extreme case of streaming eyes and running nose I've ever had.  This lead to a throbbing headache.  Even after I arrived home it took three more hours for the symptoms to taper off and they in fact got worse before getting better.  I tell you this to emphasise that it was actually a lovely trip and thus I was willing to suffer this horrendousness.  We had taken my car but we shared the driving and Vera drove home as by that point I was quite exhausted and visually impaired.   I had brought my camera, water and a large bunch of grapes with me but the only supplies I put to good use were the tissues and painkillers I'd brought.  I know myself well enough to always travel with those.

By now you have a good idea of just how ravishingly attractive I looked and how absolutely fantastic I felt in my own body.  Oops I hear the sarcasm alarm going off.  My physical misery was completely trumped however, by the joys of my purchases, the pleasure of Vera's company and all the pleasant conversations I had with shopkeepers and strangers on the sidewalk.  Vera and I are quite compatible shoppers and she is an easy companion always.  I did have to ignore all the bookshops I passed, which was not a small task for me, but the day was just not long enough to do markets, boutiques and antiques as well as books.   There will be another time.

Here are my non-clothing treasures of the day.  I haven't quite decided where to put the bells permanently so they hang here for now.


I increased my supply of gouache paint  and found a couple of rings I could not pass up, as well as the seastar earrings which are quite representative of my local environment.  Purple or orange seastars abound here.

The whole week is to be has hot as Saturday was, and I don't know what to expect beyond that but I hope it cools down a little.  

Yes, that is a heart-shaped rock my little shiny treasures are sitting on.  It's a battered heart, my favourite of all the heart shaped rocks my ex used to collect and bring home.  It was the only one I felt the need to take with me when I left the marriage and at the time I was only very vaguely aware of the symbolism of that.  I just always felt that I needed to protect that battered heart.

24 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear you were feeling so badly, but at least you had a fun day - and stimulated the local economy! Our hot weather cooled right down today, but I think we have more heat on the way. I'm sort of getting used to be sweaty.

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    1. We are having temps in the high twenties to low thirties all week but I will be staying out of the sun and mostly indoors near the electric fan. For someone who likes dressing in layers, this hot weather is confusing. I have to figure out how to wear minimal clothing but I still sweat in it!
      xoxo

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  2. Cute and beautiful items you got there esp the rings. Glad to hear you feel a lot better now. It's good you found items that you loved. xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Elsie. I can't stop staring at the rings I bought. I guess that means I love them!
      xoxo

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  3. Sounds like you had a splendid trip! 45 min - so close to you. I love towns which have only (or mainly) their own local shops - we are looking into moving to a town just like that. They have a vision. One of the most critical things in life... vision.

    Lovely finds, and I am looking forward to see the dresses!!! So sorry about your allergies and headache. I have a headache when it's too hot sometimes too. I try to drink more water (and I usually drink lots and lots of water anyway), it seems to help. I also have those annoying allergies sometimes - pink eye, sneezing non-stop. Yuck. Get better and rest, lovely friend! xxx

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    1. Yes, 45 min is quite close, though I will still find it difficult to drive there and back as well as spend several hours walking about and shopping etc. If I went on my own I would not stay as long. It would be lovely if there were a train that did the trip but it has long since been defunct and never did run regularly enough for day trips anyhow.

      I drink lots of water and tea and coffee, throughout the day, and definitely more water if its really hot. The amount of water I lost in snot alone must have been amazing. Okay, TMI? LOL
      xoxoxoxoxo

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    2. I understand. Take baby steps - spend there only a couple of hours next time, instead of whole day. It's good of your friend that she shared driving! And of course it will be easier when the heat is gone... I too prefer to stay cool, in front of the fan, when it's so hot and walking outside is challenging. My thighs just stick together when I walk on days like these. :))))))) TMI right back at ya! ;)

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    3. LOL-I don't have a thigh gap so mine stick together too unless I walk like I just got off a horse. Jennifer Aniston doesn't have a thigh gap either so we are in good company.

      I had originally planned to go on my own and would have only spent a couple of hours. I have a tendency not to want my own limitations to impede other people so I pushed myself so as to let my friend have a normal day. So far I am recovering okay and bouncing back quickly from things is a good sign and means I am improving.
      xoxo

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  4. beautiful jewels!!!!!
    love the colors of the rings! very pretty seastars! one can see the advanced handiwork put in it. love that. (i have a ring - purchased in 1990 on a market in your area, made by an impressive first nation silver smith)
    maybe you should do more trips so that your system gets used to it. half of the unwelcome body reaction come from the not commonplace excitement - i think :-)
    can´t wait to see the dresses!
    and the paintings with the guache!!!!!!
    xxxxxxxx

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    1. We do have lots of First Nations jewelry in our area and surprisingly I don't own any. I do hope to do more day trips in future but unfortunately my system cannot get used to things, it either can tolerate them or it can't. However, one of the pleasures of no longer teaching is that I can devote my limited supply of energy and stamina to other things and day trips are certainly on the agenda. I often take day trips with my parents since we enjoy each other's company and can share in the driving as mum is still young enough to easily do a few hours of it. We like to take picnics too. Being a single woman whose friends are all married and have families makes my social life a bit challenging at times but I also happily do things on my own.

      Dresses coming soon. By the end of the week, I think!
      xoxoxo

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  5. I have found out that I understand you posts in english much better than to let them translate by Google Translator. This is a big step forward for me :)
    Your day was certainly beautiful, full of great positive impressions. I would be very happy to have been there with you. Too bad you were feeling so badly.. poor one. Although I have no allergies or chronic diseases, but when it is extremely hot and bright, and I do not drink enough I get a very strong headach. Then nothing does more fun and I want only in the cool shade and tranquility. That is bad because I LOVE the summer and the sun.. but I must be a little bit carefully :)
    Your rings are divine.. also the cute earrings.. very good choice :)

    have a wonderful week dear
    Dana
    http://danalovesfashionandmusic.blogspot.de/

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    1. Sometimes Google Translate makes things less comprehensible. Well done for being able to make sense of it on your own. I am definitely not proficient enough in any other language to be able to do that.
      xoxoxo

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  6. I'm not familiar with the term Big Box so maybe its like the chain stores so ubiquitous up and down the high streets of the UK, homogenising our uniqueness and turning the population into identically dressed clones.
    Sorry you had a trying day but it sounds like the company and your fabulous finds more than made up for the trials and tribulations of the heat. xxx

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    1. Big Box stores are those franchises where you often buy in bulk or literally buy things in big boxes. The stores themselves are often shaped like a big box too. I think your B&Q might be one. One of the reasons the town of Qualicum has avoided them is that the very near neighbour, Nanaimo is full of them. Still, Qualicum relies a great deal on tourism for its economy and those little independent businesses don't do as well in the winter.
      xoxoxo

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  7. Oh dear ... there's nothing worse than having a lovely day out planned and then feeling unwell. Hope you've managed to sleep off the worst of it by now ... try to keep cool :0)
    xx

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    1. Especially when there is lots of snot involved! It's so not sexy! I did manage to sleep off the worst, thanks and am much better now.
      xoxo

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  8. I love your positive attitude and am glad that the good outweighed the bad! I love those rings you found, how gorgeous! I bought Chris a book for our anniversary that lists 100 day trips in the area we live. I can't wait to get started on them!

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    1. Thanks, I think life is so much easier with a positive attitude but I suspect I don't really get to take any credit for it but that I am just naturally that way.
      the book you bought sounds great and I hope you do get to take some day trips and feature them on the blog!
      xoxo

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  9. Sounds like a good day despite the heat! I love all of the little items you bought! Those rings are cuuuuuute!

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    1. Thanks, Sara! I love those rings so much I can't stop looking at them. I just knew I had to buy them!
      xoxo

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  10. Now you know it was a wonderful excursion if you can speak fondly of it despite the allergy attack! I have never been to Vancouver Island, but have heard it is beautiful, so a day trip sounds wonderful.

    As for your finds they are beautiful--- and I love the symbolism of the battered heart!

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    1. Yes, if I had a good time despite physical misery it was a good day! LOL I am very lucky to live on Vancouver Island as it is definitely a beautiful place. There are many places for day trips, though most are more about towns or rural places, with little in the way of city life here. Victoria is a lovely little city though and one of my favourite places to spend a weekend.
      xoxoxo

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  11. With the exception of the allergies, your day sounds lovely. I enjoy visiting quaint small towns. I'm in love with the rings too!

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    1. Yes, it was a lovely day and thanks for admiring my rings. I actually get excited putting them on each morning. LOL. They just make me happy.
      xoxo

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