Day trips: short but sweet

By Shanna Baker

Photo: Derrick Lundy

I started my job as editor of this magazine last August, just as summer was celebrating its last hurrah. There wasn’t time for a long vacation, so my son, Victor, and I planned a day trip from our home on Saltspring Island to southern Vancouver Island. We rose on that Saturday morning, threw our swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, and kites into the car, and headed off to the Fulford ferry teminal.

After a lazy lunch in Sidney, we hopped a passenger ferry to Sidney Spit Marine Park, part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, just 25 minutes away on Sidney Island. As we rode through the waves, we felt as if we were traveling to some exotic tropical destination, especially when we reached the Spit, a sliver of land with soft, white sandy shores. We raced along the beach with our kites, played in the water, and learned about different sea creatures from an onsite interpreter.

Later that afternoon, as the sun began its descent, we travelled back to the wharf, where we poured the sand out of our shoes and commenced the second part of our adventure. A mere 45 minutes later, we were enjoying sushi in the elegant dining room of Brentwood Bay Lodge. Then, after dinner, we took a water taxi to the backdoor of the famous Butchart Gardens to enjoy their weekly fireworks display. There were throngs of visitors in the gardens that night, but after the show ended, we were able to quickly slip through the crowd, right back to our waiting water taxi.

It may have been brief, but the simplicity of our day trip was truly refreshing. I felt rested and restored after our little adventure. Without the stress of packing, security lineups, and the time commitment of a longer trip, there was the freedom to just enjoy one another’s company. Plus, it was easy on the pocketbook.

We profile some grand adventures in this issue, including luxury train travel (“Ticket to ride,” page 24) and “Hut-to-hut hiking in Wells Gray” (page 50). But we hope to inspire you to make time for the occasional day trip, too. The first installment of our new page, “Day Trip Diary,” appears on page 68. Join Vancouver-based writer Remy Scalza as he travels to the reversible rapids at Skookumchuck Narrows on the Sunshine Coast. In future issues, we’ll travel with local writers from around the province to bring you more great day trip ideas.

Whether you’re planning a day trip or a long outdoor adventure, I hope you enjoy this issue and your travels throughout B.C. this spring.

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Christine Ly

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