Usually as we set out to create a new blog here at the Hollow, Mr. Toad will give me some incredibly inspirational photos and then we put our little green heads together until we put the last period at the end and call it a wrap! But today, perhaps because it is finally Spring and suddenly it’s okay for grown-ups to play in the dirt, or maybe because April Fools’ Day recently passed and I’m still feeling a little cheeky, we are going to shake things up a bit.
Touring around our little island is somewhat of a passion for us. No matter where you choose to rest your eyes, they are in for some kind of treat. Mountains, valleys, ocean, lakes, rivers, blue skies, friendly folks, the list just goes on as far as the horizon. So, understandably, it would be very difficult to choose a favourite. But today, since the golden skies have put me in somewhat of a jubilant mood, I am going to share with you all some of my very favourite things about living on Vancouver Island.
When you visit an island, you spend a lot of time looking in. When you live on an island, you spend an equal amount of time looking out. The landscape does not end at the shore, it is simply where you can tie your boat and claim your tiny homestead. Every year as the grey slowly comes apart at the seams, revealing months of lazy summer days stretched out as far as the eye can see, new explorers from all reaches of the Earth chug and bob their way to our coastal towns to become de facto neighbours for a while. Cowichan Bay marina is one of three major marinas in our area, and one of my favourite places to watch the island grow. Comfortably seated on the terrace of one of my favourite restaurants, the Cow Cafe, and usually munching on a big basket of the best fries anywhere to be found, it is easy to see why an afternoon here could easily turn into anyone’s favourite thing!
It is not by accident that the Cowichan Valley is called the “Warmland”. It is truly the best word to describe both the area and its people. I am not sure if it is simply the relaxed island lifestyle or the fact that we really do have the best fries, but it’s not long before someone starts chatting to you and you find yourselves sharing stories all afternoon over a coffee, or another of my favourite things, a tall glass of Chardonnay!
Like a living art gallery, unique pieces crafted by numerous talented local First Nations’ artists are to be found not just on dark walls in obscure places, but as a part of the landscape. Like a pop-up storybook reminding us all of the rich heritage that surrounds us, each colourful piece tells a tale that is meaningful to each of us in its own distinctive way.
And of course, like any good story, we must save my very favourite thing for last. Looking out over the crystal blue water, the black mountains towering in the distance, and the myriad of floating pathways makes me think of my most favourite thing of all…walking hand in hand with Mr. Toad, capturing pictures of the place we love so dearly, and sharing them all with all of you.
Thank you so much for spending some time with us today! Please do drop by our comment section and let us know some of your favourite things. And if you find yourself irresistibly lured to our wonderful little warmland, let us know and we can add another entry to our list of favourite things, meeting you!
Until next time!