Goodbye Victoria, Hello Nanaimo

victoriasiteRain has defined our time on Vancouver Island.  I guess this is where they coined the adage:  April showers bring May flowers.  While some trees are already in blossom, it is easy to see that others are on the cusp.  We are all just waiting for sunshine.   Naniamosite

For most of the week we have spent in Victoria I have been under the weather, and to be honest, I am wondering if it isn’t better to cut our stay on the island short and head home – a sentiment I keep to myself for now, wanting to give Nanaimo a chance.  I am just being sulky – the cold weather is never good for someone with chronic illness.

It is only a short, two-hour drive to Nanaimo, and although we take the major highway, we have to laugh at how different it is from other roads we have travelled.   Often the road narrows to one lane heading north, and there are traffic lights along the route.  It is still raining, and I snooze for a bit, and then we chat, and before I know it we arrive at our destination:  Living Forest Oceanside Campground.

This place is spectacular.  It literally is a living forest, and I feel the mood of the past week lifting.  Immersed in nature, I decide, is so much preferable to city life for me.  As I stand amongst the trees waiting for Ric to unhook the truck, I am serenaded by robins, Juncos, and even a hummingbird.  I am itching to take my camera and walk around, but we need to get settled.

yellowcurryricebowlAs is our routine, after setting up we head out to explore the area and find a meal.  After searching trip advisor, I suggest a Thai restaurant downtown, but when we arrive the place isn’t open yet, so we wander down the street and find Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe.  I am in heaven.

Gabriel’s has gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, as well as dishes to suit meat eaters like my husband.  I have the yellow curry rice bowl (one of my comfort foods) and Ric has the salmon chowder and salmon burger.  The meals are so substantial that we end up taking half home for the next day.  So delicious.

Tummies satisfied, we head to the grocery store nearby, where people stop to chat as if we are old friends, and we gather that the atmosphere here is a little more laid back than Victoria.

greenoutside.pngIt is the same back at the campsite.  People drop by to offer help, and all say: “You’ll be back” when we tell them this is our first visit.  Such sunshine in the midst of so much rain.

Yes, it is still raining, but from every window of the motor home I see green, and I’m glad I kept my former feelings to myself.  I want to enjoy every minute that we have here.

And tomorrow – I’m finally going to see a dentist.  Hallelujah.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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