Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Vancouver/Victoria flight (13.5 minutes of beauty)

taking off from Vancouver
My trip home from Quebec was delayed.  Instead of heading directly from Toronto to Victoria (at 10pm), I got only as far as Vancouver, and then had to wait the night, and take the morning flight from Vancouver to Victoria.

It is a VERY short flight: 13 or so minutes.  Not long enough for an in-flight beverage.  But then again, who NEEDS a beverage... the view out the window is everything a thirsty soul could want. 

The morning was grey, this is just my cellphone camera, and it is a view taken through an airplane window, but it still captures something of how stunning the world is in the 45 km of water that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland.
The ferry approaching Tsawassen terminal

approaching the Victoria airport

Charles Elliot totems at the Victoria airport

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Looks nice, but...

After the week in Quebec, it was time to come home. 

My timing seemed to be good: I made it to the airport, through security, and got myself nicely settled for the one hour flight from Montreal to Toronto, where I was to take a direct flight Toronto-Victoria, and be home in time for Alex's birthday.

But...to quote Dylan Thomas, "the weather turned around...."

There was a storm over Toronto, bad enough that they kept us waiting on the tarmac in Montreal for 2 hours. 

I was glad for the inflight entertainment system!
approaching the clouds

We finally headed out into the skies and got a chance to see what the storm looked like.

From above, it was not all that bad.... just looked like a beautiful sunset.

There was no ground below us, just a sea of thick cloud.

As we got closer to the clouds, it became clear that they were fairly dense.  

That kind of stuff doesn't usually bother me, but I have to say, the transitions were fairly abrupt.  

the pink softens
The colour bled out, then the light.  

At some point, you expect to see lights emerging below.  Here, it was still totally dark when we heard the 'thunk' of the landing gear dropping down. 

The first hints of light were shockingly close to the ground.  Interesting (if a bit disconcerting to see the ground come up at you so suddenly).

all was well... except for the fact that I had missed the Victoria plane.  

colour fades away
That meant the closest they could get me to home was Vancouver, and I would have to spend the night in an airport hotel.  

And the light vanishes
 It is depressing to know you will be that close (a short 45 km across the water) and still be unable to get home.  

Facts of life when you live on an island on the far west.

Couldn't help but look up at those glass sculptures on the ceiling at the toronto airport, and think that they were like me (suspended between the place they came from and the place they wanted to be).
flying people in the Toronto airport

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Riviere Ouelle - Kamouraska!

This week, I abandoned my three men in Victoria, and headed off to Quebec to spend the week with my co-researcher (and longtime friend!) Marie-Claire.  While we were there to work, who says you have to work in an office?   So, the morning after I arrived, she hustled me off to their cabin on the St. Lawrence River at Riviere Ouelle.It is about 1.5 hours from Quebec City.  I was freaked out when i learned i was in Kamouraska (since it is the first novel i read in french [after le petit prince]...Nothing like a good murder novel!

In any event, we set our bags down, and we headed off for a walk along the beach.  It was an amazingly calm day, which was interesting. She claims that the water is usually much rougher.  It is, after all, (she tells me) a FLEUVE and not just a mere RIVER.  \

red and grey rocks
OK.  so it is a fleuve.  We don't have a translation in english.... it is a river, but an ocean river.  She has always said that makes it special.  Maybe i agree.  :-)

shale?  or something else?
Being the St. Lawrence and all, it is salt water.  it felt a bit like being on the beach at tofino, but the rocks were totally different: a mixture of sand, some kind of 'shale'-like formations of mixed red and grey, occasional granite boulders (dropped in some iceage), and even patches of clay. 

Birch bark beauty
The mix of red and grey rock, with blue sky and water... well... it was lovely!   I was also a bit taken with the trunks all along the highwater mark.  It seemed that the red and grey in the rocks was echoes in the colour of the birch bark.  I don't get it, but that's what it looked like to me!

down by the quay

fabulous driftwood pieces of art

a chair to relax in

MC with lobster

RJ with lobster

In any event, it was a nice place to do a (small) bit of work, and eat some tasty food!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The boys out for the day in Victoria

My family seem to be mastering the art of taking photos via phone, because here are the photos that emerged today via steve's cell phone.

Clearly, it was a beautiful day.  Steve decided he and Duncan should take a bike ride.... all the way from our house to downtown

That really is a bit of a haul. 
on the other hand, what a day? 
Nothing like biking along the water's edge.

As for Alex?  No bike riding for him! Instead, he has been heading outside to just run.  running is good, he says.  He also says that it is better to run without shoes:  you get a better sense of the ground. 

Alex's big toe.  Now THAT is a blister!
That is probably true.

Of course, you can also get a brutal blister....