Easy living is what I like to consider the return for investing in and committing to hard work. Everyone deserves to take some time to relax and enjoy the fruits of extended stretches of work. Of course, one of the most common ways to do so is by going away on vacation. In this case, the destination was Victoria, British Columbia and Vancouver, B.C. via Abbotsford, B.C..
The five day getaway during the July 4 weekend, included a 16-hour day of driving to our destination from the San Francisco Bay Area and a couple of “mindblowing” developments along the way.
(Side note: everyone who does or plans on traveling multiple times from the bay to the pacific northwest should drive at least once.)
The first and foremost mindblowing development I had no idea about it until it happened. Native Oregonians (hopefully that’s what they’re called) WILL NOT allow you to pump your own gas and they’re very serious about it! During our journey along I-5 North, we stopped at a local gas station close to Medford, OR, and were borderline accosted by the station attendant when exiting the car to pay for and pump gas. Granted, having someone else pump your gas is absolutely amazing, but I just recently learned Oregon is one of two states (New Jersey) that either bans or restricts self service gas stations. Needless to say, I was floored by the concept of someone insisting to pump your gas for you and all the more shocked to hear it’s a matter of state law!
The second mindblowing development was the ferry ride into Victoria. As someone commuting to San Francisco on a regular basis, I’ve become accustomed to the ferries operating to and from San Francisco; You park your car at the ferry terminal (in my case, Larkspur) en route to SF. Seating for passengers is on a first come, first serve basis and a small snack bar is available if you want to grab something quick to drink or eat. When we found out that we had to take a ferry into Victoria, naturally the question arose of how we would get around if we had to park and leave our car at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal?
“You can drive your car onto the ferry and take it with you!”
“Ummmm excuse me, what do you mean ‘drive your car onto the ferry’???”
“Yeah, just pay extra to have the ferry transport your car with you! Then you’ll be able to drive around Victoria!”
Prior to seeing it, I simply assumed that San Francisco passenger ferries were the operating standard for all passenger ferries everywhere. Obviously this is not the case, and just like that I was floored by another locational concept: Convenient vehicle transport via boat. On top of that, there were full dining areas onboard this ferry, and assigned play areas for children. One warning for potential future travelers though… The ferry was by no means cheap. It cost well over $300 for a single round trip for five plus or vehicle.
Mindblowing aside, Victoria and Vancouver were amazing. With our first stop being in Victoria, we spent most of the day post ferry ride at Butchart Gardens. This national historic site boasts approximately 55 acres with of gardens, so naturally there was a lot to see. Fortunately, there are plenty of maps to guide sightseers which makes touring at your own pace a breeze. Unfortunately, the night time attractions the gardens offer weren’t apart of this journey. No description will do the beauty of the gardens any justice so below are a few photos that captured some of the feels were were able to take in while at the gardens.
Our second mini excursion while in British Columbia was a small venture from Abbotsford to Vancouver. We spent our time there exploring the shops on Robson Street. For those who don’t already know, Robson street is the shopping Mecca of Vancouver located downtown. Sprawling several blocks, this shopping district likely has well over 100 shops and is a massive playground for a variety of budgets. As one who makes purchases sporadically, the highlight of Robson Street was the general ambience. Bustling crowds, and flashy store entrances particularly caught my eye as well as a few glimpses of the luxury shops located a block over on Alberni Street. If you’re looking for a place to shop until you drop, or even get a full experience window shopping, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and explore Robson Street, as it may take an entire day to do so. There are also a number of restaurants available to curb your appetite should you work one up while walking around.
Overall, the experience was amazing. A lot of firsts happened during my most recent round of #easyliving. First time driving longer than 6 hours, first time in Oregon, Washington, Victoria and Vancouver, and my first time at a full service gas station among other things. In all of these firsts are now unforgettable memories that were made possible through hard work behind the scenes prior to this getaway. Obtaining these memories and experiences are the highlight of #easyliving in all aspects where it counts.
#HARDWORKEASYLIVING – Do HWEL For Yourself