My friend, Louise, has a house and family in California. Still, she returns to Vancouver Island for a few months every year. “It’s the small towns out here that continue to lure me back,” Louise has frequently proclaimed. “There’s just so much going on…so many cool things to try out….It’s never boring!”
Today was an excellent example to substantiate Louise’s claim. For the first time in weeks, Richard and I awoke with nothing written on our calendars–no one expecting us anywhere, no place that we had to be. You’d almost think that we would lounge around in our PJs all day, drinking coffee and reading the Sunday News…that would make sense, wouldn’t it?
Somehow that didn’t quite happen. The SPCA was hosting their “Paws for a Cause” walk at ten a.m. at a park nearby. That was a respectable hour to begin, and you didn’t need to register in advance. We made it there in plenty of time for signup (as well as to dig into the complimentary coffee and donuts). We then joined local dog owners, and their dogs of all shapes and sizes, for a two-and-a-half kilometer walk along our town’s beachfront. The scenery across the shoreline was in full majestic splendor, complimented by the crisp September air.
Afterward, we joined in a few dog-themed games. Cody came in second in the ‘bobbing for hotdogs’ contest (seriously, we were shocked) …but dead last in the ‘sit on command’ game (that was no surprise at all). After the humiliation of the second contest, we headed to our local Starbucks. I had recently sampled their new Salted-Carmel Mocha, and I heard it calling my name!
Sitting outside at Starbucks, we saw a sign for ‘Party on the Drive.’ This is an annual celebration, in one of our beachfront resort areas, that features music, food and a variety of works by local artists. Last year, over 7,500 visitors attended this one-day event (that’s more than half the population of our small town). We checked Google Maps–it would be a pleasant thirty-minute stroll. That sounded great, so off we went.
It took us way more than thirty minutes to get there because there were so many interesting things to stop at along the way. The ‘Orange Bridge Flea Market,’ the local roadside seafood vendor, a visit to our favorite corner store and the side trip to the estuary that Cody insisted upon, were just a few of our delays.
We finally made it to Resort Drive, and the event did not disappoint. The wood fire pizza alone was totally worth the entire trip! We spent much time browsing, eating, and listening to the featured performers.
On the way back home, we stopped at a local fruit and vegetable stand to pick up a few fresh items for dinner. After our earlier indiscretions of special coffees, donuts, pizzas…and much more, a nice dinner salad was totally welcomed.
Louise was right. Small town living, especially in an island resort area, possesses a most definite charm! How about you? What is a favorite feature of your neighbourhood?