Sunday, September 4, 2011

Days 62 - 64: Saint Michelle

On the way from Vancouver to Vancouver Island.  The ferry terminal at 6:00am

On the bottom deck, in from the rain

On the top deck, in the rain. 

I took Kipper to the "pet room" (a very optimistic name for the small, sterile room the dogs were relegated to).  But Michelle was there!!  With Ryley, her gigantic Burmese Mountain Dog.  And we started talking about dogs (Kipper reminds her of a dog she used to have) and then we started talking about what to do on Vancouver Island and then I told her our tale of woe (taking care to keep far enough away from her so she couldn't tell I hadn't brushed my teeth yet).  And then.....she wrote down her address (see above picture) and said, "come to my house in Chemainus and take a hot shower and have some breakfast and dry out Le Tigre."  Oh yes thank you Saint Michelle!!!!

And we did.  And we were/are so incredibly grateful for her hospitality.

Turns out Michelle is a chef and a medic and works at drill sites up in the Canadian bush, among other things.  She's got so many cool stories, many of which involve almost being eaten by something. Hey, there's lots of big, man-eating animals up here!!

In between delicious, home-cooked meals and wonderfully entertaining stories, we spent a lot of time at the beach (omg, omg, omg, it's the beach, the beach, the beach!!!!) with Ryley and Kipper.

Ahhhh, instant friends.  I like this picture because you can really see the difference between the two breeds.  The border collie is built for agility and speed and the burmese mountain dog is built for strength and cold weather.  And Ryley is just 120 pounds of snuggly love.

Try to guess which dog is which. Yeah, I know, it's hard to tell, right?

In between delicious, home-cooked meals, awesome stories, and walks on the beach, Greg and I were able to explore the town a bit. Chemainus is a little town on the southeast coast of the island. On almost every building in downtown are huge murals that tell the story of the town.

Hee hee

So, like I said, Michelle is a chef.  Oh yum.  Also, she knows everybody, so she was able to get these huge, fresh salmon with just a phone call. 



We ended up staying with Michelle for three days.  We didn't mean to, it just kinda happened!  While we were there, Michelle's cousin, Erin, came for a visit. She was on a road trip across Canada with her two sons.  And one evening, she took us out for Cesars (Canadian version of the Bloody Mary, made with Clamato instead of tomato juice) and prawns.  Man, those prawns were freaking amazing!!  Thanks Erin!!

This is Greg, me, Erin's sons Nick and Michael, then Michelle, and Erin.  I think Ryley and Kipper are having a tiff.  They're not even ACTING like they like each other!! 

Thanks so much Michelle!!!  You really made two hapless travelers so happy!! 

Oh wait, our story with Michelle isn't over...........

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