Okay, now that the mood has been set in Stage 1 (shout out to my beautiful wife), let me break down how the actual trip went!
 
Stage 2: Road Trip
 
The day began early, let’s say 6ish, but let’s be honest, anything earlier than 10am on a Sunday is early. We had our remaining possessions (those that hadn’t been given away or stored at Lana’s dad’s house) stacked neatly at the front door of 9241 awaiting our foggy-headed attention. We wisely decided NOT to load the vehicle the night before due to our sketchy new neighbours across the street, who had been paying impressive attention to our comings and goings in the week leading up to and following our move. Never before have we locked our deadbolt as consistently, so thanks weirdos across the street! Back to the story at hand. We did a quick morning trip to Rob’s for a final drop-off (air mattress, bedding, etc.), then loaded our little RAV4 and hit the road by 9am.

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Once we were finally in the car it was like “holy crap, this is real!” Leading up to this realization we were kind of in a weird trance-state. We were preoccupied with thoughts of our affairs and getting everything in order before setting ourselves free! It was a week, following our last day at work, where we had almost literally every moment spoken for/scheduled; not allowing much freedom to day-dream or mentally prepare. This preoccupation was absolved the instant we left Edmonton, and what an amazing feeling! The feeling might draw comparisons to those unfortunate souls who headed west during the Great Depression, searching for a land of promise/opportunity! Not to equate our lives in Edmonton to the dust bowl of the 30s or anything 🙂
 
After stopping briefly in Edson to say goodbye to my sister Janine, her husband Jerrad, and their two boys Kael and Wyatt (thanks for muffins and coffee!), we made a literal mile to Kamloops where we were graciously greeted by Lana’s mom, Brenda and her partner Gary. Brenda had a killer meal prepared for us, as usual, and cat-nip boxes (aka ‘cat-traps’) for our traumatized cat, Gus. I should mention that Gus took the entire trip like a champ. Life hack: use cat pheromones wipes on the kennel to sedate your little monster angel. We barely heard a peep out of the little guy during our entire trip (2 full days of driving). Although as loving cat parents we were concerned with the fact that he didn’t eat or pee/poo at all. But never fear, all is back to normal!

IMG_4536After a super restful stop in Kamloops (thank you SO much Brenda & Gary for having us!), we reluctantly jumped back into the car for the remaining push. Through the BC interior and past Vancouver, we eventually made it to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal to reach Vancouver Island. Here’s a link for a news story about a guy that jumped off of a ferry on the same route as us, on the same day. Thankfully it wasn’t on our boat!

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From Horseshoe Bay we traveled to Nanaimo where we hit a Costco (cuz who can live without bulk cashews?) then headed to Nanoose Bay for another well deserved/appreciated pit-stop at my aunty Deanna and uncle Frank’s place for tea and a quick visit. After touring their gorgeous property near Englishman River and in the shadow of the Beaufort Mountain Range (I hope I got that right?) we made the final push to the Buckley Bay Ferry Terminal where we caught the 10 minute ferry to Denman Island, then the 7 minute ferry to Hornby Island.

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In total, it was an exhausting 18+ hour trip leaving Lana and I fatigued and Gus pretty much ready to crawl into a hiding place and remain unbothered for a few days. In my humble opinion: totally worth it! Despite honestly looking forward to the trip with increasing dread, it was really not that bad, although I am happy it is over. At least moving forward we know not to attempt giving our cat liquid Gravol in a syringe (nightmarish results, including foaming at the mouth!) and to silence all cat-toys in the vehicle before setting off (we have a chicken-chew toy that goes “chirp-chirp-chirp” that I am surprised still had a battery charge at the end of the trip).

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Next up, Stage 3: Holla Hornby!

 

-Aaron

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