July 23: Vancouver to Kingfisher Resort

The Hooge reunion was over on the afternoon of Sunday, July 22, 2012. We checked out of the YWCA and spent the afternoon and evening with our son, Ian in Burnaby. We stayed at the Lake City Inn and Suites near his place for the night. Since our cruise to Alaska didn’t start until Friday, July 27, we decided to take the ferry over to Vancouver Island and explore the northern part of the island.
Map showing our travels
This map shows the extent of our travels on Vancouver Island. We stayed at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa near Comox for two nights and stayed at the Travelodge in Victoria for our last night on the island.

Lining up for the ferry at Horseshoe Bay We were one of the last cars on the ferry Leaving Vancouver behind

On Monday morning we got to the ferry terminal in what we thought was good time. However, when we boarded the ferry, we were one of the last cars to get on board. Once everything was secure, the ferry got underway and we steamed out into the Strait of Georgia leaving Vancouver behind.

Homes along the shore of Bowen Island Approaching Nanaimo's dock in Departure Bay Sand sculpting competition in Parksville

Before very long we were could see the Vancouver Island and headed for the Nanaimo dock in Departure Bay. One we got off the ferry, we drove north along the highway near the shore. We stopped at the town of Parksville and saw a sign giving directions to the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting competition and exhibition.

Entrance to the Competition and Exhibition Sign for the Competition sculpted from sand Woman with chickens - Poultry in Motion

We parked the car and headed into the grounds. The competition was over but we could look at all of the sculptures that had been made – including a sign for the competition. Near the entrance was a sculpture depicting a woman with a violin with several chickens. It was entitled Poultry in Motion. Bad pun; bad, bad pun.

Be the wind. Two kids and a tire entitled Learning curve A wood spirit sculpted from sand

There were a wide variety of sculptures. Some were sculpted by a single sculptor while other more complex pieces were the work of a team. The first sculpture is of a woman with wind-tossed hair and scarf. The second showed tow kids playing with a large truck tire. The third seemed to be some sort of a wood spirit.

A Joan of Arc figure A Medieval Mansion Park and playground near the exhibition

The first photo shows a Joan of Arc figure while the second is of a medieval mansion. There were many more sculptures but to see them all you’ll have to head to Parksville yourself. The next Canadian Open Competition is July 13-14 and the Exhibition is from July 15 until August 18, 9 AM to 9 PM. Adjacent to the competition and exhibition area is a nice park and playground.

Water-play area of the playground Climbing area Ride-on dinosaur and a plane to climb

The playground has an extensive water play area with a water slide as well as sprinklers and misters to cool kids off on hot days. There were a wide variety of climbing areas including a plane to climb. There were several ride-on animals including this dinosaur.

Multi-hinged teter-totter. A zipline Climbers and slides

There were many play pieces such as this multi-hinged teter-toter that I had never seen before. I had seen a mini zipline in a playground in Ecuador. but never in lawsuit-prone North America. It was a really neat playground!

A flower bed in Parksville Ornamental thistles Roadside flowerbed.

The east side of Vancouver Island was very attractive. There were attractive flowerbeds almost everywhere you looked. The temperature is rarely below freezing in the winter. However, during the winter there is a lot of rain, drizzle and fog.

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa One of the flowerbeds near the resort entrance A bed of pink dahlias

The Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa is a beautiful resort just south of the town of Comox. In early July Travelzoo had advertized a special offer for two nights at the Kingfisher and we took advantage of the offer. It is really a very nice place. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with colorful flower beds all over.

Flowers near the parking area The beds in our room. The sitting area of our room.

We parked our car and headed up to the room. It was a very nice room with two queen-sized beds and a nice sitting area with wi-fi so I could use my laptop.

View of the spa from our balcony Walkways and lower tier rooms as seen from our balcony. Shoreline and lower tier rooms at the Kingfisher

We had a nice view of the pool, the spa, and the flowerbeds and walkways from our balcony. When we walked down to the shore we could see the lower set of rooms that are below the spa, walkways and restaurant.