Packing up

I'm packing up and leaving. I'm not moving, just going on an annual vacation to Parksville on Vancouver Island. We're going to be a little early to take in the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition, a world-class event held in August at Parksville beach. During August, there are lots of things going on like volleyball and croquet tournaments, fireworks, and a bike-a-thon. There's a water park, skate board park, tennis courts and lots of space to fly kites. The beach is usually crowded with families tanning and swimming. The tide goes far out and the water is warm and shallow. It's not Hawaii or Miami, but I look forward to returning every year.

We visit Coombs where there is a market with goats on the roof, Little Qualicum Falls, Cathedral Grove full of huge trees, Qualicum Beach, and Nanaimo to shop and look around. We enjoy walks through Rathtrevor Park and in Parksville. There are several antique shops and used bookstores in the area. Some of the resorts are expensive but because we aren't paying for airfare to get there, we sometimes splurge and try out new places.

The Tigh-Na-Mara Spa Seaside Resort, Madrona Beach Resort and Ocean Trails Resort are popular. For a smaller budget, the Paradise Sea Shell Motel or VIP Motel will do. The Sea Edge Motel is right on the beachfront. On the Old Island Hall Hotel site, there are condominiums for sale starting at $400,000 for one or two bedrooms. Some condos include two beds plus a den. Timeshare is also available in a number of new developments. With Parksville going upscale, the city hopes to improve tourism.

I plan on taking my camera to get some nice shots of the beach at various times of day. I use the photos to create paintings of driftwood and sunsets. Driftwood isn't new subject matter for artists, especially in the island community, but my style is very recognizable. Enjoy your week. I know I will.

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