A trip from Toronto to Tofino

by Susan Ponting

On the way to Tofino, we drove through some of the most beautiful terrain in the world and scenery that rivals Coastal Route One along the California coast. There’s just nothing like seeing this kind of beauty in person.

The road to Tofino was not cheap. Like Toronto, gas is expensive, and it cost close to $100.00 to fill the Hyundai tank.

We stopped many times just to catch our breath and soak in the beauty: lakes, mountains, even a baby bear grazing on the side of the winding road.

We stopped to take in the not-to-be-missed Cathedral Grove where the trees, some 500 to 800 years old, grip you like a long lost friend.

As we traveled along Pacific Rim Highway 4 into Tofino, we stopped at the Tourist Bureau. They cautioned that most of the motels were booked solid, so we took the first motel we could find, The Weigh West Motel. It was, let’s just say, not the Century Plaza. But the people were accommodating, and it was quiet. That night we ate at the Schooner Restaurant where we had surf-line grab, baby back ribs, and drinks for $104.72 before tips.

A trip to Tofino is not complete without seeing the surfers. We set out early on a foggy morning. Handsome and beautiful surfers of all ages prepared to weather the cold waters, I assume, to catch their reason for living for another day.

The next day we stopped in Uclulet and had an awesome homemade breakfast at the Cynamoka Coffee HouseThey also sell local aboriginal art. The co-owner and cook told me about the powerful Pacific storms that hit this coast during the winter months.

From Vancouver to Victoria, Tofino, and back again, it was a trip to remember. It’s a pity flying within Canada is more expensive than flying to the U.S. or even Europe.

Still, with the beauty surrounding all of our friends in BC, like all good Canadians, they complain profusely about the weather. Pat says it’s the kind of rain that gets into your bones, and gets a grip on you so tight it “won’t let go.”  Genoa, born and raised in Vancouver says you “couldn’t get me to move if you tried.” She says the rain is, “better than snow.” And I’d have to agree.

But according to our BC-born and raised friend, Alison, who is a huge fan of Toronto and misses living here, “Come visit in late January and February, and you’ll really get a sense of what the winter is like here.” She too, says the winter rain is terrible and somehow gets into every part of your body.

They groused about the “big one,” that they hope doesn’t come (referring to the apparently imminent earthquake). And, they rightfully complained about the over inflated economy and how foreign investment is unreasonably driving up the prices. And don’t get them started on HST!

The blues scene in Vancouver is almost non-existent. There’s only one blues bar, The Yale Hotel, but for the most part, Pat Axe says, “It really lacks any kind of local scene.”

A part of me thought the complaints were like the bumper stickers in California,“Welcome to California. Now go home.” They really don’t want more people coming to B.C., so they say things about the weather and how we won’t like it if we ever moved there.

As Sam and I walked along the ocean soaking up the sun and noticing how different Vancouver is from Toronto, we agreed that we both feel a certain belonging there. Of course everything’s more beautiful on vacation, but we have an affinity for this beautiful place.

And we will be back.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a marsh mellow candy apple!

This article was previously published on January 11, 2012. 

WATCH: Bedroom turned into princess paradise while roommate is away

When Tom, aka Redditor Twoverend, was overseas for two months his housemates set to work changing his normal, drab bachelor bedroom into something a little more pink.

All his buddies set to work transforming every aspect of his bedroom from what a regular guys might enjoy to something more fit for a 7-year-old princess loving girl might enjoy. Their rationale being that since he is English he loves the monarchy, and their duty was to get to work setting up a new fairy princess kingdom for him to arrive home to.

Complete with imitation crown moulding, collages of photoshopped princess photos of Tom, paintings of fairies, and pink lace as far as the eye can see it is safe to say their mission was a success.

Watch the video for Tom’s reaction upon returning from his trip at 1:30 in the morning.

Below are some photos of the transformation.

Check out Tom’s full photo album here.


Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Stand by me

Last week was incredibly stressful, I had a lot going on and I felt all kinds of overwhelmed — but when I needed him most there was Boyfriend with a smile, a hug, and a plan.

On Friday night he rented a car, picked me up after work and we went off on an impromptu road trip to Niagara Falls; it rained almost all night but we were undeterred we went for dinner at a Brazilian steak house, went to all the tourist traps and visited the falls in the rain. While we stood beside the falls hiding under the $12 umbrella that we purchased at a gift shop Boyfriend insisted on having a make-out session in the rain because he saw it in a movie once and thought it would be funny.  It was. It was also only slightly, just a little bit, romantic. I fell asleep in the car on the way home and the evening came to a perfect end.

The next day we took off again, this time to Port Dover, for mini-golf, lunch by the beach and walks in the sand. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday especially because we finished the day by racing around in go-karts in the rain, he won three times, I won once – but I won last which basically makes me the winner supreme.

Knowing that I have Boyfriend by my side makes me feel like I can tackle anything the world throws at me because I know that no matter what happens he’ll always be there with a ridiculous joke, a terrible pun, a picture of his cats doing something insane or just a hug and he gives the best hugs. Boyfriend believes in me, really believes that I can do anything I put my mind to and that kind of support is something rare and worth holding on to.

When I was little I used to get angry at my mum because she would always try and make me laugh when I was crying and sometimes all you want to do is cry and stamp your feet and be mad at the world but my mum would never let me do that; Boyfriend is like that, no matter how upset or stressed out I am, he does his very best to make me laugh when all I want to do is be grumpy and stamp my feet. Sometimes the solution is cake sometimes it’s letting me listen to the country music that he hates while we drive 2 hours from home for dinner and a visit to the wax museum.

Boyfriend is my person and when I get good news he’s the first person I want to call and when I get bad news he’s the first person I need to talk to and no matter how stressed out or crazy the world gets I know he’ll be by my side, probably attempting to make me smile when all I want to do is be angry; it’s just hard to be angry when you’re head over heels for your boyfriend.