The Mid-Week Anthology ~ August 2016 ~

Can't get enough of the AESTATE wall tapestries.
Can’t get enough of the AESTATE wall tapestries.

I miss doing these curated lists. But frankly, the interwebs cruising has not happened much these days. We’re settling into our new place, developing in our new life rhythms and hanging out with old (visiting) friends and getting to know new island buds. This summer has been fantastically, exhaustingly, excitingly busy. Our neighbour warned us that there was literally a-festival-a-weekend here on Haida Gwaii, and she was not joking.

My summer highlights so far? Swimming at Gray Bay,  remembering my inner activist during the Buffy St. Marie set at Edge of the World, watching the Clan Together Born pole go up and watching our son scramble for parade candy. We thought we would be doing a lot more campfire cooking this year but believe it our not our rainforest-fringed island home is experiencing a level 3 drought. It’s green here with pretty major swatches of brown, so there are not a lot of campfires these days.

And now onto some sweet stories, recipes and fixations.

We found a sweet off-grid glamping getaway during a misty, fun weekend in Masset, BC. More about our stay at North Beach Cabins coming soon.

My new favourite Society 6 shop the AEState: think tropics, cacti & buffalo.

Story-listening: thanks to Jallian at Savoir There for her podcast recommendation for The Moth.

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Luxe RV Holiday Dreams + Our First Birthday

Airstream photo credit: J Brossard/Flickr/CC
Airstream photo credit: J Brossard/Flickr/CC

This week marks a couple of fun times for Anchors + Proteas. We celebrated the blog’s first birthday this week by making a giant chocolate cake that lasted all week long. As the weather starts warming up, my mind turns to summer trip planning. Enter: my adult fixation with Airstream trailers. For some reason Airstreams remind me of my youth and camping with my grandparents. Though they didn’t own an Airstream (they owned a Citation 5th Wheel) they were always in the campgrounds we visited.

To mark Anchors + Proteas first 366 days of publishing, I thought I’d walk you through some of my fantasy RV resorts, where the style is abundant and the actual parking of your accommodation a non-issue.

I grew up exploring British Columbia in RVs with my mom and grandparents during the summer. We would inevitably pull up to a clear, cool lake or river, set up camp and dive into a weekend of hot dogs, wrinkly toes from too much lake time and close quartered board games. In my teens, my RVing experience upgraded when my grandparents bought a fairly deluxe 5th wheel trailer which they treated like their fourth child: each winter they would tuck it gingerly in bed and each spring, just as carefully, wake the Citation up for numerous baths, meals and many-wheeled trips around southern B.C.

The RV adventures I swoon over these days are more sedentary in nature, the types of journeys that require beginner-level backing up skills and a fraction of the gas price. The kind of Airstream, Boler or converted bus experience I’m fantasizing about focuses on ease, location and style. In other words: we arrive, unpack our groceries, throw on our flip flops and R-E-L-A-X.  Herewith, my fantasy Airstream-esque trips from around the globe.  Read more

Nostalgia and Inspiration for Cozy Cabin Time Getaways

Cabin time in the Shuswap
Cabin time in the Shuswap. Photo credit: Lindsay & her dad. 

Each Labour Day weekend for about five years a group of us  would flee Vancouver to escape to a chain of lakes called the Shuswap. The agenda: three days of low-key, fun-as-heck cabin time. The chain of warm, clean lakes were ideal for fishing/boating/ kayaking/swimming and were a major draw for vacationers from B.C. and Alberta. Unlike, say, the Okanagan, the Shuswap area hasn’t been completely developed and polished. There are still trailer parks and gas stations that also pose as liquor stores/bakeries/ andgrocery stops. The chain of tiny lakeside unincorporated towns that fringe the north shore of the Shuswap are rough around the edges: they have volunteer fire departments, dusty community halls, karaoke-filled pubs and not a time share in sight (for the most part).

One such gem of an area is Celista, where my friend Lindsay’s family owns a cute little two bedroom cabin that’s straight out of the late 1970s/early 1980s. To get there, you have to drive through some tiny towns, past must-stop bannock seller, across some salmon bearing rivers and around a few hectic narrow turns to arrive at one of the best cabins I’ve ever hung my hat(s) in.  Every Labour Day weekend, Lindsay’s family would let a gaggle of us carouse at the cabin while her and her then-partner James would play host and boat captain(s).  Read more

24 Hours in Drumheller, Alberta: Dinosaurs, Villages and Family Friendly Fun

The ephemera of the Last Chance Saloon keeps both you and old occupied until your food arrives.
The ephemera of the Last Chance Saloon keeps both you and old occupied until your food arrives.

As we scrambled down a steep, clay covered canyon I decided to swallow my pride and just slide down on my backside. I was the caboose on this little, yet treacherous, hike down to a plateau overlooking the many levels of Horse Thief Canyon. I slide down, back side grazing the clay because I had a 24 pound human on my back and was feeling about as sure footed as a newborn foal.

Once at the bottom of the 25 metre descent, I stood up, kid chattering away on my back, dusting off my clay covered gluteus.   The only other backside slider in my hiking group was my friend’s five year old daughter. We gave each other high fives after our little scramble and set out to examine the many interesting rocks protruding from the crumbling clay and sandstone of the canyon sides. There was even an area flat enough to let my son down and out of the backpack to waddle along the plateau.

Welcome to the canyons and hoodoos surrounding Canada’s dinosaur capital, Drumheller, Alberta.

My hiking buddies were a five-year old, nine year old (who leapt from steep surface to surface like a gazelle) and two of my dearest friends, their parents. Rewind to 48 hours previous when I received a welcome but totally spontaneous invite to join them in Drumheller. See my previous post about last minute travel decisions here.

You, see, when you get a call from a friend who lives faraway on Vancouver Island, you drop weekend plans and start packing tout de suite.   Read more