Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Father's Day trip by day (day trip?) to the Sunshine Coast

I am completely pathetic at titles. On the other hand, I guess they help me find old posts when I go looking in the past.

In the run up to Father's Day, I gave Andrew the choice of three Father's Day presents. All of which were Things We Could Do. 1. Brunch at Newlands, because Andrew likes food (who doesn't?!); 2. Day Trip to Bowen Island; 3. Day trip to the Sunshine Coast to see all the places I went for my Epic Birthday.

Andrew chose Door Number Three. So we picked Elisabeth up from her sleepover, hopped on the highway northwest, and drove on over to Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry to the coast.

Andrew and Elisabeth blew bubbles as the ferry pulled out of port. 

 If you've never taken the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, I highly recommend it. Tsawassen is pretty only by virtue of the fact you can see the islands, and the coal port is quite pretty. Horseshoe Bay is beautiful because there are mountains and islands and nooks and crannies EVERYWHERE. It is wonderful.

 Before David was born, my department did a team building exercise where we rented speed boats from Sewell's Marina in Horseshoe Bay, and toured all over the little islands nearby. It is still one of the Best Days of My Life and I highly recommend it.

 We arrived on the Sunshine Coast and drove to Gibson. It happened that they had a Sunday Market on, a Jazz Festival, a Father's Day Classic Car Show AND it was lovely. Surprisingly there weren't too many people about.

We parked by the museum which I've never seen before. They have a lovely garden there -  unfortunately we didn't have time to explore the gardens or the museum...just a few pictures

We walked along the waterfront to the marina. Currently you have to walk down to the water, then back up to the street. Then along the street and back down to the water again. Up and down and up and down...however, there's a proposal for The George which is a hotel development which would also include a boardwalk that stretched the whole waterfront.

Anyway, here's the marina.

How much would I love to go out on a boat here and tool around. It's just lovely. I think I've said that a few times.

Abandoned boat along the shore.

We eventually made our way out to the dock, hoping to see some harbour seals or other wildlife (we did several years ago when we were there with Andrew's cousin Amy. We didn't this time).

Way back up there at the shore is Molly's Reach - of Beachcomber's fame.

We stopped there for lunch. I've been there a good handful of times and the food is good. The service is usually wonderful...this time, not so much. They lost our order and then were so embarassed they just ignored us for the good hour that we had to wait until our food came. If Elisabeth hadn't been crying with her head on the table because she was SO VERY HUNGRY, I think we would have walked out. If we'd known that the food wasn't coming for more than an hour, I think we would have walked out too. OH WELL. It was good when we finally got it.

Back along the waterfront, checking out the sights.

These people didn't have great customer service either from what I could see from the dock, but the building sure is pretty.

We ended our time in Gibsons Landing with a quick walk through the market and shops. Which means the obligatory photo in the pink chairs.

After we finished in Gibson, we started on the highway towards Smuggler's Cove. BUT we had to make a quick pit stop at Coopers Green Park. I love how wild it is here. The rocks, the barnacles, the little's a child's dream.

Of course my brave adventurers wanted to climb the rock and pretend to be pirates.

There's Andrew, King of the Castle.

We finished at Coopers Green and proceeded to Smuggler's Cove. The first part is a series of bridges and marsh. It's much more pleasant in the light of day in early summer than it was on a wet, March morning.

It was actually pretty amazing how different things are in the matter of a few months. But it was still gorgeous.

Look at how different the water level is.

Which meant we could scrabble down on to the rocks, and play pirates again.

This is such a fun hike. If you stop every few minutes to take a picture, or play on the rocks, or whatever, it'll take about two hours. There are some ups and downs, but it's not strenuous.

Just don't be like me and bring a barely charged battery with you in your camera. That will only end in heartbreak.

And David with his sprained ankle and Andrew with his bad knee both managed to do the hike and enjoy it.

And after Smuggler's Cove, we drove to the end of the road where there's a little cove (here, below) that's peppered with holiday homes. It's SO QUIET. Like I've never been anywhere so quiet.

On the way back to the ferry, we made one more stop, in Davis Bay.

Where unfortunately everything was closed (it was pushing 7 on a Sunday evening), but we did get to enjoy the sun beginning to set.