Get Away to Tofino, BC
Sometimes you just have to get away. Before we had kids, up until I was pregnant with Breccan actually, Nick and I took an annual trip to Tofino on Vancouver Island. We always went in summer, and we always camped. Once we had kids, the ferry cost, road with no stops, and potential for cold rainy weather deterred us. For those of you not in BC, Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is near Pacific Rim National Park, in a temperate rainforest. Surfers vacation in Tofino year round, and the town maintains a quirky, hippy, hodgepodge vibe that we really love. We've been longing to stretch our legs a bit and see how the boys handle road trips. A friend approached us about a cabin weekend in Tofino, and we decided to take the leap. Turned out our fears were for naught. Each leg of the trip was 1.5 - 2 hours, which was just the right amount of time to avoid meltdowns! The road was a bit snowy - of all the time I've spent on Vancouver Island, I've never really seen it snowy! Port Alberni was the exact midpoint for stops. All we needed to do was a quick grocery stop and lunch stop, but if your kids need more of a run around, here is a great list of attractions! The ferries have playgrounds at the terminal, so you needn't worry if you have to kill some time before your sailing. They also have play areas on board - real lifesavers when you have a little one like Olin whose main activity is toddling about. Tofino itself is very kid-friendly. We stayed at Eik Landing which was only a 5 minute walk into town and a 5 minute drive to Chesterman Beach. It's ocean front, so you technically have your own beach, but it's too silty to really play in. Great for evening sunset walks though. We were able to walk into town easily and enjoy some coffee from Tuff Beans and a trip to Mermaid Tales Bookshop. There is really nothing like the windswept trees and ocean beaches though. We lucked out for weather, and it was warm and sunny enough for a good beach trip to build sand castles. For a good little while, both boys were entertained and safe, I could sit back and actually relax. It makes me look forward to beach days this summer.