Its almost Christmas!

Its almost Christmas and we have been remiss in our postings!

Since our last posting we have been back to Summerland to rebuild a bathroom, met Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and Bob McDonald, become welders and wood carvers. We took Jerome rock climbing at Skaha Bluffs (very cool!) and Trick or Treating. Jerome made real pumpkin pies with Grammie after carefully selecting the right pumpkins from The Market fruit stand on the highway at Summerland. We were serenaded during our anniversary dinner and watched our niece make a presentation at TEDx Talks. We’ve been to Lego parties, two birthday parties, Christmas parties and Victoria, Vancouver and Fort St. John. Ok, that last one was no fun (Sorry, Penny!) but the point is that we’ve been busy!

Maureen puts together the new cabinets
The Demolition Crew

We went back to Summerland on October 14 (after making sure that we had lunch at the Dingy Dock Pub before we left), expecting to be a week or two while my Mom and Dad were in the UK. We thought we’d dog sit Ebony and renovate their main bathroom while they were away. We tore the bathroom right down to the studs and redid all of the plumbing and electrical, installed a new tub and fixtures, drywalled, painted and tiled.  The house had no intentions of letting us stick to the schedule though; while we were there the hot water heater failed and flooded the basement. We were lucky to find one on sale at half price but it still set us back two or three days by the time it was all done. There was also the kitchen sink and the fridge leaking on the floor and countless little floods here and there. Ebony and Bradley kept us company throughout!


We arrived in Summerland in time for Uncle Mike’s birthday
(he’s getting old). And before we got too involved in the reno we got out to do some rock climbing at the Skaha Bluffs with the Steele Family.







We took some more time off during the reno to go to “The Debaters” in Kelowna. It is a CBC radio show that involves a series of comedians debating about pressing subjects like “inside vs outside”, “the merits of


Facebook”, “should Vegas have an NHL franchise?”, “are microwaves the root of all evil?”. It was one of Jerome’s first live theatre experiences; unfortunately the part where one of the comedians was speaking directly to Jerome didn’t make the radio edit but still – a pretty cool experience! Check it out online if you want some laughs!  ( debaters) We even managed to have supper at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Kelowna before the show! (always a good pick).

We also took some time off to hike up Cartwright Mountain in

Cartwright Mountain

Summerland. The view from the top was well worth the climb which wasn’t that stressful except for avoiding dog poop at the trailhead.  Plan on the hike taking a good two hours.  Access the trails from Cartwright at the end of Jubilee Road West in Summerland.

The view of Summerland from Cartwright Mountain – can you spot Grammie and Grandpa’s house?

We managed to check out the Cozy Bay Fish n’ Chips restaurant which was wonderful if you like traditional beer battered fish (cod, halibut or salmon). ($14-$19 bucks depending on what/how much you order.)  This was one of my Grandmother’s favourite restaurants.   If you get to go there, you have to check out the toilet seat.  It’s very glamorous.

We saw the world’s tallest orchard ladder at Dickinson’s family farm.  The only ones that were impressed with this were Maureen and her blind dog. We also spent some more time in the thrift store.  The locals that are in there are as entertaining as the merchandise.

We spent lots of time at the library in Summerland doing school work. We

Star Wars party at the Library

even went to a Lego Star Wars Halloween Party (they made wookie cookies too!).  The staff were very helpful and patient with us even though we would hang out in their library for hours….and we’d eat lunch there too.  Thank you!

We had our anniversary dinner at the Spice Magic Restaurant in Penticton. Jerome says that the restaurant was magic.  We highly recommend it to all.  The service was awesome, the food was incredible and the server who sang “Fools Rush In” to us made us weep….well…she made Maureen weep.

Anniversary Dinner

It was beautiful.  They apparently have a lunch buffet that is a wonderful way to try all their food (Monday-Friday 11-230, $13 bucks) but we went for supper and tried the vegetable samosas, potato naan, vegetable korma, chicken tikka, chai tea and gulab jamun for dessert. Wonderful!

We were so lucky to spend time with Mom and Dad after they got home from their trip even though their bathroom wasn’t even close to being done. They brought us back some wonderful souvenirs from their trip.  Jerome wants to mention here how much he likes the catapult that Grammie and Grandpa brought back!  Thank you for all of the swag! We went to Penticton for bathroom accessories and to swim at the leisure centre, to Sunoka beach with the dogs, to a very nice Remembrance Day ceremony in Summerland with three flyovers compliments of the Penticton Flight Club, and to see the very interesting “Doctor Strange” movie (because Star Wars wasn’t out yet!). Other restaurants that we went to and enjoyed were Just Delicious Sushi Restaurant (for Mike’s birthday), Santorini’s (for Meghan’s birthday) and the Peacock’s Perch Pub.

We were also lucky to spend some time with the Steele’s even though they were all very busy.   We were fortunate to get to Summerland in time for Mike’s birthday (as mentioned) and stay long enough for Meghan’s.   We were fortunate to get to stay for Faith’s Tedx Talk in Penticton where she read a poem that she composed regarding Teen Mental Health.  You can check it out at

Thank you again, Faith, for the tickets!

There were eight topics, including Faith, at the Tedx Talks and all were very interesting. One of the speakers was Bob McDonald discussing gravity waves.  It was very interesting for Jerome to have the chance to meet him and to see all the other presentations.


The Full Moon over Newcastle Island out the port side porthole.


We left Summerland and returned to Finn on November 26th, just a few weeks behind schedule.  Thank you to Grammie and Grandpa for sending all the food with us so that we wouldn’t go hungry when we got back to Finn!  Everyone at the Marina in Nanaimo was a little bit concerned about when or if we would turn up again.  We’ve certainly settled into the Marina now….

We’ve met with Jerome’s teacher for the fall conference.  Thank you to Mrs. Fujikawa for rescheduling and waiting for us to get back to Nanaimo!  Jerome is doing well in school when he settles into doing it but he certainly would

Science class – making a cloud

rather be doing other things outside the boat.  One of our friends, Sharon, told us that we are adjusting to a smaller environment for living and a bigger backyard for playing in.   She is so right!  Jerome loves his backyard much more than school most days.

We’ve met with Yas’ vet to confirm that we’ve finally got her insulin and blood sugar levels sorted out for now.  Thank you to Dr. Summa and her staff at Benson View Vet Clinic for all of your help!   Yas is doing very well and has managed to gain back some of the weight that she lost.  She’s looking very healthy now.  Being blind or “vision impaired” is not slowing her down at all.  She can sniff out cookies even better now!

Making plans for the next day.

One of the first things that happened here in December along the Marina was their Christmas Boat Sailby.  Various boats that are decorated with lights travel up and down the channel between Nanaimo and Newcastle Island escorted by police boats (playing music) at the beginning and the end of the parade. It is the most spectacular thing to see especially with the dark night and the ocean reflecting the lights.  The snow just enhanced all the images.

The Christmas Sailby by Finn

We’ve gone swimming at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre many times (you’ve got to check out their waterslides.  The green one is ridiculously fast!). We’ve sampled many kinds of local fudge.  The best one so far is the

Reading bedtime stories.

chocolate mint. We’ve walked around Bowen Park in all the snow that we’ve had. We went to a Christmas party onboard our neighbour’s boat, Pubnico, which was wonderful.  We spent some time visiting with friends that have dropped by: Ray and Brenda and Bernie.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by despite the cold!

Lots of snow in Nanaimo this year!
Frozen lines – the worst!







The last three days we spent in Victoria on a road trip.  We stopped in Chemainus on the way down and checked out the murals.  They were beautiful (Jerome studied them last year in social studies).

One of the many murals at Chemainus.







Thanks to the lady at the info office in Chemainus, we got a head start to finding our way around Victoria by using their paper maps.  Jerome is an excellent navigator by the way.

We stopped at Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill (Jerome’s favourite part of the whole trip),

Fort Rodd Hill


Walking towards Fisgard Lighthouse
Checking out the Americans!





we walked around the harbour and the legislature building for two and half hours; we went to the Royal BC museum for an entire day and it wasn’t long enough, Mount Royal Bagel Factory for the best bagels around, Miniature World (too cool!), the Empress Hotel, Chinatown and Capitol Iron.  We rode the downtown ferris wheel, watched “The Man from UNCLE” and found Bay Rum Shaving Soap.  It was a very busy three days following some very busy weeks!

One of the many displays at Miniature World. Allow 2 hours for this place!
the Big Guns
The Wooly Mammoth exhibit at Royal BC Museum was awesome!






Riding the ferris wheel!






For Christmas we are staying on board Finn and are hoping to get out sailing for at least the day.  We are slowly getting Christmas cards mailed out but if they don’t reach you in time or not at all, we would like to wish all of you the very best for a Merry Christmas and a wonderful and joyous 2017!

Thank you for following the blog.  Feel free to leave comments.  We love to hear from everyone and to stay in touch even if it takes us awhile to respond and post the blog.  We will resolve to work on that in 2017!

Crew of S/V Finn

Trystan, Jerome,

Maureen and Yas.

December 2016



4 replies on “Its almost Christmas!”

Sounds like a wonderful lead up to Christmas! I last talked to Maureen right around Christmas…we did not receive a card but we did have a wonderful chat and that was better then a card…I miss my dear friends! Hope you’ve been having a wonderful spring. I see that there is one more blog…guess I better check more regularly…

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