Charming Nelson

One thing I know for sure… I dislike driving Highway 3, Crowsnest Pass. The road is winding which is awesome, but the hills. Those hills killed me. My ears were popping and hurting like crazy. It was such a slow highway and add in the curves and hills, took a lot of mental energy.

Now that I got my complaining out of the way, we arrived 7 ½ hours later. Nelson is such a cute little town. I instantly fell in the love with its charm. The downtown was full of old buildings and big trees. Lots of the little boutiques and shops lined the streets.

We stayed at Villa Motel which was about a 30-minute walk to the downtown area and after the driving we had done I was more then willing to walk a lot.

The first night there, I barely had enough energy for a shower and to eat. We hung out at the motel and had our sushi delivered via cab. There was no way either of us wanted to walk and there was no way I was going to drive somewhere until we left Nelson. The sushi was probably the worst sushi I had, it fell apart once you tried picking it up and didn’t taste that great. Since I was hungry I ate it anyways.

The next day we wander around and went to several coffee shops. Oso Negro was recommended by a friend for their coffee and treats. I had their coffee before and remembered it being so yummy. After that we walked around and went into a bunch of shops. I bought a ring, which was made by a local Nelson artist.

Lunch was down by the river on the patio. I was looking forward to this salad. Sadly, the salad or something that was in it irritated my stomach something fierce. I thought I could taste butter but I didn’t understand where it would come from since the meal was diary free and gluten free. It did taste amazing and the picture the server took of me with my meal just shows pure joy.

The weather yet again did not cooperate with us and it was cold and windy which eliminated SUP (stand up paddle boarding). One of these days I will try it. We opted to walk around some more and had coffee at another little shop.

On our way back to the motel we stopped at the restaurant we would be dinning at that night to check the menu to give us an idea of what we could have. The menu was pretty extensive with gluten free options.

After some much needed rest and reading we got ready and headed back to the restaurant for dinner. The restaurant is located inside the Hume Hotel and has a lounge as well as a restaurant. We decided to sit in the lounge which was last renovated in the 1970s. The decor and the  history of the Hotel is actually quite interesting.

I opted to go for a simple, easy on the stomach and whole food meal. I had a steak salad; mixed greens, carrots and beets, steak with oil and lemon for a dressing. Tasted amazing and no side effects. I had there Mango Sorbet which was fantastic, once I scrapped off the whip cream. Sigh, not vegan at all.

Breakfast the next morning was another failure. My stomach turned into a pit of acid. Other then the poor experiences with some of the food, I did really enjoy Nelson. I think I another trip would be needed and maybe a little more research into eating options.

Until next time Nelson…

XO Nicole

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West Coast Camping

The thing I was looking forward to the most with Tofino was camping and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). The forecast leading up with Tofino was not looking so hot. It was going to be in the mid teens (16-18C).

The campground books up quickly and we weren’t able to get a site right on the beach but we did have an ocean view. Which worked out really well.

I had heard from several sources that the highway leading to Tofino was a winding slow highway best not to be driven at night. I may be one of the few, but I love winding roads.

Bella Pacifica Campground

It took us around 5 hours to get to the campground from Victoria. Check in was quick and we found our site very easily. Located right near the washrooms, which was a bonus. Now if anyone plans on going out there and just loves the site we were at, it’s #93. The parking was a little tricky and first impressions were low but after we explored a little more, we fell in love with our “enchanted forest”. The tree cover would have been nice if it had rained however the protection made it much colder than it was.

The view was pretty spectacular. The trees of the campsite framed the ocean and beach nicely. We were also right beside the stairs so we had quick access to the beach.

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The weather was chilly the whole time around 16-17C and the water was insanely cold. We never did end up going SUP because of the temperature. It didn’t seem worth it to freeze and not have any way of warming up. We did however spend a couple hours lounging on the beach while the sun was shinning.

We spent our time walking to the various beaches, trails and did a trip into the town. I tried to use only my camera and keep my phone turned off. I really wanted the camping portion of the trip to be away from technology and social media and more on the nature and being present.

Side trips in the Pacific Rim National Park
-Chestermen Beach
-Long Beach
-Rainforest trail A & B
-Radar Hill and Kap’Yong Memorial

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I spent some time at this cool little coffee shop called Tofitian. There are couple spots inside but they have a cute little seating area outside. I sat here for around an hour enjoying my coffee and relaxing.

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After visiting the town and spending the three nights camping there, I didn’t see what all the hype was about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful and lots to see and do but I almost felt let down. Maybe it was the cold weather and that it limited our activities.

XO Nicole