My husband’s longtime friend, Jason, turns 30 this week, and as a big giant surprise, his girlfriend and friends planned an incredibly well-done surprise trip for him to Salt Spring Island.
For those who are not familiar with BC geography, Salt Spring Island is located southwest of the city of Vancouver and off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island. From the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal on the mainland to Long Harbour on Salt Spring is just under 40 kilometres.
Early Friday morning we surprised Jason by hiding near his car and jumping out with silly string as he attempted to go to work. His response was, “Guys, it’s not my birthday,” which is true — his birthday is tomorrow. He didn’t realize that we had a lot more than silly string up our sleeves! He laughed and said that he had to get to work, but the six of us cheerily explained that no, he didn’t. His girlfriend had arranged with his place of work to give him the day off without telling him! I think that the delight of hearing that he didn’t have to go to work helped make the silly string ambush more tolerable.
The seven of us, after getting coffee, piled into two cars and headed for the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The ferry ride was fun — it was my first BC ferry experience! The food was good, the views were breathtaking, and the company really fun.
After the second ferry ride from Vancouver Island over to Salt Spring, we drove to Cedar Beach Resort on the north end of the island. Sean and I had our own little cabin — our honeymoon suite of sorts, which overlooked a pretty lake — while the other five had a cabin just a one-minute walk away. The resort also has campsites, canoes for guest use, and delightful managers — Gregor and Shona.
We shopped for groceries at the quaint little Country Grocers and then had homemade pizza for dinner. We played Cards Against Humanity and ate a gorgeous Black Forest cake that Jason’s friend Christina made for him for his birthday.
On Saturday we went to the Salt Spring Island Market, which was wonderful. Food (falafel, gluten free everything, ice cream, chocolate, and on and on), art, clothes and jewelry, sunshine, ocean…and coffee. Salt Spring Coffee is the real deal — delicious, Fair Trade, and organic!
In the afternoon, we canoed and swam in the lake by our cabins and then made our way to the marina for a nice dinner at a restaurant called Moby’s Pub. And in between, four of us — went wine-tasting at Mistaken Identity vineyard. It was great to try some local wines (just $4 to try four wines, and they waive that with a purchase of a bottle), and they were really tasty. I especially enjoyed their Bianco 2013, which surprised me because I tend not to be a big fan of white wine. I thought their Pinot Rose 2013 was also great — light, refreshing, and a bit sweet.
On Sunday, we kayaked pretty much all day. Two lovely guides took us around a bunch of little islands off the coast of Salt Spring. We saw seals, sea stars, sea cucumbers, seagulls, and cormorants. Kayaking is so much fun and a very popular activity in BC. I definitely plan to do much more!
We had to say goodbye to everyone from the marina after our kayak tour. Sean and I had to get back to Vancouver, but the other five got to stay on the island for another day. A highlight from the ferry ride back was getting to see a whole pod of orcas just a few metres away from the ferry. It was incredible; I had never seen whales in the wild!
Happy Birthday, Jason!