Otherside Vacation

03 September, 2023

Tags: blogging

I waffled on actually writing this because, well, it feels weird to go "hey look at the fun things I did" when the world is as it is. We're lucky in that we can take some time away and not have to go very far to see some beautiful sights and it doesn't feel quite right to (not quite but almost) brag about that, y'know?

Before classes start back up in a couple days, we took the better part of a week off to go to the BC coast and enjoy the ocean, some hiking, and whatever else caught our fancy. I didn't go through much media so this post will be light on that and will be more photo dense.

a vast expanse of water, mountainous landmasses visible through a smoky haze

There will be mentions and images of alcohol so if that is an issue, I apologize, please skip this post, I'll have another up at the end of the week.

Sunshine Coast

Our first day on the coast was largely consumed by travel: waiting for a ferry, taking said ferry, and driving up the coast to the cabin we were staying in.

Our first stop on the way in was Sunday Cider, who have long been a favourite of ours. When they first started up, they were a handful of short blocks away from where we lived at the time, and it's been great to see how much they've grown! Their ciders are excellent as always too.

two flights of cider on a worn white picnic table

Once we settled in at the cabin, I took it upon myself to teach my wife to play cribbage and I'm very happy to say that she liked it! Glad to have a game we can easily play anywhere. Despite bringing a travel board and cards of my own, the cabin had a board that was too good not to use!

a speedboat shaped cribbage board on a small table, the ocean in the distance

The forecast for the week called for rain so we took advantage of the nicer weather and went for a nice, easy hike.

a marshy expanse, barren, spindly trees dotting the landscape
a cove, viewed from a rocky shore. a rocky landmass is seen in the near distance, trees covering it

We went to another cidery we quite like, Brickers, as the trail we were on was fairly close by. We'd hoped to go to another as well but they were closed until the day we were leaving the area.

a flight of three ciders: a cloudy wild blueberry cider, kingston black, and a pilsner-style cider

The trip back to catch our ferry to the next destination was a bit of a mess of delays and missed connections but we made it after an exhausting day.

Bowen Island

We'd come to the island years ago, and at the time there wasn't a whole lot there. Now there are a few cideries, some breweries, a distillery, and more great trails.

The spot we stayed in was pretty magical. It was an Airstream trailer on the mountainside, very secluded and just real nice to be in. Oh yeah, it also had an outdoor bath!?

A path in the woods, dotted with lights, leading to an Airstream trailer. Near the beginning of the visible path is a small building (the washroom) with fairy lights outlining it. Beside it is a functional bathtub.

We took this leg of the trip a lot easier, visited Bowen Cider House and Riley's Cider, both of which are fantastic. It's pretty great to live close enough that this can be a day trip if we wanted to (it's a 20 minute ferry ride from the city).

As it turns out, the forecast was blessedly wrong, we only had some light showers on two nights the whole week. After we checked out and loaded up the car, we took to a coastal trail on the western part of the island.

The ocean visible through gaps between spindly trees
A rocky slice of beach with driftwood logs strewn about. Two rocky outcroppings part to make way for the ocean

Finally, before catching a ferry back, we went to Copper Spirit Distillery for some incredible mini-cocktails. Also super exciting was the fact they didn't use egg for foamer, instead using aquafaba, meaning we could have all of their cocktails (within their 3 drink limit)!

a photo grid showing: a pink foamy beverage with cassis, a fir tip spearmint sparkle, a cherry rye sour, a foamy cocktail consisting of vodka, lavender and botanicals, and finally, a gin & tonic


Despite what I said up top, I did get some reading in.

I finished Descending Stories, which I'd mentioned last week. Loved every bit of it and will be watching the anime adaptation soon.

I also decided to give Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro a shot as I had the first few volumes from a bundle. I was initially very put off it by the summary:

Nagatoro is a freshman in high school who loves teasing and torturing her older male classmate! What’s her motivation and why does Senpai put up with her? Does Nagatoro just want to create misery for Senpai? Or maybe she secretly likes him?

Despite my misgivings, I liked it enough that I read all that was published so far and will be continuing as more releases. There are some pretty great faces in it too!

Sunomiya, an intense expression on her face yelling 'ROMANTICALLY!'

I also started rereading the first volume of Otherside Picnic's light novel, which I'd first read back in 2020. I wanted to make sure I liked it enough to keep reading more of it (the anime left a sour taste) and so far it's been nice to revisit.

You should listen to

album cover of HELLMODE

Jeff Rosenstock's new album, HELLMODE. (Also available for pay what you want)

The whole album is great but an early fave for me is Soft Living.

I've been debating adding comments on here, but I'm not sure if it's needed or anything. If you're reading (and thanks if you are!), @ me on Mastodon if you think it'd be nice!

Classes start back up on Tuesday so there'll be less free time for reading and games, but I'll try to make time. I'm very much looking forward to continuing to improve my Japanese and get even closer to finally having my certificate that says "I know my shit". Until next time!