October 2, 2023

A Month in Summary - September 2023

Strait of Georgia
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
September 2023

We are currently on the road, or should I say we're on "Van Isle" as the locals call Vancouver Island. We began our trip two weeks ago and are currently in Nanaimo for the next few days. We've been to Victoria, Saanichton, Campbell River, Telegraph Cove, Black Creek, as well as a few spots in Oregon and Washington. We have two more weeks of fun as we head over to the western side of the island, then down to Port Townsend and the Seattle area before we head home. This trip has checked several items from my bucket list, most notably: three black bear sightings (across a small river from us!), more humpback whales than you could count, and two orcas! I also saw four eagles and several kingfishers, but those weren't new-to-me sightings; just fun. I also conquered my fear of driving our 26' motorhome onto the Black Ball Ferry, which took us from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria, British Columbia. Thank goodness for the awesome parking crew who helped guide me into our space on the ferry!

I haven't done much reading while we're exploring the island, but I am enjoying another big novel and should finish in the next week or so. I had another wonderful month of reading before we left Oregon, wrapping up a very long audiobook that turned out to be a great listening experience. I also read two new novels that I can recommend highly. 

Books Read (click on the title for my review):

The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton (5/5)

Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur (4.5/5)

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (4/5)

Good Harbor by Anita Diamant (3/5)


Sister by Rosamund Lupton

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Movies & TV Series:

The Fall - Starts out very dark and disturbing, but I'm glad we stuck with it through the end of the third (and final) season. The conclusion was somewhat anticlimactic, but overall a very good show.


Pippa, Nathan, Mom and Meghan

Ana and Mark

Proud Moment:

Our daughter, who is a fashion influencer (Fashion Jackson), launched her clothing line on September 7th! We couldn't be more proud of all she's achieved in the past decade. You can read more about the launch here and check out the latest arrivals on the website (MAYSON the label ).


As mentioned, we are currently on another road trip through Canada. I'll blog about in the coming months, but for now, here are some highlights from our trip.

Victoria, B.C.

Telegraph Cove, B.C.

Prince of Whales excursion

Sunrise over the Strait of Georgia

My favorite travel companion

For more photos of our journey, follow me on Instagram.


  1. I love seeing your travel photos on Instagram! Sounds like you are having an amazing time. When we were in Vancouver we wanted to go to Nanaimo but didn't have time. Looking forward to hearing more about that. And, again a bit congrats to your daughter. She's lovely and what an accomplishment! Continue to enjoy your travels and hope there are great reads ahead of you too!

    1. Thanks, Iliana! It's been a fun time on Van Island. We still have a little over a week remaining, before we head back to the US. We spent a good part of yesterday wandering around Nanaimo. It's a big town/city (second largest on the island and fifth largest in BC) and while we enjoyed what we saw, it's not a spot to which we'd likely return. We like smaller places like Sidney, which are much more walkable and quaint. Thanks for the congrats about Amy's new business. I'm enjoying watching how this new line of clothing is evolving.

  2. Love the Strait of Georgia photo, it's beautiful!

    I used to pull a 25' boat with a conversion van. My husband's friend who was a truck driver said I could be a truck driver too since I did so good at it. Now you could be one too :) Backing the boat down the ramp into the water was a lot easier than I thought it would be. My son and daughter in law drove onto a ferry a few weeks ago in Ireland but they were in a tiny car. A motorhome would be a lot harder, and probably nerve wracking!

    WOW! That's awesome about your daughter! I'll check out her site and tell my family & friends to check her site out!

    Great photos! The hotel is beautiful and I love the others too, plus they have water in them.

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I took SO many photos from that location! Hard to decide which to keep and which to delete.

      Yep, I could probably be a truck driver after maneuvering this 26' rig in and out of tight spots, driving in big city traffic (L.A., Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, etc.), and t-turning on narrow roads.

      Thanks for the enthusiastic comment about Amy's new business. We are super excited for her. I'm looking forward to getting a couple of pieces myself!

  3. It looks like you're enjoying another fabulous trip... good job driving onto the ferry! And congratulations to Amy on the launch of her fashion line. How impressive... can imagine how proud you must be! And a good reading month on top of everything else. I thought I was going to read The Light Pirate last month but I just can't face another hurricane, even in fiction. I have added Little Monsters to my list though. Happy October... enjoy the rest of your trip!

    1. Thanks for all your comments, JoAnn. We're enjoying the island and still have a little over a week before we head back to the US. It's been quite a summer for Canada adventures!

      Yep, I am super proud of Amy. Can't wait to get my hands on a couple of items...

      Hope you enjoy Little Monsters. Maybe try The Light Pirate next spring?

      Off to catch up with your blog posts. I'm falling behind!

  4. I'm way impressed about your driving accomplishment! I have actually stopped driving altogether for a couple years now. I just didn't feel comfortable behind the wheel anymore.
    I started The Fall a while ago, and was so creeped out that I quit. haha

    1. Thanks, Nan. I've always driven the RV, so I feel pretty comfortable with doing so, at least most of the time. I didn't know that you had stopped driving. Good for you to make that call and not decide after a fender-bender. My mom is still driving (at 90!) and seems pretty comfortable running errands in and around our little community. No long or big city driving, though! Yeah, The Fall is a pretty creepy/disturbing show. It didn't seem as bad the further along we got, though.

      Hope you're enjoying the change of seasons. I spotted a photo of you and Tom in one of Margaret's Instagram posts. You both look great! xoxo

  5. Your travels sound excellent (as always) and the photos are beautiful.

    Congratulations to your daughter, that is so exciting for her to launch her own line!

    1. Helen, we are really enjoying our leisurely time on Vancouver Island. Just got to our current spot a few hours ago and we'll be here for 4 nights. Right on a river with harbor seals coming up river from the Juan de Fuca Strait! Crazy! We're hoping to see more bears here, too.

      Yes, we are very excited about Amy's new venture. We wish her great success! Thanks for the congrats!

  6. Fantastic photos. I've always wanted to go to Vancouver. A road trip sounds perfect for this time of year.

    Congratulations to your daughter!

    1. Thank you, Deb. Vancouver Island is a wonderful place to visit. I've only been to Vancouver (on the mainland) once, many years ago, but I hear it's quite nice, too. We have had pretty nice weather on this trip, with a few rain showers here and there, but nothing too disruptive to our plans. The fall colors are so pretty, especially near bodies of water. And the birds! I can't wait to do a post on what we've seen with regard to the bears, whales, and birds. Such a thrill to see so much in the way of wildlife.

    2. I look forward to your post on the wildlife especially!

  7. Wonderful post! So pleased to hear about your daughter's success too. Wow I'm very impressed. That's a neat endeavor and a great spot to be; I will follow the label. Also your trip sounds wonderful. I think with all your Canadian travels and appreciation -- you should be made an honorary citizen ... and free to come & go as you wish. Have you had much rain? I must admit I have not been on Instagram lately -- but I should see all your photos. You had a good reading month in Sept. My reading has taken a deep plunge (during our trip)... so I need to get it back. We are back now ... I hope you continue to have fun. Much of the nature out there is truly stunning. Enjoy.

    1. Hey, Susan! Welcome home from your adventure, too. We get home tomorrow and really had a wonderful time. Yes, we've spent a lot of time in Canada this year, haven't we? An honoray citizenship would be great, but don't forget, I do have dual citizenship already. ;)

      We didn't have too much rain on the island. A day here and there, but nothing that spoiled our visit. On the rainy days, we stayed inside and caught up on computer stuff and laundry. The most rain we had was yesterday and today in Washington. We had a tornado warning in Vancouver, WA today and the rain was like a monsoon. We're safe and sound in McMinnville and head back to the coast tomorrow.

      Yep, my reading took a deep dive this month, too. I'll be happy to finish two books in October. I'll pop over to your site in the coming days and see what you've shared about your cycling trip in Italy!

    2. Glad you are almost home (too). Safe travels. You are a dual ... yes!


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