As the ferry docked at Departure Bay, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, we looked over the gently rippling water and revelled in the crystal clear sunlight of a winter’s day. The sun may be shining bright but it certainly was cold. However, our hearts were warm. We are to spend New Years with our friends H&G. Yes! The H&G of Australia fame. You can be sure there will be lots of laughter, lots of wine, and lots of H’s fantastic cooking. To make things even more festive, another friend, L has come along as well. We have all traveled together and are looking forward to this little addendum to our friendship.
One of my favourite activities when we stay with H&G is the routine of the morning coffee run with G. This year L joined G and I each morning. Bundle up! It is really cold at 7:30 am at the turn of the year!
Our usual stroll takes us along the estuary formed where the Courtney River joins the Comox Bay. There are areas around this estuary protected by Ducks Unlimited. Any of you who have followed my blog will know I am rather partial to birds. What a variety we have met along our travels! My favourites here were a beautifully defined black and white merganser and the wonderfully majestic trumpeter swan.
I love watching the figures, both human and dog, as they approach. Their breath makes wispywispywispy, disappearing clouds and their shadows make the frost sparkle as they pass. No matter how cold the temperature, there is always a warm greeting.
We are all very pleased when we finally reach Park Cafe by the tiny airport. It was just opening and the smell of brewing coffee wafted through the chilly air, practically pulling us in to the cafe.
Don’t you just love these little cafes in a small town? Everyone knows everyone else and the regulars are greeted by name. Many times, their favourite drink orders proceeded them to the table. Each patron wants to know about the other’s Christmas and their New Year’s plans. The atmosphere in this cafe is as cozy as a comforter!
When we finally finish our coffee and cinnamon buns, the temperature outside is a little warmer and we are now walking into the sun. It seems a much shorter walk back home than before!