The family that motos together, stays together.
We have had some stellar summer weather and I stare out the window from my air conditioned office and wish I was sitting on my bike soaking up summer and waiting for the day to be done so we can venture forth and enjoy two wheeled family time. These are the days that the clock ticks by slowly and time seems to stand still, how come on rainy days time seems to speed up?
I have wondered if I could get my bike up to my office and sit on that instead of my steno chair - now that would be a conversation starter! (only kidding). When people ask me if the gear belongs to me and what I ride, I usually see a look of surprise and even a look of shock come across their faces after I say, "Yes and a Honda Shadow" Most people say, "Wow, that's cool" or "Good for you." Then they ask me how long I've been riding and I say almost four years and that I was a late bloomer. It's weird because they seem genuinely shocked and I see it as just an ordinary thing that lots of women do. It's not like I am a trail blazer or suffragette - those were amazing women.
But I digress from the intent of my post. This summer day was like every other summer day, ripe for riding and adventure, I talked the moto family into going for an evening ride under the pretense of getting ice cream. (They always fall for that one). So off we went.
Victoria is a very eclectic, vibrant, and beautiful city with history at every turn in the form of architecture and cool little pockets of diversity. We are called the Garden City and are famous for our parks and scenery, we also have one of the oldest Chinese communities in Canada, Chinatown is beautiful. I forget how lovely it is during the day to day grind. My daily commute is through the heart of downtown and at 8:30am it's a beehive of activity and during peak tourist season it is hard to navigate around the downtown core and at times downright dangerous when on a bike. (I avoid anything with a rental car sticker on the bumper) tonight we decided to live on the edge and drive through the tourist mayhem and taxi cab/tour bus chaos, to head to Fisherman's Wharf for ice cream and to look at the local float home village.
Awhile back I shared with my blog followers I used to live on a floathome for 10 years in the harbour, I have been scouring my picture box and somehow they are buried somewhere in the depths of my basement. Yes I am a hoarder and they are somewhere down in the basement of doom. Anyway here is my house the "The Resting Cloud" in it's current form - a Mexican Restaurant. This breaks my heart because they have changed it so much, it used to be beautiful when I owned it, it was loaded with hanging flower baskets and railing boxes and spectacular in the summer and not this hideous colour scheme.
An artist friend painted a picture of my house as a gift for us & this is what it looked like in it's glory days.
Generally floathomers are tight knit little communities, because you never know when you are going to need the help of your neighbours, particularly on a stormy night when you are out all night retying slackened lines and praying for the docks to hold together if it was really stormy. And yes, it can get pretty scary when winds are howling at 90km/h and there is a swell on. The house does a dance with the roll of the ocean and it can be a little unnerving at times.
Living onboard a floathome was not without it's challenges, but the uniqueness of it far outweighed those challenges. A family of swans and Canadian Geese routinely came for snacks and would give their honking calls to let me know they were waiting for goodies. We had this one Canadian Goose family with two babies, we named one Gos and the other Ling (get it gosling) We've had otters up on the deck and I have to say they are cute looking, but don't let their cuteness deceive you, they are nasty little buggers if you get too close and they are destructive too. They went up under the siding of my friend's house ruined the inside and it was pretty disgusting.
There isn't much space between the houses and you pretty much live in each other's pockets, but over time you get the hang of living in close proximity to others. You develop the habit of looking down when passing by windows. I wish tourists would do the same, sometimes it was more than a little invasive. One night I was watching tv in my livingroom and I felt the house move as if someone stepped onboard, and when I looked up there was a fellow with his nose pressed against the window. He skiddadled pretty quickly when I sat up and looked at him, he had to come a fair way onboard to get to my front window. Another time two women walked right in without knocking because my front door was open and they thought the house was empty. Nope. Most of the time though people were pretty good and if they were really curious I usually invited them in for a tour of our tidy little sanctuary. We moved back to dry land when our wee girl was almost a year old because she was starting to toddle and I didn't want the constant worry of her falling overboard.
I have lived on land for 16 years now and I long for those cozy winter nights and cool summer evenings sitting on the balcony of the Resting Cloud, sipping wine and watching the comings and goings of the harbour and would trade it all for my floathome and kayaks. (keeping the bikes of course)
After our little stop & tour of Fisherman's Wharf we hopped back on the bikes to chase the sunset. It was magnificent!
View from King George a Terrace looking out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca