For the first time in approximately three years, Vince and I went camping, a vacation we both needed. China Beach campground is part of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park here on southern Vancouver Island. And unless you intend to pay roaming charges (because all you can get is U.S. signal at this campground)…despite having an “easy roam” plan to top the extra charges…it is cheaper and less hassle in terms of settings to leave your roaming off (unless you’re like me and must post something to FB).

set up

The best thing I can always do is stay out of Vince’s way while he sets the site up for us

and pitching in when he asks for my hands. And then at night, we add a bit of ambience.

China Beach campground


A little rain was welcome. There’s nothing like the sound on the tarps and tent. And nothing like the smell that rain brings. It was a time for us to relax and decompress. Breathe deep.

Loved capturing the many rain drops on the tarp in the morning.

fire master

Not only is Vince king of site set up, he’s a fire master. Vince takes great pride in his ability to start a campfire without newspaper or any other kind of aid (like commercial, purchased starters). He can get a fire started in pouring rain, with wet wood, all with tinder and kindling he’s prepared from the wood bundle (cut wood) we’ve purchased. Here’s a requisite campfire shot. LOL.

As I was sitting by the fire, I put my head back and looked up at the sky. This was my view. It was serene.

camp food

Vince and I use camp food packets whenever we go camping. And, in the past 20 years, the food has improved greatly. But there is always ONE meal that we remember (as in, don’t purchase this one again) each trip [we still talk about the chili]. This year it was Cheese Enchilada Ranchero. It was good but, damn, the barking wolf spider (look it up, urban slang) sure made an appearance for both of us. 💣 At one point we thought we had a mating call going on!! 😜


This is the base at the campsite. See any problems?

Yep, you’re seeing stones. They’re sharp-edged, not small and they wreak absolute havoc on vestibule mats, and the tent’s footprint and tent floor. They are also the destroyer of knees.


When you’re spoiled by living in Victoria, where you see 2 to 5 mosquitoes in your own home in a summer, going to the wilderness is a bit of a shock as you encounter hordes of them! 🦟 I created my own DIY mosquito repellent using essential oils and witch hazel (I was prompted to create my own thanks to a co-worker who shared her own success story with an essential oil repellent). It worked wonderfully well in all areas that I applied it – calves, ankles, thighs, forearms and biceps, neck…you know, the areas most likely to be attacked by the blood suckers. However, I did miss one area. It was my left knee, not both knees…my LEFT knee ONLY. I have 9…count ‘em NINE! bites on my left knee. Fluff!

and the knees have it

It wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t also ensure my right knee had its own boo-boo. In trying to walk around the picnic table, I cut a corner a little short and rammed my right knee into the table’s bench seat. Table didn’t move (how rude!). I almost went down. Lovely bruising I might add.

My knees are absolutely wrecked. 🤪

tired as fluff

I was completely caught off guard by my cancer-related fatigue. So much so that I feel stupid that I thought it wouldn’t be there or wouldn’t be that bad because I was on vacation. (I have no idea what I was thinking). My reality was that I didn’t want to do much because I was so tired. The trail towards the beach was 1.4 km, which ends at a bunch of stairs down to the beach. Once Vince told me there were 261 steps (he counted them as he traversed them himself), there was no way in heck I was going to go up/down those fluffing steps to the beach so there was no point in taking the trail. [Gayle logic]

Vince and I really needed the time to get away, forget about everything, even if for a days.

I won’t speak for Vince, but I was more than happy to return home to real food, a long hot shower followed by a nap that didn’t involve crawling across stones to lie down.

Live. Laugh. Thrive.

3 thoughts on “unplugged

  1. But the photos are amazingly beautiful and everything looks so serene and you got to relax (hopefully) and breathe in the nature!

  2. So glad you had the break. It’s great to have something there that you don’t have at home and then to have stuff at home to be happy to come back to. 😍

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