Taking in Tofino

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Tofino left me breathless on many occasions, whether it was taking in gorgeous views on our hikes, sipping “Adventure Coffee” atop a rocky cliff, or dining at Canada’s “Best New Restaurant”.

I remember waking up surrounded by cedar, in our glorious Tonquin Beach suite. It was spacious for two, had ceilings tall enough to walk straight (a stark contrast from our Kitsilano Hobbit hole), and very tasteful decor. We were so content, and hadn’t even left the house yet! (Did we have to?) We could have happily relaxed in our bed, enjoying coffee and toast, gazing into the surrounding Tofino forest. Alas, we didn’t drive halfway across the country to sip coffee and relax. There would be plenty of time for that later.

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That morning we explored the town, making our way down to the calm waterfront, before finding ourselves at Tacofino, a well known food truck (for good reason). We continued our plan to eat our weight in fresh seafood, starting with a classic fish taco, followed by a raw tuna taco that blew my mind. Surely, seafood couldn’t be this good! I was wrong, it got even better. We couldn’t get enough of these coastal delicacies, but WOLF in the FOG certainly put us to the test.

The Adventures of Bob & Shan - Tacofino Collage

Honestly, dinner that night was second to none. I secretly lusted for some red meat, but all that was promptly forgotten as we browsed the menu and settled in for some cocktails. Being up for adventure, as always, Bob and I decided to let Chefs send out their choice of dishes. That was easily our best decision of the night. To say it was easy, however, would be an outright lie. We were so lucky. Dish after dish came out, including plates to share, and we savoured each bite. Champagne to start, foie gras with brioche, sablefish and frisee, potato crusted oyster (my favourite), not to mention a cocktail of our choosing, and a fishbowl cocktail to share. We were pleasantly full, and about to call it quits, when our server brought one more dish – a savory seafood bourguignon, full of plush scallops, steaming mussels, clams, and more. Bob and I looked at each other laughingly – what could we do but dive in? Stew served alongside baguette is not a light dish, let me tell you. I’ll never forget how quickly Bob passed out that night. Talk about a food coma! (To be fair, he ate most of that stew, and I politely nibbled. What a great boyfriend!)

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The next morning, fully rested, we made coffee and set out for adventure. We spent the morning tirelessly exploring Tonquin trail, near our new home. We pushed our limits, climbed some sharp rocks, and enjoyed the frosty morning. Now, I’m a planner, and would hate to miss out on anything Tofino had to offer. Needless to say, picking a beach to watch the sunset each day was my biggest worry. (Tough life, hey?) We settled on Schooner Cove, and initially, it looked like many beaches in the area. Descending some slick wooden staircases leading to a long shadowed boardwalk, we headed north once we entered the bay. After some walking, we came to a very rocky portion. I, of course, ventured on, and Bob was shortly behind me, snapping photos and taking it all in. Low tide and sunset worked perfectly during our trip, and allowed us a mesmerizing view. Not without effort though. The jutted out rocks we crossed required a brief break in photos, and sometimes a hand up. I found a high point on the rocks, and we settled in to watch the tide rush in and enjoy some coffee. We sat there for more than an hour, enjoying New Year’s Eve, in awe of our view.

After some post-hike relaxation, WOLF in the FOG tempted us to share their New Year’s Even tasting menu (we couldn’t stay away…). After a wonderful meal, celebratory drink, and a New Year’s kiss, we headed home to enjoy our Tonquin Beach suite, and rest up for our journey home.

The Adventures of Bob & Shan - Tacofino Collage 2

New year’s day, we began our trek back home. Easing away from the coast in the early morning, we found ourselves on a whole new drive, enjoying the vast ocean and mountains we missed on our dark journey to Tofino. We love driving with no timeline. Stopping to snap a polaroid of a gorgeous mountain view, or wandering off the highway to walk through a frosty creek, these are the kind of moments that make a road trip truly memorable. After our brief stops, we journeyed through the winding mountains until arriving in Lantzville, where we took in our final sunset at Sebastion Beach.

Staying in Nanaimo for a day, we caught up with my good friend Lauren, before travelling to Kimberley for a brief family visit. Although our trip was almost over, we enjoyed some of our most memorable moments on a long drive home. Listening to our favourite songs, playing 20 questions, and taking in the changing landscapes made a 10-hour drive short. Thinking back to our first trip together, I have to say it was a great success, and won’t soon be forgotten.

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Til our next adventure,

Shan

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