Sunday, July 12, 2009

Canadian Genealogy Carnival - Canadian Vacations

Dad, Dave & Diane, Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada 1956. Private collection.

Most of the vacation trips I remember from when I was little were short ones close to our home in Vancouver. My parents ran a business together and didn't get away much. Sometimes Dad came to meet us on weekends only.

When I was a bit older, except for Victoria, I don't remember us vacationing locally. Instead my mother and I used to take trips to Portland, Oregon to shop (no sales tax) and with my brother, we also went to California and to Hawaii. I also went to camp, first with the Salvation Army Brownies and Girl Guides at Camp Sunrise, Gibsons Landing, and once? twice? to Camp Fircom on Gambier Island for weekend 'work' parties with a United Church youth group.

The more memorable childhood holidays for me were weekend and week long jaunts to Bowen Island, Sechelt and to Alta Lake, or to Victoria on Vancouver Island. All of these involved boat or ferry trips but all were popular local vacation spots for Vancouverites. My Dad always seemed to know someone wherever we stayed.

Once my mum and I went to Calgary on the train to see the Calgary Stampede. That train ride I remember quite well, and seeing Jay Silverheels in the Stampede parade. (Dreamy!) Oddly, there aren't any photograph of that trip, although I do have the tickets still and a bit of a trip diary. I did bring home a white cowboy hat for myself, but that's long ago 'bit the dust'.

These are the only two photographs from one of our Bowen Island summer vacations. I know I always, always took a doll with me on holidays and there are a few photos like this one which show that. I've been thinking lately that Bowen Island would be a good place for a short 'writing' holiday for me now. Lots of interesting places to stay and things to see too. (Is there a used bookstore, I wonder? I do know there's a Library.)

Mum, Diane with doll and Dave, Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada, 1956. Private Collection

We had a boat of our own at one time and often went out in it with our parents and Na. I remember little about these excursions except what the boat looked like, but one emergency run when my brother hit his head on a battery is imprinted permanently on my consciousness.

Other vacation activities were day trips. We took commercial cruises up Indian Arm to the now one hundred year old Wigwam Inn, for example. Last summer I noticed Chuck Davis had written about a trip along a similar route - Vancouver City certainly looks different now, but some things are the same.

I don't have any photographs that I can identify as ones from these day trips. I do remember once my mother and I arguing about what I'd wear on an Indian Arm trip. I wanted to wear a green seersucker dress with a darker stripe. My mother wanted me to wear some summery frock, no doubt with a few frills or ribbons. I won! and later she said I was right to wear it as it didn't show the dirt. Her summer whites were much the worse for wear during that voyage! Fancy my remembering that all these years. (Sorry, Ma.)

This was written for the 5th Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival - it's all about favourite Canadian vacations. Where did your ancestors like to spend their summer holidays? Did your family enjoy a favourite beach or cottage? Or did your family travel from sea to shining sea?

The Carnival will be posted on July 15, 2009 at Looking For Ancestors.

1 comment:

Greta Koehl said...

Wow, Jay Silverheels - I actually remember him. How neat that you got to meet him.