If you’re a parent who works from home, summer and work-productivity are antonyms. I finally figured that out this year, around early July. When my family and I skipped town on a vacation to British Columbia, I switched off my email and social media for 10 days. No work; no distractions. I read books, and found my way back to the streams of creativity that came more easily before social media. Maybe one day I’ll write fiction, if I can keep close to those creative harbors.

I also soaked up Vancouver and Victoria, two lovely cities in British Columbia, on the western edge of Canada. If you have the chance to visit Vancouver, Victoria, or both, go. As my husband described it, it’s like a cross between the United States and Europeculturally unique, English-speaking, with excellent food.

Since pictures do a better job of relating the area’s natural beauty, I’ll let my photographs tell the rest of the story.

Trees in Stanley Park, a magical peninsula north of downtown Vancouver

A strong base; in Stanley Park

A grove in the park

A view of the Lion’s Gate Bridge

Beaver Lake, inside Stanley Park, is covered by water lilies and morphing from lake into marsh. It’ll likely evolve into a meadow in the near future.

A duck family on Beaver Lake

New trees spring to life within the old

A view of Vancouver from Vancouver Bay

Rocky coast

A barnacle-ridden boulder at the water’s edge

Walking across the Burrard Street Bridge in the early afternoon

Heading to Vancouver Island on the BC Ferry

Part of the parliament buildings in Victoria Victoria feels remote and sleepy, and the people are quite friendly. A small lake in VictoriaViews along the drive from Vancouver to Whistler, the former Olympic site and mountain town about two hours northThe Stawamus Chief, a place to hike–or, in our case, admire from the road.

A river runs through Whistler

Apartment complexes abound in Vancouver



  1. You make me want to go there. Your lovely phrase “Maybe one day I’ll write fiction, if I can keep close to those creative harbors” assures me your fiction will not only have your emotional intelligence, but be lyrical as well.

  2. I love coming over to your place. This is especially wonderful…takes me back to my childhood, 1940s 1950s. No social media. Just books. A brownie camera that didn’t of course take such stunning photographs as these. This virtual journey through a natural wonderland has lifted my spirits. I hope this will help you keep close to your “creative harbors” … what a lovely image.

    • Agreed, Ann. Vacations are made for books-in-print. Here’s to keeping electronics and social media as useful tools, not as things which control our days.

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