We all have those cherished childhood memories, at least I hope everyone does. My childhood summers were pretty idyllic and I am so grateful for that. It’s incredible how fast time flies and how the moments go fast but the memories stay strong. It has been about eight years since I have been back to the place I essentially called home every summer for 10 years. It’s the kind of place that you have no bad memories of, the one where when you think of it, warm thoughts rush back to you and it’s the place you wish so desperately that you could relive those moments over and over again.
For me, this place is Parksville, B.C., pretty much the retirement capital of Canada and in 1994, that’s exactly what may Nana and Papa decided to do.
Spending all of those summers there as a child was wonderful. The beaches, the beautiful scenery, lookouts, collecting sea shells, cedar hedges, my Papa’s garden, fresh green and yellow beans, ice cream on the boardwalk, mini putt, Coombs market, Rathtrevor beach and all its bunnies, and Cathedral Grove, the list could go on and on. At the time, it was just my life, but now since I haven’t been back in so long, I am longing for those simple days. People always say time flies but I never really understood it, now I am beginning to understand.
I think what hits me even more is that all of those memories for so many years included a my spry, jovial Nana who would play with us endlessly, she never could seem to get enough of me and my younger brother. It was such a thrill to finally arrive at their house in those summer months and we would be so excited for all of the adventures that were ahead of us. Now that she has passed away, I think I tend to go back to the good times with her in my mind even more.
I haven’t been back in many years, but I will go back one day. I know a lot has changed but some things remain the same so I just thought that I would share some of my favourite places to visit in the Parksville area. (I have to dig up some old photos, these are just from flickr as I have no digital copies of photos from those times).
1. Coombs Market
2. Cathedral Grove
3. Qualicum Beach
4. Mini Putt
5. Parksville beach and beach lookouts (bald eagle trees)