We’re now in late January, and the Christmas holidays are well behind us. Ornaments, wreaths, and bells have all been packed up and stored away till next season. But out this way, Nanaimo continues to “jingle”; in fact, the city jingles year-round. For as I’ve learned in my local travels, the delightfully named Jingle Pot Road appears here, there, and (it seems) almost everywhere. Drive along the Nanaimo Parkway and you’ll cross Jingle Pot Road not once, but twice. The road loops around. It morphs from other roads. And at one corner of town, it even meets itself.
I grew up in the suburbs north of Montreal, and my concept of Christmas was set at an early age. Snow was a given. We never had to dream of a white Christmas when I was a kid—we just looked out the window. The season meant chilly temperatures and bundling up with a scarf, a knitted toque—with a pom-pom, of course—and woolen mittens. (Gloves? You josh.) Christmas also meant brightly colored lights strung around fir trees, windows, and eaves. And…well, there were a lot of things that made Christmas Christmas when I was growing up. Continue reading →
When you move from one city to another, you wonder—and perhaps worry—what the transition will be like. You’re concerned about the services: Will I find a good doctor? dentist? hairdresser? You’re curious about the eateries: Is there a good Italian restaurant? Where can I get a good pizza? And naturally, you think about the people: Are they nice? Will I make friends? Continue reading →
I’ve been living in Nanaimo for about seven months now, and over those months I’ve grown steadily more fond of my new home. However, like many relationships, mine with Nanaimo didn’t get off to the most promising start.
It was a chilly day last December when I drove my car onto the ferry at Horseshoe Bay on the mainland. My destination: Departure Bay, Nanaimo. I was excited, eager—and anxious. I’d never been to Nanaimo before—or Vancouver Island. This was a maiden voyage for me. As the boat crossed the Strait of Georgia, I gazed back, awestruck, at the towering, snow-capped mountains hugging the BC coastline.