We’re sitting on the ferry making our leisurely way to Vancouver Island with our cargo of ice. I like this kind of day. Maybe it’s because I spend so much of my time focused on the ice (or the computer screen) in front of me that being out in the public is a pleasant change. This time Valerie and I get to travel together. She’s sitting here across from me reading her favorite book while I catch up on my blog. Could I have it any better?
Yes, we deliver ice sculptures to the west onto Vancouver Island to Victoria, Nanaimo or Ucluelet or east to Kamloops, Kelowna or Vernon. And of course we go north to Whistler and Pemberton. All of these represent a great opportunity to get out and around to different events and to meet a lot of really neat people. Today is no exception. We’re headed for the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort on the island where we are delivering two ice sculptures to the Golf for Kids event that’s taking place on Saturday. This is the third time we’re doing this gig and it’s largely due to the relationship we have with the executive chef who works there. Mark used to work as the Sous Chef at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver where we provide them with most of their specialty ice sculptures. Over several years of carting sculptures through the kitchen and meeting all the staff we kind of got onto a first name basis with a lot of them. Then the opportunity came for Mark to move on and it was only natural that he should take his vendor list with him. Golf for Kids is a tournament that raises more than 3 million dollars annually in support of local children’s charities. And it’s a no brainer that we love to get behind these kinds of fundraisers. Mark called already a couple of months ago just to make sure we were available. “Same sculptures as last year,” he said, which makes it pretty straight forward for us.
The journey started out at 10:00 this morning as I loaded up the sculptures and wrapped them in an abundance of sleeping bags. Yes, I said “sleeping bags.” Some people still look at me like I’m losing it when I say “sleeping bags.” And so I have to explain that they do the same thing to keep the cold in as they do to keep the warm in. Three layers and the ice is snug as a bug in a rug (a cold bug that is). Then an hour long trip to the ferry at Tsawwassen so we could catch the 12:00 sailing to the island. Usually I make a reservation for this kind of trip because delivery is time sensitive to the event we’re heading to at the other end. But in this case it’s a drop off at the resort before we turn around and make the trip back home. The ferry ride will be 1 hour and 35 minutes and the road trip to our location is another 45 minutes. So the whole journey takes us about 8 plus hours. Crossing the water isn’t in and of itself all that long. But when you add the hour getting to the ferry, the 45 minutes getting to the resort when we land and then the whole trip all over again returning…it ends up being a long day.
The broadcaster just gave us the heads up that we’re 15 minutes away from the Swartz Bay terminal and it’s time to visit the bathroom. What else do you do but drink coffee and soda. Oh, once in a while we get to see the Orca’s doing their thing in the distance. It’s what lots of people have to go whale watching to see. How fortunate we are to see the best of the best doing the best of the best.
Sorry I won’t get to show you the sculptures all set up and on display. This kind goes straight into storage till Saturday when the chef and his helpers will haul them out and set them up. You’ll have to settle for seeing them on the cart while on their way to the freezer at the Westin.
Every once in a while I find them on Google where some photographer covering the event took a good photo and added it to their coverage of the event. Oh, and did I mention what a treat it is to travel these familiar roads year after year. No more desperate searches (or printing out maps like we used to do before Google maps) or miscalculations getting to our destinations. Familiarity is our friend!
Thank you for reading! Until next time… #theicemen