The White Rock adventure… with one crazy story

Our adventure to White Rock, BC! Pretty pictures attached to a not so perfect story. Adventures are like that... via Funky Junk Interiors

Last summer I blew it. I don’t know what happened, but work took over to the point of us not even making it to the beach! I swear I don’t know what happened. And we only live 15 min from a lake, 2 minutes from the river, and 45 min to amazing resorts. Well, this summer I vowed that would not (nor ever) happen again. So… I told my son, “Let’s go on an adventure!”

My son rolled his eyes… we at times have these AMAZING plans that don’t pan out. But not this time.This was gonna be great!

Spur of the moment trips dictate picking and choosing something close by. No prob! We only were due for 1 sunny day anyway, (we pay dearly for our greenery) so we decided our adventure would take us to the cute little seaside town of White Rock, BC.

White Rock is kinda located nearish to Vancouver if you look on a map. It’s very close to the Washington border. So close in fact, that the main route getting there is called 0 Avenue. It’s a road that runs parallel and right next to a US road. Seriously… you could walk across. I don’t know how people don’t because one could. Anyway,  I meant to take a picture of how crazy this sounds but I was going to on our way back, because we had it aaaallll planned out you see…

White Rock, BC - the pier

Anyway, I’m terribly directionally challenged, so I decided to study a map before we took off. After I got a glimpse of our route (5 pages of drawn glimpses to be exact), we set out. Yes, I had the GPS, but sometimes that thing takes us to places we don’t want to go… 

White Rock, BC - along the ocean

And as luck would have it, the GPS started coughing up all the wrong directs. “In 300 metres, turn left on blah blah blah…” squalked the automated voice.

“Mom, why aren’t you turning? You’ll get LOST if you don’t turn!”

“No no, I know… I studied a map. This thing is trying to take us to all the side roads… I really should stop and adjust that…”

But no. I didn’t. So we kept going. I had a MAP. We were good!

White Rock, BC Canada - the pier

And we DID get there! Trust me when I say, that kinda thing makes me GIDDY. I don’t know where anything is so to even get down the road at times is miracle making at it’s best. So we found a parking place.. hmm… it was very full. But we found one! And I even prepared… had the right coins for pay parking and everything. See? I had a handle on this day!

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the dock

“Plunk plunk plunk” went the coins. All $9.00 of them. But… they didn’t take. Don’t you hate that when those machines don’t work? It basically ATE my coins. No return and did not register as paid. Seriously?! They were all the coins I had too!

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the seawall

“IT ATE MY COINS!” I exclaimed, afraid to go down the road for more in case they towed me away. (son rolling his eyes again..)

By pure luck, the parking police (?) approached me with, “I would have never believed you if I hadn’t seen it for myself.” He signed my ticket so we were good to go. I smiled.. yup, this day WOULD be awesome!

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the town

So first things first, we head for something to eat. White Rock is known for their amazing fish and chips, so you can bet that’s what I ordered. And yes, they were DELISH. The fries were so fresh they melted in your mouth. I don’t remember any fries I’ve ever eaten doing that. But these did. 

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the restaurants

This wasn’t the place we ate at (I think that pic is in the iPhone???) but whatever. The entire beachfront was filled with cool open air restaurants like this so you could take in the gorgeous view.

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the restaurants

Crazy awesome lights in this place so I had to take a shot. Hmmm… should I use Instagram/Facebook/Twitter or camera or both… switch switch switch switch…. (son rolling his eyes).

Aren’t they beautiful?! I knew you’d appreciate them so I fussed with settings on the big gun camera after much debate.

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the boats

Time for a walk… let’s check this place out! And it was pretty… so so pretty. I adore the water, but admit to being more accustomed to lakes. This was the OCEAN so it was very special. The air was filled with salty sea air. The day was warm, but the cool breezes off the ocean created the perfect day.

“Mom, what’s THAT smell… it smells rotten or something…”

“Oh, that’s the sea air! Isn’t it neat? So different… I love it!”

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the parks

Like any seaside town, the coolness is all along the beach front. Beautifully groomed and lush parks and landmarks were dotted along the entire seawall. But we wanted to hit the beach. So we walked down towards the water and realized there was no sand at this part… (that should have been a hint!)

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the gelato

Oh no worries! Let’s grab a gelato on the way to the other side of the beach area. It was pretty warm out… this would be nice.

And boy was it. This stuff was so smooth. MUCH smoother than ice cream. They warned us it was better than ice cream and they nailed it. 

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the mural

So, we head towards the beach, taking in some shops and sights along the way.

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the beach

Ahhhh… water! Let’s go for a wade… but… no. The coastline was covered in thick seaweed.

Visiting White Rock, BC Canada - the ocean
Oh, right. The tide is IN. Lake people don’t think of tides. There was basically no beach to be seen at all. Rocks and sea weed. So because we couldn’t cool off, maybe we could sit under a tree… hmmm… no trees on the beach. Hmm…

Son wasn’t crazy about this ordeal at this point. “So we can’t even find crabs or shells?” Hmm… not really.

“Mom, can we go now?”

“Yeah, pretty soon. Lemme just wander a bit more…”

Hot. It was HOT. I looked at the water, wishing I had worn my flip flops I had in the truck. Not that it would have mattered. I couldn’t fathom feeling a thick sponge of seaweed squishing between my toes… um… no.

“Bye bye ocean! Next time we see you, we shall visit you when the tide is OUT.” So we picked up a couple bottles of water and head out.

But I wasn’t quite ready for the day to end. I secretly hoped we’d come to a special landmark on the way home to add to our adventurous day. But I need not have worried… our day was about to get a little longer.

The silly GPS was spitting out the wrong directions again. But I had a handle on things! I had a MAP(s). 

“So Mom,, if you aren’t gonna use this thing, I’ll just turn it off…”

“NOOOO!!!!! Uh… no… not yet. It’s kinda like insurance… in case I get REALLY lost, it’ll still help us.”

“But I’m sick of hearing that voice… In 300 metres….. turn left….. RECALCULATING…” (doing the perfect mechanical voiceover complete with hiccups when it can’t pronounce right)

“Well, just turn down the volume. But just leave it on…”

But something was strange. I was trying to reach 0 Avenue, my newest BFF road that got us here. The avenues were getting larger yet we were going in the right direction…

“Something’s wrong… the roads are wrong…”

“Are you getting LOST?”

“No! We have the GPS if I do… no, this is right. But why are the roads growing and not shrinking? I don’t get it.”

“Mom, it says to turn right. Just DO IT!”

I pause… but then do it, shaking my head thinking… I’m cooked.

Well, our adventure brought us to  who knows where…  ever rely on the GPS, and while it generally always gets you out, you end up going through these neverland roads that haven’t been inhabited by humans in quite some time? Yes, those. HOOPED to the rafters I was.

And then there’s nothing like when the GPS tells you to go straight, but there’s a HUGE cement wall right in the middle of you route with the road continuing on the other side… but the GPS not being human or in panic mode at all, cannot see beyond this. It just taunts you with “RECALCULATING” because you’re now driving in wild circles that never seem to end.

So I did what any person trying not to lose their mind would do. I laughed.

“WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING? I don’t get adults. You should be wondering where you are!”

(Because I don’t get out much??)

I have NO idea how we got out of that spirograph, but I ignored the GPS a few times to TRICK IT. Yes, you can trick them by ignoring them! And it worked! It led us down some pretty crazy streets (including some private construction driveway with empty sheds and trees with no leaves on them????) but we got out! And got home. Just not down 0 Avenue.

Are you still reading? I just scrolled up and noticed I wrote a BOOK. 1521 words so far. That’s ridiculous. Oh well. Thank-you for your thoughtfulness.

So… we got home. And were EXHAUSTED. But it was a good exhausted. Kinda. WhiteRock is beautiful. You should go! :)

I dream of hitting the wide open road with no route in sight. (bet I wouldn’t get lost that way!) It’s truly on my bucket list. But man, it’s a tad stressful getting lost even if you are in your own country. So… now I’m second guessing the big pie in the sky adventure of no destination.

Unless we had a driver… yeah… that would work! Anyone have all the time in the world on your hands, don’t need to earn a living and would be willing to drive a junker and her son around the world hitting major hot spots? I know my chances are just excellent…

But for now, we’re going to keep attempting these spontaneous day trips to new discoveries right in our own back yard. I mean, if we can’t even figure that out, maybe we shouldn’t go further.

But then maybe we will… time will tell…

(1714 words… must be a record blog post)

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Categories: Photo Shoots, Photography, Seasonal, Summer, Travel
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  1. Haha you’re awesome! Mr. Meticulous is so suspicious of the GPS, he still buys maps and I’m the navigator… maybe that’s what your son should do, navigate! Have him do all the directions, how’s that for an adventure!? ;) Our fav thing to do is explore, once you can turn off the stress part, it’s a lot of fun!

    Looking forward to reading about your summer adventures! Oh and thanks for throwing in the cuteness factor with your new babies, that’s too adorable!

  2. Oh thank you Donna! I so miss White Rock!!!!!! Used to visit it all the time when I lived on the Coast. So glad you had fun – and what luck to have the parking thing work out so beautifully!!!!

    xox

  3. Love those kind of crazy trips!!! My husband has no navigational skills and I am constantly calling him “Christopher Columbus” out to discover a New World. We have however seen some unexpected sights we would have missed had we not gone the wrong way :)

  4. Love your story! You should come get lost in Coeur d’Alene Idaho sometime. It’s not that far, you can get here in a day. I bet you would love it, there are a bunch of antique malls, including Paris Flea Market where I display, and Junk from Dixie at Junk Salvation.

  5. I had to name the lady in our GPS a nice name, Honey. Otherwise when she recalculated or spun us in circles I had another not so sweet name for her that wasn’t very family friendly.

    Bliss

  6. Oh dear, you took me away with you today. I lived in White Rock as a teenager and I remember so well stealing days away at the pier. Thanks lady! You nourished a homesick heart.

  7. Loving the trip! White Rock reminds me of Old Town at Florence, Oregon. Nice place to visit if you ever come to our fair state. If you’re tired of the damp, come to my town! I’m in Redmond, Oregon…the dry side of the state. Just hit I-5 south and head east from Portland, then south. Easy and we have a cute little town. I’m a volunteer at our Museum and would love everyone to come see us! Love your blog; btw, ditch the GPS! lol

  8. Looks like it was a beautiful day! I love day trips! And, I’ve learned to ignore our GPS sometimes too. Sometimes, “she” just has no idea what “she’s” talking about! lol

  9. Your pictures make me so homesick for the Pacific Northwest! Ever since moving to Crapolorado (aka Colorado) nothing has the same appeal as being up there where everything is so incredibly green! Thank you for posting these pictures and letting me see a new place to explore when we move back to PNW!

  10. Hi Donna! I loved reading about your adventure to B.C. Thank goodness for GPS? I have had equally exciting adventures (although not in a foreign country) following the GPS, always finally reaching my destination. It does make for a good story! Somehow my husband was born with GPS in his head. He never (rarely ever) gets lost! The pictures are great too! We have always thought it would be so much fun to pack up and head out .. for where ever the road leads. There are so many wonderful places to discover in our own “back yard” of America. I hope you decide to do that .. what fun that would be to follow, and see pictures of! And what memories you will make. I giggle thinking of your son rolling his eyes :) He, maybe not realizing it, is making wonderful memories with you that he will have forever. And we all know he will be telling those stories of travels with his mom someday and having a good time reminiscing. Sounds like a lot of fun to me! I love your blog. Thanks bunches :)

  11. Grew up down the road from White Rock. Spent many a summer day there in my youth. We used to go to the other end near the big park where they have concerts.The beach is so excellent when the tide was out, you could walk for miles before you hit the water(not really but we were kids so it seemed that way :0) We used to put pennies on the railroad tracks to be flattened by the train, when it was still running.I also lived right near Avenue Zero. As kids we would jump across the ditch walking home from school and be in the States. We thought that was pretty cool. Thanks for sharing, brought back good memories.( I too am geographically challenged)

  12. What a fun day at a beautiful place! Sorry you didn’t get to go swimming, but the scenery and food sounded wonderful! I don’t even have a GPS – I just wing it or drag along one of those old maps that nobody can ever fold back up correctly. A friend of mine and I used to go on all day excursions, armed with a map, water and some snacks. We just picked a direction and headed out, looking for junk shops, flea markets and yard sales. We saw some interesting sites but never really got lost. It’s fun – give it a try! Enjoy your summer adventures! Hugs, Leena

  13. My grandparents lived in White Rock, ZI loved going there as a child it is so beautiful with all the flowers

    • Well, if the day hadn’t been that hot I would have collected MORE. :) May have to wait for a few more pieces to do something cool with it but thinking simple garland at this point. The wood is just so pretty!

  14. My hubby and I go on adventures all the time. We live in Tennessee on Lookout Mountain and we love to go wandering, cameras in hand! I have a VW Bug convertible and love to put the top down, turn up the tunes, and look for photo ops. You never know what you will find. Love your driftwood!

  15. I live on the American side of the border, 2 minutes from 0 Avenue. I grew up in Vancouver and have lived in the States for 25 years. If you want good junking I would hit either Snohomish(which is known as the capital of junk and antique stores in Western Washington) or even Bellingham has some great ones downtown. Anacortes( which is on the water and very beautiful) has blocks of antique and junk stores and some great food. Anacortes is about an hour from the border and Snohomish is about the same amount of time.

  16. Also be careful about collecting driftwood. Down here it is illegal to collect it off of public beaches. I wouldn’t want you to get in any trouble.

  17. Donna,
    There’s nothing like a trip to White Rock in the summer. I live in Vancouver and never feel like summer is complete without at least one day trip involving beach, fish and chips at Moby Dicks and ice cream to follow!! Now that my kids are out of school, I can’t wait for adventures like these!!

  18. Came across your blog and thought it was wonderful – only to find that you visited my childhood home of White Rock – I now live 5,000 miles away but it will always be dear to my heart.