Bought a pair of Aeronauts and a variety of tickets to get us from San Diego, California to the Wickaninnish Inn just south of Tofino British Columbia to celebrate my lovely wife's 50th birthday.
Photo of two Aeronaut bags (note compass on steel colored bag) and two roll top day packs.
Trip was 8 days long and we packed enough clothes for 8 weeks. The packed Aeronauts weighed just under 18 pounds each and we could have easily packed more clothes. We traveled by plane, train, car, boat and by foot. The Aeronauts excelled at all modes of transportation by quickly converting from suitcase to backpack or shoulder bag with the Absolute strap. We each brought an additional small roll top daypack bag sewn by me.
Photo of the birthday girl wearing her Aeronaut in backpack mode in downtown Vancouver.
First night was spent in downtown Vancouver with beautiful warm sunny weather and we hiked the perimeter of the city including Stanley Park returning at about 11pm. Jumped into the rental car at 7am and took the ferry to Naniamo on Vancouver Island. After a spectacular drive across the island, we checked into the Wickaninnish Inn at 4pm. Birthday dinner reservations were at 6:30pm and we watched bald eagles catch fish while enjoying an exquisite 3 hour tasting dinner of regional foods paired with local and European wines. We spent 4 unforgettable nights at the Wickaninnish Inn. The hotel location, staff friendliness, rooms, regional decor and art collection make it one of the worlds greatest hotels and it's currently rated as Canada's best hotel.
Photo of the restaurant and the Wickaninnish Inn entry.
Started each day with a bike ride down the bike path to the surfing town of Tofino to get a fresh juice and healthy baked goodie from Jupiter. We then pedaled back and packed a picnic, hopped in the rental car and spent the rest of each day exploring and hiking the rain forests and beaches of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This has got to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Photo of the trail to Florencia Bay and beach, Pacific Rim National Park and Reserve, BC Canada
Returned to Granville Island in Vancouver city for 2 more nights with a bus trip and short hike to the newly renovated University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology being the highlight. This is one of the world's best museums with over 10,000 jaw dropping objects on display.
The Wickaninnish Inn and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve should be on everyones must-do-before-I-die list. If you think that the Wickaninnish Inn is expensive look at the math this way; It's about twice as expensive as a medium hotel in this part of the world but this hotel is easily 10 times better than anything you've ever stayed in - so it's a bargain. You can tell yourself you'll save money by eating in the bar.
Photo of bald eagle taken from our Wickaninnish Inn room balcony. The glass visible on the left side are the restaurant windows. On the right side is a pic of wolf tracks we found on a remote beach north of Schooner Cove. Those wolf tracks and our own footprints were the only mammal tracks on that entire beach.
If you are reading this because you are thinking about buying an Aeronaut bag - you should buy one. It's the world's greatest travel bag and a bargain when you consider design, craftsmanship, country of origin, materials and lifespan of the object. Traveling with the Aeronaut bag is very liberating for those accustomed to traveling with rolling luggage as it easily navigates through narrow airplane aisles and slips effortlessly into the smallest of commuter jet overhead bins. Backpack mode with the Aeronaut is super comfortable leaving your hands free to take pictures or hold onto hand railings on slippery boat docks or better yet - just hold hands with your partner.
I'm all unpacked but I'm leaving my Aeronaut sitting out in full view to savor this last trip and to start planning the next trip.