Updating my Frommer's guide to Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands is always a fabulous excuse to roam the roads. Sure, I clock up the mileage but in a Mazda Miata convertible, with glorious sunshine, it doesn't always feel like work.
In May, when I traveled the length and breadth of Vancouver Island, the miserable weather certainly didn't encourage hanging around a beach with an ice-cream cone. But it kept my nose to the grindstone. I wanted to see how the island had managed the recession, and is the reason why I'm visiting the San Juans and Gulf islands with such a keen eye, and tuned-ear.
Tourism is such an important economy for all these islands, and nothing beats finding out the 'state' of the nations', first hand. We all know that Americans are staying closer to home and, in spite of what the current US Administration is touting, unemployment and taxes are up; opportunities and optimism are down. And when you're away from the city cores, you're more than likely to witness a growing disaffection to the BO reality of promised change.
That in itself makes for interesting talk. But I digress. It's time to get movin'