experts: real estate column Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Marty's Vancouver vacation

... there's nothing fun about three hours in the B.C. Ferry parking lot...

By Marty Douglas

Bibo ergo sum. I drink, therefore I am.

Itís been an interesting couple of weeks on the West Coast, in my office; one of those infrequent but predictable series of random events that leaves you shaking your head, wondering why all around you are losing theirs, while you remain the one bastion of clear thinking and sanity. Seeking reasons, you cast about for nefarious plots, forgotten promises or old enemies, your search hopefully culminating in a moment of clarity when it all comes together.

Mine occurred at about 4 am after a night of tossing around, trying to find the one position that would allow sleep, while reviewing solutions to various problems. Hey -- youíre in management -- why am I telling you this? Gripped with an idea worthy of getting up, crossing to the dresser to write on the back of yet another business card, I glanced out the window at Comox Bay where a river of light danced from our deck to the full moon.

The full moon.

The bloody moon is full!

Problems explained. Went back to bed and slept like a stone.

So hereís a tip for you newcomers to worry. Sometimes the solution isnít visible when youíre looking for it, only when youíre not. And some moons are fuller than others. I have no idea what that means but if it gives you comfort, if you were nodding your head, me too.

So whatíll we talk about now? How about living on Vancouver Island and traveling to Vancouver? By car. But when everyone else is going to the big smoke and the parking lot is full, the mind games begin. Because thereís nothing fun about three hours in the B.C. Ferry parking lot. Only tourists get caught in a sailing delay.

The ticket attendant suggests Iíll probably make the 12:30, but might not.

Buy a paper. The guy comes right to your car.

Ferry arrives.


Might just make it.

How come the car that arrived after me is moving first?

They had reservations.


One more row.

Might just make it.


Okay, maybe not.

Okay, maybe.


Yikes, Iím going to make it.

So long you losers!

Okay, Iím onboard, whatís the delay?

Look at the food line up!

When did they change the colour of the chowder to brindle?

Vancouver -- Georgia Street is a six-lane parking lot; my hotel is Georgia and Howe. From the lane Iím in, you canít get there. Right turns to solve the one-way street grid allow one car per light sequence because Vancouver pedestrians have never grasped the concept of ďWalk -- Donít Walk.Ē The alternate clothing, hair and lifestyles offer some entertainment value. But not enough.

Finally, after reversing at high speed the wrong way, I am one with the parkade. My blood pressure is in six figures. Dinner and a reunion follow. Those of us who drove order doubles at the cash bar. Yes, even at $6.95 for a single. The scotch was made fresh that morning in Detroit so I stick to vodka. Party on dude.

Dinner is exquisite, the company refreshing, the stories leave us in stitches.


Hmmm! Thereís a sleep mask and earplugs on the pillow instead of a chocolate.

Awake at 4 am.

Asleep at 6 am.

7:33 - Awake. I want to catch the 8:30 ferry back to the rock. Itís about 30 km.

7:48 - Showered, packed, called desk as I left the parkade.

8:08 - Pay ferry fare.

8:23 - On board, available for breakfast.

8:30 - I said available. We islanders donít actually eat ferry food.

10:15 - I donít actually kiss the ground after we dock, more of a sultry glance.

Noon - Back home, blood pressure normal, headache receding, sales staff are getting calls from Vancouver folk who want to move to the Island.

No bloody wonder.

Marty Douglas is the sales manager for Coast Realty Group (Comox Valley) Ltd., one of nine Coast Realty Group offices on Vancouver Island. He is a past chair of the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Corporation of B.C., the Real Estate Council of B.C., the B.C. Real Estate Association and the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. 1 800 715 3999; fax 250 897 3933. Email

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Surviving in a slower market
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The downside of teams
Saturday, October 02, 2010

Thank you, FINTRAC
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Snapshot of Alberta
Thursday, January 03, 2008

No song and dance for weighty housing issues
Monday, October 29, 2007

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