By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published October 17, 2018

I watched my youngest granddaughter transform from a baby to a toddler. I experienced the high tea of a lifetime. And, most importantly, I enjoyed quality family time that included many experiences, including camping on Moutcha Bay.

Those are the highlights of the summer trip Carlos and I took with our 3 children, their spouses and our 5 grandchildren. We went to Moutcha Bay Resort in Nootka Sound, British Columbia.

Moutcha Bay is known for its salmon fishing, and my husband loves it for that. But to say this was a fishing trip doesn’t capture its meaning. It was a chance for the 12 of us to connect. The outdoors was the vehicle to bring us together.

This was my first trip to Moutcha Bay. Carlos has been there several times, and our oldest daughter, Christina, had been before, too.

Carlos told me tales of Moutcha Bay, and he showed me photos. I am not a bit interested in fishing, but the photos made me curious about the place, because I could see my husband had so much fun on these trips. I always thought, “If I ever get the chance, I want to go, too.”

Before I retired from competitive sport shooting after this year’s Bianchi Cup, I never had the opportunity to go with Carlos to Moutcha Bay. Anytime he went, I was at a competition or training for one.

I don’t have any regrets with my shooting career. It empowered me. It motivated me. It healed me.

But, like any high-level athlete knows, my career came with sacrifices. One was missing out on some family time – and getting to experience more family time is one of the top perks of my retirement.

We flew from California to Vancouver and continued our journey in rental cars from there. We headed to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to get to Vancouver Island. We traveled there to have high tea the next afternoon at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. Tea has been served daily at the hotel’s Lobby Lounge since 1908.

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