Tuff City Thrift

chesterman beach wikkaninnish

I had the wonderful pleasure of a mid-December getaway with my sweetheart to the breathtakingly beautiful Tofino, BC, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s basically the last stop before Japan. It was a stormy weekend, so we had rain, hail, snow, sun, wind, rainbows… and of course, the opportunity to hit the town’s only thrift shop: Castaways.

castaways sign

The shop is owned by an eclectic couple named John and Lise Wynne – a couple dedicated to peace-making in all areas. John looks like a salty sailor but is a friendly, reflective person who organizes a peace event on the International Day of Peace in September each year.

cast away lise and john

Lise is an exuberant, welcoming personality and an artist whose jewelry design “kelptic” arts, incorporates kelp into each piece. She’s also a bit of an herbalist – she was thrilled to learn my name as she has just discovered the healing properties of Angelica the week before and was excited to share her discoveries with us. The couple is clearly dedicated to caring for the environment and recycling, hence their thrift shop, which is their business (as opposed to a charity thrift shop.)

The shop is small and crowded – a treasure hunter’s dream. They have a good selection of used clothing and shoes, a few household items, a bit of vinyl, a large book selection and lots of interesting curios and knickknacks. Nothing is priced so it’s a bit of a surprise at the till. It was a wonderful visit on a rainy afternoon.

I picked up two books:

tofino books

The Accidental Tourist, which is one of my friend’s favourite books and one I’ve never read, so I thought I’d finally commit. I also picked up Rebel without a Crew by director, Robert Rodriguez, who is one of Aaron’s favourite directors. Maybe he can pick up a few tips for his own career!

work the strings game

I also picked up this curiosity. The box set was complete with lengths of coloured rope and instructions on several games and tricks. It actually kept me entertained for quite a while during a stormy afternoon.

work the strings game innards

I used to play these kinds of games with my friends all the time as a kid – does anyone out there remember these?

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8 Responses to Tuff City Thrift

  1. It'sNotOurWay says:

    I really enjoy how you find the most interesting thrift stores. I just told my pappa that if I ever won the lotto I would hire a driver and go to all the thrift stores in British Columbia. *yes, he thinks that is crazy, but he is my pappa and has to love me anyway…ha ha. Reading your blog is like being a passenger along for the ride, thanks for making it so much fun!

    • thanks for the affirmation! i think i would do exactly the same thing if i won the lottery! i dream about being a thrift travel consultant – i’d organize trips to places and the main event of each day would be to hit a thrift shop or two in the area. wouldn’t that be fun?

  2. Lulastic says:

    Sounds like a wonderful break, love that you got to know them so well- you seem to have a lot in common!

  3. Megan says:

    This made me dream of having my own little shop someday – thanks Angelica 🙂

  4. Claire C says:

    Aww, what a lovely photo of the beach. I’ve added to my travel Pinterest board 🙂

    I love that the thrifting is so good in Canada – your country is on my to visit list. Maybe next year we will make it over and we can hunt out some of the great thrifting places…

    • I’d LOVE to share thrift places with you! my husband and i are planning a trip back to Scotland in Jun 2014 – I’ve already been marking down your Edinburgh area thrift finds for our trip! Happy Christmas!

      • Claire C says:

        Ooooh, this is a good idea 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas! Swapping thrifty spots is well worth doing. I’d like to get over to Canada in 2014 or before…

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