Handsome Dan and The French Girl
About twenty years ago when I was still living on the farm in Saskatchewan I suggested to my Dad that we should turn our farm into a vacation farm. He liked the idea and over the next year or so we started to make some preliminary plans. Unfortunately due to change of life events, that never happened and a few years later I found myself living here on Vancouver Island. But operating a small vacation rental business stayed on my radar.
A few years after arriving on the Island I met this charming little French Girl who ran her own business delivering lunch items to the office building I was working in at the time. I turned my available charm into high gear and eventually convinced her that I was a prime candidate to become her main squeeze. A year or so later she and her six year old son, Olivier moved in with me. Two years after that we sold my house and bought an old log house on an acre, seven miles west of Sooke. The place needed a lot of work inside and out. Since the summer of 2004 when we moved much of our spare time and money has gone into repair and rebuild. We are both self-employed so it has not always been an easy nut to crack. But each of us had the same vision of eventually turning our home into a bed and breakfast or vacation guest home.
We plan that soon we will move to a new home and begin to invite guests to our log guest house where we have worked so hard for the last few years.
In the summer of 2010 we had the opportunity to purchase a small cottage in Port Renfrew. Port Renfrew is exactly an hour’s drive west from our home on West Coast Road; also known as the Juan de Fuca Highway. We thought buying the cottage and starting our vacation rental business would be good practice for when our log house is ready to go. We did our research and committed to buying the cottage by tapping into some of the equity of our log house. And with that we were in the vacation rental business. We named it Handsome Dan’s Wild Coast Guest Cottage after the name of the development in Renfrew and of course moi. Handsome Dan is the French Girl’s pet name for me. France, but known by almost everyone as The French Girl is an accomplished artist and skilled craftsperson. She’ll not admit that though. You will see the unique work she does with concrete when you stay with us at our cottage and if you happen to stop and visit us in our log home on the way to Renfrew. Her oil paintings of Handsome Dan hang proudly on the high walls of our home too. Like me the French Girl grew up in a small farming community. She is from North Central Quebec; an authentic Quebecois.
Port Renfrew has been our favourite destination for a day or overnight trip for all the years we have lived on Vancouver Island. We go often. Each time we visit, no matter what time of year we are consumed by the natural magnificence of this little community and the earthly beauty that surrounds it. We invite you to stay in our little cottage and enjoy a few days any time of the year. There is much to do and see. Or simply do nothing for extended periods of time, but sit quietly and listen to the ocean.