Monday, March 31, 2014

Victoria, part 3

We also found time to visit the rocky beaches and coves that are such a part of Vancouver Island - on Wednesday afternoon we went down to Coles Bay and tramped around the beach; on Thursday we visited Sidney's glass beach and collected scads of pottery shards and tiny glass pieces; and the capstone was Thursday evening, when May and Ken took us to Patricia Bay to hunt for little crabs, sand dollars, geoduck clams, and other ocean treasures.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Victoria, part 2

On Wednesday we visited the deservedly famous Butchart Gardens.  They were just coming into spring blooms, and the various areas of the garden were amazing and beautiful. I was especially fascinated to learn of the history of the place - the sunken garden pictured above was a former rock quarry! - and to marvel at the ingenuity and vision of the woman who planned the garden so long ago.

 They even installed a fountain which sprays various dancing patterns - shades of the Bellagio in Vegas, but 50 years before.

The Japanese Garden was very nice - different from the one we are accustomed to seeing in Portland, but with interesting water features and bridges and other structures, and a view through a tree gap out to the bay.

And finally, they had a beautiful new carousel, in its own glass building, with wonderfully painted animals. We had two rides. We were the only ones on it. It was awesome. :)

spring break trip to Vancouver Island (part 1)

Sebastian, Liesl, and I took a trip north to Victoria, B.C., for spring break. My cousins May and Ken live there and generously offered us a place to stay (by which I mean I announced we were visiting and asked them if we could crash, so they had little choice but to say yes...).

We left home first thing Monday morning - stopped for coffee and bagels at Clearing Cafe and then drove north on I5 to Olympia and then onto the Olympic peninsula to Port Angeles. We walked around the town and enjoyed the views and then caught the ferry.

We arrived to a wonderful welcome dinner, including a chocolate birthday cake.

On Tuesday we went to the Royal BC Museum. There was a great exhibit on First Nations peoples - totems, stone knives, a detailed model village, a canoe - and Sebastian was very interested. It was probably the first time I've been with him in a museum that he was genuinely able to focus and pay attention to the exhibits. There was also a big wooly mammoth, and a visiting exhibition of nature photographs from around the world. That was pretty stunning.

Then we hopped onto a taxi ferryboat and went across the harbor to Fisherman's Wharf.

We ate some great fish and chips for lunch and then bought six small herring to feed to the seals!

After dinner my mom produced a carrot cake she had made - wonderful lady - which was delicious. She had also brought along crowns and party favors, so it was a very festive birthday all around.