Category Archives: Canada
Our travels in Vancouver, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, B.C. June 20-25, 2008.
I’m late with the photo this week, and very late for my previous entry, but better late than never as they say. I took this one this last week while strolling around Victoria Harbor. I was there for a few days of R and R. The lights are amazingly bright on the Parliament Building, which is lit up every night.
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I’m a week late with this… actually, over a week late. But, I have a good excuse. I was on vacation and didn’t have fast enough internet to upload photos. I’ve been playing catch up since getting home. So… the June 21 photo hunt was water. I was standing in Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. on Saturday, June 21, taking this photo.
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As we crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca several tall ships passed us. Probably 6 or 7 in all. It’s amazing to see just one, let alone a whole parade of them.
We had a really nice time in Canada, and so did Weston. Never has there been (OK, I’m biased) a better traveling little guy. Martin and Mary were great company as well…. so thanks guys for coming along and enjoying what Vancouver B.C. and Vancouver Island B.C. had to offer. It was a splendidly relaxing time.
We spent the entire voyage across the Juan de Fuca Strait outside in the front of the ferry because Weston was allowed on deck, but not inside. However, sometimes a girl has to go in for a brief, uh, rest. Out there in the very front, or bow, of the ship you can see tiny figures… those would be Karen, Mary, Martin, and Weston.
The morning of Wednesday, June 25, we headed down to the ferry dock and boarded for our trip across the Juan de Fuca Strait to Port Angeles, Washington. From there we headed home, with stop at the McMenamin’s Olympic Club in Centralia for a bite of lunch. The drive home was made pretty enjoyable by the playing of the name this band game. I was the moderator. I put on a play list from my iPod and the other three had to guess the artist. I gave bonus points on some songs for knowing which movie the song was used in or what band the artist might have fronted in the past. Mary was the run away winner, leaving poor Karen and Martin behind. They have both vowed to best her the next time we play.
This beautiful tree, a Pacific Madrone, is the center piece of the sunken garden at Butchart. It’s red smooth bark is lovely.
Tuesday afternoon we headed to what is probably considered to be one of the main attractions near Victoria, Butchart Gardens. Only Karen had been there before, and she’d not seen it in bloom, so it was sort of a new experience for all of us.
Later Tuesday morning we ventured out with Mary and Martin to grab some breakfast at a local bagel place and then walk around a bit more in the city. We found ourselves walking across the Johnson Bridge and then around the harbor. Sea planes are very common here. Every time we were down by the harbor we saw several come and go.
Tuesday morning, June 24, Karen and I took Weston for a little walk around downtown Victoria and ended up finding Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest commercial street in North America. It’s in the Chinatown area and as we walked down we met one of the shop owners out in the alley who told us that when he’s working he feels like he’s not even in the city, like he’s almost in another world. It was very quiet in there. It reminded us of some of the narrow streets in Barcelona without the laundry hanging up over our heads out of the apartments above.
There’d been signs saying there were black bears in the area along the Juan de Fuca trail and that you should use caution… and, if you happened to encounter one, what you should do. We read them, and hoped we didn’t have to use them. On our hike up from Botanical Beach we noticed a couple of things… one, a very fresh bear paw print, and two, a fairly sizable and newish looking pile of bear poo. These had us slightly concerned and we quickened our pace toward the parking area. Mary, after seeing the paw print, said she preferred not to see a bear along the trail, but wouldn’t mind seeing one while we were driving in the car.
Cut to the drive out of the park and back up along the small two lane highway toward Victoria… Karen in the passenger seat, Weston on her lap, Mary and Martin in the back seat. Suddenly Karen says… Holy crap, there’s a bear. We all looked to the left and then pandemonium broke out in the car. Everyone was yelling… “open the window, take a picture, hurry, get the camera, there he goes, open the window, I can’t open the window I have the dog, take the dog, I can’t get the camera out of the case with the dog on my lap, open the window, take the dog, damn my camera battery is low and the camera is too slow, I just got the reflection in the window, he’s right there on the side of the car now, what’s in his mouth, I think it’s a fish, open the window, there he goes, did you get him, I think my pictures are blurry, my camera battery is going dead, open the window, he’s gone, I can’t believe we just saw a bear, no one is going to believe us because we didn’t get a picture, you should have opened the window, I couldn’t because I had the dog, how did yours turn out, I think that blur is the bear, you should have opened the window, I couldn’t open the window I had the dog, I should have given you the camera, I can’t believe we just saw a bear, that is so cool, I’ve never seen a bear… wow”.
Mary got the best picture, and this is it. The black blur in the center is the bear. Really. We all saw him.
This is one of the pools at Botanical Beach. It doesn’t really do justice to it. For one, you can’t really tell that this thing was about three or four feet deep.