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Archive for the ‘British Columbia 2007’ Category

While it’s possible that something further may come to mind, as far as I know now, this will be my last post about our recent trip to British Columbia. While I was blogging about the trip, I did mention that that we had seen palm trees. Indeed, there was one right outside our motel room window in Tofino. However, having enough on my plate to blog the basics of our comings and goings, I never quite got around to following up with photos of some of the trees — until now. The first, below, is the view across Denman St from the Starbucks which we frequented. The next two are closer shots of the same trees, focusing on their odd, hairy trunks.

Palm Trees in BC

Palm Trees in BC

Palm Trees in BC

This was the one (actually a group of palm trees) that was right outside our motel room in Tofino, and there was another in the same yard, obviously a different variety.

Palm Trees in BC

So there you have it: proof that there are palm trees in The Great White North. As you can see, that part of Canada isn’t at all white. Winter temperature, at least on average, remain above freezing. I might presume that micro climates right by the ocean where the trees were all located allow them to survive the occasional general dip below the freezing point.

Cross-posted to Raindrops.

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Day 20

On our last day in Vancouver, we took a final walk in Stanley Park. On the previous evening, Althegal had mentioned that The Lost Lagoon was a pretty place and wondered if we had seen it yet. She had given us an idea of its general location, so we set off to find it. As it turned out, the lagoon was, indeed, a little bit lost because we had some trouble finding it. Even after obtaining directions from a passing cyclist, we were thwarted by various access paths being temporarily fenced off. On good days, I have a bit of a nose for directions, so I kept on heading where I thought it might be, and I eventually saw it off to my left and exclaimed to Cuppa that we had found The Lost Lagoon.

Unfortunately, even on her very best day, Cuppa has no sense of direction. In point of fact, I have never come across any mortal with a worse sense of direction. So, when I pointed out that the lagoon was no longer lost, she wailed rather desperately, “Yes, but where are we?” You see, because of her lack of directional sense, she becomes a trifle rattled when she doesn’t know exactly where she is and how to get home from there. Did I say “trifle rattled?” That, my friend is a trifle of an understatement.

But I did get her there, and we sat at this lovely spot for a while and looked at the fountain, the geese and ducks (see top photo), and even two swans that paddled by (see next photo).

Day 20

As lovely as it was, however, the apprehensive lady was not really enjoying herself (see her anxious posture below).

Day 20

So, I didn’t keep her there very long before beginning to guide her back home: except I took a route other than the one we came in on, along interior streets rather than the familiar path by the bay. This did not assuage her perturbed state in the least, for she became more lost than ever. It didn’t help too much that I was reasonably sure of our position because unwilling was I to state it categorically with 100% assuredness. There were times when she was rather desperate to ask someone of our whereabouts, but I refused. I am a male and have some pride after all.

Well, it turned out that I did know where we were and was able to escort her ladyship back to the safe confines of the apartment. It was all quite straightforward really.The next day, however, when we arrived in Ottawa after a long flight which included a transfer in Toronto, we discovered that one of our pieces of luggage didn’t make the transfer and was headed to Halifax. It was my luggage as a matter of fact.

The triumvirate was complete: Lost Lagoon, Lost Lady, and Lost Luggage.

Cross posted to Raindrops.

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What a treat to have my laptop open on my own desk and to be sitting in my good, old back-friendly chair. We got in late last night, but I was too stunned to do anything but hie to bed. But that was after a visit with the kids and the dear Smudge who was perhaps not quite herself after enduring a myriad of two-month inoculations yesterday.

In a not unexpected twist of irony, we woke up to absolutely beautiful weather in Vancouver yesterday and were able to see the mountains more clearly than ever before. That was after three solid weeks of cloud and rain, or so it seemed. But there wasn’t much time to enjoy them. We headed to the airport at nine o’clock PDT (after an atrocious breakfast out, I might add), and didn’t pull into the kids’ place until until almost eleven o’clock EDT.

And was it ever steamy here!! Temperatures reached into the 90s — very humid 90s too. After three weeks of it barely being warm enough to remove jackets, I was soon peeling off my clothes in a frenzy. There was no tease to that strip, let me tell ya.

So yes, we went from sweats to sweat in a very short period of time. But it’s still great to be home, at my own desk, with a company-starved cat by my side.

Cross-posted to Raindrops.

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It’s over! The trip is done. When this is published, we will be on our way home although perhaps not in the SKY yet.

We crossed the SEA by ferry from the island back to Vancouver on Friday evening and snapped the following photos. Since then, we have been done with sightseeing, preferring to hang with the kids — go for brunch, talk, play cards.

While there may be an addendum or two once we get home, this post pretty well concludes the blog for now. I think that it will be some time before another major trip is scribed here, but there may be some minor excursions to report on from time to time.

Thanks for coming along on the journey,

AC and Cuppa

Day 17

Day 17

Day 17

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Cuppa has posted or will post a blog about the Butchart (BOO-shart) Gardens, but we have a bunch more photos that I’d like to share. While it’s tempting to sometimes think, Gardens Sharmins, this is a most wonderful, world class site that is definitely worth the price of admission (which ain’t cheap btw). Although I’ve only included one photo of them (the first below), let me tell you that the delphiniums were spectacular. It was a pleasure to see them in their more natural habitat; they grow really well in this climate but not so well in our hot summers of southern Ontario.

Day 17

Day 17

Day 17

Day 17

Day 17

day 17

Day 17

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Well folks, these two weary travelers are back in Vancouver after their adventure on the Island, and are preparing to jet home tomorrow. Yahoo! Today will be one of packing, preparing and saying good bye. Not Yahoo! We have had such a wonderful visit with the girls and it will sure tug at my heart to say good bye tomorrow. Sigh! I am looking forward to getting home and back to my own bed though. Be it ever so humble, there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

Before I pack up the laptop for the journey home, let me share a few pics of our final day on the Island. Day 17We set off from Tofino in the pouring rain on Thursday and it kept us company for most of the trip to Victoria, but the next day the sun came out and we headed for Butchart Gardens. I wasn’t sure it would be worth the$25 entrance fee, but it was worth every penny and then some. These pictures don’t begin to capture the beauty of the place, but they might give you a little inkling. AC is posting more too.

Day 17

Next to the flowers, this was the most common sight at the gardens (and almost everywhere else during this trip). Yep, umbrellas! It rained on and off the whole time we were there, but it just added to the atmosphere of the day

Day 17

The flowers, oh the flowers. What can I say? They were magnificent and there wasn’t a speck of black spot anywhere on the roses and I didn’t see an earwig or the damage he causes either.

Day 17

At the end of the tour of the gardens it was time for a tea break before our visit to the gift shop. As you can see, even the cafeteria was decorated in splendid style. AC and I enjoyed our coffee and muffins sitting in this little nook while we looked out over the gardens.

Day 17

After our visit to the gardens we set sail for home – well, the girls little apt in Vancouver. It seems like home these days, and they have made us feel comfortable and welcome. Of all the grand and glorious things we did on this trip, the visit with the girls and being introduced to their stomping grounds was the best.  Thanks A Team!

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Day 16

In the previous post, I briefly described the first part our drive from Pacific Rim National Park to Victoria: the part from Tofino to Cathedral Grove near Port Alberni. But I missed the above picture of Cuppa in the Grove; I like it and wanted to include it somewhere, so there you have it.

To continue: just as it was slow going from Pacific Rim to Port Alberni, so it remained slow going for the rest of the way as well. We thought that it would be different, for the map seemed to show an expressway from Nanaimo to Victoria, and the distance was not huge. In fact, in our experience it should only have been about an hour because that’s about how long it takes us to drive an equivalent distance in Ontario. It was different on the Victoria route, however, for there were stoplights every few miles, or so it seemed. We’d get up to highway speeds and then be forced to stop — time and time again.

As a result, we were somewhat travel-weary by the time we hit Victoria, but we found a generic motel easily enough where we also begged for directions to a decent restaurant. As it turns out, we were directed to Irish Times Pub in downtown Victoria. As this poor picture shows, it was a pretty impressive establishment.

Day 16

And Praise Be! for we did have a very decent meal, not the best ever, but it didn’t have to be after the previous night (see below). It was quite good, however, and the atmosphere was great. AC and Cuppa even sampled four Irish beers. Not to fret about us becoming alcoholics though, for as the photo shows, the portions were small which is just as well as neither of us are exactly world class beer drinkers. What led to the sampler was the fact that I had never tried that world famous Guiness, not in my whole life, and my life is moving apace thank you very much, so it seemed to be high time.

Day 16

As it turned out, both of us ranked Guiness as our least favourite, with the much lighter Harp coming out on top. After dinner we toured downtown Victoria. From the outside, we saw the famous Empress Hotel and the Legislature and many other tourists and many touristy shops. It seems that tour ships frequently pull into Victoria, and the stores reflected that as did various conveyances such as the caleche below.

Day 16

All of that being said, however, I have left you hanging just a bit — something about bad food on the previous night in Tofino. Was it ever bad! Judging by the next photo, I must have had a premonition because Cuppa took it even before the food came. We had fancied and ordered fish and chips. I ate two bites (can’t think of why I took the second) and gave up in a state of nauseated disgust. I don’t leave my food very often, particularly at restaurant prices, but this stuff was truly awful. It wasn’t halibut, wasn’t haddock, and wasn’t even cod, but it sure was fishy. Ugh!

Day 15

My goodness! We’re almost done with the trip. In a later post I will share some photos of the famous Butchart Gardens and our return ferry crossing, but that should be close to the end of Rambling and Roving for now.

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