Come vacation with me! I love to write about my family’s vacations. I hope you are inspired to plan your own exciting journeys! Have you been on a cruise? Have you been to Alaska and Canada? Let us know in the comments!
My daughter and I rise early again for our early excursion. I am so excited to be in Victoria, Canada! This is a special place I remember visiting when I was a young girl, and now I get to share the experience with my little girl. We are going to see the beauteous Butchart Gardens.
Somehow my in-laws didn’t see us, and so they missed the bus. (They got on the next bus). We love these little bus tours, the friendly guides/ drivers and their oft cheesy remarks. It’s a bit chilly and there are clear umbrellas at the gardens for everyone to borrow, if needed.
The Gardens themselves are exquisitely gorgeous, every bit as wonderful as I remember. We take many photos and enjoy the lovely blooms. We enjoy a rousing ride on the carousel, and a light snack of popcorn, after. My daughter had just said, if I were separated from my granddaughter and there was a merry-go-round, I would know that that would be the place to meet. When sure enough, her grandparents approach the carousel! She runs to greet them, it is really cute. The carousel and the popcorn stand accept our U.S. Dollars, and give me change in Canadian dollars. I love the Sunken Garden, and the Rose Garden the best. The fountains are beautiful. I am deeply moved by the Love and Peace rose, vintage 2001.
We take a photo near the tea room where my parents took my sister and I thirty-some years ago. I tell my daughter the story of how we waited over an hour in the heat, and my little sister ordered both a chocolate sundae and a chocolate shake. Our sweet mother balked, but my dear father said it was okay, as he knew he would be lucky enough to help her finish both! Smart man! She delights in this story, but we do not have enough time to dine here today. Our tour bus awaits. And since they didn’t wait for my in-laws before, I doubt they will wait for us if we are late. We say goodbye to the in-laws and get on our bus. We will pass a cool spinning globe in front of a Starbucks, as well as the famous Empress Hotel. The bus is stopping at the Empress, and I decide we should exit here. It is a lovely pier area, and very near our next excursion. We take some more obligatory tourist pics.
Near the meeting point is another Starbucks. Happily we run inside for a lunch/snack/drink. My sister in law and niece are inside! They just finished their excursion: a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown. We enjoy a lovely mother-daughter reunion and share our stories. My husband brings the boys (our son and nephew) off the ship after their lunch, and we all meet up for the Hippo Tour: a bus that turns into a boat. The kids are delighted- it really is a unique tour. Unfortunately for us, although we are first to line up, they boarded from the end of the line and we ended up with the worst seats on the bus- right behind the driver / tour guide in the heat with closed windows and no leg room. The kids squished in the middle and got good views, but all my photos have the windshield in them.
The bus becomes a boat and we float through the water. We see a seaplane land in the water, which was very cool. Our Hippo sails so close to our Royal Caribbean ship that the ship’s wifi pops up on my phone! After the water ride, we drive through a park with lovely peacocks everywhere. After the tour, we split up again, and my son stays with me to souvenir shop in town, and the others walk back to the ship via another park/playground.
We are looking for another baseball cap for my son’s collection. But of course, we must also stop for the famous fudge, that was once eaten in space! I am using my Canadian dollars and coins, and I am looking for a penny, when the cashier reminds me that they don’t have pennies anymore! I vaguely recall this news from more than a few years back. Why do they continue to ring up amounts with pennies, then, I wonder? The fudge is fantastic. I try the famous maple, Dear Son tries another flavor. It’s quite fun exploring with my son, just he and I. He navigates quite well, shares appropriate observations, and some punny jokes. It is in many ways, like hanging out with another adult 🙂 It is sprinkling, and I consider taking a penny cab back to the boat, but we can handle it. And I log a ton of steps today!
We return to the boat and meet for dinner. Tonight will be for packing. You can pack by 10pm and the staff will take your luggage off the boat for you, or you can select early departure/ walk-off luggage, which is what we will be doing. We packed light.
We join the karaoke line-up and Dear Daughter selects Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. This Cyndi Lauper classic is a bit to high for my alto range, and I regret I did not do it justice. Fortunately my sweet girl skips happily around me during the instrumental break, and we are saved. But I do not think I will share that video. LOL.
Tomorrow we will disembark in Seattle, and enjoy the city before we head home in the evening. Can’t wait to share more with you! I will also be sharing my godson’s video with you.