Thursday, April 25, 2013

V: Oh, the places you'll go!

This is my contribution to the A to Z Blogging Challenge, in which I'm focusing on overseas destinations I've visited. Five to go!!

V is for Victoria and Vancouver

Victoria, BC, Canada (June 2005)

The fact that I grew up in Oregon and went to college in the Puget Sound, yet never got to British Columbia until I was 40, seems truly bizarre to me now. For awhile, it seemed that every time we would plan a trip up to BC, something would go wrong. The first time was 1992, and Mike's dad died very suddenly. The second time was 1996, and Christopher was born prematurely at 24 weeks. So it wasn't until 2005, for our 15th wedding anniversary, that we finally made it to Victoria! We returned in 2009, when we spent a week in Sooke, BC, with our kids and my parents, but I'm going to focus on our first trip for this post.

We flew up to Victoria and relied on foot and mass transit to get around. We stayed in a new-at-the-time hotel near the city center, the Marriott Victoria Inner Harbour, with wonderful views. Very romantic!
Mike in front of the famous Empress Hotel, where we didn't have tea, but we did have cocktails in their lovely bar!
The Bengal Bar in the Empress, where we had cocktails
After doing my research, we decided to have tea in a far-flung tea shop, the White Heather Tea Room, run by a Scottish took a few buses to get there, but it was totally worth the journey!! We had the Big Muckle Giant Tea for Two, which fed us for the whole day. This was all before Mike went gluten would be much harder to have high tea nowadays, unless we could find a gluten-free tea room!

So much fun!
One day we took a bus to the Butchart Gardens--June was a perfect time to visit. We had a lovely day there!

15 years together!

Love delphiniums!

In the Japanese gardens
One night we had tapas in a Spanish restaurant, and on our anniversary itself we dined at the Restaurant Matisse, a wonderful restaurant located in a basement...with brick walls.

After dinner, in the hotel lobby
On one day we spent the whole time at the phenomenal Royal British Columbia Museum, including  wandering through the totem poles in Thunderbird Park.

This trip was when we discovered how much we like Murchie's Tea and Munro's Books, conveniently located near each other! We love Victoria!

Vancouver, BC, Canada (Summer 2010)

In August 2010, we went up to Vancouver and stayed for a week in a big house with my sister and her family. We had a great time! This is what we did:
Most of all, our week was all about high-quality cousin time, along with sisters-and-their-husbands time. We had a blast!

Taking bathtub boat to Granville Island

After having lunch at the market on Granville Island

Headed to Granville Island
The dock where we boarded the boat

Cuddling with my sister

Our family at Canada Place

Chinese Garden

Stanley Park

Chinese Garden

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Sister time on Granville Island

Canada Place

At Stanley Park

Boys throwing rocks

Stanley Park picnic
Chris hanging out in the house we rented

Eating wonderful Indonesian takeout

Night out with Mike
Visit here to read my A-U posts. Tomorrow, back to Japan for W!


  1. They look like two great holidays. I had a great time on my visit to Vancouver - I chiefly remember a Japanese Garden and a sea shanty evening on an old wooden boat moored alongside a park. The sea shanties were mostly the same tunes as I knew from the Uk, and from Australia, with different words!
    Jemima at Jemima's blog

  2. Thank you for doing my fave place!!! I went to Victoria in 2003 (that year we stayed west of Sooke at Point No Point), 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010. I did Vancouver in 2006 but wasn't impressed. So you didn't do Capilano Suspension Bridge or Grouse Mountain?