Monday, October 10, 2011

Vancouver Island Vacation Recap #2

To continue from Recap #1...

On Wednesday we did a bunch of sightseeing in Victoria. Our hotel was close to the harbour and downtown as we walked all around. We went into the Empress which is gorgeous!
Empress Hotel
We also walked past the Parliament buildings a bunch of times.

We went to Chinatown, the oldest one in Canada, for lunch and walked through Fan Tan Alley which is the narrowest street in Canada.
Fan Tan Alley
We also went to Miniature World which has over 80 miniature dioramas ranging from war scenes to doll houses, to saw mills. It was pretty neat!

That evening I met up with my good friend Jenn who moved to Victoria about a year ago. I hadn't seen her since she moved so this was definitely one of the highlights of my trip!! She took me to this amazing restaurant called Il Terrazzo and between the food and the atmosphere it is probably one of my favourite restaurants ever! We sat in the covered courtyard beside a wood fireplace and talked for hours. The service was amazing and the place was packed! If you are ever in Victoria you must go to the restaurant, but you need a reservation as they are busy!
Jenn and I- miss you!!

On Thursday, my mother-in-law, grandma-in-law and I went to Craigdarroch Castle which is a historic house museum built by a wealthy family in the 19th Century. It was gorgeous and huge but pretty disturbing to read about the family and their feud around their wealth.
Craigdarroch Castle- one side

Afterwards we went to Butchart Gardens. Absolutely gorgeous!! So many pretty flowers! We wandered around for about 3 hours. I got lots of great ideas for our garden next year! I just hope they can survive our climate.






I saw a snake on a hedge and I didn't scream!



 That night we did a bunch of grocery shopping and stocked up at the liquor store as the hikers gave us strict orders to have scotch and beer for them at the end of the trail!

On Friday, we checked out of our hotel, bid farewell to my grandma-in-law and drove to Port Renfrew to pick up our hikers. This road was much better than the road to Bamfield as it was paved. It was still very windy and had a few single-lane blind corners but at least we didn't have to worry about logging trucks! We didn't know exactly when the hikers would be done so we ended up waiting about an hour for them. They had to take a short 5 minute ferry from the trail end to the main land.
Ferry pick up spot
On the ferry!
Our muddy, stinky hikers!!
I have never been so happy to see them all! I may have had tears in my eyes when I saw them on the boat. Everyone was happy to be back to civilization and no major injuries!

After everyone had a beer, some snacks and changed their clothes, we loaded all the stinky packs and boots into the trucks and headed back to Victoria. The hikers told us all about their 5 day adventure and we stopped part way back at a roadside beach so they could stretch their legs.
Stinky hubby and I
Finally we made it back to Victoria and checked into our new hotel (which was right beside the hotel that we had just stayed in!). After the hikers showered and everyone got settled, we went for dinner in the hotel restaurant. Everyone crashed pretty early that night!
View of downtown Victoria and the harbour from our room

Harbour view from our room
Saturday ended up being a gorgeous sunny day so we did more sightseeing in Victoria. There were lots of vendors along the harbour so it was fun to just check them out. We went on a  harbour boat ride which was a great way to see Victoria. We saw a few float planes land which is awesome!
Statue along the harbour

Hubby & I in front of a boat for sale

Hubby & I on the boat ride

Blurry picture of seaplane about to land

Floating house!
Later that night (after a nap!) we went for dinner at Nautical Nellie's. Being pregnant in Victoria sure is tough because you are surrounded by all this delicious seafood that you can't eat! The oysters sure looked good... So did the many bottles of wine... It was quite entertaining as the sole sober person in the group!

We walked past the Parliament buildings all lit up on our way back to the hotel. So pretty!


Sunday we packed up and headed to the harbour for one last stop for fish and chips. This time we went to Red Fish Blue Fish which came highly recommended. We were there before they even opened up and there was a line up already! I had the halibut and it was so good! It's a good thing I don't live in Victoria or else I would weigh 300 pounds from all the amazing fish and chips!
Red Fish Blue Fish shack!
Afterwards we headed to ferry to take us back to Vancouver. We stopped at hubby's uncle-in-law's house in White Rock and had dinner. We then hit the road for a few more hours and stayed in Merritt for the night.

Monday we drove all.day.long. We left Merritt at 7am and didn't get to our house until 7pm (includes an hour time change forward and 2 stops for meals).

It was a great family trip and a wonderful visit to Vancouver Island!

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