Sunday, August 04, 2019

Island Hopping

Ian rented an AirB&B in the old part of Victoria and within walking distance to everything.  I love this picture of Alexia on our balcony, the spitting image of my mom.
It was her heart's desire to have high tea at the Fairmont Empress and she wanted to dress the part.  She bought two dresses and brought them both with her, but this is the one she asked me to iron.  She felt like a princess.  Unless you've met her, it's difficult to convey the unaffected poise that she conducts herself with.  An elderly German woman walking with difficulty aided by a cane, stopped to tell her that she reminded her of her childhood, what it was to feel like 13 again.  Alexia sweetly and in all sincerity said, "I'm so glad that I could do that for you."
She had studied the menu and tea choices in advance and had given us the whole run down before we got there, but then Todd, our server, explained it to us all over again.  We selected our own teas and we each had our own teapot. She had wanted us to share with each other, but it became a race against Todd who would suddenly reappear and refill our cups.  Let me tell you that three pots of tea is too much tea and Lexi stubbornly drank all of hers, then reached for Grandpa's pot.  We told her NO!

She said it was everything she had wished it would be.
This was our view of the bay from our table.
We spent one day at the Royal British Victoria Museum and we really needed a second day to see it all because we were worn out after five hours.  We spent one day at the Butchart Gardens where we also wore ourselves out.  We took the public bus for the hour ride out and back - very interesting, but that's another story.
 I think I came away learning the most from the gardens as they were very instructional.  I asked Alexia to stand on the path to provide perspective for the lily and hydrangea on the right, both taller than her.  I brought home their plant guide and also bought two packets of columbine seed which I had to declare at Customs.  The Canadian Customs people were much nicer than the American ones, I must say.
We took the ferry back to Port Angeles where we picked up our car and drove to Vashon Island to spend a few days with our sister-in-law at her place there, which is way down on the end.
Turning around, I took this shot looking the other direction.  Click for big to see Mt Ranier hidden in the cloud.
The summer compound is right on Puget Sound so maritime traffic traveling to and from Tacoma passes right by.  Alexia loved watching them with both the telescope and binoculars.  We found a great app called VesselFinder Lite that identifies the ships, tells what country owns them, whose flag they're flying, usually a picture and lots of details that I don't understand.  We had a lot of fun with that.
Low tide reminds me of Limbo - how low can you go?!
High tide, however, is getting higher.  I took this picture of Ian from the second floor, and you can see how high it is, so high that the stairs are damaged and unusable.  Homeowners on Vashon have been meeting with the Coast Guard, looking for ways to protect their property.  They were told that in a hundred years, these shoreline houses will be under water.
So what to do?  Enjoy it while we can.


danielle said...

The book pictured - I loved that book!!
I am so thrilled that her experience at High Tea was everything she hoped for!
Every time we go up there I say that is what I want to do and yet every time I have changed my mind!
Have gone to Buchert Gardens at 2 different times of the year and each time had wonderful surprises! There is a plant there - don't know what it is - but I call it elephant ears - the leaves are HUMONGOUS!!!!
And in June - the roses.....oh the roses.....

Michelle said...

What a wonderful travelogue! And so delightful to enjoy this time so much with Alexia. Oy; our Lord is going to have to come and rescue us from ourselves soon so He can remake this earth as promised!

Cindie said...

What a fun trip. So glad you get to spend time with Alexia since moving - it looks like you all have such a great visit. Isn't the Empress grand?! So glad Alexia wanted to go there.

Nina said...

Looks like a fun and wonderful little holiday. Victoria is a gorgeous city.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful trip and to share it with your granddaughter, she'll remember it always. I love that Alan Bradley series, I listened to it on audio and the reader is fantastic.