Victoria, British Columbia: Musical Penthouses

On our way to Victoria, British Columbia on BC Ferries
On our way to Victoria, British Columbia on BC Ferries

After visiting Sechelt for a special 3 generation Mother’s Day and a very special birthday, Mama D and I (dd) were on our way to Victoria on Vancouver Island. After a 3 hour ride on Malaspina Coach including a ferry ride, we hopped on a Pacific Coach bus for another 3 hour ride including another ferry ride. It was a 9 hour trip in total from door to door.

The heart shaped bed at Point Ellice House
The heart shaped bed at Point Ellice House

We spent a day with Auntie CJ. She brought us to Point Ellice House and gardens. It’s a beautiful place to visit but because it is between two dump sites the smell is unbearable. Maybe they were composting sites, I thought it smelt like strong fermented Kalamatta olives. After the House we went to the Fol Épi bakery and bought some bread, pâtisseries and checked out the small water garden with the birds having a bath among the water lilies and the string algae.

Oliver the goat petting me!
Oliver the goat petting me!

On another day we went to the Beacon Hill petting zoo where I spent some time with Oliver the goat, he was so affectionate! He let me give him kisses and rubbed his head on my face like our cat Alaska does and he licked my nose and my fingers.

Mama D under the giant tree at Beacon Hill Park not far from the petting zoo.
Mama D under the giant tree at Beacon Hill Park not far from the petting zoo.

We also went twice to see two IMAX movies at the Royal BC Museum. We saw Wonders of the Antarctic, Journey to Space, Gold Fever and Journey to the Pacific.

Can you see Craigdaroch Castle?
Can you see Craigdaroch Castle? This was the view at the Airbnb Penthouse.

Our penthouse in Victoria was not as polished and shiny as it was hyped to be. I found it through Air BnB and even though I am not crazy about modern decor, I thought the layout and space would be perfect for Mama D and I, having each our own bedroom and bathroom. I was so uncomfortable there that I don’t even have a single nice picture, only of a hole in the ceiling, cigarette butts in empty bottles on the terrace, cigarette ash around the bedside table, a toe nail, a dirty washing machine, dirty this and dirty that, and I kept mostly all my stuff in my suitcase. We were supposed to stay 8 nights but after a chaotic morning, Mama D and I looked at each other and agreed to just leave. I had been awake for a couple of hours and waiting for Mama D to get up before having my breakfast. The microwave had just broken down on us and as I turned the oven on to reheat my frozen muffin and pancake, the oven started to smoke and it triggered the smoke detector. Mama D and I were waving tea towels frantically and after opening the windows and door things finally quiet down. As it was Victoria Day weekend there was only one room left at the Harbour Towers where I had previously booked and cancelled for the stupid condo. We went ahead and booked it and by 9:30 we were out.

Now that's what I'm talking about!
Now that’s what I’m talking about! View from Harbour Towers Penthouse suite 1213. This picture was taken on Victoria Day and the boats were giving us a mini parade as the action was all happening on Douglas Street and we were watching it on TV!

While I was away from home, our business was turning into a monster and Dami was overwhelmed. My netbook was useless to help as it was too slow. To top it off, the TV cable went out, the laundry and kitchen drain clogged, the power went off and his father had a stroke!

Thios is the trolley they got out after the bus we were on got a flat tire the previous day.
This is the trolley they got out after the bus we were on got a flat tire the previous day!

After settling in to our new quaint penthouse with harbor view, we went thrift store shopping: we were now penthouse poor LOL!

Mama D celebrating! We made the right decision as it was the last room available in the hotel and it was perfect for us!
Mama D celebrating! We made the right decision as it was the last room available in the hotel and it was perfect for us! The Penthouse suites are situated on the 12th and 13th floor of the building and our room number was 1213! The bedrooms and bathroom are on the 12th floor and the kitchen, dining and living rooms are on the 13th floor. No superstitions here… like Stevie Wonder’s song says superstition ain’t the way!

The next day we bought a 2 day pass for the Big Hop-On Hop-Off Bus. We visited Oak Bay and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria where we had lunch in the quiet zen Japanese garden. After the Victoria Day Parade we went to The Robert Bateman Center and I really connected with his work and his philosophy. I agree that the world would be a better place if everybody was a bird watcher.

A lot of work was put into the restoration of the Emily Carr house.
A lot of work was put into the restoration of the Emily Carr house.

We visited Emily Carr House and Gardens and I was disappointed I didn’t get a connection with her and with her work. I couldn’t feel it even though they put a lot of work restoring the house. I really enjoyed the gardens outside though.

A peacock warming up in the sun at Beacon Hill Park.
A peacock warming up in the sun at Beacon Hill Park.

We had an awesome 2 week vacation in British Columbia with lots of twists and turns and that’s what life is all about. When things don’t turn out the way we plan, we get proactive, we move on and do what we must to shape our vision. The weather was on our side again and while we were away, our service berry tree started blooming for the first time so that means we’ll have berries! Finally after 3 years! Update: Let’s say the birds or squirrel got to them first…