Archives by Tag 'picnic'

Victoria, British Columbia: The trip of a lifetime!

By DD - Last updated: Saturday, August 16, 2014
The Beautiful view of the Washington Mountains from Craigdarroch Castle In Victoria, British Columbia.

The Beautiful view of the Washington Mountains from Craigdarroch Castle In Victoria, British Columbia.

Mama D and DD just returned from an 8 day trip to Victoria, British Columbia and it was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. We packed a lot in those 8 nights and 7 full days of sightseeing. We hope this itinerary will inspire you to plan your own trip to Victoria, British Columbia, one of the best destinations in the world!

To minimize jet lag, we went to bed early every night, between 8 and 10pm. We were early for breakfast and the dining room was quiet which was a bonus.

We enjoyed the ferry ride from Victoria to Vancouver. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

We enjoyed the ferry ride from Victoria to Vancouver. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Day 1

We took a day trip to Vancouver with Pacific Coach Lines. We had to get to the bus depot early and left the hotel at 7 am. The station really could use a makeover as it is the blandest and boring places ever. Our morning driver with a Scottish accent was a grumpy character. We were fortunate to be waiting in line along with a British couple from Yorkshire going to an Alaska cruise. They had a great sense of humor and laughed about it all.

A frog at the Vancouver Aquarium.

A frog at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The ferry ride to Vancouver was awesome. It is number one on the National Geographic 10 best boat rides in the world. We spotted a sea otter and had lunch watching the islands go by. It was windy on the upper deck but we had our wind jackets. The ocean was calm and DD didn’t have a problem with motion sickness. Once in Vancouver we took a cab from the closest stop – Empress Hotel – to go to the Vancouver Aquarium. We enjoyed our visit very much and hope the belugas, dolphins and sea lions will stay. We got back to Victoria with Mama D’S friend and her 8 year old son who came for the night to spend the next day with us.

 

Young Queen Victoria was out welcoming visitors and she even came inside to chat while we were visiting on our guided tour.

Young Queen Victoria was out welcoming visitors and she even came inside to chat while we were visiting on our guided tour.

Day 2

We started the day with a guided tour of the Legislative Building where we had to leave before the end to go to our Hippo tour, an amphibious bus that goes in the water.

Mama D and her friends ready for Hippo to go!

Mama D and her friends ready for Hippo to go!

It was a fun 1.5 hour tour for an 8 year old boy who sat on the right side of the bus to make sure he would get splashed while rinsing the bus when we came out of the water.

The amazingly small world of Miniature World in Victoria, BC. The tip of my finger is smaller than a dime.

The amazingly small world of Miniature World in Victoria, BC. The tip of my finger is smaller than a dime.

We came back to our hotel – Harbour Towers – for lunch and then went to Miniature World where we were transported into another time and dimension. After the visit our friends still had some time before their return to Vancouver so DD and the boy went to the Bug Museum to look at some giant cockroaches, tarantulas and a colony of ants living in translucent tubes. We went with our friends to the Pacific Coach Depot and DD had a long chat with the Security man – a retired pharmacist -who at 80 years old with cancer was still trucking.

The real life size diorama of the seashore animals at The Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia.

The real life size diorama of the seashore animals at The Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia.

Day 3

We spent the whole day at The Royal BC Museum and watched 3 IMAX movies: Rocky Mountain Express, Vikings Journey to New Worlds, and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. What a day! We had a picnic right outside in the park, past the coat check where we were able to leave our insulated lunch bag while we visited.

They have picnic tables right outside the Royal BC Museum with trees and birds.

They have picnic tables right outside the Royal BC Museum with trees and birds.

While we were waiting in line for one of the movies, we had a nice chat (and a good laugh) with a retired preventive medicine practitioner who was wearing his 3-D glasses as he thought they were his regular sunglasses! He had such an interesting story, having traveled to 40 Countries and studied in Chicago with 7 degrees… it seemed like an incredible journey and DD asked him if he had seen the Twilight Zone episode where a compulsive liar is abducted by aliens because he knows so much and then he is forced to admit it was all lies and then when asked by his patrons where he had been, they don’t believe him of course. Anyhow, the episode is called “Hocus-Pocus and Frisby” and the man with the 3-D glasses had seen it too!

The historic and famous Fan Tan Alley of Canada's oldest China Town in Victoria, BC.

The historic and famous Fan Tan Alley of Canada’s oldest China Town in Victoria, BC.

Day 4

We visited the lobby of the Empress Hotel, shopped at the Salvation Army, Value Village, and walked through China Town’s Famous Fan Tan Alley.

The vegetarian restaurant Green Cuisine at Market Square in Victoria, BC.

The vegetarian restaurant Green Cuisine at Market Square in Victoria, BC.

We had lunch at the vegetarian restaurant Green Cuisine where Aunty J works and DD was able to have a meal in a restaurant which hadn’t happened in a long time! Of course she wasn’t able to have any of the soy based meals but at least she had a nice plate with lots of rice and veggies.

Collection of knots at the Maritime Museum in Victoria, British Columbia.

Collection of knots at the Maritime Museum in Victoria, British Columbia.

After lunch we went to the Maritime Museum where we were told about the resident ghosts in which DD doesn’t believe and attributed the knocks in the wall to carpenter ants.

The world reknown oldest working birdcage elevator at the Victoria Maritime Museum in British Columbia.

The world renown oldest working birdcage elevator at the Victoria Maritime Museum in British Columbia.

We took a ride in the oldest birdcage elevator in North America which is 2nd on the National Geographic list of the world’s best elevator rides! Unfortunately we weren’t able to see the courthouse because there was a private party.

The Atlas Moth at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens measures 10cm.

The Atlas Moth at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens measures 10cm.

Day 5

Aunty J picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the Butterfly Gardens and to the Butchart Gardens where we started with an awesome and refreshing boat tour.

What a beautiful day Mama D, Aunty J and I had at the Butchart Gardens.

What a beautiful day Mama D, Aunty J and I had at the Butchart Gardens.

It was a very hot day, especially in the sunken garden but it was worth it. We were parked in the rabbit section: how cool on such a hot day! We ended the day with a stop at Aunty J’s house where we ate cherries and blueberries watching hummingbirds and admiring her collection of wooden mechanical toys. We had the chance to hear her better half play an original song on the piano for us!

The Best Western Premier Prestige in Sooke, BC on Vancouver Island is one place Dami and I would love to stay at one day.

The Best Western Premier Prestige in Sooke, BC on Vancouver Island is one place Dami and I would love to stay at one day.

Day 6

We booked a private all day guided tour with Trev’s Adventure Tours of Victoria and it gave us a better idea of what Victoria and its surrounding was. We saw some neighborhoods around Victoria and went to many places tour buses don’t go. We had a picnic at the Lagoon behind Hatley Castle watching birds and later visited – among other places – the Best Western Premier Prestige hotel in Sooke where DD and Dami would love to stay at one day.

The very popular Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia.

The very popular Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia.

Day 7

Our last day was spent visiting Craigdarroch Castle, Government’s House’s Gardens, another lunch at the Green Cuisine Restaurant at Market Square on Johnson Street, and lastly we took a boat taxi ride to Fisherman’s Wharf and we walked back to the hotel.

Another popular place to visit in Victoria, BC is Fisherman's Wharf where more than 30 permanent residents live in boat houses.

Another popular place to visit in Victoria, BC is Fisherman’s Wharf where more than 30 permanent residents live in boat houses.

What a nice trip! We could’ve have easily spent another week as there were more places to visit but it will have to be another time. We loved our hotel and loved the city. Our room was facing the harbor where we saw the Harbor Air planes, the boat taxis, the ferries from Washington USA, the Empress Hotel lit up at night, the seagull families on the roof of the hotel across the street, the fireworks on August 3rd, and the beautiful sunrise. We loved Victoria, BC and will return one day!

Waiting for the Easter Bunny at L’aboiteau Beach

By DAMI - Last updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
What could be more appropriate on Easter Sunday than reading Watership Down and have some Cadbury Bunnies!

What could be more appropriate on Easter Sunday than reading Watership Down and have some Cadbury Bunnies!

Easter Sunday and another sunny and warm day in New Brunswick, well, here in the South East corner anyway, so we decided to drive up through Shediac, past the giant lobster and go to our favorite beach, L’aboiteau at Cap Pélé.

Forecasters were calling for 10 degrees above so we had visions of enjoying a nice walk on the sandy beach while picturing the blue waves gently slapping the pebbles of the shore.

We packed a lunch, brought something to read, grabbed our beach chairs and drove out for a nice quiet day at the beach.

Oops! When we got there we were surprised to see ice on the water! Actually it was all ice…as far as we could see it was white pack ice! I had thought that since it was the ocean and there were pretty high tides around that there would be no ice. Wrong answer! The entire shore was snowed in and only the dunes were peeking out with little grass tufts waving in the breeze.

We decided to be tough and set up our beach chairs and try and enjoy it…at least it was quiet, but my fingers were freezing as I turned the pages. DD is reading Pavillion of Women by Pearl S. Buck and I am reading Watership Down by Richard Adams.

L'aboiteau Beach is the perfect spot to relax and read a good book. On Easter Sunday we decided to go to the beach to watch the ocean tides splashing on the sand. Ummm...the whole place was frozen!

L’aboiteau Beach is the perfect spot to relax and read a good book. On Easter Sunday we decided to go to the beach to watch the ocean tides splashing on the sand. Ummm…the whole place was frozen!

I figured that reading Watership Down was perfect for today being Easter Sunday and all! My fingers were freezing as I turned the pages and because of the cold I was having trouble concentrating on the adventures of Hazel-Rah and Fiver as they went on their quest for does at the bunny hatch!

We knew that temperatures at the beach were always cooler than in Moncton or Riverview but this was crazy! After half an hour we were getting hungry, likely because our metabolisms were roaring trying to keep our bodies warm in the wind-chill!

When it's cold outside the best place to picnic is in the car! We fold the front seats up, hip in the back and enjoy our lunch while watching some TV on the iPhone!

When it’s cold outside the best place to picnic is in the car! We fold the front seats up, hip in the back and enjoy our lunch while watching some TV on the iPhone!

Having lunch on the beach would have felt like a picnic in Nunavut so we decided to pack up the chairs and head back to the car. There is nothing like a picnic in the back seat of our car!

We decided to skip lunch on the beach and instead went back to the car for lunch. Sometimes on our trips, when it is too cool outside or raining, we slide the front seats forward and get in the back seat and have our lunch. It is perfect for a little picnic!

Today the sun was warm and we were cozy in the car while we ate. I recently got an iPhone and we used it to watch an episode of one of our guilty pleasure “L’amour est dans la Pre”, a “reality TV” show about some Quebec farmer types looking for romance.

It was like we were at the drive in…well, the screen is a bit smaller but still it was so cozy inside!

DD had rice in her thermos, I guess in honor of Madame Wu! I had some Cadbury Bunnies and we shared those little chocolate Easter Treats and then drove back home to light a fire and warm up.

Can’t wait for things to warm up so we can go swimming and don’t have to wear mittens on the beach!

There's nothing like a white beach but in this case it was white from snow and ice. Not the same thing sadly!

There’s nothing like a white beach but in this case it was white from snow and ice. Not the same thing sadly!

You gotta be tough to survive winters in Canada and here in New Brunswick even pack ice and snow covered beaches won't stop someone from getting down to a bikini to do some snow surfing!

You gotta be tough to survive winters in Canada and here in New Brunswick even pack ice and snow covered beaches won’t stop someone from getting down to a bikini to do some snow surfing!