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…



A Mother’s Day Trip to Sechelt, British Columbia in Canada

BC Ferry
View from BC Ferry front seat

Mama D and I (dd) went to Sechelt, British Columbia to celebrate my birthday and Mother’s Day with Dami’s mother and sister. We stayed at Above the Inlet B&B with Patricia and Peter and they were among the best hosts we’ve ever had! We stayed in their Leopard Suite and it was just perfect to host our Mother’s Day buffet lunch.

Gibsons Rock Garden
Rock garden in Gibson seen from the Malaspina Coach bus

Getting to Sechelt was easy but there were many legs to the trip. I flew with Air Canada from Moncton to Montreal, QC,  then Mama D and I flew to Vancouver BC. In order to be seated together we had to pay for Preferential seats and for 60$ plus tax, they didn’t offer that much more room than the other seats but at least we were together. We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express Riverport and we enjoyed our short stay. Our mini fridge didn’t have a freezer but they gladly put our stuff in their staff freezer. Before checking out the next morning, we had time to walk around the block and relax before the next leg of the trip.

Above the Inlet View
The entry way to Above The Inlet Office

Back at the Vancouver Airport, we took the Malaspina Coach to Sechelt in the 15 seat Van and chatted with some very nice ladies who were visiting for a memorial but they said the 90 year old deceased had died doing what he liked most which was curling: he fell on the ice and died instantly. They were having  a celebration of life in Gibsons, BC. I’d say that’s the way to go, doing what you like without pain and suffering. This leg of the trip included a ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. Peter from Above The Inlet was there to greet us at the bus depot and drove us to the house in his old truck. I thought it was smart to drive such an old pick-up since cars are such money pits.

Mother's Day gifts
Our Mother’s Day and Birthday afternoon at Above The Inlet Leopard Suite.

The next day after our grocery at Clayton’s, we met Mama J and my jaw dropped when I saw her wearing pants! She was wearing pants! I had never seen her in pants and I thought she looked so much younger and thinner. Just like Stacey and Clinton from the Show What Not to Wear, I just wanted to shout “Shut The front Door!” Mini SM and her mother were looking good as well. The boys were boys and one was hiding while the other one was forced to come and say hello to the old boring ladies in the living room… They sure were glad they weren’t invited to the buffet!!

Mother's Day Buffet in Sechelt
Our Famous Buffet!


The Mamas in Sechelt
Mama J (Dami’s mama), dd, Mama D (dd’s mama). Photo taken by mini SM!

Our mother’s day buffet was a success. Mama D and I enjoyed setting the table and making the salads and sandwiches for our 3 generation guests: Mama J, SM and mini SM 🙂 . For dessert we had some mini squares and sparklers. It was nice to see Mama D and Mama J together. That day was also my birthday and Mama J’s friend, the taxi driver. He was turning 80 and said he wish he was my age; I felt sorry I made him feel old but then he made me feel young. My goal is to reach 84: 40 more years to go; I can’t believe I’m already middle aged!

Sechelt Rockwood park
Beautiful Rockwood Gardens in Sechelt, BC.

Mama J took us to the Sechelt Market on Saturday with mini SM and her friend. We went up to Rockwood gardens and sat at a picnic table for a snack while mini SM and her friend played with the knitted mini mice. The rhododendrons were so beautiful and we were glad we had seen it. Mama J told us it was there that Grannie KB had her honeymoon many many years ago.

Free hotdogs in Sechelt
Mama J chose the tofu dog version: she has to stay healthy and in shape for that mini SM!

While going down to the beach after the market, there were some free hot dogs given by The Lions sponsored by Credit Union. There was no earthquake but it was while on this holiday that BM had a stroke and it shook the entire family from New Brunswick to The Northwest territories to Los Angeles. SM left with us on the ferry the next day to go visit him at the Chilliwack Hospital and we were off to Victoria.

We will cherish the memories forever. Hugs and goodbyes. A Hui Hou. Take care B…