May 31, 2003
It was Memorial Day weekend, and Sandra's
mom, sister, and grandmother were visiting from Sweden. Her mom
recently been to London, and were anxious to experience the British
flair once again in Victoria. We had driven up from Washington
State two days earlier, and spent some time in Vancouver. Now
we were racing to catch the 3:00 ferry to Victoria, as we sped along
with about ten other cars toward the ferry terminal in Tsawassen, south
of Vancouver. We arrived at 3:01 and the ferry pulled away.
This happened on our other trip to Victoria as well! We need to
figure this one out!
After browsing the shops in the ferry
terminal and getting some gross food
to eat, we boarded the ferry for our 90 minute trip to Schwartz Bay
and Victoria. We arrived in Victoria early that evening, and found
our condominium. We had scored a two-bedroom penthouse unit for
our two nights, with a jacuzzi on the deck, overlooking the inner harbor,
with the Olympic Mountains lining the Strait of Juan De Fuca to our
left. We overlooked the Empress Hotel and the rest of the harbor,
sipping wine and watching the sun set over the water. It doesn't
get much better than this, we thought...
We tried dinner that night at Spinnakers
Brew Pub, the first in-house Brew Pub in Canada, and it was excellent
as billed. Our table overlooked the harbor and the food was outstanding
(for a brew pub). After dinner, we hit the jacuzzi for a while,
had some drinks and hit the sheets.
The next day, we took a carriage ride
through lovely Beacon Hill Park, around the Parliament
and through several Victorian-style neighborhoods. We had lunch
at Milestones on the harbor, which had good fish and chips, and good
drinks - important on an 80 degree, beautiful summer afternoon!
We strolled through the streets of Victoria, stopping in many shops,
and Sandra's family honed in on the Christmas stores! After way
too much shopping, we took a drive around the coast, gawking and the
beautiful scenery and incredible mansions. For dinner that evening,
we opted for the Wharfside eatery, which was quite overpriced and touristy,
but good. We swung by the Craigdarroch Castle for a photo, and
it was back home now to the jacuzzi for one last night on the balcony.
The next morning, we packed up and
hit the ferry back
to Port Angeles. While we waited for the ferry, we enjoyed a wonderful
breakfast at the Gatsby Mansion and enjoyed the sunshine. The
weather was magnificent, and we rode at the bow of the ferry most of
the way to Port Angeles, gazing at the fabulous, snow-covered Olympic
peaks filling the horizon.
We didn't get to visit the Buchart
Gardens, which was unfortunate, but we did relax and enjoy our stay
wholeheartedly. Victoria isn't really a place to stay for long,
but it sure is a lovely place to spend a long weekend...especially in