Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

October 24, 2010

31 Hours in Victoria: An Overnight Adventure to Vancouver Island

Man alive, it is completely apparent that I ain't 25 no mo'.  I ain't even 35.  I'm completely spent and every muscle is killing.  You'd think I just finished a triathlon or something, as bad as I feel!  But I had a wicked good time up in Victoria.  The only thing that marred the trip was the extreme pain I began to experience only a short time into my adventure.  I have very good athletic walking shoes; a pair of Sauconys.  I have prescription orthotics in the shoes.  But my feet began to burn and hurt so much that I must have altered the way I was walking because I then promptly got shin splints.  Then the pain starts in my hip joints to the point where I cannot climb or descend stairs without extreme discomfort.  I have always had hip pain which I remember started in high school, and my gait has always been funky, ever since I was a child.  It's why I have never been able to run like normal kids did.  Even when I was in the best shape of my life, I have always had hip, leg and foot discomfort.  So because of that extreme pain, I ended up cutting a bunch of things out of my itinerary just cause I didn't want to have to walk there.  I got a blister on the ball of, and on the heel of, my right foot, which meant having to stop and plaster band aids all over them.  This is another problem that has plagued me my entire life (just ask Holly about our trip to see the Dead in NYC in 1988, and my extreme blister issues).  I also have a torn right rotator cuff, on which I'd not only slung my suitcase, but a very heavy purse (laden with a zoom lens and a camera w/ black and white film, neither of which were used that much), plus my camera.  But I digress....

So anywho, I need to write this all out first before I post any photos.  I took my travel journal with me but I was too spent and brain-weary to write, so that's why I need to detail my adventures first before I forget them.  Oh and by the way?  I shot 480 pictures in 31 hours.  You can read this in whole or in part, or not at all cause I know it's wordy but like I said, this is pretty much gonna be the entire documentation of my trip because I'm not enduring writers cramp to handwrite it in my journal now.  If I tried to add the photos to this text, it would be 10 times bigger, so I'm going to break up the photos into sections.  Which is a good thing b/c now I'll have lots of stuff to post.  

We begin the morning of Thursday, October 21, 2010.  I got up at the ungodly hour of 4:30, in order to get to Seattle and have time to get lost trying to find the parking garage.  And I did get lost trying to find it.  The layout of that city absolutely confounds me and the easiest route to the ferries is now under construction with closed roads and detours.  But find it I did, parked and walked over to Pier 69.  I was there by 6 so I sat in the coffee shop and vegetated to the Golden Oldies music they were playing, which included Richie Havens' "La Bamba" and "Lightning Strikes" by Lou Christie, both of which I found myself lip synching to.  The ferry terminal opened at 6:30 so I checked in and hung out in the boarding area.  I chatted w/ a friendly couple who were in town from NYC.  It was their first time on the West Coast ever, and they were in awe of how big everything is.  They were only going to Victoria for the day and asked me what I thought were 'can't miss' items.  I was pleased to be able to share that info with them, so that they could maximize their time there.  Boarded about 7, took off on time at 8.  The sun started coming up in Seattle but we were only 5 minutes into the trip when we plunged into extremely thick fog.  There was no visibility at all.  I tried to snooze but never dropped off, so I got a breakfast basket which was pretty good.  Bagel & cream cheese, applesauce, jam, blueberry yogurt, juice & a raspberry cereal bar.  Also coffee.  

I could feel that the vessel was beginning to make the turn towards Victoria and it wasn't long before we emerged from the worst of the fog enough to see the shore of lower Vancouver Island, and we were way closer than I thought.  I made sure to get to the upstairs, outdoor deck to take some pics as we entered the harbour.  Everything was socked in big time.  Disembarked and got thru customs with no troubles at all, and my room at the Hotel Grand Pacific was ready for me too, so I was able to immediately stow my crap and head out.  Now, a funny thing happens to me every time I'm in Victoria.  While I think I look like a tourist laden with cameras and shopping bags, apparently other tourists take me for a resident because I get asked for directions all the time.  I wasn't outside a few minutes and someone asked me how to find something.  I also get asked if I'm a professional photographer.  I admit that I let people believe that I'm shooting at least semi professionally, because they tend to let me get my shot without being in view.  

My first destination was the Float Home Village at Fisherman's Wharf.  I opted to walk on the path that skirts the edge of the entrance to Inner Harbour, instead of walking the surface streets.  It was very peaceful, and I actually liked that it was so foggy.  The foliage really stood out against the grey mist.  The float homes are funky and amazing and I WANT ONE.  I can't wait to post the pics because they are so cool.  I spent a lot of time walking up and down the docks, shooting tons and tons of photos.  The homes are all very eclectic and artistic, and if I had one, I know I would fit in so well with the other residents. Each home was unique and had a personality.  You could hear the squeaking of the rubber bumpers against the pier as they gently moved from the swells.  The little Harbour Ferry tour also stops there on the tour, to let people off and on.  

Stopped at Barb's Fish n Chips for a basket of, well, you know.  Very delish.  Freshly cooked when you order and piping hot when it arrives, the fish was mild and the coating nice and crunchy with a great flavour, and just the right amount of grease. Crunchy and plentiful fries.  No wonder the seagulls hang around waiting for an errant one to fall to the ground!  Barb's is even a floating restaurant, although the picnic tables are on the dock.  Some yahoo tourist lady thought it would be a good idea to encourage the seagulls by tossing her leftover fries out on the ground.  I was debating if I should say, "Please don't encourage them" when one of the Barb's employees came out and asked her to please stop.  All I could think of was those funny seagulls from "Finding Nemo", saying, 'Mine! Mine! Mine!"

After lunch I walked the same path back to town and went down on the Causeway, which is always packed with tourists, artists selling their wares, with street musicians providing a backdrop of guitar, fidding and bagpipes.  Not so this time of year.  I saw about 3 artists, and no tourists.  But it was very peaceful.  A very peaceful, misty, late fall afternoon.  I started my walking tour, wandering aimlessly up and down the many streets, hitting my fave haunts & alleys, looking for any and all photo ops.  I decided not to shop till I was on the way back to the hotel, so that I wouldn't have to lug shit around all over the place along with my heavy purse and camera.  I made a detour up Fort Street to get a fantastic, moist pumpkin spice cupcake with cream cheese frosting at the Pink Sugar Cupcakery.  It was gooey and sweet and rich.  I expected to have my teeth start buzzing when I bit into the icing but was pleasantly surprised to find it sweet, but not overpowering like icing can be.   I hope they do well because they make a quality cupcake, with all natural ingredients.  They also offer vegan choices.  They even make 'man cakes', which are liqueur-themed cupcakes for guys.  There's also a bacon & maple flavoured mancake.  I wish I could have brought a box home but they never would have survived the trip.  I rode that sugar rush all the way into Chinatown, through Fan Tan Alley and up to Market Square, when my feet really started to give me trouble.  Fan Tan Alley, in its turn of the 19th to 20th Century heyday, was the main entrance to passageways and secret escape routes and home to opium dens.

I was surprised that I didn't do as much shopping in my fave metaphysical shops as I thought I would.  But nothing I saw really spoke to me, and I won't buy if I don't hear it speak.  I also walked up and down the very San Francisco-esque and colourful Johnson Street, and walked about halfway out on the Johnson Street Bridge.  It was engineered by Joseph Strauss, the same engineer of it's sexier and better-maintained little sister, the Golden Gate Bridge.  Some people in the City of Victoria want to tear it down and rebuild it, others want to save & fix it.  Seeing it up close, I found it to be crumbling and dangerously run down.  I didn't find any decent angles of it to shoot, and I was also a little afraid that it'd be just my luck that I'd be out in the middle, when the sirens go off and the bridge raises to allow tall boats pass.  I wasn't up for a sprint down a rusty, & slippery-from-the-mist, open weave metal walkway perched high over the Gorge, so I started heading back to the hotel instead, hitting the souvenir shops along Government Street on the way.  I got my snow globe and my keychain and maple syrup.  Didn't buy a single postcard this time.  Also remembered to pick up a couple bottles of the Robaxin which isn't available over the counter in the States.  

I got back to the hotel around 4 and dumped off the bags, changed, then headed back out around 4:30 to shoot a bunch of pics of Confederation Park next to my hotel, and the Empress, which is covered in ivy that's turned bright red. I've only ever seen it in summer when it was green and it never occurred to me that it would turn red in the fall. I really hit the foliage at a good time.  Confederation Park has all the crests for the Provinces of Canada.  The last time I was there, they hadn't added Nunavut yet, as it only became a Province in 1999, but they have one now.  Then I walked back up to another fave store, Instinct Art & Gifts to pick up another hand painted and beaded card by a local First Nations artist, for my collection of her cards.  They only had 4 left and I would have bought all 4 but at $13.50 a piece, it really wasn't in my budget as I still had a lot left to do, so I picked my fave of the 4.  

It was now a little after 5, and I was pretty much limping, so I walked over to Douglas Street in order to meet my friend Moriah for dinner at The Noodle Box.  It had started raining a little bit, and I was stoked to find an empty chair outside the restaurant, under the awning.  It was the perfect place to wait.  She arrived around 6 and we had a fantastic time.  For one thing, this restaurant does a hell of a business.  And the girl who took our order had hair in the most amazing shade of peacock blue/green, and wearing peacock feather earrings.  Both Moriah and I were admiring her look.  When I was there in 2007, the lines were out the door and that's why I didn't try it before.  It was a little out of my 'food comfort zone', because there were menu items I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole, including curry which makes me sick, and lots of Thai & Cambodian items.  But there were also dishes that were more Chinese-themed, or a Chinese fusion, and that I would eat.  

She was so sweet to pay for my dinner too.  I ordered the teriyaki noodle box with tofu, and she got a cashew curry one.  We were so busy talked and both so hungry that I totally forgot to take a photo of our meals.  I didn't remember till I was almost done eating!!  It came in a deep bowl and piled with veggies, tofu, bean sprouts and some crunchy topping.  I've never seen udon noodles that big before.  It was delicious and very filling. Being the uncouth American that I am, I eschewed the chopsticks in favour of a plastic fork.  We finished and I gave her my leftover noodle box to take home, as I had no where to keep it at the hotel plus she paid for it!

We walked up to the Visitor Centre above the Causeway and took some pics of Parliament while we waited for the Ghostly Walks Tour to start.  I've decided to post the details of that adventure next week for Halloween, as it was indeed a very creepy tour, and took me to hidden alleys and courtyards that I never noticed before.  I learned a lot about how haunted Victoria is, and the stories are fascinating and believable.  And there is the paper trail of police reports, letters and hotel policies that allow guests to switch rooms, no questions asked, if they report that they are uncomfortable with, or saw something in, their room, to back it up.  My only regret about this tour was that Jaime and Lady Axe weren't there with us; they would've enjoyed it.    

Moriah was kind enough to drive me back to my hotel so that I wouldn't have to drag myself back across town for the umpteenth time that day.  But after she left, and as exhausted as I was, I couldn't resist the urge to go back out and take a bunch of pics of Parliament all lit up.  It was right next door to my hotel so it wasn't that bad of a walk.  I looked up at the sky in time to see the clouds part enough to see the full moon hanging over the city, looking all eerie with the mist around it.  I can honestly say that I love Victoria in the fall!

I crashed about 10:30, but despite my absolute bone weary exhaustion and throbbing muscles and bones, I could not fall asleep.  My room overlooked the very lovely Best Western pool next door, including it's extremely bright sign on the side of their building.  I was on the 5th floor, therefore, nearly eye level with it.  It was so blasted hot in my room so I opened the slider door for more air, and that made my room light up like the Vegas strip.  I slept fitfully and had a hard time staying asleep, but at some point was plunged into a very strange, but Victoria-themed dream.  The alarm was set for 7, but I was awake by 6.  It really sucked that I had to check out and put my stuff in storage b/c it would have been nice to have a place to hang out and rest before having to check in at the Clipper Terminal at 5, but I figured I could just wait in the lobby.  So I had them lock up my bags and I headed out to Avis Rental Cars on Douglas Street.  The sky was on fire with bright reds and oranges.  It was quite striking.  

I rented a black Hyundai Elantra wagon, and I drove down to the start of Dallas Drive and did the scenic trip all the way to Oak Bay.  The sky was dramatic with the sun rise and the breaks in the thick clouds.  It was such a pretty route through lovely & quiet neighbourhoods.  My destination was Willows Beach, on the eastern side of the City, which is basically the bottom tip of Vancouver Island, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca starts dividing up and going north to create the Strait of Georgia between the Island and mainland BC, and south into the US, creating our vast Puget Sound region.  This body of water is now officially known as The Salish Sea.  (SAY-lish).  It is a narrow, but long, crescent of sand with a promenade along the top.  There were lots of people walking, especially with their off leash dogs who were having so much fun splashing in the water and carrying driftwood sticks around.  

I didn't know what to expect from my beachcombing experience there, because I always have high expectations for places like Long Beach, Cannon Beach, Kalaloch and even French Beach on Vancouver Island, and I am always disappointed.  Yeah I get a few cool rocks, but nothing really good.  Willows exceed all expectations.  I found several pieces of beach glass, including purple and a green one with a pattern.  I found a few pieces of pottery. Great shells and extremely interesting rocks too.  I found a teeny, tiny shell that glitters in the colours of a peacock.  I can't believe I found it, it's so freakin small I'm terrified I'll lose it, but it shimmers in green & blue.  When I got back to the car, it was almost 10 am, and time to go to Craigdarroch Castle, back in town.  I already decided that there was no way I had time to get to West Vic, where I'd hoped to visit Saxe Point Park and the Fisgard Lighthouse.  I was exhausted and wanted to say close to town.

The Castle had just opened so it wasn't crowded.  I love the neighborhood too and the sound of the falling leaves was relaxing.  I survived the 87 stairs up and down.  By this point I was also really hungry and thirsty, so I decided to return the car and go grab some lunch at The Sticky Wicket Pub, at the Strathcona Hotel on Douglas Street.  I was craving a burger, so that's what I ordered and it was goooooood. I went through 2 large glasses of lemonade too.  I was stuffed.  So I rolled out of there and walked up to see an unusual art installation near the Queen Vic Hotel, called "Night is for Sleeping Day is for Resting".  As I walked up, the sun came out and it got quite warm.  I was starting to feel a little green around the gills, but dismissed it as just being tired and very full from lunch.  Walked over to Thunderbird Park to shoot the totem poles carved by First Nations artists.  I sat on a bench there for a bit, realizing that I still had 5 hours to kill, and my legs & feet were screaming for mercy.  I decided to push through.  I could hear the Seaplanes taking off and landing, so I thought maybe I'd drift over to the terminal and see if I could get on one of the 20 minute tours.  I got as far as the intersection of Belleville and Government Streets, spied the benches in front of Parliament and headed over there.  I had to sit and rest again.  Now I have a dull headache.  I can see where this is headed, but I refused to believe it.  While waiting on the bench, the clock at the Royal BC Museum chimed for 1:00 p.m. and played "Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head" in chimes and it sounded really pretty.

I was on the bench for awhile, and thought, maybe a bit of coffee would help with the headache and perk me up a bit, so I dragged myself to the Days Inn restaurant next to the hotel I stayed at and got a cup of coffee and a glass of water.  I sat for a bit then left.  I was starting to get hot flashes now.  It  was at this point that my body completely and totally betrayed me.  I made it to the benches in front of the Grand Pacific.  I figured since my bags were still locked up there, I was still considered a guest, and it was clear I needed help.  I summoned the valet and asked him if there was somewhere I could lay down because I was feeling very faint, hoping he'd tell me I could lay on the couch in the lobby.  He got the manager, who came out with the full on first aid kit, blanket and oxygen.  I was so embarrassed.  He was so kind, and made arrangements for me to actually check back into my room, at no charge, b/c it hadn't been cleaned yet, even though it was 2 pm.  He escorted me up there and told me he'd set up a 4 PM wake up call so that I'd have plenty of time to get up and get to the Clipper.  I was very upset because there was still so much I wanted to do and see, a few other shops I wanted to visit!  There was no way I was going to get back to the other side of the Harbour now, and a seaplane tour was definitely off the table.

I was staggering by this point.  I got a cold cloth and climbed into bed.  It was at that point that my stomach revolted. I flew to the bathroom and spent 10 minutes yakking up the water & coffee I just drank, plus my lunch.  I vaguely remember cleaning up, rinsing out my mouth and collapsing into bed where I passed out from 2:15-3:30.  When I woke up, except for sore muscles, I felt so much better.  I got up and was able to go back outside and go inside the Parliament Buildings, as well as walk over to shoot pics of the Gatsby Mansion.  It was time for me to collect my bags and head over to the ferry terminal.  It was packed and hot in the waiting room, but luckily there was a pop machine that had ice cold bottled water so I grabbed one and popped 2 of the Robax tablets.  

The ferry home was the Clipper IV, and I'd never been on it before.  It's huge.  Way bigger than the others I've taken.  Totally sold out too, so that meant a packed house for a 2 1/2 hour trip.  The seats were set up such that you had to have 5 other people.  It was 3 seats, a table and 3 seats facing the others.  Initially I was on the window, but luckily was able to switch to the aisle b/f it filled up.  I didn't want to have to have to keep bugging people to move so that I could pee or go check out the ferry souvenirs. 

Once the vessel was nearly full, only crap seats were left.  A rowdy group of 6 friends had boarded last and had to split up and take the leftover, less than optimum seats.  That meant 2 of them, Brian and Josh, landed in my Pod of 6, which also included a very quiet, shy student named Natalie who was going to Seattle for a week to take a class, and a newly engaged, very clean cut young couple, named Carly and Joel, who were pouring over bride magazines.   She even gave him a card before we got underway.  The other 2 characters were Brian and Josh.

They were young and good looking, and they make a lot of money.  Very young, very well off, disposable incomes. Brian actually maintains an apartment in the Tacoma area whenever he wants to come down and stay for awhile, and he owns a condo in Victoria. They'd spent the afternoon, w/ their 4 other friends, getting plastered and smoking pot, which is why they were late getting to the ferry.  Their goal had been to sit all together, but alas, they lost track of time.  They knew each other from high school and were about 24-25 now, on their way to Seattle for the weekend to see the Seahawks game. They were good natured kids; not surly & obnoxious drunks, but amusing ones.  I was clearly the senior member of our pod.  We weren't in open water 15 minutes when they'd already ordered, and plowed through, a bottle of white wine and were starting on a bottle of red.  They were quite jovial and were trying to get us all to have a drink with them, on them, too.  I think Natalie sipped a bit on some of the wine, and Joel did accept a Rye & Ginger later in the trip.  They ordered peanuts & pretzels for the table if we wanted.  They shouted to their friends a lot though, whooping it up, trying to get a Seahawks cheer going.

I was concentrating as best I could on reading the newspaper I brought with me, but they were pretty rowdy. I wondered to myself how long it was going to be before someone complained.  Turns out, it wasn't that long. I don't know if someone did complain or the staff had had enough, but a woman who was clearly in charge of the cabin crew came over and sternly told Brian and Josh to knock it off.  She said she knew they were already wasted and if they kept it up, they'd be cut off. Said there were a lot of passengers who were starting to look miserable because of them.  Brian was doing his best to charm her but she wasn't having it.  He had an impish way about him but it didn't work.  After she left, they nicknamed her "Angry" for the rest of the trip.  All 6 of them managed to keep it down for a bit, and we chatted amiably at our table for quite awhile too.  Brian ordered 2 Jack & Cokes and 2 Rye & Gingers for he and Josh, although both boys offered to let us have the drinks if we wanted, and that's when Joel decided to have one.  

Then things started getting rowdy again.  I kept murmuring to Josh, "Stop shouting or else Angry is gonna come back and pitch a fit" so he'd go, "Oh yah that's right eh?"  It was too late.  Angry came back and she pretty much went off on Brian.  Cut him off.  Told him they could "do this the easy way or the hard way".  He was facing Josh and I, and I was grimacing at him and bemusedly shaking my head.  Josh was laughing at his buddy getting yelled at.  Once Angry left, his friends who were sitting near us across the aisle, started giving Brian endless shit and I could resist teasing in a sing song voice, "You got in trouuubllllllleee".  They'd also ordered a shitload of duty free alcohol so that they could keep the party rolling once they got into Seattle and on the way out to their fave bar which I can't remember the name of.  They were "Gonna look for some cougars eh!"  I guess that's a big thing now, young guys going after hot older women.  

The boys were getting more and more wasted but they were very funny too.  They kept giving different passengers amusing nick names, like 'Harry Potter Glasses Lady", among others that I won't repeat here.   As we were talking the subject of our ages came up and that's when I told them I was old enough to be their mom.  ALL 4 of their mom, for that matter, except Natalie who was 29 but looked 18.  Brian goes, "Naw you're not that old, what are you, 38? 36?" I cried with arms outstretched, "YOU ARE MY NEW BEST FRIEND!!!"  Then I told them I was turning 46 they were like, "NO WAY! You are NOT in your 40's!!" So I don't know if they were serious or just being charming to an old lady, but either way it was fun.  All 6 of us had a great laugh when Brian showed me a pic on his phone of his West Highland Terrier, Mia, but when he handed the phone to Joel he used the unfortunate sentence, "Hey Joel! Wanna see a pic of my dog? Isn't she cute?  Like what you see?".  Joel looked down at the phone, blinked, got a stricken look on his face for a second and murmured, "Uh No".  Brian's like, "What you don't like dogs?" Then looked at the screen to see that he'd accidentally scrolled to the next photo, which was of him with his hair every which way and with his shirt off and looking very hungover.  Poor Joel thought he was gonna see a pic of a dog and instead gets that photo with Brian eagerly asking, "Like what you see?"  

As we got into port, I advised Josh to at least try to play it cool when they got to customs, because let's face it, US Customs Agents have no sense of humour and absolutely a zero tolerance for bullshit and frat boy shenanigans from 6 shitfaced Canadian kids.  It was bad enough that Brian's passport was tattered and shredded and had, apparently, also been dropped in beer, and he must've been like 18 in the photo b/c he doesn't look quite the same now that he's older.   He said he went to Mexico awhile back and the customs agent questioned if that really was him.  

I bolted for the door as soon as the announcement was made that we could leave.  I was surprised that the customs agents were pretty jovial, both in Canada and in Seattle, which was a first.  I'm hoping that the boys made it in OK, because Angry could very well have prewarned them that there were some very intoxicated passengers on board.  So I sailed through, walked up to my car was out of the garage by a little after 9.  I am glad that I carefully plotted out my return route through the city because the last thing I wanted was to get lost when all I wanted to do is get home, because it's a 40-45 minute drive at best with no traffic.  Got home about 9:50.  Brian was already in bed but the doggies gave me an enthusiastic greeting.  

It was much easier to wind down once I was home, and I collapsed into bed at 11, and had more bizarre, Victoria-themed dreams.  I'm very glad that I decided not to come home on Saturday.  I don't think I would have had the stamina to continue my trek hither and yon, although on the other hand I would have been able to take the seaplane tour.  That said, it so happens that our first significant winter storm is approaching the coast right now, and I really would not have wanted to be out in the Strait, which has ocean conditions, with the 35 foot swells in a high speed catamaran.  I've never ever been seasick, but also I'm in no hurry to find out if I could be, either. 

I'm really glad I went.  The fall is a nice time of year to see things, because it's not so crowded.  I was able to get better photos because there weren't a lot of people around to distract from the object being photographed.  I'm distressed about the unexpected foot pain that led to all around discomfort when walking. I wish I could have wandered back down to the Old Town Section again because there were more murals I wanted to shoot, and I wanted to see some of the Ghostly Walks locations in the day time too.  Getting sick yesterday afternoon infuriated me.  I was so angry about it.  And embarrassed.  REALLY embarrassed.  If that hotel manager hadn't let me back into my room, I would have been vomiting in the public bathroom in the lobby and that would have sucked big time, esp. w/o a place to lay down afterward.

I spent more money than I anticipated, and didn't hit some of the stores I wanted to see, like The Christmas Box, which is 4 floors of holiday decorations.  I actually did go in once, the very first time I was in Victoria but it was so overwhelming that I left. On the other hand, I didn't take the seaplane tour which was spendy.  I am going to have to wait a bit before I get the pictures processed b/c that cost alone is going to be staggering.  At this point I can wait for my holiday bonus in a couple of months and that will more than cover the cost of processing.  Plus I enjoy the anticipation and planning of my photo album scrapbooks, so the assembly will be a fun winter project, esp if we get the La Nina winter they are expecting.  I got to do some very productive beach combing and I found what I consider to be a great deal of treasure.  

I will return to Victoria, again.  Next time I will plan to bring my car on the Coho, even though it means a 3+ hour drive, one way, to Port Angeles, and the same amount of time to get home.  I like having a car with me and next time I will get out to West Vic and Esquimalt.  I hear that a new zipline adventure has opened up near Sooke, and I've always wanted to try that.  I'm afraid of heights, I hate to fly, yet I have no problem with swaying suspension bridges and I want to zipline too.  Now I've got more stuff to look forward to when I go back to Victoria.  And I will be back.


  1. Jojo, can I marry your life?

    Geez, I just took a trip with you in my mind and I needed it BADLY. Thank you so much for posting this, babe. Its my only freedom, kinda like a travel magazine program, only BETTER.

    Man, I wish I could take the Ghostly Walks with you!! Damn!
    Pity about the seaplane trip, though ....and not to mention the getting sick part. That sucked.

    Well, this just convinces me even more that I want to be Canadian ;-)

    I can't wait for the pictures!!! *Jumps up and down*

  2. Anonymous3:13 AM

    Wow, I haven't had such an interesting read about travel in a long, long time. Such details and it must've taken you forever to get it all composed...thank you for that, and for sharing! Just wonderful!

  3. Anonymous11:57 AM

    Gosh, I'm tired just reading this - and it's always a shock to me to discover (brutally sometimes) that my body is NOT the '25' I THINK I am in my head!

    Glad you decided to make the trip. I loved my time in Vancouver and Victoria. Who knows, one day, I might even get back there :0)

  4. Blisters and torn rotator cuffs, you and I are obviously sisters!

    Sorry you felt poorly, but you seem to have had a great time even so. Can't wait to see the pictures.

  5. This all sounds so fun! Ive never gotten to go to Victoria, but I really want to. Sorry to hear that your travels caused so much pain, but it sounds like you had a great time anyway. Looking forward to the pics and the Ghost Walk stories!

  6. Wow, great adventure! I can feel your pain! In my case it's my ankles and lower back that bothers me if I stand too long or walk too far.

    Makes me glad I did a lot of my traveling when I was younger. lol

    Can't wait to see the photos. :-)

  7. Mmmmm,ghostwalk!I always wanted to do one of those. Heck I have to make up a "vacation" for a computer class and needless to say my iternerary is nothing but macabre.

    What do you suppose made you sick?Food?That's awful!I hate that more than anything.I'm glad they let you back in your room to be alone though.

    I'm off to see the pics now.