Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Wedding on Vancouver Island
We have now been home five days from our wonderful trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island for a very beautiful and touching wedding. The wedding was held outside on the grounds of Victoria University, a most perfect setting. It was my first trip to the West Coast and very exciting for me.
After having a week of sunshine every day and with temperatures in the mid-twenties, I'm "almost" tempted to move out there. But of course we are retiring in Prince Edward Island and I'm not about to give up that dream. I think we will have the best of both worlds for as long as Jim's son and new wife live in Victoria as they have a spare room! We are already hoping to make it out there in another three years just before we retire. The new bride and groom are visiting us next fall on the island again, to help with our renovations so we had better hurry and finish our spare room!
It is hard to put into words how I felt flying over and seeing the mountains for the first time. Inspiring comes to mind, awesome, glorious also describes how they looked. My first sight was of snow covered peaks all floating in blue..I couldn't look away for a moment. Later they turned granite colored and I saw so many blue or green tinged lakes and rivers among the mountains. It made me think how fortunate we are in Canada to have so much water.
The first word that comes to mind on seeing Victoria is lush. Even though many lawns there had burnt because of lack of rain like here at home, there was greenery everywhere, trees I've never seen before like a Monkey Puzzle Tree or Arbutus tree and flowers everywhere downtown by the harbour. For a gardener like myself, all the gardens I saw and toured were full of new ideas for me.
The wedding rehearsal supper was very enjoyable, we got to meet many of the bride's relatives, some of which flew in from Scotland. The wedding day arrived sunny and warm, perfect in all ways. Our little granddaughter Claire made an adorable flower girl, the outdoor setting was relaxing and we enjoyed a few dances after the delicious meal.
We managed well in the condo we shared with hubby's brother and wife, within walking distance of a grocery store and other shops. I spent my birthday in Victoria and was given complimentary tickets for Butchart Gardens. Again as a gardener, it was the most perfect birthday gift ever, we were escorted around the gardens by our new daughter-in-law as Jim's son had a return of the flu bug which had attached itself to him before the wedding. Jim seemed to love the gardens as much as I did..I could tell that Jenn was making sure we didn't miss anything!
Another garden site we visited is Glendale Gardens or HCP, Horticulture Centre of the Pacific gardens where Jim's son volunteers..It's a garden for gardeners and the Zen Garden there was such a calming place, a place to relax and cool down from the heat of the day. We also had a guided tour of China Town learning many interesting facts. We had rented a car so we toured Sydney-by-the Sea also going the opposite direction to Sooke and over the mountains to Lake Cowichan and Duncan.
We toured Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse another highlight for me as I love lighthouses..we went beachcombing there and yes, I did bring home some shells, few stones and beachglass to add to my already growing collection from P.E.I. We seemed to squeeze in a lot of sightseeing into such a short time, just wetting our appetite to go back and see more..while viewing Butchart Gardens, Jim's brother and wife went zip-lining, loving it so much they wanted to do it all over again..
We visited great pubs, had great meals and now I must start my daily walking again as a few lbs. came back on..I ate fish at every opportunity, the flavor so much better than here at home. I had made a bucket list of things I wanted to see before flying out and was surprised how many things I could cross off the list..We also enjoyed seeing deer, seals, eagles and rabbits on a hillside outside of Duncan. Jim's son is not so happy to see the deer as they eat many things he doesn't want them to in his yard..he said: "they are like squirrels out here"..
There were two little bumps in our trip, I left my favorite grey hoody in the airport in Toronto on the way out, then forgot to ask for it at a Lost and Found on our return. Also hubby lost one of his best black all weather jackets at a pub in Victoria the night of the bachelor party..we called several times, went back twice to no avail. I did get a new plum colored hoody for my birthday to replace my grey one and my new daughter-in-law bought me two new purses at the gift shop at Butchart Gardens. So a happy ending for me. The real downside of Jim losing his jacket was there was 4 complimentary tickets in the pocket for Butchart...someone is having a good time on his son's gift to us.
Victoria is a very beautiful place to visit and we realize they can get a lot of rain out there but we lucked out on a week of glorious weather, great adventures, a memory filled wedding, while meeting many new people. I find the flight a bit long, five hours out and four and a half hrs. back but with movies to watch, books to read and perhaps a nap thrown in, the time went fairly fast. Plus we were happy to get all our luggage at both ends. My sister-in-law Caron had a bit of bad luck, her zipper broke on her large suitcase about twenty minutes before the trip to the airport at 4 a.m. but my hubby came to the rescue by dumping out our suitcase on the couch and presenting her with it..thankfully we had lots of time before our flight and purchased a new hockey bag at Canadian Tire..
Caron also gifted me with a heather plant which I got home all in one piece. She transported a small Monkey Puzzle tree back to her home. All in all it was a wonderful experience, one I can look back in by reading my travel diary that I keep and viewing pictures we took and postcards I purchased. Once home it was back to reality, turning on the furnace, lots of rain and putting extra blankets on the bed. Our maples are starting to turn color so many tourists will be arriving to tour our country roads for the fall foliage..
We are looking forward to returning to the West Coast and my brother hopes to return there with his wife, so who knows, perhaps we can travel out together on a train and fly back. New memories to look forward to so I'd better start saving!!