Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A weekend on Vancouver Island

Crow-and-Gate-sign Mum, Dad and I caught a Friday afternoon ferry to Nanaimo, where we picked up a hire (rental) car, and had a few hours to spare before Joshua arrived on a later ferry. The Crow and Gate, a neighbourhood pub (on acreage in the countryside rather than on a busy urban street) was recommended to us by a friendly chef from Victoria, who we met in a cab as we raced to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal after our connecting bus never showed up. It was a gorgeous little place, and gorgeous is not usually an adjective that goes with pub. The three of us lazed in deck chairs in the sunny, rosey garden and were delighted by hummingbirds, sparrows and good food and drink. If you're in Nanaimo, I recommend the scenic 15 minute drive to see this lovely spot in Cedar. Crow-and-Gate-roses Dad-at-Crow-and-Gate Mum-and-Roses Beach-in-Victoria Saturday morning we explored a little of Victoria: the local beach and markets and mum and dad were thrilled to see raccoons climbing up the vines of the Empress Hotel (a posh, English style hotel, that serves a high tea, recommended by Her Majesty herself(!) in the heart of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Joshua and I went to a beautiful wedding in the afternoon of a good friend of his - Justin, whom he met at Regent and has enjoyed many long discussions with over fine beer. Interestingly, most of Josh's best school friends are larger-than-life, vivacious characters who are outgoing and lively, not necessarily words I'd use to describe my thoughtful Prince Charming, but somehow they make a great team! (On a side note, I'm pretty sure Justin is a part of the Pipe Smoking Club at Regent (what a theology college hey?) and he nearly unfriended Josh when he shaved his beard. He came to his sense on the latter matter). Raccoon and Empress Hotel photos snapped by my father dearest. Mum-and-baby-raccoons Empress Green-Chairs-625 Apple-trees Justin Justin-and-Joshua Justin-and-Kaelas-table On Sunday, after a leisurely morning at our cosy Bed and Breakfast the boys headed off whale watching (and saw lots of Orca's and seals!) while Mum and I visited the Butchart Gardens. I also visited last year with Lisa, but could easily make this a yearly pilgrimmage. Mum and I both agreed that if we had bajillions of dollars one of our priorities would be to ensure the house was always full of lavish bouquets of fresh flowers. What a difficult weekend we had. Butchart-gardens-sweet-peas Butchart-gardens-green-grass Butchart-gardens mum-with-flower Butchart-gardens-purple-stock Butchart-Gardens-old-tree