Looking for answers to life's questions

How much can you cram into a short day and a half? Well, if I’d been younger and in better shape, probably a whole lot more than I did. Crossing borders is hard work.

Our next destination for the day.

Our next destination for the day.

We left Butchart Gardens early Saturday afternoon so we could drive 3-5 minutes down the road. Another place that I wanted my children to see was the Victoria Butterfly Garden. I have been a collector of anything butterfly related for many years. They represented freedom to me which has been my quest for most of my life. It’s also a part of my personality. I flit. From project to project, book to book, experience to experience. It’s like being in a bakery, tasting a little of everything and going back and tasting again. That’s what these butterflies did too.

Old banana peels and orange slices enticed these diners to sit a spell

Old banana peels and orange slices enticed these diners to sit a spell

An indoor tropical oasis that is climate controlled at 80% humidity and 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit). If it wasn’t so warm in there, I would have stayed for days. As it was, we spent almost two hours. It was a little harder to photograph as our models kept flitting around. Some were tiny, some were quite loud and vocal. The pink flamingos were the loudest edging out the parrots. The turtles, as silent as the butterflies. They didn’t have any snakes in this jungle but they did have an iguana. I didn’t get a photo because it was way up high and blended in fairly well to the background, but my son got a great shot. He has a better camera and vision.

Can you see the Iguana hiding in the green?

Can you see the Iguana hiding in the green?

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This was a day of surprises for me all the way through. I saw my very first dragon fly that morning at Butchart and had a parrot land on my arm for a long and meaningful conversation in the late afternoon.

Th
I don’t know what the rest of the day could have brought had we tested it further. My daughter found out butterflies like red toes. This one circled her feet for several minutes.

This butterfly thought those toes might be a flower

This butterfly thought those toes might be a flower

Departure day brought relief at the end of our hotel stay. Super 8 had the idea that a “climate controlled” room means being controlled by the climate. The AC unit was totally non functioning. I wouldn’t recommend that one as the fans were only slightly helpful. It was on the edge of the city and available. Very few options in our price range with short notice.

Thank goodness there was no heat wave as the AC unit did not work.

Thank goodness there was no heat wave as the AC unit did not work.

We had a lovely breakfast at a place called Cora’s, which was recommended by the nice young man at the post office on that fine Sunday morning. This is a place I can recommend. They had everything on the menu but the kitchen sink and it was all good and the place was exceptionally clean and welcoming. Then parking our car in line for the ferry, we traversed the town of Victoria. At least as far as I could hobble.

The Empress Hotel was as impressive as ever. My daughter found a nice t-shirt in the gift shop but we didn’t stay for tea. The view at Butchart has them beat as far as I’m concerned.

The Empress Hotel. She wasn't home. So daughter bought a t-shirt in the gift shop

The Empress Hotel. She wasn’t home. So daughter bought a t-shirt in the gift shop

The architecture and the feel of the city make you feel right at home. The one way streets, not so much. We found an outdoor artist market but left the wares behind. I am totally enthralled with that city and could have stayed many more days exploring. Everyone there was helpful, warm and welcoming. Next time, I’d like a week or more and see much more of Canada. I hear it’s pretty big and they have beautiful butterflies.

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Are you a flitter or a sitter? Do you go from one thing to the next or do stay with it till it’s time to move on?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of New Borders Pt 2" (55)

  1. How delightful Marlene – that parrot was yours and yours alone! I felt sorry for the young lass who so wanted the parrot to come to her – and he only had eyes for you!! We have a beautiful butterfly house here too, though I find it too much to be in for too long – so humid! No flamingos or friendly birds in ours though, just butterflies and some native geckos and the like. My favourite butterfly is the Blue Morpheus, you have a shot of one in your slide show – aren’t the the most beautiful blue? There’s a legend from somewhere in the Amazon that says these butterlies are the guides to the after-life for the newly dead – I like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Pauline. I like that too. I have collected things with butterflies and Angels for more years than I remember. At least since I had money to buy silly things and not just food. It was so humid in there that I’m glad we didn’t stay longer. I’ve heard of other butterfly gardens and really wanted to visit every one. I had such a mystical day that it left me totally spent. That bird seemed drawn to me the moment I walked into his space. I know we chatted a good 5 minutes. My daughter is terrified of birds but she was so taken back by the interaction that she stood and watched. I fully expected her to panic and run. . Those flamingos were real tired of looking at each other. You know how when the husband sits all day doing .but follows you everywhere. 🙂 Hugs

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  2. You have yourself a new boyfriend, Marlene! I loved that video. He just loved you. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! To see all of Canada you would need a lot of time. It’s a big place, land mass wise it’s bigger than the states! It is a beautiful place though. I’ve enjoyed my stay here. 🙂

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    • I’d go if they’d let us in. 🙂 Yes, it would take longer than going across the US. My daughter would like to go to the Eastern side to research her family roots. Their paternal grandfather was of French Canadian Indian decent. Micmac I think. The family changed their last name when they came to the states. If I could drive long distances, I’d go from one end to the other and back. Next lifetime. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

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  3. What a wonderful post. I enjoyed every minute of it, thank you. That green parrot found a soulmate – your arm must have been very tires!

    The architecture looked French, but I don’t suppose you were anywhere near Quebec.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip.
    ViV

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    • Thank you so much Viv. We were at the opposite side of Canada. West coast vs east. Still would love to go to Quebec. My kids have an ancestral connection there. Yes, there was a bond there and we had quite a talk. I think he knew a friendly face or maybe it was the wrinkles he liked. 🙂

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  4. Looks like you are having a wonderful time Marlene. Lovely to spend time surrounded by nature and appears you had quite a bond with that parrot! ))

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    • Thank you. Yes we did have a wonderful time. There is no accounting for taste.. That bird likes old ladies in glasses. I had a hard time extricating myself from him. I talk to everything like they understand. Sometimes, I think they do. 🙂

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  5. Without a doubt Marlene. Animals might not understand our words but they understand what’s inside of us. 🙂

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  6. Washington Park Zoo (PDX) used to have a butterfly house. It was so special to go in and have the butterflies land on your hand, hat or whatever. What a wonderful experience for you and your kids!

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  7. That looks like oh so much fun! You are such a busy bee I don’t know how you do it! Great photos. You are lucky they didn’t start nibbling your toes.

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  8. So much work having fun all day…! 😀

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  9. Hi “Parrot Whisperer”!! I am so happy that you had a wonderful time in BC. Nice photos! Great tips on where to eat but not sleep, and which sights to see. Glad I could come along.

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  10. I still say this looks like an amazing trip you went on. And I think I have the same sandals as your daughter. 🙂 I’m looking forward to finally being able to travel. And I’m kind of more of a flitter, though Mom refers to it as “shiny thing syndrome” meaning I’m easily distracted. 😉

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    • I so appreciate your kind thoughtfulness and the nomination but have chosen to keep mine an award free blog. I’d post it on there if I could figure out how. 😦 Thank you so much. I an enjoying reading as many of your posts as I possibly can. I’m learning a great deal there and that’s my goal. Thank you so much for the nomination and congrats on yours.

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  11. Oh my gosh, that video of you with the parrot is marvelous. What an honor to have him join you for a chat. He stayed quite a while too. Clearly you have that special something, Marlene. I’m just tickled watching.

    As for Cora’s that is one of Boomdee’s favorite places so she took me there, too. It’s like we’ve had parallel vacations, one year apart.

    I dream of moving to Victoria or at least living there part of the year. I fell in love.

    I’m glad you got back home before the heavy forest fires sent smoke and ash all over the island. Are you experiencing any of the ash in Sleep Hollow? I know a lot of it has blown down wind into the states.

    I’m off to bed. So glad to have a catch up here, Marlene. Sweet dreams…or perhaps you are already slumbering.

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    • I would love to live there too. It was a delightful city the first time I was there. Everyone was so nice and attentive with that warm feeling. No, we have not had any residue from the fires. Keeping my fingers crossed. I’m so glad Boomdee likes Cora’s too. I could have become much rounder had I stayed any longer. The kids loved it even though it was quite busy on a Sunday morning. The food was yummy. That parrot and I did have quite a chat. I’m kind of that way with animals. We get each other. 🙂

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      • I knew you had that kind of relationship with animals. It fits who you are to a t.

        I too had been to Victoria twice, and twice to Butchart Gardens but both were unique and wonderful. It’s an extraordinary place. People were kind and wonderful everywhere we went: on the streets, in the gardens, at the hotels, shops, etc. The only funny experience we had was with a grumpy bus driver. Long story, but he threatened to leave us off if the “mystery rider” didn’t stop pulling the stop cord. We were packed in like sardines, so whoever was pulling it probably didn’t even realize it. It made for a good story.

        It’s so fun to share this place with you.

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      • A mystery rider sounds like a fun annoyance. 🙂 It is nice to share when we’ve all been to the same place though at different times. I got some beautiful mail today. :)) Thank you.

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      • You’re welcome. xox

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  12. I share our same feelings of being a foreigner, everywhere I go, so can more than relate. But how wonderful to explore and visit all these beautiful places and share with those most precious to us. I am thrilled for your visit with the beautiful parrot and all those butterflies too. I adore birds and butterflies, but not when they get too close to me for some weird reason so you’re braver than I! So glad you didn’t have a heatwave too. That is so frustrating when you can’t get the room cool enough. Very inventive with the fan though I must say! Lovely post and such beautiful photos Marlene, thank you for sharing your latest adventure with us, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about it 🙂 And thank you again so much for welcoming me back to blogging, it really means a lot that. Hugs 🙂

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    • Thanks for your kind words, Sherri. Butterflies don’t scare me but I was uncertain about the birds. My daughter is terrified of birds and we were both surprised she held her ground and didn’t panic when the bird flew on me. Something drew me to it and we conversed for a bit before he decided to sit on me awhile. I think we had an understanding. 🙂 That little girl really wanted the bird to come to her but he was so much more comfortable on me. 🙂 Life is strange. Hugs 2

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  13. What a wonderful day!
    Those gardens, after reading about them from both you and Crystal, are on my “To See” list! How lovely that the bird found you so comfortable to be with.
    And that Empress Hotel is stunning! Is that ivy all over it?

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    • Thank you. Yes it was a wonderful day and a half. At least Crystal got there on a good weekend and stayed at a wonderful place. When we called, everything was booked. Yes, that is ivy. It’s a stunning hotel. You are on the wrong side of the country to make it an easy trek. 😦 The whole experience, even the awful motel, was sublime. I hope you get to see it.

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  14. Welcome to Canada my dear! I hope someone said that along the way. We also found everyone friendly and helpful in Victoria when Alys and I visited. We prebooked on line at the Coast Inn. I think it was a good value between two of us. To bad about the AC at Super 8. Ugg, nothing worse than a bad nights sleep when you’re paying for it. How far is it from Oregon City to Victoria? Like in hours? Alys and I will totally go back and maybe we could ferry over to Oregon or you could come back to Victoria? You could shack up with us for a day or two? hey? Don’t say you’d slow us down, we could toodle along and have tea and lunch and look-see’s then water taxi back home. Oh so fun!
    That parrot was totally in love with you Marlenie-bean, cutie Paw-2-t. I loved your video. The blonde girl seemed like a Manequin, I might have been leary myself. A friend of mine, Darryl, had a love-bird named Jose that was those colors but much smaller. Also very affectionate. He’d ride in the brim of Darryl’s hat when he walked the dog, LOL. Seemed like your parrot wanted to head bump you and give you nibs with his beak, all signs of affection. My brother fostered a Cockatoo named Rowdy until he found a home, he wasn’t to affectionate and Gawked super duper loud. OMGosh, when he flew at you, I’d hit the deck. Wing span of maybe 4 feet and a giant crown. At least things were still green while you visited. I’m worried now. xoxo K

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    • Oh my, where to start. First, don’t worry. A useless endeavor. Second, I’m a minimum of a 5 hour drive to Port Angeles, then we waited a couple of hours for the ferry. We had pre-booked but couldn’t get there earlier. The ferry ride is 90 minutes. My difficulty is I can’t drive the distance. The roads all twisty and turned make my a bit dizzy. I try to keep my eyes averted somewhat and rode in the back seat. It’s one of the damages from the Bells. It’s better than a few years ago so my brain is adapting. But I will keep a trip there in mind and maybe something will work itself out. Yes that girl had an odd look to her and the bird really wanted nothing to do with her. But finally relented. I’ve had NO experience with birds since my daughter was afraid of them. It was quite a unique experience. I would love to have tea with you and Alys sometime, somewhere. It will present itself in due time. I walk quickly enough. Just like I’ve had a few.:)

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      • LOL, Oh now then, you’ll fit right in.

        Jim’s sister is also afraid of birds. Unfortunate, since they’re such social animals. We had a budgie we carried around as kids. My Oma had an avery with a Maya bird that could speak in German, LOL xo K

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      • Maybe her bird could have taught me a few things in German. It’s so bad that I’m embarrassed. 🙂 My aunt Helga loves her budgies too. My Oma didn’t have any animals at all after the war. I think they had them before though.

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  15. It sure looks like you and your kids had the most wonderful time. When reading other peoples blog I find so many places I want to go visit and I know I won’t have time to go see them all, but looking at pictures as nice as this you can look and pretend you went along for the trip.

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    • I do so agree with you there. There are so many places I still want to go but doubt I’ll get there. I’ve seen a lot of the world but like your visit to Italy, would have loved to go. Only through others photos do I get to visit virtually. I think there are beautiful places everywhere. It’s the experiences we have while there that make them special to us. I’m glad you enjoyed my trip to Victoria, Canada as much as I enjoyed yours to Tuscany.

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  16. Ah! Marlene…it looks so beautiful! I think I am a flitter…I am easily distracted 🙂 Hope you are super!! ♡

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  17. Sounds like this was an amazing trip.. I visiting Canada in the year 2000 as it was a special holiday for our 25th Anniversary. We too went the Butchart Gardens.. spectacular.. even the drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits.. Sooo many happy memories as we toured Canada coast to coast..
    Thank you for sharing some of yours Marlene .. Love and Hugs Sue

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    • It was an amazing trip, Sue. A first for my kids and I was tour guide. 🙂 I would love to go coast to coast in Canada. There are so many places I still want to see. It could still happen. 🙂 Hugs and love to you as well.

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      • Never say never is what I always say.. And yes it was a trip of a life time for us.. 🙂 And coast to coast is well worth it.

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      • I keep hoping I’ll get to where I can drive more than 20 miles at a time again. I have driven all over the US and a great deal of Germany. Now I’m hugely grateful to be able to make it to the fabric store and back. I take nothing for granted.

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      • You are a remarkable lady.. and I am sure you will ‘Keep Going’ .. We are eternally grateful for all we have.. Enjoy your weekend Marlene. x Sue

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  18. Aha!! I now see the parrot! I truly am far behind on reading posts. I had been caught up to Pt 1, but had not reached Pt 2. When you were here and referred to the picture with the parrot, my memory was struggling. I did recall reading a little about Canada, but for some reason I just couldn’t recall a parrot. Now it all makes sense.

    I am crazy for your photos, and thrilled that TS got such great video of your time with the parrot. He was simply mesmerized by you. It must have felt so flattering. What a lovely bird. You two are similar though: you know what you want and there doesn’t need to be much discussion about it. 😉

    I agree with you on the time it takes to get to Victoria (in answer to Kelly’s question). I don’t see how you could make it much quicker, and there are a lot of windy roads. The ferry is the biggest delay though – I mean, if one is hurrying. I volunteer to drive if you get a chance to go meet Boomdee! Maybe you’ll introduce me to the parrot; I could use a fabulously handsome man in my life.

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    • At least this one wasn’t doing all the talking like the last man in my life. 🙂 I had no idea he was taping until we got back home. 🙂 I think everyone is playing catchup this summer. The time has flown and is totally out of control. But then it has been for the entire year that I have been here. I’m ready for the skids to go on.

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  19. You made quite the friend there. 🙂 I miss crossing the border to visit Canada but with passports necessary now I haven’t traveled up there. We usually cross at Niagra Falls. It’s beautiful there too but you need to get away from the tourist stuff for the falls to really enjoy it, or at least I do.

    As for flitting, I definitely flit. Had they labeled kids when I was growing up I definitely would have carried ADD and OCD labels through life. I get bored easily and need new experiences. I like to say I’m just curious. 🙂

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    • I like your diagnosis better, Lois.. Curious. My sister was ADHD right from the start. Her second grade teacher, a very old woman by my standards, used to sit her at a table alone when she got too rambunctious and hand her clay to work for a while. Worked every time. She was a wonderful teacher. No labels, just found ways to get her though the day. My sister is happiest working outside now. I will always keep a passport up to date as I don’t have a birth certificate. Only naturalization papers. I’ve never been to that end of Canada but would love to go sometime. We should all welcome new experiences. 🙂

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    • Yes, that bird seemed to really like me. Wish I had that effect on people. 🙂

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