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Posts tagged ‘Canada’

Video

In Search of New Borders Pt 2

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

In Search of New Borders

I’m a foreigner. That holds true in every country I go. Even the one I was born in. What is it about borders that make us want to cross them and explore? I’ve been doing just that my whole life.

Crossing large bodies of waters was a normal part of my life.

Crossing large bodies of waters was a normal part of my life.

My children, adults that they are, have not used their passports. My son was very young when we went to Taiwan via the military and I don’t think we needed them at that time. He didn’t remember crossing any borders. My poor daughter has been landlocked her whole life. Until now.

Life on the water. Wouldn't it be lovely?

Life on the water. Wouldn’t it be lovely?

Ferry captains were impressive in their skill.

Ferry captains were impressive in their skill.

We were brave and reckless. Driving the five hours to Port Angeles, Washington. After a wonderful brunch and a trip through their quilt store (yes, I had to look) and their wonderful bookstore (one or maybe two came home with us), my son drove the car onto the ferry and we rode the 90 minutes to another country. This dizzy lady did just fine. It took my daughter a bit to get her sea legs. A lot of distraction and good humor kept her even keeled and we made it safe and sound to Victoria, BC Canada. Now to be truthful, I’ve been there before without a car. We used public transport and that worked quite well. It was a LONG time ago.

They had beautiful stuff but I was very strong. Love this store

They had beautiful stuff but I was very strong. Love this store

So what do you do when you cross the border? You go see pretty flowers and look around the town. Just to warn you, I will have to break this very short visit into two posts. I took over 360 photos. This is a lady who rarely ever took photos. Since I don’t see well, I point, shoot and pray that they can be fixed. My kids took even more.

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First thing on our list was a real food breakfast. We found a lovely place across from our motel. They were so polite and kind that it made our first taste of Canada even better. Then we were off to find a post office. I decided to see if I could mail a package to a Canadian friend from Canada for a bit less than mailing it from the U.S. Cost cut, one third! Do you know they have post offices open Saturday’s and Sunday’s? I was delighted and surprised.

The ABC restaurant was a nice start of our day. I wanted to take this stove home.

The ABC restaurant was a nice start of our day. I wanted to take this stove home.

So is Butchart Gardens worth a second trip? I could use a third and fourth. My feet were protesting but my camera had its buzz on. I just couldn’t stop, until lunch that is. We (my daughter and I) had high tea in the conservatory. My son had a very nice looking hamburger. He’s a guy. The food tasted so beautiful in that room and the tea was something new for them. Lemon grass and ginger. Yum. I didn’t get a photo of the food. I was lost is a sea of bliss by then. The butterflies had nothing on me that day.

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After lunch we waddled over toward the Japanese gardens passing something so fragrant it took my breath away. I felt light headed and overcome with emotion. The tears started to flow and I just couldn’t contain them. I stood there a moment trying to get a grip when the dragonflies did a dance for me and landed softly right where I could get a clear shot. I have never really seen one before. They were always so far away I could not tell what they were. As we came back out of the Japanese Garden, the same thing happened again. The smell was like lilacs but they were not. The feeling, one of unmistakeable happiness.

Who knew they were so beautiful. I was enthralled.

Who knew they were so beautiful. I was enthralled.

I don't know yet what these are but the scent was wonderful.

I don’t know yet what these are but the scent was wonderful.

We finally had to sit a few moments before shopping the gift stores and caving in to happiness and beauty overload. And our day was not done yet. That was one border I would gladly cross again and again.

A great spot to sit a spell and reflect on the wonders of the morning.

A great spot to sit a spell and reflect on the wonders of the morning.

How about you? Do you cross borders?

Stay tuned for part two.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself