Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back from Vacation in lovely Victoria BC

Craig and I escaped for THREE lovely nights and FOUR days without ANY kids this past weekend!
The above photos capture the absolutely stunning Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC.
We are very fortunate to live within ferry distance of Victoria.  You may remember this is where we went last year when our trip to Ireland was cancelled due to the Iclandic volcano.
(And where we got engaged!)

We stayed here, at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria ~ See this link for a photo tour
that really does it justice!
 I have always wanted to stay here,
ever since I was a little girl!  It is an incredible period piece, and if you love the feel of an elegant English Country Manor, this is your place!  It opened in 1908, I believe, and there are photos everywhere of English Royalty as they visited through the years.  Very elegant and a truly memorable place to stay!  And ohhhh soooo romantic!

The parliament building was designed by the same architect that designed our hotel, Frances Rattenbury and they are situated kitty corner from each other, so the two blocks are just a joy to walk along and just take them in!  Incredible attention to detail!

We walked and walked and walked each day, for hours at a time, shopping a bit, but mostly just enjoying the sights and each other's company. We held hands for hours, strolling along with the requisite starbucks, ducking in and out of shops, grabbing a snack or lunch when we wanted!   Then back to the hotel to rest up and just veg, watching TV together or reading, or quite frankly, taking a mid-day nap, something we never get to do in real life.  Then we glamoured up for dinner, or drinks, whatever we were up for. 
We dined really well every night and had the most memorable evening at an Irish pub where the young man that was heading up the live band blew us away with all our favorite Van Morrison tunes, and many more great songs from a bit 'back in the day'!  "-)

This is another view of our hotel, The Empress ~ she is so very grand, isn't she? the ivy growing all over the facade was not yet leafed out, but the gardens, lawns, and spring flowers were in full parade.  The Canadians, much like the English, really know how to garden!



A couple more views, one of our hotel ( I never get tired of it!) and of the city, so beautiful!


The parliment building lit up at night with the harbor in front!

Believe it or not, the very best bit of our trip was the walking together; we left our car parked and walked everywhere.  It was so wonderful!  There is a part in the movie THE QUIET MAN where the matchmaker tells John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara to get down and take a couple of miles together walking to see how they do.  It really is a complete difference of pace to put the car away, and take to the streets and pathways, cruise the waterfront, the local hiking paths, watch the seaplanes land and deplane and then take off again...

Of course I am already planning our next mini-getaway, and we have agreed to come back to Victoria this time every year together, WITHOUT the children!  Yeah!  It's a perfect way for us to strengthen our connection, really enjoy each other's company, and recharge for the busy busy summer ahead of us!

Missed you all, especially Sunday sketches, and I will be around soon to see what creativity I've missed!

Smiles and hugs!
Julia

17 comments:

Jg. for FatScribe said...

wow. can't wait to visit there ... looks beautiful! jealous, big time! glad you all got to get out of dodge sans the babies. good on ya, and good on a marriage for some grown-up time.

;)

PurestGreen said...

I still shake my head to think I lived on Vancouver Island for a year and never went to Victoria. I have never been - ever, and I am from B.C.! I would like to take my Scotsman. Despite the obvious very English influence of the, I still think he would like it. At least we could probably get a decent plate of fish and chips! Great tour - glad you had such a lovely time.

Heather said...

Julia,
this sounds heavenly. walking, talking and holding hands with a starbucks! oh my gosh, that's my dream vacation! How lucky for you and Craig. It helps to get away to re-connect - especially without the kids! Glad you had fun! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures, too.
I missed you -! xo

EVA said...

Lovely!!

We spent time there this August when we dropped my daughter off for her first year at U. Vic. She is really enjoying Victoria!

art2cee2 said...

I have been to a lot of places but I have never been to British colombia. It looks beautiful. I am glad you got to have this little getaway and I am sure you enjoyed it. Everyone needs a break now and then! :-)

Marlene said...

So glad you had such a wondeful getaway. I have been to Victoria once and loved it. The Butchart Gardens are gorgeous and I loved the Butterfly (?) Garden don't remember the exact name. I would love to go back there and have High Tea sometime. That hotel is beautiful!

Kellys Art Journaling/ Sharing The Journey said...

What a loveley little getaway! I love Victoria too! Thanks for sharing your adventures.
Hugs and blessings
Kelly

Rebecca Anthony said...

Wow, you painted a perfect picture of your trip. The photos are incredible and what memories you will have together. It's so good to have that time to reconnect, good for you. Thanks so much for sharing, I have now put it on my list of places I must go and visit!! It looks incredible!!

Beth Niquette said...

Hello, dear Julia! I have featured your daughter's book on this week's FATuesday Artist Spotlight.

I thought you'd like to know--have a wonderful rest of the week, and happy FATuesday!

Robin said...

Hi there..I just wrote a very long comment and it got deleted..I was saying that my daughter is heading out there next week for the AAG conference and then going to UBC to check it out for her PHD studies...it is sooo beautiful there...your pics are great and I love your art too..nice to meet you..!

Robin said...

my first comment was so better...LOL

Diana Evans said...

Hi Julia!!! I am so thrilled you came to Canada for your vacation!!!

come over if you have a chance....I just started something called Sweet Saturdays....

Beth Niquette said...

Some day I shall visit there--all these years of living in Oregon and all our travels, I have never ventured that far North. I've heard it is lovely, and from these pictures I see it is so.

Have a wonderful day, my talented Friend! Looking forward to seeing more artwork now that you're back, eh? Greet your daughter for me, and thank her for the privilege of featuring her!

I remember what it was like to have three little ones--only two years apart--when they were 2, 4, and 6--WOW! lol She has my utmost admiration.

My Mom is a published writer. She wrote her first book with my little sister on her knees--and in those days they didn't have computers.

Gigi said...

Julia, that sounds like an absolutely perfect trip. What a glorious place, and what a joy to take long walks together at whatever pace suits you. And there are few pleasures in life as rewarding as an afternoon nap. The Spanish have it so right with the siesta!

Glad you had such a wonderful getaway, and love that you plan to do it every year.

xo Gigi

Tammie said...

I can only smile at your time away and just the two of you, so important and special. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Gosh, did the gardens look green and blooming? With a foot of snow in my yard,,,, that is hard to imagine.

Jessie said...

It looks like a lovely break Julia and thanks for giving us english a mention!:) Welcome back.xx

outdoor.mom said...

oh how ROMANTIC!! oh and the ladies you've been drawing are just lovely!!