Victoria Part I
Victoria was breathtaking, just like I knew it would be. Our hotel was right down town and had a view out to the harbor. The kid's favorite pastime in the hotel was watching the city light up at night and watching the world go by outside the window (except when they spotted the old man in his underwear in the apartment across the street). It's funny how we planned all these amazing trips, but some of our favorite memories were the ones we didn't even plan. The Uno game nights, ice-cream and popcorn parties while watching our first ever episode of Duck Dynasty, eating The Old Spaghetti Factory take out in the hotel conference room when the restraunt wait was too long (and then getting kicked out). Yeah sure, we had our moments where everyone got on every single person's every last nerve, and Ryder was officially declared a maniac and we swore off family vacations until he was atleast 5. The moments where we found ourselves taking shelter from the rain all huddled up in a public restroom and washing out muddy shoes in the sink. Or alternating between McDonald's and Little Caesar's for every meal because Ryder is much too out of control to take into a restraunt. Or sitting in the car watching the wind howl outside and thinking how every fiber of my being wanted to stay in the car instead of attempting another hike. But it just wouldn't be a family vacation without those moments too.
We arrived off the ferry that evening and didn't let the rain stop us from exploring the charming city (much to the disappointment of the kids who would have rather stayed back and watched Animal Planet all evening). The cherry blossoms were delightful, the river front was beautiful and the Chinatown was, well, Chinesey.
We did a walk-thru of the magnificent Empress hotel. I was a little dissapointed to find out it wasn't haunted. We were hoping to walk through the Parliament building, but never found the time.
Fan Tan Alley. It is famous for being the most narrow street in all of North America.
The next morning was deliciously foggy. Like, I was waiting for Edward to emerge from the forest, kind of foggy. We headed over to the Goldstream Provincial Park where we were welcomed by the most vibrant greens and trees that knocked my socks off. I think I ended up with like 50 pictures of the backside of the rest of the family walking through the wooded trails. I couldn't help but lag behind soaking it all in. This desert creature is seriously craving some green in her life.
We spotted a few bald eagles, like the one below. I would die to come back during the trout spawning season, it would be amazing to see that in person and to see all the bald eagles swooping down to catch some unsuspecting prey. It would also be amazing to come back during the summer and camp here where the kids can romp through the woods catching bugs and wading in the streams. Atleast I'm grateful we could come enjoy it now, rain, fog, cold and all!
We heard there were some falls that were worth walking to. They weren't too far from the road so we sauntered over and weren't prepared to get blown away. They were huge! You could barely hear yourself speak and the spray coming off of it reached us hundreds of feet away. Seriously breath taking.
Ryder's favorite thing was throwing rocks into the water. He threw the biggest fit when Jason finally carried him away kicking and screaming. That boy had his own agenda the entire weekend, and not once did it coincide with ours. It's a good thing he's so dang cute.