Victoria Part III
I know, these vacation posts are never going to end. The forecast for the next day called for sun in the morining and rain in the afternoon so we planned accordingly. We learned the hard way that you can't always trust the weatherman. It was pouring rain at Beacon Hill Park, but we made the most of the petting zoo. Ryder was obsessed with the goats, he made it his personal duty to hug each and every one.
There were hundreds of ducks in the pond and there were so many nice people there who shared their bread and birdseed with us. Canadians are all really nice and I think that they felt bad for us because we clearly looked unprepared for feeding the ducks and for the weather since we were the only ones without rain boots and rain coats. The ducks flocked to us and Ryder was disappointed that they weren't as gracious at receiving hugs like the goats were. We couldn't keep him out of the muddy grass and it was inevitable that he would face plant it. And he did. And that's when we found ourselves wet, muddy and cold, seeking refuge in the public bathroom trying to wash off muddy shoes and clothes in the sink while Jason went and got the car.
Our rainy day activity to go to the Craigdarroch Castle was met with sunny skies, but it was still windy and cold so we didn't mind being inside. It wasn't as medieval as the kids were hoping and the family who lived there weren't actually royalty, just a really rich family. But it was still interesting to walk through and the kids enjoyed the scavanger hunt. Ryder enjoyed darting under every rope and escaping into every unauthorized area. He is exhausting.
Jason took Ryder back to the hotel for a much needed nap and I took the kids to the Victoria Bug Zoo. It was totally fascinating, I enjoyed it just as much as the kids. I was never one who loved school, but there is something about enjoying learning new things when it's not required. It was pretty small, only made up of two rooms and if we were just to walk through on our own it would have been laaaaaame. With a capital L. What made it so cool was the tour guides who told you anything and everything about the different bugs. Like the hissing cockroaches that George Lucas kept as pets and used to model Darth Vader's mask, or the spider that wraps up a juicy bug in a leaf as a gift for the female to eat while they mate so that she won't kill him, or the insect with the most painful sting that lives right here in Arizona. The gigantuous ant farm was my personal favorite. The kids giggled when they got to hold the different insects, especially when the stick insect tried picking Kylie's nose, and I even held a tarantula and a giant black scorpion. I know, right? I HATE scorpions. Anything to impress the kids.
We spent a good two hours there and Maddox was bored way before we were. He helped himself the craft section (of course he did) and "wrote" me a note that said, "I want to go back to the hotel, I want to go back to the hotel, I want to go back to the hotel..."
We did take-out for dinner and more swimming and called it a night. The next day the rain had let up so we decided to go back to Beacon Hill Park and played on the playground and explored around.
Our next stop was at Witty's Lagoon. We heard it was a great location, but as we finished off the last of our Little Caesar's Pizza in the warm confines of our car and watched the wind howling outside we began to have second thoughts. I'm so glad we decided to forge on because it ended up being one of our favorite hikes. Not only was it beautiful and the wind died down, but the kids found a dog that followed us the entire way. They were on cloud nine, named the dog and tried to convince us to let them bring it home on the plane with us. They were so cute to watch together and made us think that maybe just maybe we would cave one of these days. After playing at the beach we were just heading back on the trail to the car and some fellow hikers recognized the dog, the owner had been looking for "Lucy" and so they offered to take her back. The kids were devastated and gave us the silent treatment the entire way back because we are pretty much the worst parents on the planet for not getting them a dog. So our perfect hike didn't end quite so well, but the good out weighed the bad.
The Butchart Gardens was on my top list of places to visit in Victoria. I had heard many recommendations and seen amazing pictures, so I was disappointed when there really wasn't much in bloom. The kids thought we were toturing them by making them walk around and look at flowers (apparently only old people do that), and it wasn't cheap either. It was like $20 pretty, not $60 pretty. The most fun they had was picking off berries and throwing them at each other.
This is the reaction we get every single time we make him get off.
From there we took a ferry over to Vancouver. Let me tell you, the Canadian ferries are like a million times better than the US ones. I felt like we were on a cruise ship. Good bye, Victoria, you were a gem.