When you anticipate seeing your cousins briefly again in Canada and the reality meets every expectation, it is such a joy!
Our final shore day was kind to us with clear skies and relatively mild temps. The custom clearing off the ship is a mere formality when declaration forms are processed the night before, so it was a doddle to get off the ship and see Carol waiting for us on the dock as planned. How generous Carol, Aaron and son Cameron were to take the day off from work and school, travel over on the ferry the night before and be there bright and early, with delicious local Roger’s famous cream chocolates to welcome us…and damn fine chocolates they are!
Even though we had visited Victoria once before we had spent most of our time at the stunningly beautiful Butchart Gardens, Chinatown and at the Miniature Museum, so it was a lovely day Carol had planned for us to visit other acclaimed spots in the vicinity of the pier and the government building precinct.
Our first stop was the detailed exhibition of Egypt, and particularly Egyptian architecture in model replicas, at the Museum. Wonderfully curated! Everywhere you look in the streets, the flower bedsand hanging baskets are massed with begonias, hydrangeas and colourful dahlias and the manicured and green lawns would be very welcome back home where years of drought have created such parched earth.
Carol had thoughtfully booked us in for lunch at Q at The Empress……the renowned Fairmont Hotel where High Tea is legendary and everything royal is king!
Lunch was delicious and my sushi with a Canadian twist certainly hit the spot. Muzza and mussels were a winner too! Thank you, thank you Carol. A lovely addition to lunch was the arrival of older daughter Jessica and her young son, Lincoln, to share time with us. Such a lovely day!
Then it was a leisurely stroll around the pier soaking in the sites – and the fine examples of architecture……even if we were not so thrilled to learn that Starbucks now occupies the space in the glorious old building.
We were treated like royality ourselves and look forward to playing host to the Coltrins when they head Down Under in the future. The connection through the Woodgate family is very strong – Carol’s grandfather, Sydney, and my grandmother, Adeline, were Woodgate brother and sister.
So it was farewell to the beautiful capital of British Columbia, to the lovely Carol and Co. with many, many thanks and back on board for our last night with our dining companions, the distribution of conference prizes, the final lecture session and farewells to new found friends Karen Englund and Paul, and the final evening of gentle sea motion before we landed safely in to a rainy Seattle.