Tag Archives: Canada

A Trip Worth Taking

Last week, to celebrate our 37th anniversary, Bruce and I took a ferry from Anacortes, WA to Sydney, British Columbia.

The Washington Ferry system is amazing. The staff is courteous, well-trained, and the loading and unloading of cars and trucks and walk-on passengers is efficient and quick.IMG_0770

Our three-hour ferry ride wove in-between  lots of misty islands, and we saw an occasional eagle. But no whales, unfortunately.

About two thirds of the way toward our destination we docked at Friday Harbor. Too bad we didn’t have more time to explore, but next trip we’ll definitely hit this tourist spot.

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How exhilarating to stand outside, leaning onto the Ferry bannisters and feel the sea air drag at your face, almost like the current of the deep waters below.

On the map, the sound looks so tiny. But those open spots on the map translate into really, really open and enormous seas when you’re actually viewing them from a ferry’s vantage.

Sailboats dotted the waters and fishing boats and whale sightseeing boats chugged by, slow in comparison to the speed of the Ferry.

At one point, a boat got too close as it tried to cross the Ferry’s designated path. The captain blew five ear-pounding blasts to warn it away.

We finally docked at Sydney and waited to clear the border crossing. Then, on to the Butchart Gardens, a spectacular British Garden that’s been around for over 100 years. I had visited the Gardens when I was just sixteen, but never forgot the charm and beauty of the place.

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Highly recommended if you like flowers! And waterfalls, and fountains, and manicured lawns, and lots and lots and lots of foreign tourists…of which I’m one.

We ate dinner at a rather nice place called The Keg, right across the street from Victoria’s harbor. How fun to watch the sea planes take off and land just a football field’s length away.

We stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called the Beaconsfield Inn. Built in 1905, the entire home is furnished with period antiques and offers lovely room-amenities, like jacuzzis, and bathrobes for lounging, and antique books, written about the early years of the city of Victoria. A lovely breakfast capped off our stay there.

Then back to the Ferry for our trip back to the States.

Later, we drove up to Mt Baker and took a couple of shots. Still lots of snow up there, and the vistas are gorgeous. Different from the Colorado Rockies. Greener topography. The peaks are craggier, more Canadian in appearance. But not so high in altitude. And only an hour from our house!

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I hope you enjoyed my little travelogue. The state of Washington, in general, and the San Juan Islands, in particular, should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit. And a trip to Canada is always scenic and interesting, especially when you get to converse with Canadians. They’re charming, but they talk funny!

I’ll be out next week. I mean, out to Colorado to visit family. So, most likely will not be posting until the following week.

Comment on my post if my words and photos have given you the “bug” to see my neck of the woods. Have a great week!

The Perfect Day

A couple of years ago, my husband and I drove up to 2011 August Vacation from Bruce's IPHONE 014Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

I had three things on my bucket list:

  1. See a grizzly
  2. Canoe Lake Louise
  3. Have a meal inside Chateau Lake Louise

The day that we arrived, a huge rainstorm passed over us. The rain’s driving force was so powerful that it completely cleaned our vehicle. The sky turned crystal blue.

On our way to Lake Louise I saw many cars pulled over and people standing with their cameras. “Pull over, pull over!” I said to my husband. I jumped out and leveled my camera just in time to catch the hindquarters of a grizzly disappearing into the vegetation. Check that off my list. Yay!

We found a parking spot after much driving around and around the parking area. Hiking down to Lake Louise, we saw the canoe rental and I squealed with eagerness. Bruce and I are old hands with canoes. (We had a great canoe—a Grumman, seventeen footer, a veteran of explorer of Boundary waters, and multiple Colorado lakes— until my husband gave it away. GAVE IT AWAY! But that’s another story.)

Anyway, we buckled our life vests, climbed into our canoe and rowed way out onto the lake. The water was an amazing opaque turquoise. Locals explained that the milkiness was the result of glacial silt, washing down from the glacier above the lake. Check two!

Afterward, we wandered over to the Chateau to have a look see. Very British inside. Expensive stores. A harpist played next to the entrance to a restaurant. We found out that we had just missed tea time. But the restaurant that looks out on Lake Louise was still taking reservations. We signed up, waited a good hour, then were finally seated at a table next to a magnificent window overlooking the lake and the distant glacier. The meal was great but very expensive. The service was amazing and the waitress made us feel as if we were the most important people on earth. Well worth the hundred and fifty dollars for lunch. Check three. Thank You, God!

We don’t always have such perfect days. When they come along, as that day in Banff, we know it’s a gift from God. As if the Lord had said, “Today, I want you to have a day so perfect that you’ll recall it for years to come. And each time you do, you’ll remember that it was a special gift from Me to you. Just because you’re my child and I love you.”

And sure enough, we came home and resumed our usual mixed-blessing days of work, errands, repairs, cooking, cleaning, etc. But each time we remember that 2012 August trip, Bruce and I go “Ahh.”

I’m glad that not every day is so perfect. It’d be easy to get spoiled!