Ohhhh Canada

What becomes a legend most?  In my book, fantastic birthday weekends of the traveling type!  Alas, having my passport locked up at the bank cost us a day—my bad!  In the old days, I'd have a bag packed and be out the door in a half hour!  Only someone who loves me very much would allow travel, the torture of his life, and the love of mine, be a birthday gift.

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Heading to Vancouver Island; view from our window and lobby at the Hotel Grand Pacific, on the Inner Harbor of Victoria, British Columbia.
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Hotel Grand Pacific, Legislature Buildings, The Empress Hotel, Inner Harbor
Victoria, British Columbia
The sunken gardenDSC00442The hidden fountainDSC00453DSC00467

55 acres of inspiration, imagination, and crazy Victorian beautification of an old Portland Cement Quarry
Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens totemDSC00503DSC00534Empress convention center totemInner harbor totem

First Nation totem poles—magnificent and intense!
Tea trivet $30 per plate, people!IMG_0822Royal Doulton china for The EmpressSymbol of Victoria, The Empress Hotel

High Tea at the Empress Hotel—enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth and other visiting royals, dignitaries, movie stars, and yours truly, among other commoner tourists.  I went for the clotted cream the way vampires go for blood…Mike's favorite was the carrot sandwich—"the most expensive sandwich in the world".
Hatley CastleManicured trees and old world charmSt. Andrews Pedestrian ChurchThe buck and the ramNautical Nellie's patio

Hatley Castle (closed for filming of some kind), the Irish Times pub, St. Andrews, Legislative Building, Wharf building.
Victoria's rich architecture
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Other favorites about Victoria, BC: environmental agenda—Prius taxis!, nonsmoking hotels, lots of public art, consideration for pets, friendliness and hospitality (note free umbrellas), fantastic food!
Another amazing and ingenius idea from the hubby's curious and original mind.  Thanks for a truly phenomenal birthday!  
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOU !!!

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