Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacation to Victoria/WA Summer 2009

Our vacation started smoothly from Sacramento Airport to Seattle. A wheelchair was waiting to whisk us right through to the front of the security line. First on the plane, bulkhead seats, first off the plane and wheeled right to a taxi headed for pier 69. We had 3 hours to have lunch and visit Pike's Market, on a rainy day in Seattle, before boarding our ferry. If disabled be very specific on asking for directions by the piers because a few blocks is 3 miles to a walker lady.

Too much to see in two short hours but I saw them throw the fish. It took a whole hour to get me there and grab a taxi back to pier 69. Beware if disabled because they sometimes miss and the crowd jumps back, unknowingly, into the walker lady. I don't have a reverse in me. It took a whole hour to get me there and grab a taxi back to pier 69. My spring trench coat was a good purchase for this trip due to light rain. It was an a line, pleated trench.

I loved the colors at the market. Too many people to navigate with a walker and lots of cobblestones. I got an unexpected workout.

Ready to board the Victoria Clipper with an extra hot latte. Our package included round trip, rental car in BC, 2 nights at the Inn at Laurel Point, 2 Buchart Garden passes and high tea at the Empress for $900. Great deal!

The Victoria Clipper treated me like a queen and was very considerate of my limitations. The tide was out and a brave soul took me in a wheelchair down the plank. It was a comfy ride and luckily I took my Dramamine. We did have a couple of rough areas. The restrooms at the airport and on the ship were family restrooms. It made everything easier with Dave being able to help since I was layered.

After we hit our port it was a short walk to a mini van to get to the rental car. We got a free upgrade due to shortage of budget cars. This was our only mistake. We left the bulky wheelchair at home and thought a car would be easier...NOT! Victoria is small, full of foot traffic, bikes, horse and carriages and shuttle buses. Dave threw a fit, we got lost numerous times and I kept gasping out loud while grabbing the dashboard. This is how I felt the minute I hit the! We got to our room at 8pm and still had to eat after a 1 1/2 hour flight, Pike's and a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride.

We loved our room but we could not dawdle due to hunger. The bathroom was huge with all mirrors, glass and marble. A death trap to the disabled with no where soft to fall. I needed a snorkel for that deep tub and always used my walker.

Now what 47 year old woman wants this kind of exposure. Good lord I've never seen so much of myself at various angles. I had even forgotten my tattoo until I saw it in those mirrors.

The bed was white goose down with a big flat screen TV. Heaven I tell ya! The view was a Japanese waterfall garden, a footpath, then harbour. Happy campers, yes we were. We ate dinner that night in the hotel. We ate things we had heard of on Top Chef, like potato fondant, and it was all fantastic. Dave would have liked seconds but he settled for the Creme Brulee. The Aura got four stars from us mountain folk.

My body tried to keep up but...

A sunset view from our room. That was one long day and the next day was The Butchart Gardens.

Our car was brand new and really fit in Victoria..

Dave was in awe of the gardens and said "I want to live here."
Thankfully they had wheelchairs.

Begonias and Fuchsias, oh my!

Climbing roses on arches followed a path.

Dave speechless over flowers, oh yeah!

More of just flowers on Facebook.

Our second day began with high tea at the Empress. The waiter brought me a black, cut in half straw very discretely for my tea. A delicious event!

The Empress was an amazing hotel with a lot to see. We took a picture of the Parliament building but I was too tired to go in. We went to the museum instead and saw a 6 story Imax screen theater on Africa. Hey, we could sit for that. We took a 5:30pm ferry back.

Seattle here we come!

Off to visit Dave's daughter Jolene, hubby Scott and our three grandsons. They picked us up from pier 69 and treated us to a late dinner at the Spaghetti Factory.

Back from the co-op farm is Dimitri, Ethan and Jolene. I took a day of rest and tried to learn how to use a laptop. Very hard to get used to. Mine is on a shipping delay. Dave got to have a day out with Jolene and the kids.

I took one full day to finally meet my blog buddy Robbin. We have become so much more over the phone. Through her winning battle with cancer, to her deep grief over the death of her son, we held on to each other from afar. We had so much fun in our ten hours together but we both needed more. I'm saving my Visa points to steal her away next summer to CA.

Big E turned eight while we were there and got to pick out his own birthday gift from us...Rollerblades! He had a group of kids join us for a bowling party to celebrate. That was day one of a 4 day migraine from heat, stress and exhaustion.

These four boys had so much fun! Squirt guns, playing in a kiddie pool, a walk to the play ground, Guitar Hero and basketball.

Me? I was trying to get kisses and hugs. Bribery ruled the day! What energy they have, wow. Their guest room is up two flights of stairs with a locked gate. The four year old watched Dave help me down and said "you did it all by yourself grandma" meaning w/o walker. Too cute! Notice my face? Migraines are the culprit because I went numb and bug eyed again.
The kids drove us back to the airport and everything went smoothly. We brought home a rose tea set from the gardens, seeds, tea, a tea cosy, a tea towel, 3 Christmas ornaments and a beautifully hand painted birdhouse the kids made.

I finally arrived home to my quiet sanctuary, bed and dog. I was beat but happy as I pushed through it all. The last two days I had that migraine plus two days after I got home. Too much? yes, but I'd do it all again, just not in one trip.


jone said...

You have made me excited for Victoria. My friends are taking the Yankee Clipper but I am headed on the ferry from Port Angeles.

pia said...

sounds wonderful--except for the migraines!!!!! The pictures are amazing

When I use a laptop it takes me time to get used to a mouse on the IMac and I have horrible coordination.

paisley said...

what a trip!!! no wonder you got a headache!!! i need a nap just reading about all the things you did!!! but what a beautiful place and time and memory it is and always will be.. thanks so much for putting this together so that we could share it with you!!!

Giggles said...

Tammy you look absolutely beautiful! Your photos are exquisite!! I have seen Victoria several times, but you put a whole new perspective on it! So glad you had a good time...sorry to hear about the headaches....but that's what happens to me when I am over taxed!! Good for you how much you accomplished....I bet you exhaled when you got home though!

Have you ever heard the Pike market story? It's quite spiritual!

Have a great day!
Love SHerrie

Annie said...

Tammy, if the success of a much anticipated but also dreaded trip is measured by a smile, than this trip was a sparkling and smashing success. You look wonderful; Dave's face is literally breaking with happiness; and the beauty of this memory will live forever.

Sky said...

great trip, great photos. so glad it was a wonderful treat for you both and that the amazing ted had such fun. i always build in rest time on trips for just this reason - boy, do i understand! and the unseasonable heat here during your visit didn't help if his dght doesn't have A/C. today is great - only 66 at 2:30!

loved seeing all the pics. pike place mkt is always fun, but it is always crowded in summer. i went the first time on a rainy day in november - no tourists. great deals late in the day on flowers and bakery items - next to nothing in costs!

about the laptop. hook up a regular mouse to it and that way you can put the laptop on a stand and use the mouse, even reclining while using your laptop. at least that is what i do. i love my fancy microsoft mouse which fits my hand well and has an easy scroll slide.

tamiesling said...

I love it! I feel like I have traveled with you and Dave! How beautiful it all is!

Tabor said...

What a great vacation. I am jealous and now want to visit. I, like Dave, am big on the gardens. You look so happy, even when tired. How do you do it?

emmapeelDallas said...

What a gorgeous place to visit, and I agree with Giggles, Tammy, you look absolutely beautiful!

Star said...

My brother and I vacationed together in Vancouver and Victoria years ago. What a beautiful place! The two of you certainly packed in a lot during your short time away (no wonder you ended up with a migraine). Thank you so much for sharing all the photos.

Wishing you a great rest-of-summer.

Geraldine said...

Welcome home Tammy! You have been missed. I thought you'd like Victoria (where I lived years ago) but it can be an exhausting place, even for the sure-footed. It's such an expansive city. You looked LOVELY in the pics.

Hugs and nice to see you here again, G

Geraldine said...

PS: You have an award waiting over at MPP, stop by when you can.

Amber said...

All great pics! And you look beautiful, migraine and all. Now I want to go! I bet the cool was nice, when you come back to this heat. And I love your rain coat.


GreenishLady said...

What a wonderful trip! Thanks for taking me along, and for letting us "meet" Robbin, too. Must have been wonderful for you two to finally meet up. I fregret that I didn't manage to get pictures of my travels up on my blog this time round. Hope you get a good rest now after your journey!

forgetfulone said...

The vacation sounds lovely! And I love all of your photos. You are gorgeous!

JP/deb said...

Thanks for taking us on your journey! Wonderful!



You are the most happy looking person with a migraine I have ever seen.Your life and vacation are beautiful.

Patrick @ Caregivingly Yours said...

What an excellent travel entry!!! I loved your disability tips especially on crowds and fish. I cannot even count the times a crowd has surged only to crash into her wheelchair. So glad you two had such a wonderful time!

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

paris parfait said...

Looks like a fantastic trip for both you and Dave! Lovely pics and how much fun that you got to spend time with the grandkids, as well as a dear blogging friend! Hope you're enjoying the summer back at home. xoxox

Tammy said...

Wow - looks like an amazing trip all in all. Sorry you got a migraine, but glad the trip was worth it!

Now that we're in Oregon, and much closer - we want to get up to Victoria and Butchart gardens!

Hope you're doing well Tammy! You look beautiful in your vacation shots!

Brian said...


Tammie Lee said...

It looks like you had a wonderful trip. You look so happy in the photos! So glad you had this great time out and about.

Tinker said...

Looks like a fabulous trip! So sorry you had that nasty migraine at the end of it - but you are such a trooper, smiling with those cute grandkids through it all. Glad you and Dave had a fun vacation! xoxo

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