Monday, July 2, 2012

East, West, Home is best.

Do y'all remember our tragic spring break?  Well in an attempt at finally finishing the vacation we unexpectedly had to cut short, we took off for a long weekend.  I just turned my computer on to catch up since last Thursday!  (I came home to a whole pile of Etsy orders, so to those of you who ordered, I'll be working on getting them out by tomorrow at the latest.  And thank you!) We left at 3:00 am on Thursday night (I guess that would actually be Friday morning, sorry) and headed to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada!  Oh Canada!  I only took 441 photos.  I think that might be an all new low record for me.  I blame it on the first day- it was kind of a struggle... for some reason Adrain and I almost always fight on either the day before we leave, or the first day of our vacations.  Does anyone else out there do that too?  It's miserable and I hate it, but it's one of those things that seems to happen.  Anyway, it kind of took the "want to" right out of me, and I didn't take many photos right out the starting gate.  Plus our kids were dragging. (Like lay-down-on-a-bench-and-try-to-sleep, dragging.)  I guess that's what you get when you jerk little hoodlums out of sound sleeps and then put them onto a ferry boat for three hours.

Thankfully, we recovered well, and crammed the following into the next very full days:  City tour, Butchart Garden tour, Jazz Festival, open air market, street performances, Empress Hotel tour, Canada Day festivities, horse and carriage ride, Museum tour, souvenir shopping, a walk through Chinatown, bumped into this gorgeous celebrity that left me starstruck, (funny sidenote- my man didn't realize she was famous and tried asking her for a restaurant recommendation.  Hysterical.)  toured an historic 100 year old cathedral, located two other historic churches, walked eleventy hundred miles, waited out a rainstorm in a Starbucks, soaked up a ton of British and Canadian history, gave many a pep-talk to cranky and fighting kiddos (keepin' it real) made friends with a horse named "Michael," stumbled upon a historic convent/school while looking for restrooms, and then finally, at the very end of our trip, (when we were completely exhausted and literally sitting on a bench not talking, not moving, just staring at the people and waiting for our ferry boat) we bumped into a sweet Lemonade Makin' Mama blog reader.  (So fun!)

We rolled into Seattle late last night and everyone dropped the minute we walked in the house.  (I had my phone off for three days to avoid Canadian roaming charges, and I can't tell you how heavenly that was.  A real vacation from it all.  I can't remember the last time I was forced to do that.)  So now...in no particular order, here are just a few photos.  And when I say a few... what I really mean is lots and lots of photos... and I make no apologies.  (grin) 
 Butchart Gardens- this used to be a limestone quary.
 Tired...

 Creepy carosels.  I can't escape them.





 I think I need this workout.
 Parliament
 100 year old tree.
 Michael.

 Really happy children.


 




 Hoodlums.

 My favorite place in almost all the land. We didn't stay here on this trip because we weren't visiting during the off season, and the rates are higher.

 Bravery.
 Turquoise.
Inside the Empress at High Tea.  Sadly, full of gluten.

 Watching a street performer juggle knives and fire.


 Chinatown


 Famous Fan Tan Alley.














 The Empress at twilight
So that's it friends... I could do about seventeen more photo heavy posts, but I've got a load of laundry taller than I am, to get cracking on.  It sure was good to be away.... but it's even better to be home.  

Next up will be my June 365 and I think I've got the linky thing figured out if you want to play along.  Remember, there are no rules, just link up your June photos- as many or as few as you have!



29 comments:

  1. What a truly wonderful weekend you've had, thanks for sharing your lovely photos. I like the buildings and architecture. And, wow, an English bus!! I would so big giant time love to go to Canada. Actually, I would love to tour the whole of the USA and Canada. You really packed a lot of stuff into one weekend, but then again, if you're going to make the effort to go anywhere, what's the point of not seeing everything!

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  2. My favorite was the tired kid on the bench...too funny! Just to make you feel better we always have at least one crabby day with each other. ALWAYS. It's usually a stupid disagreement on where to eat. You know my honey and his clean eating. Drives me nuts on vacay. I want to be baddddd and he's so good. Disgusting. So glad you're home. Looked amazing!

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  3. Oh and where were YOU in all those pics? I know Adrain knows how to work your camera. Hmmmmm...missed your face.

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    1. Can you say frump girl? yeah, that's where I was. LOL

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  4. Welcome back! What a wonderful post and great pics! Glad you got a get-away! Can you give me a tip on blog photos? I like to use a lot, but worry that it will slow my blog-loading down. When I use PicMonkey, I scale them down with the longest side being 500. [I heard that recommended somewhere...] Can you tell me 1)what dimension you crop your photos to, and 2)what size you load them in to Blogger as (i.e. small med lg, xlg or original size). Thanks for the help Sasha! ~Sally

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    1. Oh sure thing girl! I resize all my photos to 1000 on the longest side. Then I use "XL" for all my horizontal shots and Original size for the vertical ones! No need to go smaller than 1000. :)

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    2. Thank you! Very helpful.

      p.s. I am lovin' my necklace! Wore it to the store the other day, where I saw a friend who reads my blog. She said, "Oh, that's the pretty necklace you showed on your blog!" [I was braggin' on you while you were gone!] =)

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  5. What a fun trip! I feel you on the arguing and the kids getting crabby. :( I guess that's one more piece of evidence that we are sinners.

    So, I have to ask, what lense did you take with you? As usual, the pictures were great I love the buildings, the flowers, and that black fence. Your family shots show the fun you all were having and how it caught up with your daughter. Love that.

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    1. I actually took both my kit lens and the 50 on this trip and alternated between them a little. I used the 50 for most of the detail and close up shots and only used the kit (zoom) when I absolutely had to because I needed to snap a large area. I still hate that lens. LOL

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  6. Gorgeous pictures. Gorgeous! Glad you and your family had a nice time.
    ~FringeGirl

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  7. My husband and I always argue at least one time while on a trip. Even though vacations are fun and relaxing, they are also stressful. Looks like you had a great time.

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    1. Yay, it's not just us!! LOL (Not that I condone arguing between spouses... I'm just saying.... it's nice to know it's not just us!)

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  8. What beautiful gardens! Looks like you had a good time even with the rough start. It's always good to be back home.

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  9. beautiful pictures!! I have always wanted to visit Victoria and Butchard Gardens... some day! Canada is so beautiful. You know, my husband and I usually have some 'intense fellowship' before we leave on a vacation too! I think it's just our way of handling a little stress but I wish we'd find another way to deal with it. sigh. Your big beautiful pictures make me want to change the settings on my blog so I can post bigger pictures.

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  10. I had a literal LOL moment when I read about you and your man fighting right before or during a vacation. I JUST had this conversation with a girlfriend of mine. YOU are not alone. We had a good laugh about it. We are headed to Eastern Washington in the next few weeks with her and her family so we have pre-planned out "fight" on the same day at the same time, so we'll be too busy with our mate to notice the other is in an argument. Love all the pics!

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  11. Your family just makes me smile. So real and sweet. I so enjoy getting to read about your very real and very amazing life!

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  12. Wow! I just love your photos! They are so pretty and well done! Looks like you guys had a fun vacation!

    I haven't been to Victoria in ages. I guess it's time for me to pay a visit, huh?

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  13. fun fun! some of those buildings are downright swoony! though i admit i'm with adrian, i have no idea who that chick is either!

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  14. Happy vacay redo! You totally deserved that!! And unplugging from the grind is so nice. And important! Honestly, once in a while I enjoy purposefully not taking pictures just so I don't miss living rather than capturing. Anyways, welcome back! Xo!!

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  15. Beautiful photos! Reminds me of the trip I took my mother on (she's passed now). So it brought memories back to me. You captured the B&B we stayed in as well. We're in SoCal now & one day I'd love to travel with my husband & daughter! Thank you for sharing!!

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  16. WOW! It looks like an incredible trip! I especially love the photo of your hoodlums with the bear and the lady painting outside. LOVE! I'm so glad you got away without incident :-) Thank you for sharing your pictures with us! XO Laura at The Ironstone Nest

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  17. I think that traveling together should be required relationship-preparation for any couple! On our first long road trip together, about 3 months after we started dating, my now-fiance and I definitely learned more about each other's personalities, needs and preferences. It was also a good moment of internal reflection for me - a reminder that even in stressful moments, I can be thoughtful and mindful of my actions and words. I still sometimes forget, but at the very least, that reminder is lodged deep in my heart.

    And I completely agree - it's so wonderful to be genuinely disconnected from the "real world" during a vacation of any length. I just returned from a weeklong trip to Cuba - so no phone, no email. Even knowing there would be voicemails and emails waiting for me when I returned, the delight of being away and unavailable for a week was refreshing.

    Glad you enjoyed your weekend away!! =)

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  18. I would love to visit Canada...how long of a trip was it for you? (How many hours does it take for you to drive?)

    Also, which lens did you use in most of these shots?

    BEAUTIFUL.

    and yes....we also get snippy either the day before or the day of some of our travels. surely, everyone does? :)

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    1. It's relatively close to us- the Canadian border is only a couple hours away from Seattle but if you take a ferry right out of Seattle, you can get to Vancouver Island (Where Victoria is) much quicker than driving it. It's almost right across the harbor from Seattle, whereas if you drive it you have to drive north, cross the border, keep driving north and then start heading south to the island. Takes WAY longer that way.

      I used my 50 for most of the detail and close up shots, and was forced to switch out a LOT with my kit lens for zoom shots. I hate that lens but the 50 just couldn't capture a lot of the buildings etc.

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  19. I LOVE Victoria!! Always is my favorite place. Your pictures are great as always. Glad you had a fun time. Also - love the highlights in your hair!

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  20. My husband and I went to Victoria on our honeymoon almost 15 years ago. I loved your pictures. They brought back wonderful memories....thanks for sharing them.

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  21. Love it all but love the Westward Ho! the best! Take care, Laura

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