I hope your school holidays are going well. My long holiday is slowly coming to an end, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Canada and have made it a personal goal to come back to Canada within the next 3 - 4 years. I haven't finished with Canada yet. I have really loved getting to know my Aunt, Uncle Cousins and have loved catching up with my Mum's best friend that I really want to come back.
Over the last five days I have been staying with my Mum's best friend Barb, her husband Russ and daughter Jennifer. Barb, Russ and Jennifer are like family and in my family we have a close relationship. My Mum went to school with Barb.
On Thursday Barb and Russ took me to Sidney. We did some shopping. Barb loves shopping and I bought souvenir type presents. I also bought a story telling type board with vinyl stickers for the class in which we could use for animation or movie making. Based around the Pirate theme.
On Friday Barb and Russ took me to see more of Chemainus and we visited the Museum and learnt about the origins of the artwork. We also did some shopping. I bought two T.shirts one with a Grizzly Bear on and the other with a Moose. These animals are very authentic to Canada.
After visiting Chemainus we went to Nanaimo, Parksville and then to Qualicum. Qualicum is a beachside town north of Victoria. It is about a three hour drive. We walked along the beach and I took lots of photos. It was a beautiful sea side area and I'm sure my mother would have remembered this beach.
On Saturday Barb took me to the Dutch Bakery and to the Bay Centre Shopping Mall in Downtown Victoria.
The Dutch Bakery was a very significant place to visit as my mother went there as a child and bought these vanilla slices. Barb bought us some vanilla slices and some fancy chocolate treats. Then we went to the Bay City Shopping Mall and I had a big spending spree. I bought a sweatshirt type jacket, a Ralph Lauren shirt, a stretchy type long sleeve top and a pair of black jeans that are for the petite person. The jacket is fleecey and the pockets are neat as it has button holes inside specially designed to hide your iPod head phone cords. The jacket is dark pink and has a black edging.
At the Bay Centre they had Victoria Idol very similar to the American Idol Show. I of course didn't go up to sing and I think I might send a few people running out of the mall.
After our shopping spree we went to a restaurant called the Sticky Wicket. I tried a Bison burger. The bison pattie was very tender and not too fatty. Would love to try Bison again when I'm here next.
After lunch we went to Beacon Hill Park. Beacon Hill Park is a little bit like Cornwall Park / One Tree Hill. I felt I was at home. Beacon Hill Park is a park close to the city and it has flowers and beautiful lake areas. One of the neatest things about Beacon Hill Park was the petting zoo. The petting zoo had baby goats and they were so cute and friendly. There were over twenty baby goats and about eight adult goats. Each goat had a colar round it's neck with a name on it. There names were very human like such as: Eric, Tom, Shelly, Sheila, Mocha.
Tom and Eric came to up to me and stood on my knee, but they were more interested to know what was in my pockets. I took lots of photos and movies of the goats.
Towards the end of the day the goats kept jumping up in the air and kept banging heads with each other. The adult goats started doing this and then the baby goats followed. It was very funny and I kept thinking that it would be painful. I also noticed that the goats' horns were cut off, possibly a safety measure but I'm not sure.
Today (Sunday) I went to Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse. It was a historical site opposite the Esquimalt naval base. There were lots of walkways and information rooms where you could listen to voice overs about the area. Fisgard Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built on Canada's west coast.
After this we went back home to prepare for supper (dinner).
Tonight I had a beautifully cooked turkey with all the trimmings and I also got to try for the first time Pumpkin Pie. The pumpkin pie was very different to what I envisaged it to be. I thought it would be bright orange, but it wasn't. It was more a caramel colour, as you add sugar and mixed spice to it. It tasted like gingerbread and the filling was soft and smooth.
Tomorrow at 3:45pm I will be catching a bus from Victoria (Vancouver Isaland), a ferry from Schwatz Bay and then a Bus from Tsawwassen to Downtown Vancouver. I will be getting to Vancouver at around 7pm. I went through the same procedure to get to Victoria, but as long as you can identify your bus driver and your passengers on the bus you're okay. These ferries carry buses and vehicles as well. Pretty sophisticated. I will be sad to be leaving Victoria as it has been a place of discovery and learning about my mother's birth place. It has been a great place to meet the family and to catch up with old family friends whom I haven't since I was a primary aged child.
Well that's all of the news from me at the moment,
Take Care and best wishes,