Friday, August 10, 2007

Victoria, BC: Tea & Gardens

High Tea at the Empress Hotel

The Hunk and I beginning our tea time. I love tea parties, and this was a great experience. The setting was English, the tea was a mild to medium blend, the fruit, sandwiches, scones, cakes, cookies and candies were delicious! Best of all, I got to share it with the love of my life, and he enjoyed it also.

We had a male waiter, who served our tea with sugar (and cream for the Hunk). We drank out of special tea cups and saucers created by Royal Doulton for the Empress Hotel. The colors were my favorite: blues, purples and fuchsias. There was a crown on the inside of the cups on both the front and back. I thought about purchasing a cup and saucer as memento of the occasion, but changed my mind when they gave each of us a tin of The Empress Tea to bring home. (I will likely look online and see if I can still purchase a set, as I wish I had one now to drink from and show to my friends.)

The hunk likes to tell the story, but he embellishes it by telling the amount he paid for the experience. It was a lot, but I am just glad he did it for and with me.

Butchart Gardens

Oh, my goodness. . .55 acres of flowers, trees, shrubs, fountains, and ponds. Don't I wish I could get the weeds out of my wee "Victorian garden." I was inspired by the beauty of the gardens. My favorite part was the Sunken Garden. Mrs. Butchart - with the help of her head gardener and others - transformed an old quarry into an amazing land of ivy, flowers, trees, paths, benches, stairs, etc. I hope you can get a small idea of it's size from the picture. (Just look past the large lady and find the little people on the ground below. . .) There is a large rock formation in the center of the old quarry above my arm. It was covered by Mrs. Butchart hand planting ivy between the rocks. We were able to walk upon it, via a staircase, and over look the entire sunken garden 360 degrees around us. Below the dangling hand, you can see the heads of a couple who are part way down the stairs to the garden below. This shot was taken prior to entering the garden. I wish the Hunk would have taken a shot of just the garden, but he thought I should be in it. : (

Here's a few shots of the Fountain near the exit to the Sunken Garden. It was in a deep pool and kept changing "shape" as we watched it.

Can you believe this hedge? I love the way it is cut around the wooden arch. . .Can I have one???

One more picture to give you an idea of how beautiful Victoria was. This time it's a pic of the Hunk by the harbor. We were very fortunate to have clear skies and warm weather while we were there. I imagine that being on the tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria probably gets a lot of rain, like Seattle.

All in all - we had an amazing time. Please don't think I'm bragging - it took 24 years of marriage before we took our first "real" vacation, and this is only our third.

I have a few more pictures of the area, architecture, and our trip back on the ferry - but I will spare those who dislike travelogues from further angst. (Please don't offer to show me your pics of grand kids to pay me back!)


Jackie said...

So glad you had such a wonderful trip. Those gardens are amazing. You got it all - beautiful company, beautiful scenery, and beautiful weather. Lucky girl.

Silver Valley Girl said...

What an amazing trip...I'm glad it was all you dreamed it would be. The gardens look wonderful, and I would love the tea party. I'm look forward to you sharing more pics....of such a wonderful and beautiful experience.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Thanks both of you! I was kicking myself last night for not getting a tea cup and saucer after looking at the pictures. I didn't want to overwhelm the Hunk with too many additional expenses.

It's so funny, when I was in the middle of things (vacation) it seemed very ordinary. Afterwards I thought about all the years I wanted to go there and experience the tea and the gardens, and it made the experience all the more special. It was also special that my husband did it because it was something I wanted to do.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Perfect post and perfect pictures! I am glad the Hunk was willing to participate in all of this with you. What gorgeous gardens. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

raymond pert said...

I really enjoy that you are back posting on your blog again. I'll get back in the habit, now, of checking in daily. Your post makes me believe Victoria is stunning. I haven't been there...don't know that I ever will...Kellogg is my I enjoy experiencing through your pictures and what you wrote.

I won't send you pictures of grandchildren, but I am working on a slide show of Snug with music and I'll foist it upon you!

I look forward to your many next posts, whether on Victoria or anything else.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

IEP: Thanks! The Hunk had his speed boat excursion, and I had my tea & garden trip. We both came home happy!

RP: It has been difficult getting back into posting with my increased job hours, but I am glad you are reading mine again!

The Valley is more beautiful than any city, with it's massive pines and pristine waters. It's my favorite place in the world. . .but then I haven't travelled much!

I'll bet the slide show of Snug will be fun. . .guess I'll have to check it out when you are done.

Thanks for anticipating my new posts. Guess I'd better start working on something. . .