When are we going to invent that machine that Captain Kirk and his crew used to beam them onto the surface of planets from the ship and back? It would be sooo much easier than travelling to Chicago from Cincinnati, to Seattle from Chicago and then from Seattle to Victoria, BC! And I would seriously pay twice as much to do that in 5 minutes than to sit cramped in those coach seats. Coach = crowded, outrageously priced, anger-inducing, cramped, hell-like holders for human bodies.
That said, we did arrive in Victoria, the largest city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Our luggage arrived, too. So we were off to a good start.
Our first day after a good night's sleep in a fine hotel right across from the Parliament Buildings was a tour of Victoria. It's a big city that doesn't feel like a big city. Still many tourists walking and seeing the sights, though the kids are back in school, the cruise season has almost ended, and not as many people milling about. We had a chance to stop and smell the roses, and every other flower that could possibly be grown in this temperate climate (Victoria is the City of Gardens and flowers are everywhere blooming in sizes I've never seen). Along the Inner Harbour, they even had Welcome to Victoria spelled out in flowers.
It was amazing to me to see the seaplanes taking off and landing as frequently as busses on a busy city street, coming in and out of the harbour, bringing business-people and visitors from other islands.
The Empress, a very swank hotel with a harbour view, had vines growing over it so thickly it looked like the greenery was holding it up more than the stucco and paint. Inside, you could have a very pricey $78 full tea in the midafternoon here. We declined and spent our money on other things more interesting to us...
Like the Victoria Bug Zoo! ha ha Jerry took tons of photos there but he hasn't gotten them ready for sharing yet and I'm not sure you want to see katydids and grasshopper and praying mantises before breakfast...
So we'll continue tomorrow with more of Victoria, including the Emily Carr House and Butchart Gardens.
By the way, the clearness of the air and the brightness of the sun gave me a permanent squint while touring all of Vancouver Island, even with my sunglasses on. I've never been assaulted with such sunshine! I think my lungs cleared considerably from years of smoggy Cincinnati air!