Wednesday, February 18, 2015

valentine’s day in victoria: part 1

for valentine’s day, dave surprised me BIG TIME. he had planned a weekend away in victoria, BC, and even flew his mom up here to stay with the kids over the weekend. all, unbeknownst to me.

first of all, for the last couple of years, dave has been giving me little valentine treats every day of february, leading up to valentine’s day. not big, elaborate stuff, but chocolate, coffee, soaps, stuff like that. on thursday, the 12th, he forgot. I didn’t really even notice. but he had also told me that he would be late getting home on friday, because he had to “pick up part of my valentine’s day present”.

somewhat unrelated, but relevant to the story are the following bits of information:

friday was the day my origami owl designer kit arrived and I was crazy excited to open it up and go through it. I had posted a bunch of pictures of the stuff on facebook and people were oohing and ahhing over it all. I made a comment, “can’t I just keep it all?” (to which the answer is “yes” since I own it all and it is for the purpose of showing to people at jewelry bars.)

on friday evenings, bonez and I have dog training class from 7:30-8:30. this was our 3rd class. prior to this, he had been a good dog. friendly with the other dogs in the class, being relatively cooperative with the commands we were working on, etc. this day was a disaster. he growled at all the other dogs. he wouldn’t sit, lay down, or do any of the stuff he was supposed to be doing. I was distracted and upset by this and was missing instructions from the trainer who then had to correct me and I felt like an idiot. it was a BAD session.

so then I got in the car after our awful class and looked at my phone. a fb notification popped up while I was looking at it, so I went to see what it was. it was dave, making another snarky comment on my post. this was the last in a series of what I viewed as rude comments that made him sound like an over-controlling, money-grubbing nazi!

it was the last straw and I burst into tears.

cried the whole way home from monroe.

pulled into the garage and continued crying in the car.

eventually, dave came out to see what was keeping me.

I yelled at him. I called him names. he was notably frustrated by this, although he apologized and assured me that he was joking in all of his comments.

he kept going back in the house and coming out to the garage again.

eventually, he apologized enough and I was convinced to come inside. he then gave me a bouquet of market flowers and said that that was for the 12th, which he forgot.

and then he said that the one for the 13th (that day) was in the pantry. I assumed it was something to eat.

I opened the door of the pantry and there stood my mother-in-law!

I screamed!

he explained that she was here to watch the kids and we were going away for the weekend!

I panicked and exclaimed, “but there’s no food in the house!” to which I was laughed at and assured that my MIL knew how to buy groceries.

dave told me that he could tell me right then, where we were going, or I could wait until the next day when we were on our way… but I needed to be ready to go at 6:45 am.

and then I really panicked, declared that I needed a moment, ran upstairs, and climbed into bed.

I don’t take surprises very well…

after a little while, dave came upstairs and told me what the plan was. we were getting on the victoria clipper in the morning and spending the weekend sightseeing.

the idea was still a little overwhelming, so I did the logical thing and started a bunch of laundry. I decided that packing in the morning would be a better plan.

it was a better plan, and we were on our way, bright (well, actually it was rather dark and overcast) and early.


once in victoria, we dropped our bag at the hotel and RAN to catch our tour bus that was taking us to butchart gardens.

(total side note here, the last time I was at butchart gardens was when I was 15 and I was with my parents. it was summer. the summer I was supposed to be spending on the most awesome training trifecta: lake arrowhead, colorado springs, and sun valley… but instead, I wound up with a stress fracture and had to spend the summer off the ice, on crutches, at home. it sucked. at some point, my parents got the brilliant idea that we should go to victoria. while there, we walked a lot. I was on crutches. it sucked. we also went to butchart gardens. on crutches. it sucked.) scan0017 (2)scan0018 (2) 

at any rate, this time, there were no crutches involved and it was much more pleasant. after some lunch in the coffee shop, we started walking around. february is probably not the most impressive time to be there, but at least there were crocuses blooming.


this is at the top of the sunken gardens. this was the place I insisted to my mother I did not want to go down into because I did not want to have to go back up the steps on my crutches. she insisted it would be fine. it was lame.  much more pleasant this time.048049 051

oh look! more crocuses!053054

this was pretty. there was a big write-up about the family who started it spending their summers swimming and boating in this little inlet.055

and apparently, one legged women are not allowed down that path…057 

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I’ve been known to be a little bit sarcastic sometimes…061

eventually we found an indoor place that had lots more flowers, including hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, orchids and… crocuses.065064 063066

then we took the bus back to our hotel and checked in. it was awesome! we had a rose petal turn-down, 067

and champagne and chocolate…


and a gorgeous view!070

we had dinner reservations at the steamship(?). I think that’s what it was called. we were seated out on the patio, which seems crazy for february, but there were standing patio heaters everywhere, and blankets draped over the back of every chair.074

and the view was amazing. our reservation was kind of early, but that was awesome because we got to watch the sunset and all the lights come on.075076078

for our wine, we decided to order a bottle of “blind trust”, a red blend that is a bit of a mystery. you don’t know what the blend is until you take off the neck wrapper and open it. we wound up loving it. we also had steaks for dinner and I learned why you should not order your steak well-done after I tasted dave’s medium steak and all of it’s wonderful juicy deliciousness. swoon!


after dinner, we walked around and enjoyed the city lit up.079080081

this car pulled up in front of the empress hotel when we were walking by. it was quite impressive, and I actually WALKED INTO A POST while looking at it. 082

we finished off the evening by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride!! one of those things I’ve always wanted to do, but never could justify the price. well, we finally did it, and it was awesome.083084

they dropped us off right at our hotel.

and as this post is already 400 times too long, I’ll put the next day in a different post.

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