October 16, 2019

a mansion, whales, houseboats, and the inevitable run amuck

Look closely, there are two whales here.

The highlight of our Vancouver trip was surprisingly NOT our time stuffed into a cubicle-sized Airbnb.  Coach booked reservations on a whale watching expedition.  We had to be at the place super early, which was a challenge.  

The family's butts.  We leaned over the wall 
to watch this guy perform tricks, but it
 was his great sense of humor that kept us
 engaged.  We sent Curly down after
 he finished to put money in his hat.  

It was insanely windy once the boat took off.  Our cameras were ready, but nothing.  We were nearing the end of the trip when they announced that there were whales spotted ahead.  We all jockeyed for position and took a thousand photos.  So cool.  
Here they are again.  One waving to us.

The whales did not jump completely out of the water because by the time they arrive in these waters from wherever (I think Alaska), they are too hungry and tired to jump that high. Still we saw two of them come up repeatedly.  Lad also spotted a bald eagle, which impressed the crew to no end and clearly made Lad’s day.  Mini claimed afterwards that it changed her life.  We were all thrilled!

Mansion - very cool. This will come up again, but Mini used the bathroom here after our tour- like perhaps for the first time in a month, if you get my drift.  Made for an incredibly awkward situation since the toilet got clogged and there were only two stalls and the girls were ahead of me.  The older woman in front of me wandered into Mini's stall.  Whammo.  I was clueless because I was in line behind this woman.  Mini was unsure of how to handle the situation so she left the stall and allowed this poor woman to walk in after her.  I started to figure it out when I saw Mini's horrified face.  Let's just say, we won't be invited back to the mansion again.  
We could have taken the boat straight back, but Coach arranged for us to be dropped off at Victoria, a beautiful island.  This place hit all the marks.  It was gorgeous.  There were little house boats docked at this little, lively wharf area full of food stands and a floating ice cream place.  So cute.  We enjoyed a street performer who was downright hilarious. We toured a famous mansion where Curly, who had gotten ahead of me as I read the descriptions of what each room was used for, invited me to one of the floors in this way:  ‘Welcome to the open concept ballroom.’  Yes, she enjoys HGTV.  

Ice cream on the wharf area
while checking out the houseboats.
Then we took a bus to Butchart Garden.  This is where the plan started to run amuck.  Coach planned on having us take a ferry back to Vancouver.  He had not figured in what time the last ferry would run or how long it would take us to arrive at the gardens.  To complicate matters, we promised the kids that this night would be one of their few vacation restaurant meals (harps play as they anticipate a bit of heaven) vs a meal heated up on a paper plate in our hotel or airbnb.  
The bus hit traffic and we got to the gardens an hour before it closed.  The lady looked at me like I was insane when I asked if we could in fact tour the garden in an hour.  She was like, ‘Perhaps, but why would you do that?  Why would you not enjoy it?’  

Hey, we are athletic people - we can take in the beauty while doing a light jog.  She helped us look up the last ferry time.  We had to be on another bus out front of the garden in like an hour and 35 minutes if we wanted to make the last ferry.  Don’t forget that dinner needed to be incorporated into that 1 hr 35 min.  The ferry was still another 45 minutes away.  Poor Coach.  He thought it was all going to work out, but it was so hard to guesstimate how long we would take at each stop, then traffic, then the ferry schedule, etc.  

We rallied.  


Busy Bee Suz said...

The whale watching and eagle seeing sounds just lovely! Oh, how I loathe cramming things into a small timeframe-I'd be stressed too. Victoria is on my travel bucket list!!
I'm dying about the public bathroom ummm....thing. :(

Ernie said...

Highly recommend Victoria. Take your time there. And that bathroom issue is foreshadowing. Unreal.

Nicole said...

Oooh Vancouver is SO beautiful - glad you got to enjoy it, and not just be cramped in your Air B&B!

Ernie said...

I was so focused on packing and making sure everyone knew what to bring as we were traveling separately, that I never really focused much on what we were going to do after the dancing portion - besides I was happy to hand the tourist planning over to Kevin. Loved, loved, loved Vancouver!!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Poor Mini! This is why I always carry a bottle of Poo Pouri in my purse! :) Vancouver sounds lovely!!!

Ernie said...

Wow - you are one prepared mama! Ha. Vancouver was lovely. I wish we had opted to stay the night in Victoria. It was a real highlight of the trip. Getting back to Vancouver - not so much.