Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friday, off to Victoria

Up and dressed early, in fact Micah woke me up about 45 minutes before my alarm went off. I was moving faster than David, so we did not get out until 8:15, but that got us to the ferry just before 9, which was perfect for our 10:00 reservation. Walked around the ferry marketplace, bought some cool candle-holders, and Sofia had some playground time. Then we got on the ferry for our ride to Victoria.

I did a little work on the laptop for the early part of the ride. I have to finish the curriculum for the course I will be teaching at Hebrew College, Jewish Views on Disability, this semester. Should be fun. I have co-taught it before, but this is my first solo.

Anyway, we had a good spot on the sun deck, inside the front window covering, so it wasn’t too cold or windy but we had a nice view. Which didn’t matter much, since Sofia watched a movie on Sam’s iPad, the boys played a game on the iPod, and I was buried in my laptop.

At the half-way mark, I actually thought we were coming into the terminal, so I shut down, and took Sofia for a walk. There was a park ranger telling interesting facts about the flora and fauna of Vancouver Island. Sofia had a BLAST helping her out. Sofia has a natural affinity for The Person In Charge, especially if that person is speaking to a group. She just wanted to stand next to the lady (whose name was Hannah). Hannah was great about it. She had Sofia hold things for her during her demo, and after the presentation, she sat and showed Sofia pictures in the wildlife photo journal. Sofia was so over-stimulated, she couldn’t even speak. She would sign the names of animals or plants, but could not form the words. It was really interesting to see how the noise and wind and excitement had such an effect on her.

We got into port, and started driving south. But David was hungry, and getting kind of fussy. We finally found a decent Greek restaurant about half-way to our hotel. Not to bad, but not great.

Anyway, then we went to check in at the hotel. Definitely the lowest-rent building of our whole trip. A Red Lion Inn (and Suites), although we don’t have a suite, just 2 double-beds in a very small room. The three kids are squished in together, but I’m sure Sofia will come find me at some point.

This is the only hotel on our stay that does not include breakfast. At least I have Sofia’s instant Grits with us! But David just noted, “Why would you ever leave this place? It’s got a hotel, a pool, a Chinese Restaurant, a Liquor Store, and a Strip Club!” (Yes, that’s all in the same building. Oh joy.)

Anyway, we got in, and I made David take a nap while I took the kids to the outdoor pool. This was the first pool with a decent deep-end, so the boys could jump in more. Sofia and Micah had a blast jumping in. She was actually in the “deep” side, although she mostly stayed by the ladder after she jumped in over and over.

Around 4:00, we came back, got dressed, got David up and went off to town. First stop was Craigdarroch Castle, this really cool old mansion. I had to hold onto Sofia, because all the rooms had alarms and you weren’t supposed to touch the walls, so I did not really get to read much of the info sheets, but I did take a lot of photos. David enjoyed reading everything. Micah was not impressed.

Had a little time with Sof in the gift shop, and bought her a little tea set. She was so happy! It’s still in the box, but she clutched it the whole way home tonight.

After the castle, we parked in downtown Victoria near the waterfront and just meandered around. There was some sort of military parade and memorial going on, so that was cool to see, and there were lots of vendors along the boardwalk. The boys and I got henna tattoos. I’m not so sure how they will look tomorrow. Right now the “goop” is coming off mine and the tattoo does not look that dark.

We were getting hungry, and that’s a big problem with this family. Unfortunately, Sofia and I would be happy with just about any kind of food, David has a slightly less tolerant tummy, and the boys (especially Micah) are incredibly picky! Add to that the food allergies and the need to be vegetarian or fish or dairy... it’s limiting.

And when we are in a place we don’t know, it’s tough to pick something. So eventually we ended up at The Old Spaghetti Factory again, the same chain we ate at two nights ago in Vancouver. In fact, we mostly had the same meals (although this time Micah got the kid’s cheese pizza, which was really just a half order of the flat bread appetizer). But it was good, and the drink of the day was a frozen Bellini, so I felt better.

We didn’t leave the restaurant until after 10, so we got back to the hotel late. Sofia was just about asleep in the car, but revived enough to be annoying until she passed out. Now the kids are all asleep and I’m just gonna finish this, sort the photos, and post.

Tomorrow we are going to Shabbat services at the Conservative shul (we already scoped out the location, and I was emailing with the office this week). Then we might hit a museum or activity in the afternoon, and then Butchart Gardens. We will bring a picnic dinner, and stay for the evening concert and then the fireworks. (At least that’s the plan!)

Today's Photos:
On the ferry

 Craigdarroch Castle

 Practicing her ballet: Tondu, Coupe, Pah-de-Bourre

 In the Gift Shop: