Photos from Victoria, B.C.

December 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The front of the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC

Our hotel. Fancy, huh? Amazingly, this was what we got when I asked for the cheapest hotel. (There was a special where we got the roundtrip ferry and overnight stay at just over $100 per person.)

That's our ferry at dock on the left. This was taken from the balcony of our hotel room.


Queen Victoria in front of the parliament building

Some cold ducks

A cold palm tree

Some cold Mexican food. Just seeing this truck makes me long for Zocalo.

This lone guitarist just stood down there in the 35-degree weather playing to nobody. I was almost afraid to walk by for fear of raising his hopes (by walking towards him) and then dashing them (by walking past him and away).

Victoria is cold!

November 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Victoria was absolutely freezing. The temperature hovered around 23 degrees, and the snow was falling in big, thick flakes. And the wind was gusting so hard that the snowflakes and the cold would creep into every nook and cranny and drafty spot in our coats. No big post today — Happy Thanksgiving! — but here are a couple photos so even those of you in Texas can feel like it’s winter somewhere. =)

The snow was so thick. You can hardly see the buildings one block away!

It looks like we're in Russia! The snow was blowing everywhere. (This is the House of Parliament in Victoria.)

Mom visiting

November 21, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Mom at a park near Alki beach with the Seattle skyline in the background.

This past Wednesday Mom flew in from Cleveland and she’ll be here through this Friday. We’ve had a nice visit so far, with trips to Alki Beach, Marymoor dog park, Pike Place Market, Olympic National Park, Hoh Rainforest, and Ikea. Tomorrow we’re taking the clipper to Victoria for a one-night trip that will have us back home Tuesday night, and while there we’re planning to see Butchart Gardens and a bunch of touristy Victoria stuff.

It’s gotten pretty cold this week, which hasn’t bothered mom or Blake much but has been pretty unpleasant for me. On the up side, we had a few hours of snow today and it was delightful. (Somehow I don’t mind the cold so much if I’m all bundled up and cozy in a hat and scarf and there are snowflakes drifting all around.)

The forecast for Victoria tomorrow. Yipes. I didn't even know there was an igloo icon. :-/

Unfortunately, this evening I looked up the weather for Victoria tomorrow and it included a hilarious and foreboding icon that I’ve never before seen: an igloo. It used words like “frigid” and “cold” and “3.54 degrees”. I’m breaking out my ski gear from Colorado to keep warm, since I hope to be able to walk around Butchart for more than five or ten minutes without turning into a popsicle.

Our trip to Olympic National Park was pretty spectacular even this late in the year. We woke up early and caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island, drove 90 minutes to the park’s visitor’s center, then got back on the road for a beautiful 2.5-hour drive to the Hoh rainforest. We took several opportunities to stop along the way and take some photos as the mood struck us, but eventually we remembered that it gets dark here at 4:30 and we had to hustle the last hour or so to avoid arriving at the rainforest in the dark. As it was, we only walked around the Hoh for about twenty minutes before we had to head back for fear of hiking through the wet woods in the frigid night. (The park ranger kindly lent us a flashlight in case we had trouble finding our way back to the parking lot in time, but there were no problems.)

The Hoh is a beautiful park and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I didn’t even know there were rainforests with deciduous trees and pine trees instead of palms and parrots. Because it was pretty dim and I didn’t bring my tripod, the photos I took are kind of underwhelming. (I intend to see the Hoh again when it’s warmer and greener and I have a tripod and maybe a new lens.) Even though all the deciduous trees were brown and it was really cold, it was still pretty neat. Though I bet it’s even more spectacular in the spring.

Anyway, I’ve got to pack for Victoria and exercise and get to bed soon, so please enjoy these photos.

Driving into the Hoh Rainforest

Some elk drinking on the river next to the road

The rainforest! (Yes, that's snow on the ground.)

Mom looking up at a 270-foot-tall tree (!)

Oh, and an update on our loud neighbors: the night after we left the note, the music was booming again as usual. So the next morning I stopped by the leasing office and mentioned it to the office manager, and she said she’d talk to them that afternoon. Since then we’ve heard some booming music in the afternoon and morning, but never at night. It’s still a little irksome in principle, but I can be happy with that. It’s not too disruptive if we’re not trying to sleep. Though I’ll be happy when we have a house and all the walls belong to us alone. =)

PS – If you’re interested, you may want to check out my photo-a-day blog, Out Our Window, which (predictably) has one photo each day of something taken out our window here in Seattle’s Chinatown.

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