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Sail Away Gang - in living Colour - a photo review

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I will try to finish this up today or early tomorrow. I was dizzy this morning so stopped using the computer. I do apologize for it being so long.

 

When DD, DS and I exited the port there were a number of tour operators offering a variety of tours. There was an antique car operator that said you chose your car and driver and the driver sets the price. The starting price was per person and it was way out of my budget. Then I met Chris Hamel who works with the Victoria Pedicab Company. He offered a tour for 2 hours in a double pedicab (easily takes 4 adults). We agreed, although I was a bit hesitant as I am not the smallest person. Chris assured me that it was not an issue.

 

So off we went. Chris was fantastic and talked to the children like people instead of like babies.

 

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He first stopped so each could touch the water and tell their friends they had been in the Pacific.

 

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DD and I were in the front seat while DS was quite happy occupying the back:

 

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Beautiful day; sunny but with a breeze. We left snow and below zero temperatures at home. Seeing all the flowers in Victoria was a real treat.

 

But the ocean...

 

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The good ship Westerdam had brought us safely home:

 

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The first part of our tour took us through the lovely Victorian neighbourhood of James Bay. I loved the houses.

 

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The flowers in the gardens...just amazing. Gardening is obviously a real source of pride in ownership.

 

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A monkey puzzle tree! I haven't seen one of these since my first trip to Scotland in university which was a way long time ago.

 

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Wisteria doesn't grow well where I live so I had never seen anything like this display:

 

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We stopped at a local small grocer that Chris enjoys. They roast their own coffee beans and make their own bread. DS was encouraged to try their real ginger ale. It was a hit!

 

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I was enjoying the ride and looking at the beautiful houses that I was taken by surprise when Chris stopped in front of this house:

 

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I had not noticed the historical marker until DS got out for a look:

 

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We continued on.

 

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There were blooms exploding everywhere!

 

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The beauty of this tour is that we could go where tour vehicles could not as we were essentially riding a bicycle, only the 3 of us let Chris do all the hard work. Soon we left James Bay behind and entered Beacon Hill Park. Stunning. Inclusive of bald eagle nests!

 

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Okay this will be the last for a few hours. I have chores to do....

 

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Look up...way up...to see an eagle's nest:

 

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A few more for a Sunday evening, but I won't be able to finish as I only have an hour and other things to do.

 

I love the texture (speaking like a quilter and a nature lover) of trees and Beacon Hill Park had me entranced.

 

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Back out of the park after learning about Winston Churchill's visit to Victoria, eagles, hawthorn trees and a myriad of other topics. We visited a B&B that Chris knows the owner. And the owner has a chocolate business! Yum!

 

The beautiful stained glass in the front door:

 

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Here we are! What fun we had. Kudos to Chris and his broad knowledge and love for his city.

 

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Heading towards the inner harbour.

 

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The Empress Hotel...did you know it is haunted. Chris filled us in on the whole story.

 

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Chris let me off to visit a bank machine to get some Canadian dollars to ensure I had enough for the taxi the next day. To be safe he took my children around the corner to wait for me. By family! Chris had such a large personality that he had everyone on the street laughing as he drove away with DD and DS.

 

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If anyone is wondering why DS wore that hat...it is his dad's and DS asked DH to leave it behind. He wore it all the time once DH left in San Diego. His food consumption plummeted once DH left the ship too. But they knew I wasn't leaving them...just decided to pay Chris in paper money instead of debit or credit card.

 

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I know these pictures are a bit dark. I did not take the time to lighten them before posting (I am tired).

 

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Parliament buildings.

 

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Queen Victoria's statue in front of parliament. I may go back and lighten them later....

 

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Great pictures of a nice city. If you ever get back there with the children, take them to Buchart Gardens.

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Heading towards the inner harbour.

 

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That's my school! St. Ann's Academy (not named after me, I assure you, I was anything but a saint!) - my mother went there, and my grandmother, one of the first and youngest students!

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I am so happy you got an absolutely first class tour! For the area you covered, you saw it all. I am impressed!

 

Thanks for posting this amazing photo gallery!

Edited by SilvertoGold

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Great pictures of a nice city. If you ever get back there with the children, take them to Buchart Gardens.

 

Absolutely. I wasn't sure DS wanted to go so that is why we chose something else. Next time DH will be with us. I know we really missed something special.

 

 

Heading towards the inner harbour.

 

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That's my school! St. Ann's Academy (not named after me, I assure you, I was anything but a saint!) - my mother went there, and my grandmother, one of the first and youngest students!

 

The B&B was right beside the grounds. Small world! We really enjoyed our time in your city and want to go back with DH. Beautiful. I thought of you when DH cut the grass for the first time last week. LOL We had front on Saturday so the grass didn't do much growning since but the temps are rising this week with rain...badly needed rain.

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Since DD and DS wanted to be back on the ship for dinner, Chris peddaled us back after a few photo ops:

 

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DD and DS were having a blast finding street signs with familiar names:

 

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There were many! But all good things must come to an end and Chris brought us "home".

 

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While they spend their last hours in Club Hal I went back to the cabin to do the final pack and put the suitcase outside the cabin door.

 

The next day was Vancouver and we had a lovely sail in.

 

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We were in the Lido having breakfast when we approached the Lion's Gate Bridge.

 

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Nearly there. I was thinking that we were by-passing Canada Place and going to the industrial port for a few minutes until the ship turned. I had no idea that we would be docking behind one of the large Princess ships and a Celebrity was on the other side. I do have a picture of that but forgot last night to upload it into Shutterfly. So there will be one last post.

 

But I did want to thank you all for following along with me for so long. I have appreciated each and every comment. It was an amazing cruise and one I hope to repeat.

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Nearly there. I was thinking that we were by-passing Canada Place and going to the industrial port for a few minutes until the ship turned. I had no idea that we would be docking behind one of the large Princess ships and a Celebrity was on the other side. I do have a picture of that but forgot last night to upload it into Shutterfly. So there will be one last post.

 

But I did want to thank you all for following along with me for so long. I have appreciated each and every comment. It was an amazing cruise and one I hope to repeat.

 

An amazing cruise and an amazing

photo-journey for us. Thank you so much.

This, with the other Sailaway Gang thread, has been

fantastic to follow.

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Thank you for sharing the cruise with us. This was the BEST review I have ever followed.

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I have really enjoyed following your journey. The pictures have been fantastic! You have made us all feel as if we were there with you. Thanks!!!

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Thank you for your comments everyone. I am very happy to hear that you have enjoyed my review.

 

This was Canada Place on May 1 this year. The official start to cruise season for the port of Vancouver. I read this past weekend that the port is the first in the world to install Automated Passport Control kiosks.

 

Vancouver, B. C. (May 13, 2015): Port Metro Vancouver, in collaboration with the Vancouver Airport Authority, unveiled 10 BorderXpress Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks at the Canada Place Cruise Terminal. The new kiosks aim to increase cruise passenger processing rates through the United States Customs and Border Protection area prior to embarking on a cruise from Vancouver to Alaska.

 

Hopefully that will speed things up for passengers.

 

This is the scene from our starboard verandah early on Friday May 1st.

 

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Celebrity was on the other side of the port. We were on deck 4 so we could just see the top decks.

 

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Once our colour and number were called DD, DS and I were off the ship, picked up our luggage and were in a taxi on our way to the airport in less than 20 minutes...seriously. How great was that. We had submitted our Customs and Immigration forms after leaving San Diego. We never were interviewed in person and there was nobody to stop us from disembarking in either Victoria or Vancouver. We were within our limit so had nothing to declare as we don't smoke and had bought no alcohol. But still I found this surprising. After having to do it on the ship and in the port when in USA ports I was expecting something. No.

 

We arrived at the airport in about 20 minutes, way early for our 1:15 flight. WE could have managed the 10:00 flight but Air Canada was not inclined to be helpful. Sadly, not unexpected.

 

We arrived in Toronto ahead of schedule and because it was a domestic flight we collected luggage and walked out. The best sight of the day was seeing DH waiting for us!

 

One amazing vacation with a great group of people. Thank you Sail Away Gang for including us 4 in your group (sail away happen when I am making dinner). Memories for a lifetime!

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It was the greatest of pleasures to have you 4 along with us. Can't wait to sail with you again. We had a fantastic trip and have very many happy memories. Thank you for being part of it.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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