When we didn't go to the car I was surprised, when we walked past the bus stop I was stumped and when we continued past my office to the waterfront I was worried. Were we staying in downtown? If so, why did I have to get up so early to walk to a local hotel?
Just then, we were there: The Victoria Clipper Ferry!
We had admired this vacation option for a year, but had never made a trip down to pier 69 to check it out. What an exciting start to the day! We boarded the ferry and shared a six-seat table arrangement with a chatty Canadian and two UW freshmen on their way to a fraternity Valentines formal. It was a fun ride and before we knew it we were arriving on Vancouver Island.
We dropped off our bags at the hotel and set out into the misty morning to enjoy the city and search for lunch. We had plenty of love to go around on Valentines Day Eve:
Dominic thoughtfully pre-purchased tickets to the Victoria Tea Festival. It was a lovely activity for a cool, gray day and we enjoyed the exhibition a great deal. There were plenty of tea tastings, tea pairings (with delicious chocolate, scones, danishes and breads) and we even watched a 'cooking with tea' presentation by Chef Heidi Fink. If you come visit us I'll make you a delicious smoky maple salad dressing featuring Lapsang Souchong tea, 'adult flavored' lemon jasmine popsicles and perhaps even some green tea shortbread cookies.
Tea Festival in the Crystal Gardens
Although we didn't sign up for High Tea at The Empress we did get our photo with this lovely tea connoisseur at the festival.
The day was a nice opportunity for us to spend time talking, sharing and reflecting on the past six months. We are both amazed by our blessings and thankful for the life marriage has brought us.
On Valentines Day we woke up to a downpour, but by the time church was over the sky had opened up and the sun was in full force. Victoria really sparkles when it's sunny outside.
We couldn't have asked for a better day to laugh and play in this romantic city of sights and statues:
We didn't hire a tour guide, we didn't pay for museums, we didn't consult a map and yet we stumbled across the most interesting places walking through downtown.
Dominic's learning (and practicing his knowledge of) Tai Chi at a Chinese New Year celebration in the square.Christ Church Cathedral, spied on a wedding at St. Ann's Academy and looked at the window displays at Miniature World.