You just never know… The ‘flood’ of 2018

There we were just going along on our Saturday, cleaning house, doing errands, doing some work… I said to my husband for the second time that day “Something smells funny downstairs…” We happen to live where a forest is our backyard so everyyyy once in awhile a mouse gets in and well, you get the idea. Down we go to check it out… I’m wearing shoes & head in to the living room, my husband, wearing socks wanders in & gasps “Hey!! It’s sopping wet down here!” And lo & behold his socks are soaked! He opens the door to the furnace & hot water tank room only to get blasted in the face with a spray of water! Because the carpet is so lovely & luxurious it was hard to see at first that there was actually an inch of water down there! We quickly called our insurance & restoration company but there was no way we could stay in the house for the next couple of nights with 8 gigantic fans, dehumidifiers running & the water turned off – no plumber till Monday.

This is how we ended up just down the road from our home in The Quality Inn & Conference Centre in Abbotsford, B. C. http://www.qualityhotelabbotsford.com/

We need to stay for 2 nights so got a suite as we both have to set up our computers and get some work done. The room is a good size with 2 decent sized little fridges, a desk, great big king bed, flat screen tv, a couch & 2 wing chairs sitting in front of a fireplace. There’s even a jacuzzi tub – it’s huge! This hotel has a pool, exercise room & conference centre. We’ve attended many events with excellent meals in the conference centre but had never stayed overnight.

There is a White Spot restaurant attached, the breakfast we ordered in was really good & arrived in only about 15 minutes. I decided to order their special Nat Bailey Coffee since it was Sunday morning 😉 it was a delicious Baileys & Amaretto coffee. My husband enjoyed his BC Sunny Start & I couldn’t finish my yummy Breakfast Quesadilla – it was so big! Something we’ve discovered staying in hotels & ordering room service – read the fine print! We often have just paid a tip to whomever brought the meal but have come to realize there is already a $5 or so delivery fee PLUS a percentage on top of that! It’s right there in black & white…

It’s great to have a room with a microwave & coffee maker etc in case of a longer stay. The only negative thing we noticed was that there were the tiniest shampoo & conditioner EVER. There are two of us and there’s no way there is enough there for us both. Having said that, I’m sure we can call down for more.

There is quite a lot to do nearby for those who are travellers from elsewhere, including coffee shops, spas, yoga studios, a grocery store, Sushi restaurant, liquor store, fast foods restaurants & a place to go drive mini racecars, play on 3 different mini golf courses, play tons of video games, use the batting cages & even a soccer scoring net to work on your shots.

The hotel is conveniently located right off Highway 1 but luckily, we couldn’t hear any road noise from our room. So far a decent stay less than five minutes from home. I like that they had a QR Code in the Guest Services book that shows you all that is local and once you’ve scanned it you can take all the info with you. A nice touch. There are also menus for local, pizza and Chinese restaurants etc.

Victoria, British Columbia

 
On a whale watching trip in Victoria, British Columbia; cold but a blast!




The Amethyst Inn

We booked in at the last minute and managed to get the last room available… the Windsor Room(funnily enough, my husband had asked me to marry him at the real Windsor Castle in England, so..!) This inn was absolutely gleaming; immaculate from top to bottom. The wooden staircases were freshly oiled, the carpets were spotless, the furniture and mantelpieces were shining and the gorgeous stained glass windows sparkled in the light.
We arrived in the early evening and were greeted at the door of this historic home; we were invited to have a cup of tea, cookies or a glass of sherry but as we were tired, we went straight to our room. There were books to borrow, chocolates to share, a television, a giant soaker tub and everything was just so, so clean! The only negative was that as this was a period home, there is no air conditioning and it was quite a warm evening. They do provide a fan and ceiling fan but they are quite loud so it made it hard to sleep.
The inn is beautifully located and the history behind it all is quite interesting as well; a newspaper baron and his wife built this home and raised their family here for many years(wait, one more coincidence – my husband and I are both in the newspaper industry as well!). There is a coded security gate at the entrance so we felt quite secure in a place we did not know well.
Breakfast was in a gorgeous dining room, where we were served on proper china plates with actual teacups.. such a nice treat. Our waiter was so nice and had impeccable manners. We were never without coffee or tea and had the most delicious fresh baked croissants I’ve ever eaten(and I’ve been to France!). We also had fresh fruit and half of a fresh bagel with whipped cream cheese and salmon on top.. lovely!
We were sorry we had to leave right away and couldn’t explore more of the inn. I would love to return in the winter to experience the beautiful antique fireplaces with a roaring fire…
The Return Ticket gives the Amethyst Inn, Victoria, BC: four tickets out of five
 

Parliament Buildings, Victoria B.C., Canada

 

Home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the Parliament Buildings are open to the public year-round. Visitors are welcome to join one of the regularly scheduled tours, stroll through the buildings on their own self guided tour, or even have a bite to eat in the Legislative Dining Room.  Free guided tours are available Monday through Friday throughout the year & 7 days a week during the summer. You might even run into some political figures there & get to chat with them.

This is a very beautiful property, where you can sit & enjoy looking around the sights while relaxing. Personally, I most enjoy seeing the Parliament Buildings at night when they’re all lit up by millions of white, glittering lights… what a photo op!

Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria B.C., Canada

Step inside & experience the history of British Columbia. Since 1886, the Royal BC Museum has preserved & shared the human & natural histories of this province. Discover the famous First Peoples, Natural History & Modern History Galleries – – a feast of sights, smells & sounds of beautiful British Columbia. There are displays of ancient tools & weapons or even teepees. The Museum is also home to a cultural precinct including the BC Archives, Helmcken House, St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, the Netherlands Centennial Carillon, Thunderbird Park and Mungo Martin House/Wawadit’la.  There are different floors & each has its own theme.. there is an old village on one floor that features a movie house, train station & real cobblestone streets. Another floor is filled with animals from ancient & modern times… walruses, birds, even a massive wooly mammoth!

Since I was 5 years old, this has been a place I have loved to go. My grandparents first took me then & I’ve loved to go back year after year, with my own children & now my husband, who is originally from England. Each year there is a new main exhibit, once it was about dinosaurs & most recently the artifacts from the Titanic were featured. We were humbled by the experience of portraying passengers on the ill fated ship… very real, very touching, very emotional…

Government Street, Victoria B.C., Canada

Government Street is a busy street lined with some of  Victoria’s biggest tourist attractions. Always such a nice place to walk around & see what is going on… as busy as it is, there is always a chance to sit & enjoy the surroundings. Along the waterfront you’ll see boats, water taxis, larger yachts, a dragon boat festival & possibly some seals. There are plenty of vendors with handcrafted items such a jewellery, soap, clothing, art & many items that would make an excellent souvenir for you or a loved one.

For a special treat, have afternoon High Tea at the grand Empress Hotel or board a ferry for a harbour tour. There are a lot of scenic, historic walks so make sure to read the historic plaques along your way. There are even a few guided tours throughout the city & quite a few horse drawn carriages.  In the warmer weather there are often musicians & performers to see like eclectic artists & one man bands… how entertaining!