Sunday, December 31, 2006

worshipping victoria

There's nothing like going to Victoria, even if only overnight, in winter. Even harsh weather, like the snow and monsoon-like conditions that blasted us in November and December, only dares touch her with a 10-foot pole. She's a queen, after all.

My 12 year old son's buddy Kieran, and his mother, my friend Sharon, moved to Nanaimo (up-island about two hours north of Victoria) earlier this year and we've missed them, in spite of seeing them every few months. Earlier this month, Kieran entered a contest with B.C. Ferries and won tickets to a Victoria Salmon Kings hockey game, a night at the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel and a meal at White Spot -- and they invited the two of us to join them. Par-tay.

On the ferry over yesterday number two son, who, like his old mother, often wastes his time on futile, unhealthy and economically unsound activities like drawing, earned an adorable young admirer.

Sharon and Kieran drove down from Nanaimo and picked us up at the terminal. It had been a great day for bird-watching, from the herons and hawks skirting the soggy fields in Delta, to the cormorants in Sidney.

The game was lots of fun -- even though the Alaska Aces beat our queen's representatives 5-4 -- and the hotel room positively luxurious. This is what greeted us this morning from our window:

I adore Victoria. Her oak and arbutus-dotted neighbourhoods are where I went to university, where my husband grew up, and where many members of my extended family have (wisely) landed. She is The Promised Land, and if the unreal number of retirees from the harsher parts of Canada and the USA who have made her their mecca are any indication, she's a celebrity.

Even her squalid back alleys have charm and character.

She always makes us smile, even the morning after an evening of exhausting us with all her coquettish but seductive charms.

She's not a queen -- she's a goddess.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear ya. Joyce and I spent a couple of days there on our honeymoon. Nothing else quite like her. She begs to be revisited.
Happy new year.

31/12/06 6:08 p.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

Ooo... I love Victoria too. It's been much too long since I've been there. Your photos make me want to go back.

Happy New Year!

31/12/06 8:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh! Thankyou for these almost-edible photos. I fell in love with Victoria when the C'wealth Games were on and I was watching a kids'tv show at 6am! And when I finally did get to the island...well, Peter had to drag me back to the Mainland.I vowed to return one day for the Bathtub Race.
The link to Cherry Pie is inspired!

31/12/06 10:57 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the photos.

Happy New year to you and your family, Andrea!

May your aristic muse be always kind!

1/1/07 12:36 a.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

I'm glad you got to go - it sounds like a great trip. We've live here for 8 years, and unbelievabley, I've still never made it to Victoria. (with no imminent trip in sight either with my current schedule). At some point, it will be a great, big reward for something, I suspect.

1/1/07 2:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy new year 2007 to you Andreas and a lot of success!
I went to Victoria 1n 1982. I was with my sister, who was a money-lacking student. We did that from Jericho Beach Youth Hostel by the city busses. Once there, we had only time to turn around the main block: Empress Hotel, totem poles and Parliament building then we had to take the returning path to Vancouver. I hope being able to return there once in my life.

1/1/07 3:37 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Party on Andrea!

1/1/07 6:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Andrea. Glad you found your hockey mask etc in time for your trip x

1/1/07 6:08 a.m.  
Blogger Within Without said...

Victoria and the island are two of Canada's most beautiful things for sure, Andrea.

I got to know them both a bit when I crashed Expo 86 at Vancouver. Thanks for bringing it back to life for me!

1/1/07 6:40 a.m.  
Anonymous swampgrrl said...

looks beautiful!

happy new year to you and yers.

1/1/07 11:26 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Andrea, love Andrea!

1/1/07 12:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, you really have a way with words! (and paint)

Have a great New Year!

1/1/07 1:11 p.m.  
Blogger Bibi said...

I just love Victoria too (and your son's admirer is soooo cute).

Happy New Year Andrea ... wishing you deserved success and much happiness!!

1/1/07 2:04 p.m.  
Blogger carla said...

I feel as if I've just gone on a mini-trip! It sounds like a truly splendid time! I love the pictures... I think I've added yet another destination to my long list of places to visit.

Happy New Year, Andrea! I send you my truest best wishes for artful and familial happiness and prosperity this year. I also want to tell you at this time of year when we're all allowed to be publicly sentimental and sappy that I'm so glad we've connected through blogging. I feel richer for knowing you:>

1/1/07 4:35 p.m.  
Blogger kj said...

here's a second career for you, andrea, if you are ever destitute: travel agent! you described victoria so vividly that i had to shut down my computer to avoid booking that hotel online. oooh the whole city sounds like the kind of place i just love.

and while i'm oooh-ing, may i say publically that i am not just glad, but wicked glad to know you. i am a friend and a fan.

1/1/07 6:09 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

continued successes for you dear andrea in 2007. it's a more pleasantly creative place here in the blogsphere with you girl!
sending that necklace off tomorrow... vaca is all gone...

1/1/07 6:36 p.m.  
Blogger CeCe said...

I love Victoria. I'd rather live there than here, but I don't think we can afford those "big city" prices, ya know?

1/1/07 7:51 p.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

Happy New Year Andrea! Sounds like a wonderful time! i have had good times in Victoria. Great pictures too!

1/1/07 9:08 p.m.  
Blogger Ces said...

I can imagine you narrating a National geographic show :-) Sounds like a wonderful trip. Happy New Year Andrea!

2/1/07 4:47 a.m.  
Blogger blackdaisies said...

she is totally a goddess and i miss her as its been well over a year since my last visit :) thank you for sharing bits of her and your beauty!

happy new year!

2/1/07 9:32 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again! I just came back to say I've emailed your andreap address.
But I will also say that Carla is not at all sappy; I echo her sentiment. Blog on!

2/1/07 2:12 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of these days I am going to make it to your end of the world. The pictures look awesome and inviting.

And it sounds and looks as if your New Year was fantastic.

2/1/07 2:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos and wonderful story. I'm happy to see your son drawing too. My son used to draw a lot and was really good. He doesn't anymore but he's my best art critic--has a great eye.

4/1/07 10:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what wondeful photos

didnt know that this was a talent of yours too.

good translation from the canvas to film. your sence of color is still visible in this medium.


6/1/07 8:57 a.m.  

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