After nearly three years (pandemic, cancer, moving), we are enjoying the fun of planning and anticipating travel and being tourists! Since moving to Washington State in January, we’ve had many local ferry rides but recently took one over the border into Canada. This was a special trip, planned entirely by my husband as a birthday treat for me.
Our trip started in Port Angeles, WA, where we caught the famous Black Ball Ferry. Black Ball used to manage the Washington State Ferry System (now state run), but now runs the private line between Port Angeles and Victoria, B.C. Waiting for the ferry to depart, we walked around town for some history and street murals. With a long history of ferry crossings due to geography, it is where my Mom’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Canada. Of the many street murals, these are my favorites:
I love the huge mural of the vintage MV Kalakala (flying bird) which carried cars and passengers across the Strait of Juan de Fuca during the 1940’s and 1950s. Artist Cory Ench’s mural is a crowd favorite for photos due to its three dimensional looking kids and dog in the foreground and the cool mid century ferry.
So excited about our trip, I forgot to take a picture of our ferry; the MV Coho – here she is. After a 90 minute ride on surprisingly smooth water, we entered the port of Victoria and headed straight towards the Empress Hotel – our home for the next three days. We did not do high tea, but we packed in a lot of other really fun things in this beautiful, vibrant Canadian city and capital of British Columbia.
We spent our first evening wandering around town at dusk before meeting a friend for dinner.
We walked a lot, over 20 miles in three days. I also had my first mini ferry (i.e. water taxi) ride, which we rode to Lime Bay for more walking, then back again to get ready for the birthday dinner.
Speaking of my birthday, we stopped by the original Rogers Chocolates store for a sampler. In spite of this purchase, we ordered a desert trifecta at Il Terrazzo following our main meal. It was all incredible, and I highly recommend the calamari (not your typical fried rings and dipping sauce.)
The day before our departure, we drove up to Butchart Gardens. We really lucked out. The weather was wonderful and there were no cruise ships in port. It was still a bit crowded, but stunning. Even the trash cans at Butchart are fabulous!
How does it feel to be a tourist again after three years? Wonderful! We’ve been so busy planning our next three trips, I nearly forgot to finish blogging about this one. Where are you going next?