Oct. 13, 2014 / Day 3
We work up early and showered, dressed and packed. I wore my boots and felt like I looked very good. We had a big breakfast, hung out in the room for a while and then went down to the lobby to wait for our ride to the Victoria Clipper. The towncar arrived promptly at 10:30. The trip downtown was pretty quick and we arranged for the same driver to pick us up on Saturday night. I liked having a towncar, so pretty and clean and just nice looking.
We checked our luggage and then went to the waiting area. Even though we were over an hour early, there were a LOT of people waiting. There was much jockeying for position in the waiting room, which turned out to be a waste of time because even though they did not tell anyone, we boarded by our ticket number. Terry and I had 152 and 153 so we boarded with the 4th group. There was not a great choice of seats, but we found two by a window and felt ok with the choice. Ok that is until we heard the very loud, never ending chatter of a man too close to not hear. He talked almost non stop and was very loud. When he had no one to talk to he made a phone call and read the entire alcohol duty free prices to whoever had the misfortune to answer the phone. Terry drowned him out with the noise canceling ear buds, but I was not so lucky. Terry also went out on the deck a few times, but it was too cold and rough for me. I mostly read, played solitaire and looked out the window. We decided to get some food on the Clipper and Terry had a turkey sandwich and chips. I had the lil sailor kids meal, with frosted flakes, crasins, Scooby fruit snacks and string cheese. We also got a diet pepsi for Terry and a ginger ale for me and a bag of pretzels and one of almonds. The food was fine, about $19 all together. I was glad to have the ginger ale and pretzels when the ride got very rough for about 40 minutes. Up and down, up and down, ug!
We finally arrived in Victoria and though people began putting on jackets and standing, an announcement told us we would de-board in a specific order, so everyone sat back down. Those without checked luggage got off first and then the rest of us. We waited in a line for about 5 minutes and then began to walk along a shelf-lined hallway to find our luggage. It was somewhat chaotic. Once we had our stuff we went through customs. Terry and I were singled out for further examination. We were asked a few questions and had our passports double checked on the computer. It was all very polite and friendly, but odd. Finally we were free to go, I say finally, but from docking to the end was only about 20 minutes. We could see our hotel as we exited the customs building, tall, white and pretty, the Admiral Inn.
We walked less than a block and into the lobby. A nice looking young man, who had such a cute French accent that he became instantly better looking, greeted us. We checked in and were given REAL keys! He chatted to us a bit about the policies and sent us on our way.
Our room is on the top floor, 307, and has a nice balcony with a harbor view. The room is biggish, with a queen bed and pull out couch. The bathroom is small, but very usable. We also have a small frig. microwave and coffee pot. We had some trouble getting the flatscreen TV to work but the cutie who checked us in came up and fixed it. I am amazed by the number of channels and regular US TV shows that are on. We were pleased to find the internet works very well and is fast and free. There is also a free continental breakfast, we will review it tomorrow. After having a good laugh when we opened a cabinet and found a very old TV, we unpacked and rested a bit. Terry sat on the balcony for a while. Finally we decided to go out.
I changed into my Sketcher Go Walks and put on a sweater, a scarf and carried my coat. THose cute little black Sketchers looked good with my dress and gave me the support I needed for walking. Terry wore his hoodie. We felt a bit of rain as we stepped out of the lobby, so we borrowed a couple of the hotel umbrellas, instead of going back to the room for ours. What a nice walk. Sure it rained lightly, but we did not care. We strolled along, pausing to take pictures and admiring the harbor views to our left and the beautiful buildings to our right. We saw sea planes landing and taking off from the harbor. We stopped at the Visitors Center and picked up a map and a few brochures. We passed the government building and the Empress Hotel. Then we passed mostly shops and restaurants. I saw one called Dog Gone, which was soda fountain style with hot dogs and shakes. We stopped at a Starbucks, I wanted a Canada Starbucks card, got 4, and I got a latte and Terry got a Pumpkin Spice. He did not find it to be very good. We also bought a couple of big, soft, cookies, Canada Starbucks, have not changed to the crummy new pastries we have at home. My molasses cookie was so good. As we walked, we were surprised and saddened by the number of homeless people. Of course, we were only in one, touristy area. After walking about an hour, we went back to Dog Gone to eat. Terry got a sauerkraut and onions dog, I had chili and cheese dog. I thought it was so so, Terry thought they were pretty crummy. I also had a chocolate shake which was yummy.
Didn’t taste as good as it looks
Stuffed, if not satisfied, we walked back to the hotel.
We are now snug in our room. We watched the second hour of Dancing With The Stars, Wheel of Fortune and now Jeopardy, but most important, the Big Bang Theory will be on at 8 – hooray! I have it taping at home, but how nice to catch it here. It is raining pretty hard outside and now and then we hear a deep ship horn from the harbor. The streets are lit with pretty 5 bulb street lamps and we have the sliding glass door open for the fresh breeze. It is cool, but not cold, I am ok with that, as long as it is at least sweater weather I am content.
As we strolled along earlier, I could not stop smiling, I really like Victoria, it has a special feel and I am happy to be here.