Our last day in Victoria

Oct. 18, 2014  /  Day 8 Last day

We woke up today to a lovely sunshine. It was still chilly enough that many people wore jackets, but I did not! We took our time in the room, showering and dressing and getting our stuff gathered and packed. We had been given a late check out but we were still ready to go pretty early. I was wearing my black and white dress today and my new, red maple leaf necklace.

We left our stuff in the room and walked to a nearby liquor store to see if they had the Race Rock beer we had both enjoyed. They did, so Terry bought a 6 pack to bring home.

We packed the beer, checked the room carefully to make sure we had everything and then took our luggage downstairs so the hotel could hold it for us. They assured us that the lobby was at our disposal as long as we needed it, including the coffee and tea. (I realized days later I had lost my diamond post in the room)

We had decided to eat at the Skinny Tato Polish restaurant again. We walked over and sat down around 11:30. The food was once again amazing. This time the owners were the cook and wait staff, but the warm welcome and great food was exactly the same. I had 5 perogies, YUM and a delicious smoked sausage. Terry had potato pancakes and perogies and salads. He also had a yummy potato leek soup. We ate slowly, shared, and savored every mouthful. Right after we ordered I had a bad hot flash and went outside to cool off. As we were leaving the owner, a nice older lady, took me aside to tell me about a natural remedy she has used for hot flashes, how sweet. I will try it.

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After our meal we checked out the pawn shop across the street. They had a lot of Canadian silver and gold and 5 rolex’s and several rifles and handguns. My favorite item was a $3000 hand crafted little metal and paper circus. It had an audience, trapeze artists, a ring master, the tent and town parade. Very charming. We also looked for a shop I had seen, I wanted to check a sweater price, but we could not find it. As we stood at a corner waiting for the signal to change a young man was walking in our direction. His expression showed him to be mentally challenged. His gaze seemed to fixate on me and he came toward me, I clutched Terry’s arm but he continued coming so I bravely slipped behind Terry’s back. The man stood staring a bit longer and then wandered away. I felt a little frightened, but he was obviously not well.

IMG_1160The lobby

We headed back to the hotel to use the facilities and then set out again to enjoy the sunshine and cool breezes.We walked along the water and because the weather was so nice, the craftspeople were finally out. I fell in love with a small hummingbird that an artist was sitting and carving. It was $40. I told him I would come back for it for sure, and then we went on one of the Harbor Cruises. This one was called the Gorge Cruise. It was $26 each. The cruise went along the harbor and into a back area. We saw many condos and beautiful homes, some of the homes were over 100 years old. One interesting spot was where a tall diving tower had been. People jumped off it for fun and sometimes for coins from tourists. When a young man broke his neck it was torn down. The tour guide told us a sad story about a bridge. It had been replaced several times but once because it had collapsed. When it fell there was a bus load of people on it and most of them died. One who died was the young son of the inspector in charge of that bridge. We also saw an area of “squatters”. People who had old boats and had “parked” for free. The condo owners did not care for these boats to be in their line of vision, so they had passed an ordinance to make them leave. Soon they will be homeless I suppose. It was a fun and informative ride and lasted about an hour. When we got off the boat we walked over to the carver. My hummingbird was complete and beautiful. He signed his name and I paid him with my credit card using his square.

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We took the hummingbird to the hotel and then walked to Fisherman’s Wharf again. This time it was bustling with activity. A small boy was tossing fish to the excited seals. One seal was very determined and would pull himself up and slap demandingly on the water with his fin. It was pretty cute. I got a rocky road ice cream cone and we went back to the hotel. We picked up our suitcases and took them to the Clipper Terminal and checked them in. Then we walked toward Government Street. We went to Murchies to buy sandwiches for our boat ride to Seattle. They did not have the delicious Portofino we had the other day but I got a Roma and a Fillone, they were both very good. While I waited in line for the food, Terry went back to Bard and Banker for another Race Rock beer. I joined him and shared his beer, it was really good. Next we went to 7/11 to buy some additional snacks for the trip.

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Terry continued to the Clipper terminal and I went back to the hotel for my carry on. As I walked to the terminal I realized to my horror that my passport was in my suitcase. I told Terry, who snarled and then I threw myself on the mercy of the check in ladies. They were very nice and were able to find my suitcase in just a couple of minutes. I knew exactly where the passport was and got it right out. All was well. We chatted with other passengers while we waited to go through customs. We were happy to have numbers 13 and 14 on our return tickets, that meant we would board first and have a choice of seats. We breezed thru customs and then took seats near the front of the waiting area. Once we boarded we found a wide choice of seats and ended up with two in the center, lots of legroom and our own table. The ship is starting now and in 2 hours and 45 minutes we will be back in Seattle.

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We are sitting in our room in Seattle, FINALLY! Our towncar was 20 minutes late, then tried to drop us off at the wrong hotel, he did not get a tip. Then, when we walked into the hotel we were surrounded by 45-50 really, really pretty girls, in their late teens. The hotle was headquarters to a beauty pagent! Terry perked right up as we squeezed past their firm, curvy, teen beauty pageant bodies. Then we got our room key and went up to the 5th floor. The room was far from the elevator and when we got there the key did not work. I needed coffee so I went back down while Terry waited with the suitcase. Turns out they gave us the wrong room. When I got back it we found that the room we were supposed to have was very close to the elevator and far from where Terry stood with the suitcases. Gosh, what an evening. Probably wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t both tired. But one glitch in an otherwise great trip is no big deal.

Tomorrow we arise at 6am to get ready and have breakfast before we take a 7:30 shuttle to the airport. Our plane leaves at 9:10. We have a layover but do not get off the plane and then arrive at LAX at 1pm. Our friend Janeen will pick us up and then it is home to our own beds, my doggie Otis and the retirement grind. (love saying that).

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