Friday, June 24, 2011

Canada: Butchart Gardens

      This is my final post about our Canada trip.  Not sure what I will blog about after this - it is a little hard to come back to normal life and try to figure out what I regularly do with my time and energy.  But, as we were driving back to our house on Tuesday night, we were reminding ourselves how great our life really is.  We were a little hungover from the majesty that is Canada, but we are starting to get back into the groove of life again - and it is good.  We are blessed far beyond what we could imagine.
      This trip really was great.  However, we realized that there is a difference between a "family trip" and a "vacation."  With the little friends along, it qualified more as a "family trip," because we came back pretty tired from baby wrangling and all the adventuring.  In the end, we both felt it was more than worth it and would do it again, because really, we would be little friend wrangling here or there, and there is pretty great.  We couldn't have asked for better travel companions than Ellen and Luke - you guys get a serious shout out for being amazing, fun, good-looking (cause who doesn't want to travel with good-looking people) and so patient and loving with the friends.  We were talking about it again last night and saying how it could not have gone any better - thanks!
      We spent our last day on Vancouver Island in the city of Victoria, mainly at Butchart Gardens.


We loaded up on a fancy ferry to the island and passed the time playing Spades and having Luke entertain my babies with his "baby."

Picnik collage

Somehow, in all of my trip planning, I made some gross miscalculations about the size of the city of Victoria.  It ended up taking us a lot more time and money to reach the Gardens than I had imagined it would, which was a bummer.  So, once we made it to the Gardens, we hoped it lived up to all the work it took us to get there.  And it did.  I like going to places that are considered to be the best in the world of something, and this is billed as being one of the best gardens in the world.  It was stunning.

Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage

The girls mostly really enjoyed it, though we had to resort to VeggieTales on an old iPhone for Lily about 3/4 of the way through.  Bella, it seemed, was trying to jump out of the stroller with delight much of the time.

Picnik collage
Picnik collage

Two main stories of hilarity came from our time in the gardens.  The first is that our little family, mainly the girls, was its own attraction, especially for the Asian tourists present.  We actually found this to be true in all of Canada - whenever we passed a group of Asian tourists, and they are abundant, they wanted to stop and photograph the girls and gawk at them.  Which is flattering, but also a little crazy.  At the garden, one gentleman stalked us for a while.  Here is the first picture he took.


Then, he just followed us, taking pictures, like we were celebrities of some kind.  John decided that if they wanted pictures of the girls, he would get into those pictures with them.  Here is one of the best moments with John and Lily on a prop carousel horse with the Asian paparazzi in full effect.


The second story of hilarity still makes me laugh so hard that I cry when I look at the pictures.  Though it will probably not move you all to tears, you will probably get a chuckle.  One of the lenses in John's sunglasses popped out.  In a moment of comic genius, my husband decided to pop the other lens out and wear the frames for the rest of the day.  Yes, he did.


I think the power of the glasses went to his head, because when he, Lily and I boarded the carousel, by ourselves, he ended up on an Orca striking a pose each time the ride went around.  There was a gaggle of Asian tourists taking pictures of this, and fortunately, Luke was also there to capture a few of these priceless moments.  You can barely see Lily and I laughing in the background, and she was saying, "Silly Daddy.  Funny Daddy."


All in all, Butchart Gardens was a lovely place to explore.


      Canada is a delightful place to visit, and the people are welcoming and helpful at every turn.  We loved our time there and look forward to seeing more of the country on another trip!


MamaBearPing said...

Those picture are uh-maxing. I love the one with the tree branches. Are those for sale? Because I would so blow that up and frame it.
Also. Asian tourists are a little nuts. I can only think that they are not used to curly blond haired, blue-eyed little white girls, so they took pics to show all their friends back home. That is a little nuts.
Looks like youi had a wonderful trip. I loved British Columbia and would go back in a heartbeat.

Carol said...

@MamaBearPingThanks, Christian! I would gladly email you any pic you asked for if you really wanted it. We loved BC and can't wait to get back there!

Joeylee said...

beautiful pictures. your girls are so adorable!
new follower

JennyMac said...

Wow, Carol, those are great pictures! I love the one of the lily and the lilypads. Gorgeous composition. It all looks stunning, and I bet it was even better in person.

Lorna said...

When my stepmom went to China last year to adopt her little girl (6 years old), they got to experience first-hand the Asian fascination with blonde hair. She and her sister and brother were all there. They went to the zoo one day and they said the Chinese zoo visitors took more pictures of them than of the animals!

Kristin Murdock said...

I LOVE the story of John wearing the glasses all around and striking poses. Too amazing! I also really agree about traveling with good looking people. I mean, who wants ugly friends? ;)