The City of Gracious Locals

Paul and I just returned from Victoria, British Columbia.  After staying for a month last summer we both were eager to return.  On a whim I contacted the owner of the vacation rental we used last year.  It was serendipitous that there was a vacancy for two weeks at the end of September. So I made some quick plans to escape the heat of the desert and we were off.

Entrance to our cozy bungalow in Oak Bay.
Lovely garden and arbor in our bungalow backyard.

We stayed within walking distance of the village of Oak Bay.  We were eager to explore the village once again and meet the locals.  And meet the locals we did!  

Lovely Flower Shop in Oak Bay Village
Nice sidewalk display of produce at Fairway Market in Oak Bay Village

Here are just a few of our experiences.  First we reconnected with Val H. whom we met last summer at The Oaks Restaurant, a popular local eatery.  We had a wonderful conversation about life and travels as if we were long lost friends.  Next we met Yvonne E. at the bus stop on her way to play bridge with girlfriends downtown. In a very short time we learned she had been a travel consultant and was full of many stories. We have a standing invitation to join her for tea  at her home during our next visit.  At our favorite pastry shop, “Pure Vanilla”, we met a delightful couple, Ginny and Wilf L.  Wilf had a 35 year career in the Royal Navy. We visited their “English cottage”, as Ginny calls it, for tea, cookies and a view of their beautiful garden with 6 foot dahlias and so much more. 

Abundant bakeries and cafes. This is Paul’s favorite.

Another happenstance experience was that we stayed next store to a couple from Vail, AZ, Elayne and Carlos R., whom we met there last summer. Victoria is their choice for a summer getaway!  We did not have a car and they graciously showed us some sites outside of our neighborhood.

Each day we walked different paths to the village to view the beautiful architecture and lovely residential gardens.  While walking different streets to get to the village I uncovered lots of charming small gardens.  Flowers of Oak Bay!

Creative rock display!

Not only is Victoria known for their hospitality but also its gardens!  Butchart Garden is world renown for its expansive display of flowers in five main gardens.  It is a must to see!

One of five gardens in Butchart Gardens

The harbors and waterways are everywhere. Here are a few!

Harbor at Sidney Bay
Inner Harbor of Victoria
Coastal areas are full of driftwood, Gonzales Beach

Now it’s time to get back to the glass studio!

Love to all!

Mary

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