There’s been a whole lot of ‘Tally Ho’ the last thirteen days. And today was to be no different.
We were going to tour my sole vacation ‘must-do’ — Victoria and The Butchart Gardens. My husband had built our trip around these by adding two extra days in Vancouver.
Plans fell into place like clockwork, with a tour company who specializes in local whale watching. In waters around Vancouver, it’s not unusual to spot Humpbacks, Gray Whales and Orcas this time of the year. And another chance to be near whales in their natural habitat sounded a perfect way to travel to Victoria.
Walking into the cool morning light, we arrived at the dock. First. After checking in with the tour operator, we bought a sandwich to share on the boat. I didn’t want to spend any of our 4.5 hours on the island eating lunch, once we arrived in Victoria at 1:00 PM.
Looking back, there were warning signs. Had this been a movie, perhaps JAW’s music would have accompanied the signs. Waters were choppy round Vancouver. All other whale-watching tour operators canceled today’s tours. Our tour operators wore serious expressions as we boarded. “No going up top,” they told us, as we had at Glacier Bay. Instead, we had to stay seated below, to keep one hand on the rail at all times.
One grew seasick anyway. The rest of us held it together. But forty minutes into our trip, something caused one engine to shut down. One moment we’re rough-riding high seas — the next we’d slowed to a hum, with waves slapping our boat silly.
Wasting no time, the captain turned the boat around. With a nervous smile, our nature guide delivered the bad news: We were limping back to port with one good engine. He was sure the operator would ‘comp’ us for our trouble. But as it turned out, there was no way to compensate the loss for those leaving Vancouver tomorrow. Like us. So we took our credit and went back to the hotel. To regroup.
Our regrouping involved eating our picnic lunch inside our nice hotel room, going out for a quick walk and coming back for nice nap in the best bed I’ve had since leaving home. Then we went out for dinner at a nice restaurant and walked around some more and now I’m here.
From what I can tell about Vancouver, it’s a nice place, a very livable city, full of apartments and young beautiful people who wear sandals and shorts in 68 degree weather. Being a young city, most downtown living spaces are skyscrapers, reminding me in some odd way, of those on The Jetsons. I was glad to see a few old survivors mixed in, which kept my eyes grounded and alert.
But as nice as Vancouver is, I’m content with the way I spent my afternoon. No tally-ho touring today. Just a lowly ho-hum nap which proved good rest for the right knee I injured on Day Two of our vacation — when I forgot I was old rather than young — out-of-shape rather than in — and tally-hoed up a vertical hill that was mankind’s earliest form of skyscraper.
Tomorrow, it will be me limping to my home port on one good knee.
We didn’t to get dock in Victoria either. The winds were to0 strong. So much for the gardens.
Perhaps we’ll have another chance someday. The folks from Lake Jackson, we met on the train up to Denali, spoke of a lovely train trip out of Vancouver to Banff. So I’ve marked that down on my mental list of travel spots. But it won’t be next. Just like you, we’ve already booked next year’s trip.
I’m wondering if you’re home now – I’ve been reading along but it’s been one of those weeks – my first computer crash and my first trip to the computer hospital, and a glaucoma diagnosis that still isn’t fully understood. I go back to Houston Thursday for a couple more tests and a treatment plan.
Anyway, the computer’s back home and functional and I’m getting over the surprise/shock of discovering that, yep, old age is creeping! 😉
You’ll probably have some of the rains from tropical storm Hermine waiting for you. She was a rainmaker here today, and is headed toward OK. Hope your travels have been safe and you found all in order at home. It certainly has been a beautiful trip for you!
I am home, though in a hard-to-describe way, not yet fully here. After a trip, I usually live suspended in a space between vacation and home — it takes time for me to settle in, to pick up the threads of everyday life.
This time I returned to a need to write tonight’s contemplative prayer practice for Everyday God. So I’ve barely had time to think — much less to unpack my thoughts on our trip — which having been there yourself, you know was wonderful.
Oh. But to hear you have glaucoma was a shock. I know the condition only superficially — by name only — as it seems like when one knows more about a disease then that, it’s because we’ve personal experience of it — whether our own or another whose close life we share.
I pray tests go well today — and that the treatment plan you receive is one that fits well with your everyday life — one that cramps neither your zest or creative spirit.
The rain you sent our way was very welcomed. I always love a soft steady rain.
While in Vancouver, did you have a chance to get to Robson’s Street, and visit the Van Art Gallery? Those are my favorite places to visit other than the English Bay and the beach. But I must say I don’t quite like the weather there… that’s why I’m staying put here in Alberta. I’ve enjoyed your travel writing. Thanks for sharing.
We did walk down Robson which I liked very much. Vancouver is very walkable, reminding me of Rome, Paris and London. Our hotel was just a few blocks from Robson St. — so like Paris, I found myself filled with gratitude, to be centrally located.
We missed the Van Art Gallery, as I’m sure we missed many other wonderful places. By the time we landed in Vancouver, we had too little time and too little energy left for exploring…
God willing, I’ll return someday — I understand there’s a scenic rail trip that goes from Vancouver to Banff…