Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hanging with Amy 2016: Coastal and inner city Victoria

Early Saturday morning Amy and I drove up to Anacortes to take the ferry over to Sidney, BC. I've actually taken a different ferry all 3 times I've gone to Victoria - #1 Victoria Clipper passenger ferry, #2 Port Angeles to Victoria ferry, and now #3 Anacortes to Sidney. Of all three, this was by far the best. Unless all you want to do is walk around the city, there are just too many limitations by coming without a vehicle, plus we had to go 30 miles south to Seattle just to ferry back up north. On the second trip we took the ferry from Port Angeles because they had the only time frame that would work for us. Unfortunately that also meant hopping on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry on a crazy busy Friday, which was uncomfortably tight making it to our next ferry. I definitely think Anacortes to Sidney is the way to go. There are only two departures daily, but you get gorgeous views of the San Juan islands as you travel, and your arrival in Sidney isn't nearly as busy as downtown Victoria. 
The boat stops in the San Juans to pick up more people but doesn't let anyone off. We enjoyed our brief tour of Friday Harbor.
 There are islands galore! Some of them are privately owned and have big fancy houses on them while others are uninhabited.

I definitely wanted to take Amy up to Mount Douglas for its fabulous 360 degree views.
Amy enjoyed finding a rock to sit on and take in the lovely view.
A butterfly must have followed us up here from the butterfly museum.

Pretty coastal views
We attempted selfies, but they looked horrible, so we asked some nice people to take our picture instead. 

For lunch we ate some delicious focaccia at Pagliacci restaurant. The food here is amazing!

We stayed at an Airbnb with a lady who owned this sweet kitty named Wednesday. We took a little nap after lunch but before going to Butchart Gardens, and he was all kinds of lovey.

This is what the kiddos were up to back at home. Tyler may or may not have tossed all those hangers into the play pen. I have no idea how his diaper ended up halfway down his bum during his nap.

Oscar was all on his own with both kids for several hours at church the next morning. Allie took her first selfie in Sacrament meeting.

The next morning we took it easy after our long day at the gardens. After breakfast at White Castle Amy went out exploring while I went to church, which was conveniently located on the same street only a mile away from where we were staying. People were super friendly and welcoming. They're very used to visitors. It had some interesting architecture too. I'm not convinced that it was always an LDS church since the layout seemed very different from any LDS chapel I've been in. I wondered if it hadn't once belonged to a different denomination that was later purchased by us.

After we checked out we went down to Beacon Hill Park. I immediately found their playground since that's the first thing I look for now that I'm a mom, even if I don't have my kids with me.
The pretty stone bridge
We look so cute with the lillypads!
I said to Amy "that's pretty. Go hop in there." She kindly obliged. :)

We stopped here since we hadn't had enough pretty flowers yet. :)

Later we wandered down to the coastline and even dipped our feet in the water. Amy loved the water temperature!
Here's the full coastal view

And the lovely beach

We found a log to hang out on while we listened to the waves and took in the sea breeze.

Amy still hadn't been to the main square downtown, so we wandered around down there for a bit and fortunately found some free street parking that wasn't too far away.

We then took the long route back to Sidney via the coast as much as possible.
Pictures don't do justice for this coastal lookout we found.

Finding food along our route was a bit challenging, but eventually we found this cute little seaside restaurant in Cordova Bay. The food was good but there were a few relentless bees that just refused to leave us alone.

If I ever come back with the kids, this is where we'll come to play.

Our return ferry had a longer wait than we were expecting. We'd gone through customs in Canada on the way in, so we assumed we'd go through Customs in the states on the way back. We ended up going through it twice in both Canada and the US. Amy actually laughed out loud when the security guard asked if we were returning with less than $800 worth of purchases.

We got there way too late to get a window seat (which was partly my fault for turning down the wrong lane), so we sat up in the seats at the very front.
It was much sunnier on our return trip. 

I've always loved this view when I'm on a big boat.

We stopped in Friday Harbor again, and since people got off this time, we were able to snag a window seat.
Our window view!
The best part was the sunset from the rear of ship as we were arriving in Anacortes. The worst part was still needing to drive over an hour to get home and get in super late.

Amy was leaving the next day, but she wanted to check out the Seattle Central library before she took off.
We explored Seattle for a bit afterwards, and inadvertently found ourselves in some less desirable areas. Fortunately we found some nice places too, like this little cafe.

And to finish off Amy's stay, we stopped at Macrina Bakery for some tasty treats.
Amy's view on her flight home
I'd say we definitely ended her trip on a bang!

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