A Home: Vancouver Island, BC

 1) Downtown Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, 2) Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel Tea Lobby, 3) The Fairmont Empress Hotel 
Photos by C. Mahoney (Thanks, Mom!)

Our whirlwind trip to Vancouver Island, BC was a wonderful time spent with my family and a positive refresher on the places we used to frequent some fourteen years ago. We all loved Victoria, regardless of the chilly weather and long journey we went through to get there (snow, falling trees, blocked roads, high winds), and it was fun to reminisce and make new memories in that beautiful city! I would love to go back again and further explore all the shops and restaurants in the city. Notable stops were Murchie's Tea and Coffee, an impressive shop and restaurant with an extensive array of teas and coffees, Afternoon Tea with my mom and sister at the Empress (yum, just yum. Scones, Battenberg cake, and curried chicken salad on croissants!), a lovely antique shop where I bought some vintage photographs very inexpensively, and the indoor shopping mall on the main street, which was quite nice (although not exactly Fashion Valley). 

All in all, it was a very meaningful trip to me and it coloured in my childhood memories really well.  We were able to drive past our old home in Comox, take a peak at our old blackberry patch and the driveway where my dad used to park his Firebird, and stop at the park where my sister and I used to play among the wildflowers and driftwood.  We got to marvel once more at the great expanse of natural, rugged beauty on the coastline there. I know how lucky we've been to live in some of the most beautiful places in the US, but wow...I felt so privileged just to see that amazing landscape again. The ferry trips were some of my favourite memories from BC, and I was happy to revisit the squashy blue chairs and dogwood signs as we chugged across the water from place to place.   

Seattle, where we stayed a day on our return trip, was also very fun to visit again and I hope to go back there sometime soon...I felt immense envy over the locals' access to Pike Place Market (So much fresh food! Flowers! Music! Cool people!) and The Elliot Bay Book Company (of which I give full credit to my mom for making this a high point of the trip).

The trip was short, but very special and a much needed vacation with my parents and sister. I'm very thankful that we had the opportunity to go! When you move around as a child, you become very familiar with the phrase, "you can always go back," and unfortunately it's not often convenient. I may not have lived in Comox for fourteen years, but it's still a version of home to me, and I was so glad to confirm that upon returning.   
Hope everyone had a good break, and good luck to all settling back in to this semester!

 Downtown Victoria.