Our beloved little Taxicab helping GJ make a drawing.

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Our friend Annie is embarking on a whole new life. We spent part of the day yesterday celebrating in the sun: watching a Flamenco performance at the Victoria Flamenco Festival, fabric shopping at Gala Fabrics, and enjoying iced Maple Maccha Lattes at JagaSilk. The daifuku was delicious and my favourite latte was even better iced.

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For our walk last week, we were treated to a lovely stormy day. In spite of all the clouds, the day remained quite dry – it was wonderful weather for walking, and very dramatic.

At this early stage of our walk, we were wondering if we would be able to stay warm and dry.

At this early stage of our walk, we were wondering if we would be able to stay warm and dry.

A window of blue above the Empress Hotel.

A window of blue above the Empress Hotel.

Float plane landing on the harbour.

Float plane landing on the harbour.

More blue sky peeking through.

More blue sky peeking through.

On Dallas Road looking towards Metchosin.

On Dallas Road looking toward Metchosin.

Someone added some art to this sign on Dallas Road, near Ogden Point.

Someone added some art to this sign on Dallas Road, near Ogden Point.

My birthday was a couple weeks ago and I was overwhelmed with beautiful local gifts. Here are a few pics –

Our dear Annie made me a beautiful wrap top from gorgeous Indian print cotton. There was also a beautiful stitched small placemat and some other fabric gifts (plus some candy, which didn't last long enough to make it into the photo!).

Our dear Annie made me a beautiful wrap top from gorgeous Indian print cotton. There was also a beautiful stitched small placemat and some other fabric gifts (plus some candy, which didn’t last long enough to make it into the photo!).

Annie makes most of her own clothes, a talent which is awe-inspiring to me!

Annie makes most of her own clothes, a talent which is awe-inspiring to me!

And, she made us a lovely meal and delicious gin and rosewater cocktails!

And, she made us a lovely meal and delicious gin and rosewater cocktails!

Oh yummy! Preserves by our dear friend Rebecca. She sells from the Moss Street Market on Saturdays. The apple pear mince is amazing on ice cream.

Oh yummy! Preserves by our dear friend Rebecca. She sells from the Moss Street Market on Saturdays. The apple pear mince is amazing on ice cream.

Friends J and M gave me a beautiful wooden box, lovingly adorned with raffia and rosemary.  It was emanating a delicate smell.

Friends J and M gave me a beautiful wooden box, lovingly adorned with raffia and rosemary. It was emanating a delicate smell.

When I peeked inside…

When I peeked inside…

Ta da! No, not a box of fruit, but hand-carved soaps made to look like fruit. The maker, Laura-Victoria Handmilled Soaps, has been making beautiful soap for more than 30 years. The scents are gentle – like lemon and herbs – not necessarily the fruit they represent.

Ta da! No, not a box of fruit, but hand-carved soaps made to look like fruit. The maker, Laura-Victoria Handmilled Soaps, has been making beautiful soap for more than 30 years. The scents are gentle – like lemon and herbs – not necessarily the fruit they represent.

And the second layer – vegetables – also in the same lovely scents as the fruits.

And the second layer – vegetables – also in the same lovely scents as the fruits.

Haven't been able to use them yet; they are just too pretty!

Haven’t been able to use them yet; they are just too pretty!

Abundance from friends who grow and raise much of their own food. Eggs, vegetables, herbs and jam – yum, yum, yum!

Abundance from friends who grow and raise much of their own food. Eggs, vegetables, herbs and jam – yum, yum, yum!

As I walked along the Inner Harbour the other morning, I noticed how vibrant and eye-catching were the “Welcome to Victoria” flower beds along the lower causeway. The gardening staff of the city have chosen a very pretty yellow for the beds this year. It shines from a long way off!

Cheery flower beds welcome all our visitors!

Cheery flower beds welcome all our visitors!

All the lamp standards downtown are adorned with hanging flower baskets.

All the lamp standards downtown are adorned with hanging flower baskets.

Closeup looking towards the historic Victoria Steamship Terminal, now the Robert Bateman Centre, a coffee shop, and a restaurant.

Closeup looking towards the historic Victoria Steamship Terminal – now the Robert Bateman Centre, a coffee shop, and a restaurant.

Welcome to Victoria detail.

Welcome to Victoria detail.

And just for fun, flags outside the lobby of the Inn at Laurel Point, just a little further along my route.

And just for fun, flags outside the lobby of the Inn at Laurel Point, just a little further along my route.

This week we had a short, but sweet, vacation in Vancouver. It had been much too long since we were there. I love the vibrancy and diversity of this beautiful city; to see so many people, locals and tourists, out enjoying themselves – cycling, walking, swimming, eating. So many opportunities to experience art, culture, and amazing natural beauty. Dark side? Sure. It’s a large, expensive city, with a substantial divide between rich and poor. Overall, however, a gem in a beautiful part of the world, our Canadian west coast. Highlights: staying at the Sylvia Hotel; taking False Creek Ferries to Granville Island; delicious dinner at Vij’s; dessert at Bella Gelateria in Yaletown; seawall walk at Stanley Park; Vancouver Art Gallery and Gallery Café.

The view of English Bay from our beautiful 7th-floor room at the Sylvia Hotel which is perfectly situated in the West End, near Stanley Park.

The view of English Bay from our beautiful 7th-floor room at the Sylvia Hotel which is perfectly situated in the West End, near Stanley Park.

Snacks from Ayoubs and coffee in our beautiful room at the Sylvia Hotel.

Snacks from Ayoubs and coffee in our beautiful room at the Sylvia Hotel.

Pre-breakfast walk along the Stanley Park Sea Wall.

Pre-breakfast walk along the Stanley Park seawall.

Smokey skies from many nearby forest fires.

Smokey skies from many nearby forest fires.

The patio at the Gallery Cafe, Vancouver Art Gallery.

The patio at the Gallery Café, Vancouver Art Gallery.

City view with starling.

City view with starling.

My birthday cake treat at the Cafe.

My birthday cake treat at the Café.

The beautiful Vancouver Art Gallery. There are several interesting shows on right now. Big changes are happening for the VAG, with a new facility well into planning stages.

The beautiful Vancouver Art Gallery. There are several interesting shows on right now. Big changes are happening for the VAG, with a new facility well into planning stages.

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