Victoria Day 2 Part 1

Continued from Victoria Day 1.

We slept in today because this was supposed to be a day full of compromises. OC had a work conference call that was scheduled right in the middle of the day from 11 until 12. We wanted to see Butchart Garden today, but all the tour buses leave before her conference call begins. We thought about taking an early public bus to Butchart garden and try to find wifi around the area, but there is nothing much around Butchart Garden. Last night, as we went to bed, our decision was to rent a car at 12, after her conference call, then just drive over to Butchart Garden ourselves.

The morning came around, and when OC checked her email, it turns out that the conference call had be cancelled. Work has been frustrating for OC throughout this trip. Deadlines kept on getting pushed back, and scheduling has been shifted around nonstop. For today, it’s good news that the conference call got cancelled last minute as this enables us to get a rental car earlier in the morning and show up to Butchart Garden early.

I went down to the lobby and got us a rental car. The Empress has a partnership with Budget car rental and we were able to rent a compact for only $29! That’s pretty damn good. I also exchanged for some CAD just in case we needed it.

There is a mail chute between the elevators. I’d imagine this was built into the hotel back when mail was the primary form of communication.

Grey and drizzling. The forecast called for only 20% chance of rain. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Literally around the corner from our hotel is the bus station. This is the bus that will take us from Victoria into Vancouver tomorrow.

In search of breakfast, we saw this. Well, it wasn’t so awesome because their food selection sucked, so we walked in and walked out.

The Budget office is located right behind our hotel. I will say this about our hotel; it’s got a damn great location in the middle of all transportation options.

I made my way into Budget to get the car while OC went into this place for some breakfast that we can eat in the car.

We got a Mazda 2 as our compact. Sweet. Fun car to drive on the track.

On our way.

I was going to say that I’ve never driven a car with the metric system. But thinking about it more carefully, that’s not true. I’ve driven a car in Taiwan.

Making decent time.

Some sort of odd pastry with sausage for breakfast. Little did I know then that this would be the only food I’ll have all day until dinner.

It was about a 30 minutes drive to the garden.

Cost wise, it was $29 for car rental. Taking a tour bus including the price of admission would have been $50 a person. Price for admission into the garden is $19.15(before tax) on Nov 1st(today), but the admission price was $24.75 Oct 31. We made the cut for the low season price. We made out pretty well.

They offer small clear umbrellas for the visitors. Later I found out they were small because of some of the smaller passage ways that they have to fit through.

There were very few people out here since it’s rainy and off season. Even the onsite restaurants were closed.

Beautiful! Sunken Garden. I came here years and years ago as a kid, and I remember this garden in particular. It takes quite a bit to impress a teenage boy with flowers, and I was impressed. Unfortunately, lots of the flowers are not in bloom because of the season, but we do get the multicolored fall foliage.

Many of the photos came out fuzzy because of the constant drizzle and fog.

We clapped our hands. Nothing happened.

How fitting. The first umbrella that OC picked up had a rip in it. This replacement one had a red maple leaf stuck to it.

The leaf would stay stuck to the umbrella through the duration of our visit.

Florescent purple berries.

Apple tree.

These were crazy looking things.

This is the rose garden with 250 different types of roses. Unfortunately, almost nothing is in bloom here due to the season. This was my biggest disappointment during this visit.

Rose, why have you forsaken me?

Pity blooms.

Entering Japanese garden through this torii gate

Moss all over Japanese garden! I love moss.

Zen. The Japanese garden is probably the best garden to be viewed in this season and weather. Japanese gardens don’t typically contain too many flowers, so most seasons tend to work decent for it.

Impossibly red leaves, and on top of that, moss growing on the top side of the branches. Mind. Blown.

We sat down in this canopy in the middle of the Japanese Garden.

I thought that was a funny sign. It’s trying to show that this is not the way to the restroom(located behind my back), but way-finding fail.

Crazy looking tree branches.

Gardeners were all over the grounds preparing the place for real tourists during the real tourism season.

Would be more beautiful if the flowers were in bloom.

I like this one.

The toilets are flushed many at a time. I can’t figure out whether the flush is on a timer or sensor because it just randomly flushes. Probably timer.

Is this Crane’s Canada division?


I still remember this sign from my first visit to Butchart Garden as a teenager. We took a family photo in front of this sign. My late grandfather was holding the camera(S45, two generations predecessor to my S95), and without warning, he accidentally drops the camera. The camera survived with just a dent, but that didn’t save grandpa from a whole earful from grandma. I still remember that scene very well. It was also at that moment that I realized my grandpa was getting old. I need to find my old photo from the first time I was here. I too am getting old. Will I look back years from now at this photo and point out that it was at this moment that I realized I too have aged?

This may be the most unusual thing for me to see at Butchart Garden – banana trees. I can’t believe they have them in this climate.

Back on the road to explore some more of Vancouver Island.

We are taking a route that follows the coastline.

To be continued at Victoria Day 2 Part 2.

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