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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Princess Vacation Diaries.... Victoria BC

And then there is the crown jewel of them all. Most people do not go on an Alaskan Cruise only to be excited about the chance to visit Victoria BC.... Or, maybe they do. Maybe it's the name..... Or, maybe it's the fact that when a co-worker went, she said they hired a driver to escort them around in a car like they use for the Queen. When I heard that..... I said..... "Oh, I could totally wear a tiara".... I can hear you say.... "Oh, no, surely she wouldn't" To which I can  assure you.... "Oh, I totally did!"  I found the website with that particular car and Doretta arranged for the driver to pick us up at port and give us the grand tour
of Victoria. This was the best experience ever. Well, maybe not ever, but it was pretty high on the list.  First of all, Gilles P. Proulx, the owner of the car picked us up and treated us like royalty. The car is a 1990 Daimler Limousine. Mr. Proulx put American Flags above the headlights in our honor, which I thought was a thoughtful gesture. This Gentleman, and I say that with all sincerity, went above and beyond to share his passion and love for Victoria with us. From the minute he picked us up, he gave us as much information as possible about Victoria. He answered every question without hesitation.... It was as if
Victoria was a breathing part of him. Doretta and I had discussed prior to our trip whether we should visit the Butchart Gardens. We were only in Victoria for 4 hours so we decided against it. Mr. Proulx encouraged us to go, even though it would be dark. He walked us to the gate and handed us a map. He told us exactly how long he thought it would take for us to have an adequate tour and said he would be waiting for us when we returned. It was twilight when we walked into the gardens, and immediately we were in awe.  Truly there are no words to adequately describe how beautiful and serene it was. The beauty was so intense, it felt like we were in a Disney movie.  As the sun set, we found the surroundings just
as beautiful and surreal due to the use of lighting which only enhanced the experience. We followed the map and were very disappointed we didn't have more time to linger. I kept telling saying.... "Oh, how I wish Daddy could see this.... He would love it" With each twist and turn, we found another surprise. The sunken garden caught us off guard. We walked up to it and found the center lit up with a beautiful fountain of water and lights. The Rose Carousel like something out of a fairytale. It was made of
intricately carved animals, painted in vivid colors. When we wrapped our tour, Mr. Proulx was waiting for us, just as he said he would be. We continued around other parts of the City as he explained the history and answered all of our questions. My husband and I wanted to see Craigdarroch Castle while we were there. We knew it would be too late to tour, but we wanted to drive by. Mr. Proulx not only drove us by, he stopped and explained the history behind it, then he offered to take photos. We walked around the Castle and when we came back to the front, he said..... "Princess, it's getting late, we had better
get you back to the ship before you turn into a pumpkin." He was too much of a gentleman for me to suspect he was hinting that maybe I had visited the chocolate buffet one too many times while at sea.  I was sad to leave. As we drove back to the ship, he continued his tour and stopped to take pictures for us. I have a  bit of a time phobia, or maybe it's abandonment issues even though I've never been abandoned.  Regardless, when I saw the time I was anxious. He assured me we would be back to the ship on time. He
was absolutely right. As we were walking up to the ship, they began to take down one of the boarding ramps.... I was very close to having a panic attack, but my husband calmed me down, telling me they wouldn't leave us when they could see we were coming. He knows me well.  He could tell I was within seconds of..... "Having kittens" as he calls it (my panic attacks). Our visit to Victoria was the best memory of the trip.  Mr. Proulx's  passion was so infectious, it made us all want to visit Victoria at a time when we could stay a while. Victoria in itself is a vacation fit for a princess.


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