Thursday, August 7, 2014

Alaska or Bust . . . Part 3

After leaving the Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska, it seemed nearly impossible that we could  encounter scenery as beautiful anywhere else on our journey.

Then our last stop was Victoria, British Columbia.

Hey, no time for any monkey business, we have places to go and people to see!

A short drive from the pier, the world's tallest totem pole, 127 feet and seven inches tall.

I met my good friend and colleague, Daphne Greig. She's a pattern writer, owner of Patchworks Studio and lives in Victoria. Daphne was my tour guide for the day. She's currently running a "Flowers on Friday" Summer Challenge. Check it out on her blog.

Our first stop (aside from the Totem Pole) is Butchart Gardens. In the early 20th century, this property included an limestone quarry. Once the quarry was exhausted, Jennie Butchart got busy building a gardener's paradise! Even before you get inside, visitors get a shock of brilliant color.

Hydrangeas the size of footballs!

Begonias . . .

Hummingbirds were buzzing around the fancy fuchsia blooms just moments before.

The garden is split into sections. This gateway opens to the rose garden. . .

. . . where roses of all shape and size were in full, fragrant bloom. There were red ones. . .

. . . white ones . . .

. . . multi-color . . .

 . . . pretty pale pink. . .

. . . sunny yellow. . .

 . . . blooms at every stage, from tight buds to fully blossomed.

There were plants that almost looked like they dropped in from outer space!

Edges of color . . .

 . . . Busy bees. . .

Dahlias. . .

More color, color, color!

Another totem pole, this one featuring carvings of the eagle, bear, salmon, and orca.

Hard to believe that this was he main part of the limestone quarry.

At the entrance to the Japanese garden, a sculpture fountain, with the original Butchart home in the background.

You are never far away from the sea on Victoria Island.

Lilly pond.

All these flowers can make a quilter hungry. Time for some lunch with Daphne.

Awesome view just outside the restaurant.

Then a drive back to the ship, past The Empress Hotel, where high tea is served in the grandest style.

 . . . and there's a quilt shop stop along the way!

In Victoria, flowers are everywhere you look.

Absolutely everywhere!

Back on the ship, time to start the journey home. At the pier in Seattle again.

But first, all that luggage that went on has to come off.

And the ship needs to be re-supplied with lots and lots of goodies for the next group of passengers.

With a couple of days in Seattle, we headed back to Pike Place Market. Something about this sign struck me as funny. What exactly is the message here? I think one thing is clear, mom doesn't want to deal with dirty diapers!

On a Seattle sidewalk. Looks like a quilt pattern to me!

Seattle Icon, the Space Needle.

Then on to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. Seattle-ite, Dale Chihuly turns glass into giant blown glass sculptures.

This was in the ceiling in one of the exhibit rooms.

Glass forest. . .

A close-up. . .

The sculpture continues in the gardens as well.

The Seattle Great Wheel, a must-do! (We did!)

One last look at the Puget Sound. . .

 . . . before ascending into the clouds.

You know, a trip like this creates so many memorable photo opportunities. But really, it's not about the 'what,' it's about the 'who'--the people you meet along the journey who make any trip a truly important memory. . .

Like the Mounty (Canadian Royal Mounted Police) on board. His horse, Bob, was on the ship, too. But we didn't meet Bob.

Our dining room wait staff, Kevin, and Roj. By the end of the week, they were more like our best buddies than our waiters!

Captain Gustavo stopped by the quilting room a couple of times during the week. Aside from his being a cutie pie, his Argentinian accent made listening to his daily announcements a real treat.

Gail, my on board roommate for the week, and Ashley, my long-time friend who now lives in Seattle, oh so far away from Syracuse. Before and after the cruise, we got to have some good, old-fashioned girly time together.

Jacquelyn. Our Quilt Retreat at Sea 'Mom.'

Michelle. Our Quilt Retreat at Sea Behind-the-Scenes Everything Person.

. . . and the quilters. If you didn't come, this would not have been very much fun at all!

I hope you enjoyed this photo journal. Next time, join in on the fun and come on the cruise! Hugs and  . . .

Happy Stitching!

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