The minute we arrived at the English Inn, we felt like we were in England, without spending 9 hours on a transatlantic flight. The splendid manor house, the spacious well kept grounds, including a replica of an Elizabethan street and the cosy, charming rooms made this place a perfect get-away.
The manor house comes with an interesting history. It was built in 1906 for a Yorkshire-born realtor and developer who brought over artisans from England and Scotland to work on the project. Walking around the building, we noticed many fine details. Imagine the amazing parties that were held here over the years. Oh the stories these walls could tell.
The knowledgeable staff were very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. After a restful sleep in a most comfortable bed, we woke up to the aroma of fresh baked croissants wafting through the building. The complimentary breakfast, served in a bright room overlooking the patio and gardens, included these melt-in-your-mouth croissants.
We enjoyed a number of walks around the tranquil 5 acre property, discovering something new and unique at every turn. We visited in March so the gardens were just waking up from winter but were still very lovely. I can only imagine how fabulous they are in the summer.
There is plenty of places to wander, sit and read (or write) a book, paint a picture or just day dream in this fairytale-like environment. Should you wish to visit down town Victoria or the inner harbour, both are just minutes away. The lobby is bright and cheerful with a pleasant lounge to enjoy a drink and a fireplace where we shared a pot of tea before retiring.
I highly recommend this place, especially if you need a break from the modern, busy lifestyle many of us lead. It was perfect for a girlfriend get-away and would be an ideal location for a wedding, family reunion or special event.
Visit the website http://www.englishinn.ca/
English Inn is located at 429 Lampson Street
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V9A5Y9
Central Reservations: 1.866.388.4353
Direct Line or to reach a guest: 1.250.388.4353
I tend to celebrate my birthday the entire month of March, and sometimes longer. I have a very good friend from Calgary who also has a March birthday and we often try to meet some place different to celebrate our birthdays. This year we chose Victoria, the capital city of BC. It was a perfect choice as the cherry blossoms were out and the spring flowers were beginning to bloom. We did some fun and unique things over the three days we spent together. Here is a summary.
We stayed at The English Inn, a unique historic site set on 5 acres with Tudor style buildings and amazing gardens. The main manor, which is the Inn, was built in 1906. It was the perfect setting for two women with active imaginations. I plan to write more about this wonderful establishment.
We enjoyed sampling the various ciders at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. A young staff member treated us to a tour, explaining the process of making apple cider and showing us the certified organic apple orchard overlooking the sea.
A thirty minute drive took us to the town of Sooke where we visited the Sooke Region Museum, had a refreshing walk down Wiffin Spit and stopped in at Sooke Harbour House, another historic building originally built in 1929 and filled with art and artefacts.
We participated in a self guided walking tour of Chinatown which we found fascinating. The highlight was a visit to a Buddhist Temple located in a tall, thin building. After climbing 59 stairs, we were invited to burn incense and received a blessing. A very moving experience. There is so much history in that part of the city. The visit would not have been complete without a delicious meal at an authentic Chinese restaurant.
Another interesting stop was at the Ross Bay Villa, an 1865 Historic House Museum. This wonderful find was slatted for demolition in 1999 but was saved and restored by hard working volunteers who have brought it back to its original life. We were given a tour by a well informed volunteer and felt we had stepped back in time.
There is so much to see and do in Victoria. We tried to do things off the beaten path. We had amazing meals, great conversation and lots of time for relaxing. As you can see, we both enjoy historical sites and especially old houses. It was the perfect get-away for good friends with similar interests.
Do you enjoy getting away with a friend from time to time?
I have recently had a couple of fun weekends that I plan to write about here soon. In the meantime you might enjoy this article posted on Travel Thru History last week. A little known Spanish destination you may want to put on your must see list.
CUENCA AND THE CASA COLGADAS
by Darlene Foster
My first thought upon observing the houses of the Spanish city of Cuenca, was that I wouldn’t want to be a sleep walker if I lived in one of them. This unique city, tucked away in the mountains of Castilla-La Mancha, is famous for its casa colgadas, or hanging houses, perched on top of cliffs surrounding a deep gorge carved out by two rivers. Due to limited space, the former inhabitants of the old city built their houses close to the edge, on a rocky mountaintop. Over the centuries, the relentless wind eroded the lime stone cliffs leaving some houses clinging precariously to the edge. A few balconies actually jut out over the ravine, which would make sleepwalking indeed dangerous.
Read the rest of the article here:
Would you like to live that close to the edge?
A wonderful blogging friend of mine, Debra Eve, has a great blog called Late Bloomer. I met Debra when we were both guest authors on Gary Doi’s blog, A Hopeful Sign. Recently she posted a moving story about High River, Alberta; a town damaged by the terrible floods last summer.
Debra also has some stories in a recently published book complied by Gary Doi, Inspiring Hope One Story at a Time, All net proceeds from Inspiring Hope will be donated to the Asturias Academy Library in Xela, Guatemala—a private, non-profit Pre K-12 school dedicated to helping the most vulnerable students in the community.
Please hop on over to her blog and read about the town, the book and an update on Momo the amazing cat.
I love my copy of Inspiring Hope and everyone loves Momo!
You know how I love to encourage young writers. Today’s fun post is part of a Choose Your Own Story written and hosted by T. Isenhoff and M. Isenhoff on their Storyboys blog. T. is in 3rd grade, and M. is in 6th grade. This story was their winter home-school project. A number of us have agreed to feature part of the story on our blogs. Travel over to the boys’ blog to start at the beginning. Have fun!
Here’s the permalink to the boys’ first post http://wp.me/p2bspO-5A then follow the rest until you get to my post. Happy reading!
Both boys let out screams like little girls with spiders on their shoulders.
A shot rang out, silencing the noise. A trickle of plaster fell down on their heads from a bullet hole in the ceiling. “Shut it, or the next shot will find your hide.”
The boys clamped their mouths shut. Coach Theodore motioned them into the room with his gun. They went without objection.
“What are you going to do with us?” Ed asked.
The coach kept his gun trained on the boys. “What choice have you left me?” he answered. “You know too much.”
Tony gulped and clutched his football a little tighter. He’d best keep the man talking. “How’d you get away with the jewelry?” he asked.
Coach Theodore laughed. “The cops in this town are idiots. A little planning and I outwit them every time.”
“You’ve done this before?” Ed asked.
“Why should I tell you?” Coach asked.
“No reason,” Ed yelped.
“What are you going to do with all the loot?” Tony asked.
“I have buyers,” he answered. “The internet is a wonderful source for remaining anonymous. This jewelry will bring a fortune. Then I can resign from coaching football.”
The coach shifted his attention to the jewels for a split second. It was all the time Tony needed. He grasped his football and threw it directly at the gun. It hit its mark, knocking the weapon from the man’s hand and sending it skittering across the room and under a wardrobe.
“Run!” Tony screamed.
The boys rushed out of the room and barely touched the stairs on their way down to the door. They hopped on their bikes and pedaled like mad. When they were a few blocks away, Tony pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911.
“Hello? We’ve just been inside the old Cursed Mansion and found the hideout of the jewelry thief. Coach Theodore is the thief!”
“Who is this?” the voice on the other end replied.
“Tony the Phony? I remember you.” It was quiet for a moment on the line. “You know it’s illegal to prank call this emergency number, don’t you?”
“This isn’t a joke!” Tony cried. “Send someone to the mansion and you’ll see for yourself.”
The voice sighed. “We’ll send someone along shortly.”
“If you wait too long, Coach will be gone!” he screamed.
That evening, the boys heard on the news that police had found the hideout of the jewelry thief. They had a suspect in mind, but the crook had gotten away.
“Wouldn’t you know it?” Ed asked. “If the police had believed us a little sooner, we could be famous crime solvers.”
“I just wish my new coach could have seen that throw,” Tony mourned.
What a great project! Fabulous job boys. Keep writing more intriguing stories like this.
I’m featured over at Clara Bowman-Jahn’s blog. Pop over and say Hello! You may learn something new about me, you never know.
Originally posted on Clarbojahn's Blog:
Today we have a special treat of an interview with the AMANDA series by Darlene Foster, from our very own blogging community. And I should also say from our own kidlit community that we all love being part of. So it is with extreme pleasure that I present, Darlene Foster!
Thanks so much for answering these questions for the interview. I never get tired of reading an authors journey from idea to publication. And you have so intrigued me with your AMANDA series. It is an awesome accomplishment. Congratulations to you.
CBJ: 1– What brought you to the land of writing, Darlene?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. English was my favorite subject in school. I’ve been creating stories for a long time. I was raised on a ranch in southern Alberta, Canada, which was a great life but a bit lonely for a…
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I don’t like the idea of getting older. In fact I fight it tooth and nail. On the other hand, I also realize it is a privilege denied to many and am thankful I am able to continue to enjoy this wonderful life. On Friday I turned a year older, like it or not.
I was greeted in the morning with a lovely card and a bouquet of tulips, my favourite flowers, from my DH
At work, the participants in my workshop, after learning it was my birthday, made me a sweet card. I was touched.
At the end of the day I was surprised with a delicious birthday cake from my co-workers.
Photo by Jean François Filion
The next day, DH booked us into The River Rock Casino Resort for an over night stay. This luxury hotel is only a thirty minute drive from our house but it felt like we were in Las Vegas.
The well designed lobby contains waterfalls, totem poles and even a friendly bear. We don’t gamble but the casino on site created a lively and exciting atmosphere. A theatre featuring many interesting and well known musicians is also part of the resort. A great place for people watching while sipping a caramel rockachino and nibbling on a white chocolate and cranberry sconce. Sorry, but I was too busy relaxing to take pictures of the food.
Our suite was spacious enough for a party and overlooked the marina. A package of yummy chocolate macaroons was delivered to the room in honour of my birthday. The overnight stay included a relaxation massage. While I enjoyed my much needed massage at the Absolute spa, DH made use of the fitness centre over looking the pool area.
The number of restaurants to choose from for our dinner, made it hard to decide. I had a Mojito and a fabulous spiced pear salad with goat cheese and grilled prawns at The Curve which was perfect. DH was happy with his butter chicken and on tap beer. The best thing was a compliment on my hair cut by the young waiter!
After a fabulous sleep on the oh so comfy bed, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the buffet with many tasty choices before heading back home. We didn’t travel far but what a nice get-away to celebrate another year of living.
Text messages from both of the kids, a phone call from Mom and another from my younger brother. Cards from all over the world and 140 messages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; I was sure feeling the love.
I guess getting older is not so bad after all.