Darlene Foster's Blog

Visiting Victoria with a Good Friend

Posted on: April 10, 2014

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.


Sampling ciders

Sampling various ciders

Apple orchard by the sea

Apple orchard by 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.

Triangle Island Lighthouse at Sooke Regional Museum

Triangle Island Lighthouse at Sooke Regional Museum



A comfy bench at Wiffin Spit

A comfy bench at Wiffin Spit

Driftwood octopus

Driftwood squid outside Sooke Harbour House

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.


Note the address of the Buddhist Temple

Note the address of the Buddhist Temple


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.

Ross Bay Villa

Ross Bay Villa

2014-03-22 15.46.43

Imagine how lovely this will be in full bloom. The tiles are exact replicas of the original tiles

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?

30 Responses to "Visiting Victoria with a Good Friend"

Though, I don’t really get the opportunity to vacation often, I have turned occasion locum jobs in rural South Australia into a solo mini holidays.

But they’re no where near as beautiful as this Darlene. I trust you had a gorgeous time and I love that you shared these images.

Thanks so much for stopping by Dean. I do live in a beautiful part of the world although I would love to visit Australia as I know there are many wonderful places there as well.

This looks like a beautiful place! 🙂

It is beautiful and fun!

What a wonderful trip and experience!!! Loved all your pictures and the place you stayed looks like it was a fabulous place. So glad you had a fun time.

You would love it Beth Ann. I’ll write more about the English Inn soon.

Beautiful part of the world, Darlene, especially in Springtime. Brings back a lot of great memories too. We too look forward to several trips with friends over the coming months… the next one will be to the San Juan Islands, not so far away.

We are fortunate to have so many fabulous places to visit right on our doorsteps.

Very nice photos. I was recently in Victoria too. It was so lovely to be there again.

Victoria and area never disappoints. WE are lucky to live close by. Even the ferry ride is special. We saw Orcas on the way back to the mainland.

What a great place to celebrate your birthday with a friend. It looks like a place that would encourage the imagnation. I believe in celebrating brithdays the day before, the day of and the day after. Like your idea even better.

An entire month of celebrating is good. My hubby says I don’y have a birthday, I have a birth month. I came up with many story ideas during my weekend in Victoria.

This looks like a beautiful city.

It is enchanting. And I only shared a few examples!

Beautiful post Darlene! I just love Victoria and you certainly painted a gorgeous picture. And as for celebrating your birthday for an entire month, I say Woohoo! Happy belated birthday. 🙂 ~Terri

Thank you Terri for the good wishes. Victoria is special to be sure.

It was great to have a mini-holiday before the madness of our move. As I struggle to keep on top of things I mentally revisit the tranquil Victoria get-a-way.

I can’t think of a better travelling companion. It was a much needed break for both of us. Good luck with your move.

I spent a lovely two days in Victoria last summer with a friend (and wedding guest). We took a double decker bus ride around the city and visited the Royal Museum and spent a sunny afternoon at the harbour. Next time I hope to enjoy a high tea and visit the famous gardens and the Robert Bateman Museum. Cannot believe you had cherry blossoms! Look forward to my next visit there.

There is so much to see and do in Victoria. The cherry blossoms make everyone so happy here in the west coast. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m enjoying reading about your Northern adventure.

Looks like a marvelous time, Darlene. Love the photos. The inn is simply beautiful!

You would love this Inn. I’m planning on writing more about it with many more pictures.

I think that taking a whole month to celebrate your birthday is a good thing to do! Victoria looks like a beautiful place… 🙂

This year its even dragging on into April. You would love Victoria!

Hi Darlene. Glad you had such a great birthday.
I too have a March birthday and celebrated this year in that other Victoria, the one in Australia. This year ton the day we flew to Melbourne Vic, with a group of like minded friends to visit some artists in their studios. Then next day we went to MONA the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania. A fantastic day and well worth the visit if you ever get to Australia. We had five lovely days in Tasmania and I will blog about it at some time.

Spring birthdays are so wonderful. Sounds like you celebrated well also! I will check out the MONA when I get to that part of the world. I look foreword to your blog on Tasmania.

I’ve been travelling during the Easter holidays, so I didn’t get to read this. What a wonderful idea it is to celebrate your birthday during the whole month! I must try that. It looks like you had a fantastic time and the pictures are great. Happy Birthday again, even though it is mid April now! 🙂

Thanks so much. I accept birthday greetings at any time. Glad you enjoyed the pictures, it was wonderful. Hope you had a great holiday!

Driftwood squid really cool. Father used to make lamps from driftwood shapes.

There were a number of interesting driftwood items around. I really liked the squid. He had character.

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