martini.typepad.com > V 2003 Dec. Holiday Vacation

Berdeen's Finest

Berdeen's Finest

For $45 (w/ the AAA discount) they paid us to sleep here.


Hwy 101

Hwy 101

No monkeys or tropical birds...but this rainforest was as lush and green as any traveler could hope for. Ya can't hardly tell it is the dead of winter.


Sand and Sea

Sand and Sea

A short walk took us down to this beautiful patch of sand along hwy 101. The sun even made a brief appearance for our visit to "Beach 4." Maybe the Oregon Coast does have a little competition out there.


Skipping rocks...

Skipping rocks...

It didn't take much for us to stop and stretch our legs here. This spot alone made the long way worth it. The air was cold and crisp, while the water looked as smooth as glass.

It was strangely quiet on the shore and our conversation eventually faded to a whisper. We picked a small Evergreen branch to accompany us on our journey as our traveling Christmas tree.


Domaine Madeline -- Bed and Breakfast

Domaine Madeline -- Bed and Breakfast

Darrin is relaxing with a good book and a four olive Grey Goose martini before dinner. Christmas Eve was simply peaceful. It was just us, a crackling fireplace, an enormous Jacuzzi bathtub, and the city of Victoria sparking in the distance. Our private deck looked out across the Straight of Juan de Fuca and presented a breathtaking view of Santa's sleigh among the stars.


"Open Christmas"

"Open Christmas"

I might have drank in a better bar, but I sure don't remember it. This place provided all the necessities for a pleasurable hour and half wait on Christmas morning-- disco ball, Johnny Cash, Crown Royal, and orange plastic chairs. I guess there was one thing missing...don't worry, PTP has plans for this place.


Canadian Water -- Eh?

Canadian Water -- Eh?

Here we are crossing the Straight of de Fuca via ferry on Christmas Day. The trip took only 90 minutes and was extremely pleasant. We shared some nachos and eagerly awaited our arrival in Victoria.


Humboldt House Bed and Breakfast

Humboldt House Bed and Breakfast

Just a short walk to downtown, this charming place was our home for Christmas night. We stayed in the "Oriental Room" on the top floor and especially enjoyed the oversized black bath and wood-burning fireplace. There was sherry and fresh baked cookies waiting for us in the parlor and a very friendly gentleman showed us to our room. Good vibes all around.


Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

After a quick tour of the impressive Empress Hotel, we walked along the waterfront to enjoy the boats. Along our journey we crossed paths with a man who had "snuck away" from the hustle and bustle of Christmas at his son's house a few blocks away. With a smile, he admitted that he just needed some fresh air before dinner. He was kind enough to take this picture before heading back the way he came.

Meeting him helped me to appreciate the quiet moments that followed. Other than a few corner stores, the city was completely closed down for the night. As much as I missed friends and family, everything was so peaceful -- it was as if everything in the universe was in its place.

As luck would have it, we found ourselves seated at one of the few open restaurants, “Wild Saffron.” The food was as satisfying as it was beautiful. I truly enjoyed the champagne sorbet sprinkled with peppercorns and a swig of mint. Who’d a thought?


Got Wi-Fi?

Got Wi-Fi?

The Empress does, but apparently you have to pay for it. This is Darrin doing one of several "quick checks" for a free connection to cyber space. He tried a few magic strokes, but only a pretty penny was gonna make this baby happen. At $50 for tea, what did ya expect?


The Place

The Place

It was rainy and cold on Friday; however, we completed the Lonely Planet's walking tour in style! This is us with a peek of Vancouver in the distance. It started snowing right after this picture was taken. Instant fun -- just add Spanish coffee. BTW, lighting the 151 on fire must be a Portland thing 'cuz we never once saw them do it. Go Huber's!


Deniro

Deniro

"Section Three" provided a much-needed break from the storm that rolled in. We enjoyed a "hair of the dog" martini and conversation with the 'tender who gave us the story on the place. Apparently, it used be called "Deniro's" until Robert sued them. Section Three is a reference to the court case -- and they did what they could with the neon sign. They are now just "keepin' cool" as a popular nightspot. Revenge of the...


Floating Gas Stations?

Floating Gas Stations?

This was taken from our small, but practical sundeck at the Renaissance Vancouver. The view was pleasing and the location amiable…however, I would definitely recommend Priceline for the next trip. The heated tile was a nice touch, but it didn’t quite make up for the construction that was happening on our floor. Apparently, this is the “soft” time of year for them to make necessary repairs. Hangover and hammers don’t mix (Damn, I should have written that on the comment card.) Anyway, I enjoyed waking up to this pretty picture of contrasting of blue waters and snow-covered hills.


Clearly Canadian

Clearly Canadian

A welcomed bit of blue sky as we head to North Vancouver before beginning the long journey back home.


Burrrr...

Burrrr...

Looks like we brought the snow with us back to Portland.