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Report 1953: Vancouver/Vancouver Island/Seattle July/August 2011

By Panda from UK, Summer 2011

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Page 5 of 12: Day 5 Birthday in Victoria

photo by Panda

'Dancing'' water taxis in Victoria Inner Harbour

Woke up to a lovely day and 17th birthday wishes for my daughter. It was a very short walk to the harbour and we were amused to see five of the little harbour water taxis performing intricately choreographed ‘dance’ routines to music. Surreal and impressive - we told my daughter it had been laid on especially for her – although it was, of course, the BC Day celebrations beginning. There were rows of blankets and seats already put in place to secure a good view of the orchestra and the fireworks later that day. We walked the other side of the inner harbour and back through the town, and then started to look at places on our shortlist for dinner that evening. My daughter chose ‘Aura’, the restaurant of the Laurel Point Inn for its waterfront position and ambiance (and the proximity to our hotel was a bonus).

A leisurely lunch from the leftovers from supper, then we set out for Beacon Hill Park, about 20 minutes walk away. By now, the harbourside was filling up with the audience for the evening music and firework display, with traffic diverted along the previously quiet roads. We enjoyed a long stroll through the park, admiring the persuasive techniques of a wedding photographer trying to get a nervous bride to perch on a branch on a tree (nearly lost one backwards there) and then, with the homing instinct of a true New Zealander living in England, my husband found a proper cricket pitch with full pavilion, with a match in progress. Bliss was his – and for my sunbathing daughter. Not for nothing do I carry a small crossword book in my bag.

When we returned to the hotel, we found a birthday card and chocolates from the hotel for my daughter, which was a charming touch. Our dinner later that evening was delightful, with our little girl looking very grown up - the only low spot point was that we all missed our other daughter, who had had a clashing offer to share a house with a large group of friends in Spain. (I’d have chosen Spain and my friends at that age, too). As we left, the firework display began and an orchestra was playing on a barge in the harbour. I told my daughter it had taken such a lot of effort to get this all laid on just for her birthday...

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