It seems that summer has finally arrived. Yeah. I was getting very tired of Juneuary!! Not to mention my children being upset with me for packing up their puffy coats. So, we have had lovely weather this week which timed nicely with my sister and her husbands visit from Australia. We decided it would be nice to get out and take in some of the amazing things that Vancouver Island has to offer.
We began with a delicious meal and strawberry shortcake made with fresh local strawberries. The next morning we cooked a big delicious pancake breakfast, more fresh berries and then headed off to hike up Mount Douglas. It is a great place to hike, it is easy enough for children to do, (Sam did have to carry Piper part of the way) and the view from the top is just beautiful. You will have to excuse me, as my sister had the camera and I will have to get some pictures from her. You get a panoramic view of the southern tip of Vancouver Island. We finished off our day with a walk around the inner harbour and some yummy fish and chips at Fisherman's Wharf.
Wednesday was Sofie's birthday and breakfast of choice was waffles with whip cream. More fresh local berries for those who like fruit. We then headed out to Butchart Gardens. It was a gorgeous day, probably the hottest all week. The gardens were packed with people from all over the world, so some areas were a bit like a lineup and if you went the opposite direction it was like a fish swimming up stream. The Japanese garden was spectacular. And the children enjoyed riding the Carousel. We had a lovely birthday dinner for Sofie and I made one of her favourite desserts, Meringues with Whip Cream. (We literally went through 2 litres of whip cream this week.)
Thursday we had a busy day planned with a walk to Witty's Lagoon in the morning. It is a lovely hike down a wooded path to the beach. The tide was way out so we were able to wonder out on the sand. We saw some beautiful Swans. It was a busy day down there, as there seemed to be a number of different schools with large groups. We still had a great time, went for a little wade and played some frisbee. Then it was back up the trail, where Jack was very excited that we got to see a very small dead bat, and off to Point Ellice House. At Point Ellice House we enjoyed a yummy and filling Victoria Style Tea on the lawn, played some Croquet and wondered around the beautiful gardens. It was a really lovely day capped off a visit at home from some good friends who were about to head back to Wales.
On Friday I took my sister and her husband to my favourite bike shop, North Park Bike Shop, and seriously, you would be hard pressed to find better customer service than there. The owners are lovely and they have a fantastic selection of Electra bikes, a family favourite.
I really enjoyed my time with my sister and her husband. I really miss her when she is so far away, and am extremely envious of her and the weather she gets to enjoy. It was fun to play tourist in your own city, it opens to you to so many possibilities and hidden gems.
*The cupcakes at the top are Rootbeer Float Cupcakes I made for Sofie's Birthday party, the recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.