Friday, December 29, 2017

Victoria: Salish Sea aquarium

We checked out the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. The tanks were done up with Christmas ornaments.


Don't make the eel mad.


This is part of the Sea Sheppard II, the second ship used by the direct-action activists (led by founders of Greenpeace) to protect seals, dolphins and whales.You can see that they kept a record of their victories.


Nudibranch.

=

Victoria: distillery tour

Six years ago, we toured the original distillery that madeVictoria Gin. Since that time, the original owners retired and sold the business, which relocated from West Saanich to Sidney.


It's a much bigger operation now, but still charming, just in a different way.


This year, they've introduced a new gin designed for G&Ts. It gets its unusual color from butterfly pea flowers.


The new still has about five times the capacity of the original still. Anders has a lot of questions for our tour guide about what all the parts did.

Victoria: Christmas Eve

Tracy and her family came by for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Anders, Kiran and Soren (with India watching) worked on their own traditions.

Victoria: White Christmas!

On the morning of Christmas Eve, the pond out back had a layer of ice...

...but by evening, we had snow...



...and the snow stuck around into Christmas, giving us a white Christmas in Victoria!




The boys went out and enjoyed the snow, leaving behind this well-trampled battlefield.


Victoria: Empress

Sigrid and I spent an evening at the Empress without the boys. We got there around mid-afternoon, and then walked about the hotel. This is the now-closed Bengal Lounge ("an Indian-themed bar with a tiger skin on the wall, where waiters in Nehru jackets served curries and cocktails").


We were in a harbour-view room, which I had thought would be of questionable value given the early sunset, but it looked quite charming at night.


We had a window-sill visitor who perhaps was looking longingly at our heated accommodations. We saw our friend several times, including right when we checked in. This is an early-morning appearance the next day.



We got a discounted rate at the hotel due to my Fairmont President's Club status in 2017, courtesy of my all-too-lengthy stay at the Fairmont San Jose during a trial last December. The stay at the Fairmont Empress was more relaxing than the stay at the Fairmont San Jose.

Victoria: birds

This Anna's Hummingbird was a regular visitor.


We also saw this Cooper's Hawk!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

school play