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mayflower hotel

Karen and I celebrated our 30th last week in Seattle and Victoria, BC., spending our first night at the Mayflower Hotel.  We took the girls along for a summer vacation.  They spent more time in Post Alley than Pikes Place.

gum wall ellie

I’d never heard of the Gum Wall before, but Ellie spent considerable time researching things to see in Seattle.

gum wall brit

I took the opportunity to market my novel as the platform appeared to offer an inherent stickiness.

cyber war

We did spend some time cruising the market, going back down later at night for photos.

pikes place

We returned to the Market for breakfast at the Crumpet (best coffee ever), and walked from there to take the tour of the Seattle Underground in Pioneer Square, where we learned all about Seattle’s infamous beginnings and below sea-level plumbing challenges.

crumpet shop

After the first night and a half day in Seattle, we took the Clipper Ferry through Puget Sound, across the Straight of Juan de Fuca, to Victoria.  Ellie’s first entry into Canada was by boat.  We arrived just in time to catch the sunset during dinner at the Marina in Oak Bay.

oak bay

The girls roamed around past sundown, noting how safe Victoria was compared to Seattle.  This photo below is of the Parliament building.

parliament night

Butchart Gardens was first on our list of attractions to visit.  We started in a clockwise direction in the Sunken Gardens, where Jennie Butchart first began her garden efforts over 100 years ago by transforming an exhausted limestone quarry.

buchart sunken garden

Photo opportunities presented themselves non-stop as we walked past countless fountains and themed gardens.

butchart fountains

Some of the flowers were so incredible, I don’t have words.  The girls stopped to smell them though.

butchart flower ellie

butchart flower brit

I believe Karen’s favorite was the Rose Garden.  Ellie’s middle name is Rose.

butchart rose ellie

I felt like the Japanese Gardens had some of the best hidden benches for peaceful contemplation.

butchart brit n ellie

Last on our walk were the stately Italian Gardens.  This photo below is of one of the entrances.

butchart italian

We split up for dinner.  The girls dined at the formal Empress Hotel.

empress 2

Karen and I returned to Il Terrazzo and its many courtyard fireplaces, because we enjoyed it so much nearly twenty years earlier.

il terrazzo

The next day was busy with a walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, followed up by a journey to Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown.

fan tan alley

And our return ferry ride back to Seattle for a final night.

Chihuly

Sunday was another busy day.  We started with a tour of the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.

spaceship

The highlight for me was a tour of the Museum of Pop Culture, where I got to pretend I was in space and Captain of a starship.

star trek 2

It was a whirlwind vacation, three hotels in five days.  Nice way to end the summer.