January 24, 2013

Christmas 2012

And so begins the 40 picture, 936 word documentation of our Christmas vacation...

The Drive
First things first, the drive was fabulous. Thank you, technology. Scott got his Christmas gift early, (iPad!) so Landon could use it on the 16 hour drive. I cut off all TV at home around Thanksgiving so you can imagine Landon's excitement upon learning that all his favorite movies were there, along with Monkey Preschool, the app he loves to play when we visit the Apple Store. I had a backpack of other toys ready, that went untouched. Scott and I really do enjoy the drive. It's so refreshing to get out of smoggy, dry Utah, to clean, green Washington. It takes me by surprise every time we reach Olympia, and the air outside just smells so good and fresh and wonderful. For those of you who don't know, Provo has the second worst air in the nation, only beat out by another Utah city. Ridiculous.

First stop, week with Scott's fam. The snow started coming in right as we got to town. Landon had a blast throwing snowballs, making snowmen, sledding and ice skating. I didn't even know they made ice skates that small! One person would hold him up on the rink, while another would push the holder to get some momentum, and Landon would just swing his little legs back and forth. He loved it! We went to ride the carousal too, which he LOVED last time, but this time, totally hated it. Ahhh, the ever-changing mind of a two-year-old.

Landon was really into opening presents this year. I was surprised he did so well waiting for everyone to get up. When it was finally time, he would unwrap a gift, open it up, then immediately put it down and say, "Next present?" My mom made the mistake of having him open a car first. After that, if what he opened wasn't a car, then it was as good as garbage. He's just a little obsessed, I'd say.

Victoria, BC
This was the part of our vacation I was looking forward to the most. We drove to Olympia, then left a day afterward for Canada, just Scott and me! Can you believe I lived in Olympia my whole life, just three hours away from the border, but never went? Anyway, we drove up to Vancouver early, early, in the morning to catch the ferry. Beautiful ride through the San Juan Islands. Immediately after arriving in Victoria we booked it to the Blue Fox Cafe, said to have hands down the best breakfast around. Usually a huge line up at the door, but thankfully we only waited half an hour. It. was. heavenly.

The top two breakfast pictures are from the Blue Fox. Vanilla french toast, cheesy eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, whole grain toast and homemade strawberry rhubarb jam. We found that all the restaurants in Victoria use ingredients that are all-natural, local, cage-free, grass-fed, etc, etc... Tons of gluten-free and vegan friendly options as well. Such a refreshing change from Utah dining. The bottom two pictures are from the next morning at our B&B. First course included fresh fruit with vanilla yogurt, granola, and a lemon blueberry scone. Second course featured savory crepes filled with sausage, leek, and mushroom, with lemon zested asparagus and mini tomatoes. Also came with peach pear juice. All of which was absolutely divine.

We actually did do more than just eat in Victoria! (Not much more though...) Anyway, we stayed at Abbeymoore Manor, the #1 B&B in Canada, which was a really neat experience. It's a 100 year old restored mansion with five bedrooms (ours pictured below is the master). I have never felt sheets that soft in my life. :)

We did a fair amount of walking around downtown, by the pier, parliament building, and at the Royal BC Museum. Our favorite exhibit was about the evolution of maps. Pictured below is the first map ever made, in 544, basically a T chart with Asia, Europe, and Africa divided up. So fascinating to see how maps evolved with world exploration!

Across the street from our B&B was the Lieutenant Governor's mansion with 36 acres of gardens (bottom left) and the Craigdarroch Castle (top two). Touring the castle was so neat! It's been completely restored to its original state, and the history is fascinating. In a nutshell, it was completed in 1890 for a man who made a fortune off coal. He didn't live to see its completion but his family lived there 20 years before selling. It was converted to a military hospital for WWI, then became Victoria College after the war, then school board offices, later a conservatory for music, and lastly a historical house museum. We love Downton Abbey so I think that made it 100 times more cool to see.

ANYWAYS... We ate fish and chips that night. :)

The next day we had afternoon tea at the White Heather Tea Room. Known to be one of the best tea rooms in all of Canada. I can't get over how fabulous all the food was here. And I'm kicking myself for not thinking to purchase some of that tea to bring home! It was Mountain Berry: a delicious blend of Saskatoon berries, blueberries, dried currants, raisins, rosehips and hibiscus. Not to mention the three tier tray stuffed with delicious delicacies. It was a fantastic trip and we can't wait to go back!

When we come to WA, we always have to hit up Seattle for an afternoon. Mainly we just want to get a bite of the World's Best Mac & Cheese at Beechers in Pike Place. Landon really liked watching the street performers, and had one make him a balloon sword. Happy boy! He is OBSESSED with Peter Pan right now. Somehow we lucked out and hit Seattle at the perfect time to catch a beautiful, rain-free sunset.
All in all, one of our best trips back home yet. Can't wait to go again!
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Meg + Taylor said...

You just made my (very early) morning by posting another visually stunning blog update! Thank you for giving me something to read and gawk over while I nurse my overly tired baby boy :) First, I don't think you have looked cuter. I love your outfits. I love your bangs. I love you. Second, I have always wanted to go to BC and now I want to go more than ever! It looks so fun and a tea room?! Yes please! What a perfect trip. And I want to go on a Seattle trip as well so I can eat at Beechers too. I saw it on TV the other day. Have you heard of the pig truck the Beecher's guy owns too? Its called Maximus, Minimus I think and they serve mac and cheese with pulled pork sandwiches that are either spicy or sweet. Anyway, glad you had a great holiday and a fun romantic getaway. Miss you!

Danielle said...

What fun! You made me hungry for some yummy food. I'm glad it was such a great trip for your little family.

stacy marie said...

BECCCCAA! I don't even know where to start...

+I miss your blogging! Where are you besides everywhere in the world!?

+you bangs are amaaaazing!

+love your pics

+miss your blogging. oh i already said that ;)

+you guys are so cool. i am amazed at your adventures!

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