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Alaska Cruise: Day Seven

June 27, 2010

Day 7 on The Pearl: Victoria, BC

Today was our last day on The Pearl. Why does time fly so much more quickly when you’re not sitting in a 7 x 10 cubicle? Strange, how that is.

We slept in a little later than we had been – partly because we were up late (with the waves tossing the ship from side-to-side, it was tough to get to sleep!) — and partly JUST because we could. We have had a busy week and here we were : packing day.

The mood on “the last day” is always a little less jovial than the first day. Our fellow passengers were, like us, packing clothes back into suitcases, checking under bunks for the deodorant they lost on day 3, and basically preparing themselves for re-entry into the real world.

We had breakfast in the dining room with the boys and then Dave and I hit the spa for one last round of relaxation. We savored every last minute — soaked in the whirlpool, then lounged in the therapy pool, then back to the whirlpool. I gave the spa my tension, and as far as I was concerned, there was a “no return” policy, so I was leaving this ship before they tried to give it back.

We were back in calm waters, so we met the boys for a quick lunch and few games of shuffleboard. Nick and I teamed up against Dave and Dylan. I can’t remember who won, but it was a lot of fun.

Showtime
As we were arriving in Victoria, B.C. at 5 p.m., the traditional evening “Farewell” show was scheduled for early afternoon  in The Stardust
Theatre. A return performance from the jugglers and some lively music by the Four Seasons cover band brought the audience to its feet.

After the show we spent the next hour packing and getting ready for our arrival in Victoria.

Victoria
We arrived at the port of Victoria a little early and we were on shore by 4:45.

What a beautiful city! The taxi driver took us to the downtown district and dropped us off in front of  The Empress Hotel — one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria.

The hotel was built in 1904 and is well-known for its Edwardian afternoon tea service. During the summer months, the hotel serves tea, tea sandwiches, fresh scones and Jersey cream to hundreds of tourists and guests in its Tea Lobby.

Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and has a well-earned reputation for its myriad of beautiful gardens. Over-flowing baskets of flowers hang from the classic antique lampposts that line the downtown streets. The distinctive architecture was charming and the city has an old-world feel to it.

Even though many of the larger stores closed at 6, the downtown district was still buzzing. Street musicians and artists added the beauty of their music to the scenery. We came across one artist whose sidewalk art was breathtaking.

Bastion Square
The site of the original Fort Victoria, and said to be one of the most haunted areas of the city, Bastion square is home to many shops, arts and crafts venues, and restaurants and cafes that
offer a scenic view of Inner Harbor.

It was here that I finally found the perfect souvenir from my trip. Traditionally, I like to buy one small piece of jewelry — inexpensive but authentic to the region — on every vacation. I prefer for it to be made locally, or made from materials that are from that particular region. My find was a beautiful necklace, hand-crafted by a local artist. It was lovely and she was sweet, and I was glad that I was supporting a local artist.

The Harbor (Harbour, in Canadian…)
After my big “find,” we headed back to the harbor. We only had a few hours in Victoria, but when we arrived, I spotted a market across from The Empress hotel.

We strolled through the market, listened to a band play, and Nick found the best Belgian waffle he said he’d ever had in his life. He also found a new friend on the Harbor, who gave him a little trouble.

Back on board — last night of our Alaskan voyage
We were back on board around 9 p.m.. The boys headed up to the teen room so they could spend some time with new friends on the last night. Dave and I spent the evening in the lobby bar, listening to music, dancing and trying to savor every last minute of our last night aboard The Pearl

At 12:30, we finally called it a night. Our Alaskan voyage had come to an end. It was heavenly. Perfection. Beautiful. Even better than I imagined. Lots of laughs. Dancing and dining. Scenery that took my breath away.

And Sex at Sunset (the drink…of course).

Photo credit: Dave Morrison

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 1:41 am

    Ahhhhhhhhh……I feel relaxed like I went on the trip as well…..and not because of sex at sunset which sounds great for real, or as a drink! So glad it was a good as it sounded! Your photo skills are remarkable too!

    xxx,
    Welcome Home!

    Linda

    • June 27, 2010 11:43 am

      Thanks Linda! Photos are all Dave. He’s the master photographer.

  2. June 29, 2010 6:31 am

    Thanks for sharing all of this. It brought back great memories from when my husband and I took this trip.

  3. June 29, 2010 6:41 am

    I also forgot to mention that when my husband and I went, I played the quarter slots in the casino for a bit and won $1,450. We were having a great time on the trip. It was for our 25th anniversary. But winning the money just made it even that more special.

    • June 29, 2010 10:10 am

      I’ve never won more than $20 on the slot machines. I can imagine that would be soooo exciting!

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