Stop looking at your calendar. Maybe that should read “Victoria Day-trip”.

Gwen’s mother is still in town and on Thursday, we decided not to go to Creston (for a variety of reasons) as originally planned, and instead we decided on a (shorter!) day trip to Victoria.

So, we headed down to Tsawwasssen and grabbed the 9am ferry.


While waiting in line, I of course grabbed a micro cache hidden on the corner of the concession building, thus setting the scene for part of our time in Victoria.


Aidan was pretty, erm, active on the ferry. He wasn’t willing to stay in one place, and so the ride resulted in Gwen and I taking turns chasing the boy around the ferry. Up the stairs. Down the stairs. Into the play area. Back outside. Good thing the ferry trip is only an hour and a half.

After landing in Sidney we drove down to Beacon Hill Park in Victoria and used it as our base of operations. We walked back into the Inner Harbour and saw some of the sites.





On our way back from the Inner Harbour, we went into geocaching mode. We picked up two relatively easy virtual caches after being stymied at a few others which were a) too heavily muggled, or b) apparently in a derelict building, or c) being watered by sprinklers that must have been running for hours judging by the puddles where the cache must have been. We also looked for a third virtual cache that was supposedly a statue in a park beside the Royal BC Museum — but we couldn’t find the statue. You read that right. We had coordinates, we had a description. And we couldn’t find the statue. I swear it must be missing, but we couldn’t even find a spot where the statue should have been! (Update: turns out we had the right coordinates for the wrong cache … that is, I was reading the description for the “Crows greet the Governor of Nootka” virtual cache instead of the “Crows in the Square” virtual cache).

We walked back up to Beacon Hill Park and attempted another cache there, but didn’t find that one either (the boy was starting to crank by this point).

Changing pace, we took Aidan into the petting zoo at Beacon Hill. Oh, what a good idea. This turned his mood right around. The only thing they had that were pettable were goats, but that was fine. They had lots of goats. The aviary was also a big hit, but of course, you couldn’t touch the birds.



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After leaving the petting zoo, we did a bit of a driving tour around Ogden Point, and then redeemed ourselves by picking up three caches in Holland Point Park. The caches themselves weren’t too hard to grab, but at least two of them were too near drunk (and, um, naked) vagrants for particular comfort. We picked up a neat travel bug (a fairy) whose 6 year old owner has already emailed me gratitude for mentioning I was going to use some magic glue to put her wings back on. We haven’t decided if we’ll leave her here in a TB hotel or send her east with Gwen’s mother (who isn’t really a geocacher).Ferry service being what it is, we had either the 7pm or the 9pm ferries to target (there’s no 8pm). Just outside of Sidney, the ferry status sign advised that it was only 28% full (at 6pm) so we decided that rather than deal with trying to grab supper on the ferry, we’d pop into Sidney and get something from a fine fast food establishment. Gwen chose KFC, and so we pulled into the parking lot. Time was somewhere around 6:05pm. Gwen returned from the store at 6:38pm with the meal. Yes, 33 minutes. “Fast food” west-coast style. Apparently training cooks. We got “free” pop and cake out of it, but I don’t think it was worth it. Anyway, we were a little more than concerned we weren’t going to make the ferry, but we pulled into the waiting area with reassurances from the ticketing agent that it wasn’t going to be a problem. And, it wasn’t.The ferry ride back was uneventful. We ate in the car, and went up to the passenger deck for the remainder of the trip. Aidan played with (well, ok, around) a bunch of older kids in the play area, and we also sedated him with a Backyardigans on the iPod (thanks again Nickelodeon and Apple).

In hindsight, it was a good thing we didn’t attempt the 9-18 hour drive to Creston (9 hours pushing, 18 if you obey the double-your-travel-time -with-a-toddler rule-of-thumb) because Aidan wouldn’t have been in a cooperative mood at all. And the weather’s been pretty awful on subsequent days. Maybe sometime later in the summer.