From Camping to Afternoon Tea at the Empress

Friday, Saturday, Sunday. South Vancouver Island / Victoria. These three days illustrated how to get different kinds of experiences inthe same trip. It’s easy to show variety from one trip to another, which we also like (a cruise last Fall, camping this Summer).

But even within the same trip, or the same stop on a trip, we like different. Like what?

Like taking a campground shower last night to get fire smoke out of our (uh, I mean Nancy’s) hair, then this morning putting on nice clothes and going to St Andrews Pres in Victoria for worship followed by Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel.

Like a nice restaurant in Duncan yesterday for a Turkey Panini followed by a drive through an abandoned expanse of forest, miles without a soul, and a return to camp for hot dogs.

Like a walk through a river bed to a 179-ft waterfall one day, a walk through the manicured Butchart Gardens another; like a campfire one night, a Seinfeld episode on the laptop another.

These days have mostly been about camping near a city and its sights (we drove 268 mi in all while touring away from our base camp); next week while in the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic NP, we will be much more on the rustic side.

One additional note about Canadian manners. My admittedly limited impression is that these folks are the most polite and friendly on earth. We saw nothing of the “coarsening of culture” we lament in other places, we did not hear parents yell at their kids, we saw what seemed to be idyllic tableaus in the public parks with croquet, lawn bowling and petting zoos. And we have never before stayed in a cleaner or quieter campground.

Did Canada receive some classic English propriety from their history in the British Commonwealth but were spared all the hooligans? O that’s right–Australia was originally the penal colony; the polite people were sent to Canada, ey?

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