Stop and Smell the Roses in Victoria, BC

This has been a very relaxing week visiting friends and family. Temperatures range between mid 50’s to low 60’s degrees F. This is perfect weather for a nice brisk walk and stopping for coffee and pastries, which seem to tempt us at every corner.

I am in awe of the lush foliage every where and am happy to be sharing photos of ordinary roads and sights that one sees on a typical day if they are just aware. It is aptly named the “City of Gardens” because if you do not take pride in your landscaping and yard work, then you should own a condo!

Victoria is famous for its Butchart Gardens, Empress Hotel, and Parliament Buildings lit up nightly all year round. Another one of my favorite sites is the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and snow capped Olympic Mts. Victoria was ranked #16 of 100 Top World Destinations in the 2008 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards.

I have wandered aimlessly through the busy shopping malls, browsing and enjoying the simple luxuries of having a varied selection of endless colors, sizes, and sale prices. I found myself being tempted on numerous occasions, but then I realized where I live … and what would I do with most of these beautiful shoes and clothes in Loreto? not much?

I also have enjoyed many of the wonderful restaurants and different cultural foods available. This is halibut and salmon season, mussels and oysters are also popular. Fresh baked bread never tasted so good! There are so many great patisseries where the goods look as beautiful as they are delicious. This is truly a wonderful place to visit. Just make sure you bring your warm clothing and umbrella. It rains often but not for long. This is a wonderful excuse to make a fire and try some good cottage wines of the area.

One of my favorite foods is fresh Atlantic lobster, and the Victoria stores carry live lobsters and crabs for the most discriminating tastes. I was invited as a surprise guest to a Lobster Party and it was fun to see the shocked faces of friends seeing me out of the Loreto context. Of course, as a ritual I had to play with my food … at least this time I waited until they were already cooked!

In addition to the gardens, beaches, snow capped mountains, and forests of trees, you will see very special Totem Poles. These are an art form unique to the Northwest Coast of British Columbia and Washington State. The commission for a modern pole ranges in the tens of thousands of dollars; the time spent carving after initial designs are completed usually lasts about a year, so the commission essentially functions as the artist's primary means of income during the period. This beautiful and unique carving is located at my friend’s home in Oak Bay, which was once known as “living behind the tweed curtain”.

This is also a popular Cruise Ship Port of Call. In the last four days, there have been TEN cruise ships visit our fair city, bringing 23,000 visitors. This represents tremendous tourist dollars for those foreigners on their way to Alaska and wanting to take home a “little bit of Britain” or at least something Canadian, eh?

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America, Princess Cruise Lines, and Norwegian Cruise Lines, all have ships docking this week, each carrying between 1440 and 3114 passengers. Although I have lived in Victoria most of my life, there are sights that continually amaze me, like these giant floating cities docked in our normally quiet sleepy harbor. It is best not to ever take these simple pleasures for granted.

Getting back to Loreto … this week I am showcasing our best priced Casa Bohemia FN167 at $429,000. It comes with $75,000 in furniture, electronics, house wares and artwork. The Bohemia was one of the most popular floor plans with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, larger courtyard and several side gardens. This unit has never been lived in and shows well.

Adding on another rooftop pergola with curtains would expand the privacy and outdoor living area by another 500 sq. ft. or more. By taking advantage of the current market and status of unfinished construction in the area, you will be making a good investment for the future. Visit listing number 008-021 for more information.

Have a great week!

Miss Nellie

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