Tea, Company, and Port Angeles

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Monday, September 1, 2014

Our last day with Jessica I treated her and Mom to tea at The Empress. It was an elegant affair where we partook of three different teas (we could have tried five), five different finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and five different dainty desserts. We ate off of the Royal China and tried to do so with as correct a posture as possible. It was all very good, and the service was excellent, and the live piano player was lovely.

I had picked up some of the Queen’s tea for Dan before lunch, and then they gave us more as ‘gifts’ after the meal. So Dan’s getting a lot of tea. Good thing he really likes that particular type of tea.

We followed tea time with a stroll, stopping at The Bay Centre before meeting up with three-quarters of the James clan. As a group we strolled some more, discovered where we parked our car, visited the Fort Street market, bought some books, exchanged new contact information, and then parted ways. I’m sure Jessica will see the Jameses throughout the year — they’ve temporarily relocated to Victoria this year as well.

We returned Jessica to the university and said our farewells. The tears came from my mother; Jessica and I held it together just fine. She’s an intelligent, responsible, resourceful young lady, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She is going to do just fine. But I’ll still miss her terribly…

Mom and I stopped at The Soda Shoppe for a loaded hot dog and a drink before getting in line at the Coho ferry. The trip itself was uneventful. The ship was a little more industrial in nature than the BC Ferries ships, a little less luxurious, but still perfectly fine. While waiting in line at the dock a young family with two boys noticed my polar bear plate. They had never seen one before and had to check the front of the car to confirm it was our official plate. It took some doing to get it across to the boys just how far north we came from: “The Northwest Territories…Go straight north from here to get to Yukon, then go east…Way further north than North Dakota…Think the Arctic Circle.” That’s when the confused eyes got wide. The mom suggested they should look at a map when they get a chance. When we went through US customs in Port Angeles the officer asked where we were coming from and what we did for a living. When I answered him honestly he smiled and said I reminded him of that movie with Sandra Bullock where she goes to Alaska and there’s this one guy who seems to do just about everything in the community; I do see the similarity :).

We checked in at the Super 8, which had really good reviews. It is a nice, comfortable, and clean room, and the staff is really responsive. The only negative is our non-smoking room smelled like it had been smoked in. We complained, they apologized and brought us an air filter (no other double rooms were available to move us to), and they said we would get a discount on the room for the inconvenience. Nothing else they could have done, really. I just hope it’s not bad enough to trigger Mom’s allergies. We really wanted to make sure we weren’t dinged the $150 penalty for smoking in a non-smoking room.

Wildlife sightings: Rick James.

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