We're at Grannies!!!!!!! (actually in Sidney)

Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
Trip End Feb 28, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

We are in Canada!

Done lots, eaten way too much...been spoiled rotten in fact!

Will tell you what....maybe....probably....someday....never!!


Okay i am finally going to actually update this entry properly, it may take a while but hey at least i'm trying!

Left Seattle by greyhound at some ridiculous time of the morning. Drove to Vancouver with no major problems, except for the being kicked off the bus when we reached the border. They let us in - the fools - despite not having any evidence that we were ever going to leave!!!! Can't see any difference between Canada and America so far, except for the abundance of Canadian flags and a little less advertising!
In Vancouver jumped off one bus onto another, and then got on a ferry! The ferry crossing was cool, sailing between lots of beautiful islands full of trees!
Arrived in Victoria and i had my first meeting with Neil's grannie and his aunty Julie oh yeah and her three kids too (Hi Hayley, Chelsea and Andrew). Neil even managed to recognize them....which considering he hasn't seen them for 6 years is not bad going!
Got a lift to our home for the next few weeks in a monster truck!! Now i know America - sorry i mean Canadian - cars are really big!

Grannies house was lovely and we had a warm welcome from everyone. We sat and drunk tea in her huge garden for a while, before the rest of the family all came home, that being Neils's other aunty, Dorothy and her boyfriend Greg, oh yeah and Neils brother Tim, who just happened to be there at the same time!! (Hi Tim, hope we didn't ruin your holiday too much!!)
That was the beginning of our adventures in Canada and the start of being spoilt rotten for 3 weeks!!

Day 2 - A very chilled Wednesday
Okay, so after settling into our new home, grannies camper van - we set about trying to decide what we wanted to do with our time on Vancouver Island. It seemed that everyone had loads of places they wanted to show us....so it wasn't really a difficult decision to make! The problem would be how to fit everything in and spend enough time with everybody who wanted our wonderful company!
Spent the day relaxing and getting used to the area. Neil had the honour of driving Grannis car, as she was not allowed to drive, having recently had a heart attack! It was fun watching Neil reach for the gear lever that wasn't there and try and work out the interesting traffic light system! But he didn't kill anyone, so that was a good start!
Grannie treated us to soup and a Sandwich (a Canadian thing it seems), and then we wandered around Sidney for a while. Its a very nice, but small and quiet place! The harbour is nice though, specially with all the mountains in the background!
Neil and Tim later spent some time bonding in the sea, or i as i would call it trying to kill each other!

Day 3 - bottle depot Thursday!
Another leisurely day! We made a trip to the bottle depot in the morning, where you can actually get money for your used cans and bottles and a variety of other junk! Do you remember the good old days when we used to be able to do that in Britain??
Ate lunch so late there was barely time to do anything else that day, so after meeting grannies boyfriend, Sid, he took us to see the lovely house that he lives in the basement of! They certainly do have big houses out here!
After a lovely roast dinner - see i told you we were being spoilt - we all decided we wanted to go to the evening market in Sidney. Only problem was we were still eating supper and it was getting started! So we were very naughty and decided to leave the washing up and dessert till later and go and enjoy the market. The market was cool, its kinda hard when you can't buy anything, but they had some cool stuff. Tim, Neil and I had a dollar - or loonie - competition, and i was the only one who managed to spend my loonie! We then went home and stuffed our faces with lemon merange pie, and ice cream!!!!
We like food we do!!!!!

Day 4 - Mansion Tour Friday

Today was a day spent with Aunty Julie and her family and our first visit to a Canadian mansion!
Got picked up in the monster truck in the early afternoon, and Julie took us to a cool farmers market to buy veggies for supper! The children were not particularly ipmpressed but we thought it was cool! Then we decided to find the beach...and ice cream, had to put a hold on ice cream as it appeared the ice cream place had shut years ago!!!! Had a lovely walk on the beach, with its very smelly seaweed, that was after we convinced Chelsea that it was okay to walk on the beach in her party shoes!! (oh yeah and after i had had fun playing on the swings!) Had to leave the beach in a hurry as Chelsea needed a pee! Back in the car and it was definately ice cream time - you can't promise us kids ice cream then not let us have any!!! Julie bought us all ice cream, which Neil had to eat while play fighting with Andrew, and i managed to get down my top!!
Arrived at Julies lovely house, which the children affectionately call "the mansion"!
It is monstrous! The hallway with its chandalier is probably as big as our entire downstairs! It has god knows how many bedrooms and bathrooms, several living rooms, a huge garden and sewimming pool! Have to admit we were a little jealous!
Got a lovely swim in the pool with a beer and had fun playing with the children. Then Adrian, Julies husband, came home and we had an amazing barbeque! We were spoilt with sushi (my first experience), prawn kebabs, huge pieces of steak and ice cream! Was a luxury we weren't used to after a month on the road!!
Was a very enjoyable experience, thanks Julie, Adrian, Hayley, Chelsea and Andrew for your hospitality!

Day 5 - surprise birthday party Saturday

Today, well actually tomorrow was Julies birthday, today was actually Andrews birthday, and our task for the day was to keep Julie entertained and out of the way, while Adrian organised a suprise party for Julie. We decided to take them all to the beach, so Andrew could have a party too! The theme was pirates, cause thats andrews favourite thing at the moment! So after adorning ourselves with pirate tattoos and eye patches, we had our party food - hotdogs and chips! Think we ate more than the children but they had better things to do, like playing! After food, i had great fun playing with Andrews new pirate kite! Yes im a big kid, and even had kite flying competition, which Hayley judged, and i won!! Sorry Tim, but girls just are best!
Adrian then arrived with the coolest birthday cake ever for Andrew - an ice cream cake, which unfortunately had to be consumed quickly - think Neil managed to eat most of it!
After Adrian left we all headed for the beach, were we had great fun digging for buried treasure and making pirate ships in the sea with driftwood! It was a fun afternoon, and we had no problem making it last till 4pm when Julie was required to be home for her party! We did all get very burnt in the sun that day too - oops!
We followed Julie back to their place, so missed her reaction to her surprise! Then we ate lots more yummy food and drank beer, curtesy of Adrian. We chatted to a few people too, but was hard as we didn't know many people! Well done Adrian on an excellent party, and a fantastic array of food, the steak was the biggest and tenderest iv'e ever had!!!! We watched Julie cut her amazing and oh so tasty cake, and open her presents and then it was time to go home! It had been a long day and everyone, especially grannie was very tired!!

Day 6 - Symphony Splash Sunday

Went for a short (my arse!) Sunday stroll into Sidney while Grannie and Sid went to church. We were told it was about 20 minutes walk, but it turned out to be about an hours walk! Still it was a pleasant way to spend the morning. Tim, Neil and I, were all very naughty when we got to Sidney and headed straight for the bar on the waterfront! Well, what better way is there to spend a sunday morning, than having a leisurely beer, with an amazing view of the sea and mountains around you? After our beer, we headed to the supermarket to pick up a picnic style lunch and made the long walk back. We were all exhauseted when we got back, we later found out it was about 5km each way! Julie and the children had called round, so chatted and played for a while, then got our lunch of yummy rolls and meat, thanks Tim.
Then it was time to head into Victoria for Symphony Splash. Now i know you will all be wondering what the heck symphany splash is - well its something there should be definately be more of in England! It is masses of people picnicing on rugs on the grass round the harbour....and then listwening to an amazing free concert by the Victoria symphony orchestra....followed by fireworks! It was such fun...and took me back to being a kid again, and all those family picnics we used to go on!!! Was certainly a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon and evening!

Day 7 - Bank Holiday Monday

Now what do you do on a bank holiday folks? Yes thats right - you go to a museum! But this was a really cool museum i have to say! We spent hours there, and could have spent even longer, but had other places we wanted to go! They have three huge cool ares, the first is a natural history museum, which is amazing, cause they have all the stuffed animals you would like to see in the area, but probably won't...ie bears, cougars, seals, etc...in their natural environments!! You can take loads of pictures and pretends you have seen them all!! Even the woolly mammoth!!!! (I would just like to add that we have actually seen most of the animals in real life!!!!) (and no the woolly mammoth wasn't one of them - im not that old...honestly!)
The second area was about the first nation people and was fascinating, we learnt all kinds of stuff, like who they worship and what the masks mean....it was way cool anmd we got to see loads of totem poles!
The third area was a huge village area, with authentic buildings from old canada. They had everything, including a pirate ship and logging place! There was so much to see....
We didn't get to see the current display where we could have played crazy golf and rode a bobsleigh simulator....but hey there is always another time!
Grannie and Sid finished our day out by taking us to see the tallest totem pole, which is pretty damn tall...yiou get dizzy looking up at it....and taking us for ice cream and a wander round the park. Was a very enjoyable day.
We cooked dinner....felt like we should actually show we weren't completely useless...and as we had managed to find real sausages in Canada, we cooked bangers and mash and onion gravy! Seemed to go down a treat! (It did convince us that it is true what they say over here, that English food is grey!!!!)

Day 8 - Our day of freedom in Victoria Tuesday!!!!!

Today, grannie kindly agreed to let us borrow the car for the day so we could go for a wander round Victoria and give grannie a well earned break!
Neil drove the car all the way to Sidney without killing a single person, or even driving on the wrong side of the road!
In Victoria we wandered round the shops, where Neil bought a t-shirt...i couldn't persuade him to buy the one with the mooses bums out!!!!! Then after a little wander, guess where we headed?????? Yes you guessed it...the pub - for lunch. The pubs over here, really are pubs, and are just like english pubs, except you get the luxury of being waited on! The beer is good too....not quite like english beer, but very pleasant drinking...if a little expensive! We ate huge lamb burgers and fries and drank beer...well i did...Neil had to be good and have coffee! (but then thats a good choice as its always a bottomless cup!)
Looked for a camping shop but couldn't find it, and unfortunately passed an icecream shop! Neil couldn't resist despite just having finished stuffing his face! I was way too full...or just too sensible! Neil had the biggest and coolest (and probably most expensive ice cream ever!). You choose your ice cream, then you choose a filling, which they mix in front of you, then you choose a cone, which can be chocolate covered and dipped in hundreds and thousands...as was Neils! It was monstrous...nut didn't last long!
Were fed Chillie back at grannies but were too full from lunch! Then spent the evening drinking beer, making shelves for all grannies recycling and doing a jigsaw puzzle, which we had made it our pledge that we would finish before we left!

Day 9 - Goldstream Wednesday

Today, after much deliberation and indecisiveness, we had agreed to meet up with Julie and the children at Goldstream park for a picnic and a walk. Grannie treated us all to KFC for our picnic, which we managed to demolish no problems, specially after Tim and Dorothy joined us!!!!! Then we went for a walk and checked out the cool visitors centre. They have all sorts of info and a place where you can watch the bats that nest in the roof, and play with the camera that watches for wildlife in the area! We even had fun playing with all the way cool cuddly hand puppets!
Adrian joined us and we all strolled along the river! Goldstream is grannies favourite place and i can understand why!
Left Julie and her family and drove to Sids house for tea, where we had lovely homemade Macaroni Cheese made that morning by grannie!
Spent the evening with Tim, beating him numerous times at s***head!

Day 10 - Monty Python Thursday

Hey guys, well today was just another wild and happening day in downtown sidney..... Only we weren't in sidney!!!! we're had been let out for a night with my very well behaved auntie......... actually we wanted to see a bit of downtown victoria nightlife and she'd kindly offered to show us around. So we went into town.... as you do, fortunately Greg kindly offered to take the short straw and be confined to coffeee duties....... i got some cash, well nearly until i got ravished by a crazed rabid dog who tried to eat me alive!!!!! Next stop..... the brew pub.... good choice, excellent beer.... very strong excellent beer!!!!!! Well we were looking at the menu trying to decide wot to eat but the starters all looked so yummy we ordered a few to share amongst us..... Now all was going rather well until......
Until tim started looking at martinis (which out here are anything with either gin or the good old vitimin V in), I said i'd treat him to one of my choice if he downed the left over dressing..... which he did!!!!!! So I ordered a yummy creamy orange martini!! It looked awful but he enjoyed it.... I think... the big girl!!!!!
Then Greg mentioned Monty Python...... cant remember why or when but he did.... it was alll his fault really!!! Now me in my innocence wouldnt have possible started making knotted handkerchief hats out the knapkins would I.......
Well as you guessed i did and we were before long all wearing plum coloured knotted hats with beer mat emblems on the front of them...... Now normally this would have been the end as it was time to move on.... but No, tim had to ask the bar maid if we could keep the hats... so with her hands over her eyes we all smartly paraded out into the streets and on to the next bar, an Irish pub!!!!!!
So we ordered drinks and so started the next sensible activity of the evening, card pyramids..... only problem the barman had told us we had enough which was a total lie...... so i proceded to wander calmly, and sensible to wander the bar and look for more bar mats..... apparently looking totally normal in my plum knotted hat!!!!!!
Next it all got way to sereal, we went to Big Bad Johns... the strangest pub in the entire universe. The bar was dim dark with a musty beer smell in the air, the tables and walls were covered in business and student cards, bras and panties hung from the ceiling and the floor was bare-boards covered in peanut shells. The barmen was not of this world, clearly posessed by the devil, his soul long departed. We ordered our drinks which were obsurdly cheap, a toy spider at one point dropped from the ceiling and attacked me. and that was the end of our evening...

Day 11 - The biggest chinese in the world ever........

Well tomorrow we were off camping for a long weekend so i spent most the day playing driver for granny so she could get organised whilst ames sat at home and finshed her book and caught up on her diary.
In the evening we went out with granny and sid for their regular hospice dinner.... turned out to be an amazing chinese banquet..... huge plates piled high with prawns, beef, chicken, pork and veges, was amazing....... Went home for an early night as we were due to arise at 430am the following day.
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