Vancouver Island – 9/24

Today was our one full day in between the cruise and our upcoming train journey. I had arranged a van and driver for a private tour of Vancouver Island. The scheduled pickup time was a brutal 7:15 am. The driver was early and so was everyone in our crew, so we hit the road just after 7:00. Normally, they allow an hour for the drive to the ferry and commercial vehicles are supposed to arrive about 45 minutes before departure, so we had a reservation for the 9:00 ferry.

Between our early departure and the utter lack of traffic on a Sunday morning, we actually arrived about ten minutes before 8:00. When it became apparent that we be arriving before the 8:00 ferry departed, our driver offered us the option of taking the earlier one, space permitting. He warned us that it was the “old” ferry. We jumped on the opportunity to add an hour to our day on Vancouver Island. In retrospect, I think he wanted to be on the newer, nicer ferry, because it served a full hot breakfast.

We added half of our extra hour to our tour of the Butchart Gardens and half to our time in Victoria. My fear that Nola would be bored by the garden was completely unfounded, she was entranced by all of the flowers. She spent a good part of our tour showing off her “helper” skills by ordering us in line. I got relegated to the back. Her dad sympathized, as that’s usually his position.

We didn’t do much in Victoria, just wandered around, stopped for lunch and visited a small market. Unfortunately I realized that the slightly uncomfortable bathroom situation I had noticed the previous day was likely a UTI. My first ever at the age of 53 and it comes while we’re on vacation. Fun stuff. After our driver returned us to the hotel, my first priority was to find a pharmacy, followed by a liquor store. I stayed up way too late, packing and knocking down cranberry pills chased with red wine. At least there will be a bathroom close by when we’re on the train tomorrow.

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