Day 14: Penticton, BC – Victoria, BC

We fly home a week from today?!?  booo!!!

Today we went back to an early morning wake up and long travel day.  As I was making toast for breakfast I happened to set the smoke detector off (before 7am – oops sorry to the people in the rooms around us) apparently my knack at setting off smoke detectors transfers across provinces.  Luckily the kids still know the drill … open all the windows and wave the smoke out while i stand on my tippy toes on a chair trying madly to shut the damn thing off.

Once we got that taken care of we decided to eat jam on untoasted bread instead and packed up our car.  I had booked us a ticket on the ferry to Victoria at 3pm and it was at least a 4.5 hour drive to get there.  For any normal drive we would had lots of time but the drive of death coming into the Okanagan Valley was not quite a distant memory and I was slightly fearful of what the roads are like getting out of this valley (any chance there are roads that just go right through the mountains??)

Apparently not. But the highways were in better shape and there were more cars (maybe it’s the city in me but I find safety in numbers) and less wildlife (again, this is the city in me).  However, the same steep cliff drop-offs, twisty turny roads and steep climbs up and down the mountains made for another white knuckled drive.  The speed limit on the highway for most of the way was 120km/hour!?!  I couldn’t believe it – that seemed completely unsafe!  – or maybe I’m just getting old?

I had set my GPS for about the first time today. Kim had made me practice at her house in case I needed it.  I have never really figured it out before and let me tell you.  We are not friends.  (the GPS, i mean).

I hate it’s annoying tsking voice that tells me it’s ‘recalculating‘ every time I go off track (I typically know I’m lost – you don’t have to rub it in my face!).  At one point today I made about a dozen wrong turns trying to find a gas station and the GPS kept repeating “recalculating” every 5 seconds to which I kept responding “Shut Up!” When it finally requested that I just stay on the highlighted route I had had enough,

“I heard you the first time you stupid machine !!!  Shut the FU*%k UP!!!”

Okay don’t worry I left the profanities out. But let’s face it… we all knew what I was thinking.

Then partway on my journey it all of a sudden pointed out, “there is a better route available.” What the hell?!

  1. If there really is a better route available; why didn’t you offer it up the first time you routed this trip for me rather than waiting til the last minute.
  2. Are you planning on actually telling me what this better route is or do i have to guess??
  3. This is so why we are not friends.

It apparently wasn’t going to tell me about this mystery route so i pulled over to the shoulder and cross-referenced this route with my map-app on my phone.  They were at odds.  So now what?  We were in the middle of the mountains with a fork in the road, not a gas station or info centre for miles and miles and here I had two options of how I should get outta here.  As much as I’d normally be up for a ‘let’s see where it takes us’ adventure, we were on a bit of a time crunch to make our ferry launch so I didn’t have time to make the wrong decision.  HELP!!

So I did the only logical thing I could think of.  I waved over some random driver who very politely showed me which road I should take.  After which he asked where I was from.

“Toronto area”.

“Jesus. Good luck.”

um thanks.

Miraculously we did make it to the ferry on time (the GPS was safely bound and gagged in the glove box); in fact we made it early enough to catch the 2pm ferry – woohoo!

playground area at the Ferry dock - burning off some cabin fever
playground area at the Ferry dock – burning off some cabin fever

Rain and Moxie loved exploring the ferry.  The water calmed my nerves and we watched for whales/sharks/sea monsters.

BC Ferry heading to Victoria - Bon Voyage!
BC Ferry heading to Victoria – Bon Voyage!

Once on the island we found our way to the hotel without getting lost at all (*insert fist pump).

We arrived at one of the fanciest hotels I had ever been in… I was almost certain that when I gave my name to the front desk clerk he would tell me i was in the wrong hotel.  But nope we were here for the night and he said the most beautiful 7 words that anyone could have said to me at that point, “Would you like the free valet service?” What; you mean I can just give my keys to that guy and HE will park my car… No more driving for me today?  (*insert double fist pump).  Rain and Moxie kept guessing what our room would look like and it was indeed super nice – we even have a balcony with a view of the harbour!  (did i mention I had found a deal on the internet last night?!)

the view from our balcony
the view from our balcony

There is a pool here somewhere (the hotel is MASSIVE) but no time for swimming tonight. We have a date with our own personal tour guide!

My friend from highschool, Joel met us at the hotel and we walked up to the Spaghetti Factory for dinner – yum!  The food was delicious – Rain ate his weight in food and we then wore off some of those carbs and pent up energy and walked back along the lake to Fisherman’s Wharf.  This is a very cool place full of  restaurants, float homes and shops.  We went looking for Sammy the Seal but alas he wasn’t to be found.  Apparently they feed him around 10 in the morning so we may be back…

Driftwood art at Fisherman's Wharf
Driftwood art at Fisherman’s Wharf
At Fisherman's Wharf "Beyond this point, you are under the pacific ocean"
At Fisherman’s Wharf “Beyond this point, you are under the pacific ocean”

We walked back to the motel, said good-bye to our tour guide and the kids fell asleep quite instantly. I’m sipping tea and heading to bed soon myself – it’s been a long day!

Team Adventures with our private tour guide, Joel
Team Adventures with our private tour guide, Joel

Tomorrow we will be heading to another friends house and staying for a couple days while we explore more of the island!

Til tomorrow,

Team Adventurers

One Comment Add yours

  1. elaine says:

    Hi you travellers:
    I am so enjoying your blog.
    Keep on having fun and btw you are a fabulous mom!!!!!
    Take care and enjoy the island-one of my favourite places


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