Wine and Whale Tour

Wine Tour

Our third day in Victoria we did a Wine and Whale Combo Tour.  Jon had mentioned that we should do a whale watching trip on our vacation.  So I hit up TripAdvisor and found the Victoria Wine and Whale Tour.  It is a full day tour, which is great then you don’t have to figure out an itinerary for one day.  You explore 3 wineries with lunch included.  In the evening you take a boat to ride out to see the whales.  The best part is the transportation is part of the tour and they pick-up and drop off back at the condo.   So I booked and paid for the trip through Trip Advisor and with a couple of phone calls between the Whale Watching Company we were all set.

We got outride our hotel and waited for our ride to show up.  I the tour description it stated we would be chauffeured.  Now chauffeured can mean different things stretch limo, party bus, or big SUV.  I did not expect a Black Cadillac Sedan with the driver in a Black Suit.   The gentleman stepped out of the car inquiring if we were his party that he was picking up and introduced himself to us.  I was patting myself on the back.  We had never had the Lux treatment before.  RJ was our driver, super nice, personable and knowledgeable about the area.  He took us to 3 different locations.

De Vine Vineyards

De Vine Vineyard


The first place was De vine Vineyards.  They make small batches of wines and spirits from the grapes and fruit trees on their property.   We tasted some white wines and a vermouth that was aromatized with more that 30 different botanicals.  I tried it mixed with a pineapple sparkling soda.  It was delicious.  We did try some of their “rums”.  Since sugar cane does not grow on the peninsula, they do have wonderful locally sourced honey that they use to sweeten their “rums”, hence in Canada the term they use is”Honeyshines”.  Those were very nice too.  After tasting and enjoying the views, we purchased a bottle of the 2017 Fleur.  I really wanted to buy the Vermouth and a pine infused Vodka, but no room in the suitcases.  After spending some time on the grounds, we left for the next place.

Church and State Wines

The second place was Church and State Wines.  Church and State Wines is what you would expect a winery to look like. Lots of wine on display and the bar and bistro is very rustic looking.  We tasted a variety of red and white wines and had lunch at the Bistro.  It was a beautiful day, so we had lunch outside overlooking the vineyards.  The menu is locally sourced.  Mom and I had the Salmon with Risotto, Jon had the Chicken dish.  We all had to have the Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert.  After enjoy our relaxing lunch, RJ took us to our next place.

Having a driver to take us around was not only a safe thing to do with indulging in the wines, but he did show us places that we may want to go back to see and restaurant recommendations as well.  RJ was very knowledgeable about the region and the agriculture.  He was also very personable in chatting with us about Denver and our wonderful sports market.  Go Broncos!

Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse

The last place on our wine tour was Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse.  No not a winery, but a ciderhouse.  Jon really likes ciders, this place was his favorite.  We tried 3 ciders,  The Pippin, a traditional cider, the Bramble Bubbley, a blackberry infused cider, and the Rumrunner.  The Rumrunner ages in rum soaked bourbon barrels.  We had some crisps to snack on and we were ready to go. They also have holiday editions like Witches Broom and Wassail.  We enjoyed our ciders and vowed to come back to here again someday.

It was time for RJ to take us back to our condo and change for our Whale watching tour.

Whale Tour

We got back to our room and added an extra layer of clothes.  It has been windy most of the week in Victoria and it can get cold really fast on the water.  We walked down to fisherman’s wharf to Eagle Wing Tours and checked in for our whale watching tour and were outfitted in a special floatation jacket and other items to stay warm, dry and comfortable.  Our captain for our tour had shared with us he had sailed for 40 years,  sailed around the world, and has studied whales.  He had also done some work with National Geographic.  We were in good hands.

We headed out to the water, the further out we went the colder is became.  Then finally we hit gold, we saw Orca.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

After that wonderful experience and a quick tour by the where the seals hang out, our Captain asked if it would be okay to head back little early.  He felt he could not top the experience we just had and it was starting to get really cold and it was just getting colder.  We were all okay with heading back before dark.

After leaving the boat, we grabbed a quick dinner of Fish and Chips at Barb’s Fish and Chips and walked back to the Condo.

We were so happy that we did this tour.  Vacations need to be about experiences that you will never forget.  What is the best travel experience that you have had?  Please share with me.

Hiking At East Sooke Park

Hiking At East Sooke Park

Hiking at East Sooke Park was great break from the city. Last summer we started doing some hiking and thought this vacation would be more of a hiking vacation, but since my mom came with us we had to scale back on the hiking.  I wanted to visit East Sooke Park because every time I brought up hiking in British Columbia on Pinteret, this picture of East Sooke Park would come up.  You know the one with rock and the 3 trees.  My Photo looks good, but not as great as some of the others I have seen.

Hiking at East Sooke Park

It was a beautiful sunny day to explore one of the pocket beaches and the trails near by.  We did see a lot of seaweed, a clam, and a crab that had washed up on the beach.  There were some interesting distressed trees on the trail.

After we explored East Sooke Park we decided it was time for lunch. Nothing jumped out at us to stop at on the way back to Victoria.  If you know of a great place we missed in East Sooke Park area, let me know. We are big fans for local eateries.

Bard and Banker

After we got back into Victoria, we decided to go to the Bard and Banker. The Bard and  Banker is a Scottish Pub located in a former bank building.  My mom worked in a bank for years, so I though this would be good place to visit.

Jon and I indulged in a couple of Bloody Caesars with our lunch.  Which were quite tasty.  We ordered burgers and fish and chips to eat and enjoyed the ambience of the old bank building.  They still hand the vault in the restaurant along with very beautiful light fixtures and original woodwork.

It was another beautiful day in Victoria. The next day we would go on a wine and whale tour.

Exploring Victoria and Chinatown

Exploring Victoria and Chinatown!

Water Taxi


We set out exploring Victoria and Chinatown by Water Taxi  We caught the Water Taxi. at Fisherman’s Wharf near the Float Home Village.  Our taxi stopped for us to disembark at Chinatown.  Chinatown in Victoria is the oldest in Canada and the second oldest in North America after San Francisco.

Chinatown’s Fan Tan Alley

You cannot explore Chinatown without visiting Fan Tan Alley.  Fan Tan Alley holds the record for the narrowest street in Canada and is a central piece to Chinatown.  It is home to several small shops, including a very small record shop that our daughter has purchased records from.  She even  had conversations with the owner about classic rock during her visits.

Chinatown's Fan Tan Alley

Market Square Area

After leaving Fan Tan Alley, we wandered over to the next block over to the Market Square Area.  There are more shops, including a John Fluevog Shoes Store.  Did someone say shoes?  We had to stop and look.  I found out later from a friend we have a John Fluevog Store here in Denver.  It shows you how often I get to downtown Denver.

Lunch is Important

Lunch is a very important meal with all the walking around we did.  Did I mentioned this was my third trip to Victoria and we have been to the same pizza place each time. 🙂  With that being said we established it as our favorite pizza place in Victoria, it is Famoso Neapolitan Pizza.  It was Margarita Monday the day we were there.  There were specials on their Margarita Pizzas and Italian Margaritas, how could we resist?  Famoso Neapolitan’s thin crust pizza is so good and the service is friendly.  They even have Gelato, which sadly I am always to full for.

More Wandering

After lunch we wandered through some more shops, including our favorite Irish shop, Out of Ireland.  They had some good jig music playing, and after the margarita and being an irish step dance mom for 8 years I could not resist dancing a quick jig step.  Haha!  We continued to The Empress Hotel.  We walked around the beautiful landscaped grounds and walked through the hotel and made a washroom stop, and lo and behold there was a fireplace in there.  Fancy!  We walked over to the Harbor after leaving the Empress to check out the view and walked by Parliament.


The day ended with a walk back to our condo on one of the pedestrian walking trails along the waterfront.

We had a fun day exploring Chinatown and Victoria on a beautiful sunny day.  I hope you can take time to visit this beautiful city at some point in your travels.

The Float Home Village At Fisherman’s Wharf

The Float Home Village

Touring the Village.

The  Float Home Village at Fisherman’s Wharf is a community of private residences and businesses.  The “Float Home” owners are happy to have visitors to look around their unique homes.  While you look around, remember to respect the owners privacy.  They only have so much space.  The 2 docks that has the float homes has had people living there since the 1970’s.

Food and Things to Do.

This is a good place for a quick bite to eat.  There is a fish and chips place. BBQ, Sushi, Tacos, and Ice Cream.  While you are visiting you can  book a whale watching tour or a kayak trip.  This is  a great place to catch a Water Taxi to ride across the harbor to explore downtown Victoria or to watch the Seaplane land.

A Place to Dream.

Float Home Village at Fisherman’s Wharf is a lovely place to visit.  This is one place that will inspire one to dream to live in a beautiful seaside place.  It is a relaxation place and I can see why the residents enjoy this way of life.

Is there a place you have went on vacation and would move there if money, job, etc was not a concern?  I would like to hear about it from you.


Thieves to protect your health?

Back to Germs

Well It is that time of your again.  Kids are going back to school.  I know a lot of parents are jumping for joy now.  Our college age daughter is ready to finish her 4th year at university at the The University of Aberdeen in Scotland.  She is excited to get back to her school routine.  She worked all summer at a UK clothing chain and has volunteered at The Gordon Highlanders Museum.  There was also some fun with trips to Dublin and London.  As I digress,  kids are starting back to school and you know that also means germ season.  Our lovely darlings bring the germs home to us, then we bring it to community.  Who ever said sharing means caring did not know what they were talking about, especially when it comes to germs.  Those darlings are little thieves when it comes to our health and well being.

Preventative Measures

We can educate people until we are blue in the face about proper hand washing, infection control, and flu shots, but those germs still find their way in.  Last years the flu season started in October in Colorado.  It started earlier than usual. Several of my co-workers came down with the respiratory curd and flu.  This frightened me since I was planning the trip to London to see Myah in November.  I do not have time to get sick and away from work while using  my precious vacation time.  I decided it was time to get out the Thieves.

What is the Story behind “The Thieves”

The legend behind the Young Living Essential Oil Blend is that four, 15th century french thieves formulated and wore a special aromatic blend to protect themselves while stealing during the bubonic plague.


What is in it?

Young Living’s Thieves Blend has a blend of Lemon, Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary.  It has a warm, spicy aroma that is not too overpowering.  I used it all last winter on the bottoms of my feet.  I put 15 drops in a roller bottle and filled it the rest of the way with fractionated coconut oil.  It even went with me to London. Before my trip I would put Thieves in my office diffuser along with either Orange, for a festive aroma or extra Eucalyptus,  to clear out the sinuses.  It was a game changer for me last year.

Diffuser with Thieves

As fall and winter approaches,, Thieves will be part of my prophylactic routine to avoid the colds and flu that will come around.  I recently ordered the cleaning spray to use on my desk at work.  I will let you know how that works.  My routine is usually good hand washing, getting plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and now Thieves.  I want to hear from you.  What do you use to protect yourself and family from the cold and flu bugs?

To order Young Living Thieves Essential Oils or to find out more information on the Thieves Products Click Here.

Pamela Oliver #745729


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Need Deep Relief?

Deep Relief

Deep Relief for Travel.

I mentioned that I take Deep Relief with me when I travel in my post, Come Along On My Oily Journey.    I was running low on PanAway and decided to try Deep Relief to take on our annual family reunion trip.  When I travel, I have a tendency to get headaches from not drinking enough water.   My neck and back get sore from the small airplane seats and hotel beds.  It is convenient for travel as it comes in a roller bottle.  I take it in my purse everyday and it goes in my 311 plastic bag when I travel.

Trying Out Deep Relief.

I took it on our family vacation last year and my brother-in-law tried it out on his knee.  He just had knee replacement surgery that summer and experienced relief right away.  I used it when we went to visit Myah in London last winter, when I had blisters that had calloused on my toes from my chelsea boots.  I really enjoy the cool sensation on my toes after a long day of sight-seeing.  My husband uses it regular for his neck and back.  He has became a pretty big believer in it.  I used it this morning on my neck.  My neck was hurting all the way up the back of my head.  I used it on my neck after getting up.  The blend of oils help to relieve the inflammation so I could enjoy my relaxing, Sunday Morning.  It is very versatile for managing pain.

I like that Deep Relief has a cooling effect on my painful spots and that it relaxes the area.  It helps improve the circulation in the area to reduce the inflammation with the combination of oils all in one bottle.  It is targets the different areas of my pain.

Need Deep Relief?

If you want to find out more about Deep Relief you can click here

I would like to hear from you what essential oils you like to use for pain management.

Pamela Oliver #745729

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Lavender, What Can It Not Do?

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The School Report

In massage therapy school when we were learning about aromatherapy and traditional Chinese medicine, we assigned with finding  a scent, plant, or old fashion remedy to report on.  I chose something fairly easy to research(Google).  I chose Lavender.  Lavender seemed uncomplicated and a pretty straight forward topic.  It  is unusual for me to pick something uncomplicated and straight forward, since I like show I  am an overachiever which complicates things even further.

Amazing Lavender

Come to find out Lavender oil can do some amazing things.  Egyptians used it for mummification.  The Greeks used it to anoint feet.  The Romans used it in the their public baths, linens, hair and bodies.  The Roman Solders even used it for wounds from battle.

This brought me to huge findings.  In 1910, French Chemist and Scholar Rene’ Maurice Gattefosse badly burned his hand.  Gattefosse, I am sure was “just a little panicked”, just like we would be now and plugged his hand into a tub of liquid.  Maybe he thought it was water?  Low and behold,  it was Lavender Oil. Well,  that is how the story goes.  I was in Girl Scouts, took the first aid training and we were to treat burns with water.  NOTHING ELSE. I still subscribe to that theory of first aid, however once we get the burn cooled off and no open areas, broken skin, or anything the needs to go to the ER,  lavender oil goes on top.

The story of Gattefosse, as told by different sources sounds thrilling  as he makes this exciting discovery as his own expense.  Gattefosse was a scientist, according to a source he treated his burn with Lavender oil unaware of what he was putting his hand in.   He may have approached it in a more scientific (calm) way to treat his burn.  He turned this tragedy into an opportunity and documented facts to back up his findings.

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Uses For Lavender

I use Lavender for minor burns, migraines, seasonal allergies, in my mascara, and in my curly hair second and third day hair reviving spray.

Popular Uses  Are……….

  • Relaxation
  • Sore Muscles
  • Air Freshener
  • Healthier Skin
  • Bug Repellent
  • Heals Burns and Cuts
  • Headaches
  • Hair Growth
  • Improves Sleep
  • Monthly Cramps
  • Itchy Skin


Swiss Army Knife

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Young Living Lavender Vitality and Lavender Essential Oils

WOW!   Lavender really does cover a lot.  It has earned the nicknamed the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils.  Lavender Essential Oil is an oil that would  be good to start with if you have never experimented with essential oils before.  The Essential Oils I use is Young Living Essential Oils.  They are 100% pure,  Therapeutic Grade, so a little dab or drop will do you in the carrier oil of your choice.  Please click here if you want  to order Lavender Essential Oil.  

I would like to hear about the essential oil that has been the “Swiss Army Knife” for you.  

If you have any question, please message me and I would be happy to help you.

Pamela Oliver #745729


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Victoria-Travel Day

Road Tripping

Today we make our way to Victoria, British Columbia.  Jon picked up our rental car and we left our hotel in Kent Washington.  We did stop at Tulalip Casino to try my luck before lunch time.  I did not do very well.  So we stopped and had lunch at a Panera close by then made our way to the Canadian Border.

Canadian Border


The wait at the Peace Arch crossing was an insane amount of time.  We went for the other crossing which was still a long time but not as long.  When we finally made it through the border we had  just enough time to get to the ferry.  We were already running late for the early check in and had to have a potty stop before we even got close.


We made it on time to be in line to board the ferry.  The worst case scenario is that we would have to wait for the next one.  Jon drove the car onto the ferry and we got out of the car to sit in upper decks to see the water and all the Islands we would pass.  We even had a nice conversation  with an Australian couple who were just going to be in Victoria for the night before moving on.


We made it.  Yay!  There was rush hour traffic even on Sunday afternoon in Victoria.  Most of us may have just got off of the Ferry.  We made it to our condo for a week and check out this view.  Once we unpacked and changed we walked to Belvedere’s.  Belvedere’s is located on the lower level of a hotel.  They have bright orange umbrellas and shades and appeared to be very festive.  Jon and I started out with a Bloody Cesear.  They were very yummy.  Jon ordered a burger,  mom the meatloaf dinner, and I ordered Fish and Chips.  We enjoyed our meal over looking the harbor and listened to some wonderful music.  We walked back to our Condo after dinner unpacked and turned in for the evening.

Victoria-In Seattle for the Night.

I have been looking forward to this trip for a while.  I have been to Victoria a couple of times.  We visited over Thanksgiving Myah’s Freshman year in high school.   We visited the city again when  we did college tours to Seattle and Vancouver the summer after her Junior year as nice day drip. My mom is accompanying us on this trip as this is the only vacation she takes and my vacation time my work gives is very limited.

Seattle for the Night

When we were making our accommodations for this trip we decided to fly into Seattle, go to our favorite restaurant 13 Coins,  rent a car and drive to Vancouver, catch the ferry on to Victoria.

We flew from Denver to Seattle on Alaska Air.  This was our first experience with Alaska Air and I was impressed.  The flight attendants did offer water fairly quickly to us after we took off from Denver.   Usually you have to wait for awhile for the drink cart to come out for that.  I did reserve the fruit and cheese tray for me and mom.  Jon thought I was silly for reserving this, but how many airlines give you the option of something fresh and healthy?  The fruit and cheese tray was so worth it.  It came with apples, grapes, brie, 2 cheddar cheeses, crackers, and a sea salt dark chocolate truffle.  The flight attendant brings your fruit and cheese platter out first when you reserve before serving the rest of the cabin.  They do not have drinks on that cart, so you will have to wait for the drink cart to order your Procecco.  We were in row 30, so we had finished  our fruit and cheese tray before the drink cart made it to us.  Still had the Prosecco though.  🙂  The drink cart made  one more trip before landing in Seattle.  Next Stop 13 Coins.

13 Coins

We discovered 13 Coins through a recommendation from a hotel we stayed at the first time we were in Seattle.  13 Coins has swanky high backed chairs at the counter where you can see the chef’s cooking.  This place is open 24/7.  Jon and my mom opted for pasta dishes, I went for the Prime Rib Special.  Our waiter was excellent and even more excellent to Jon when he mentioned one of the desserts was Peanut Butter Pie.  Oh Dear!  Usually we don’t have dessert when we go out.  But this was too good to pass up.  With really full bellys we took Lyft back to the hotel for the night for the next day we would have to pick up the rental car and travel to Victoria .

London Calling-London Zoo and Sunday Roast

London Zoo

London Calling-London Zoo and Sunday Roast

I have not been to a Zoo for such a long time.  Jon thought it would be fun to go see the animals.  The London Zoo is in the Regent’s Park area near Camden.  After arriving at the Zoo we came upon the penguins and the cranes.  The penguins were a lot of fun to watch.  There were beautiful parrots, pelicans, and flamingos. After looking at the birds, we went into the butterfly house.  A butterfly landed on my hand while I was taking a picture of another butterfly  I wish I would have taken a picture but was I afraid by the time Jon got his phone out it would have flown away.  Instead I just enjoyed the moment that I was sharing with the butterfly.

I always have to see lions.  I love Lions.  They are brave and have great hair.  These monkeys were just all over the enclosure having a great time.  Another favorite are the Tigers.  We enjoyed the reptile house and the fish.  Before the Zoo was to close we saw Giraffe and a Zebra(I think this guy was just waiting for us, I took its picture and then left the area), He made me feel special.

London Calling-London Zoo and Sunday Roast
Hello Cutie Pie!

Sunday Roast

Sunday Roast is the traditional Sunday dinner.  It is the main item on the menu at pubs in the UK.  Sunday roast is served with 1-2 meats, roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables, gravy, and yorkshire pudding. We walked from our flat to The Bridge House in Little Venice.  Had been a little drizzley out, imagine that in London.  It was refreshing to be walking in the dampness, especially with a nice comforting dinner at the end of that walk.   Jon and I had a fried Camenbert cheese  as a starter, we both chose the Sirloin roast with the trimmings. For dessert we had a Salted Honey Tart with Carmel Sauce.  It was all really good.  I also enjoyed an Elderflower Cider which was quite tasty.

After a busy day off to bed.  For tomorrow is our last day in London and we gotta make it count.