Okie dokie, it was finally *the* day, *the* day that I’d been anticipating for what seemed like forever! It was time to leave and head to the airport. Here I was at around 2am that morning, finally all packed, freshly shower, and already sleep deprived because I couldn’t even lay my head down on my pillow; that’s how excited I was for this trip, I was like a little girl on Christmas Eve! Our first flight was at 6:55am, but, you know, you have to be at the airport so many hours early now-a-days (although we did apply for and got approved for TSAPre✔️, so that did help us zip on through some of the arduous process of flying now-a-days.
That first step out of the door was the hardest, even though our daughter Christin had already arrived and would be at our house caring for our pups for the duration of our trip, I was in tears as I stepped out the door to climb into the car. I hate leaving our puppers, so, so, so much. And this time it was even a bit harder because our big Newf Sophie has been struggling with many joint issues as of late and I just could hardly stand to leave her. BUT, I knew that she had everything that she needed, i.e. Christin, the correct amount of pain medications, new, large throw rugs strewn about the hardwood floors to help her get up easier, and a strong spirit, so I knew she’d be okay. Still, it was so hard to leave. You can see the rugs strewn around behind me and the couch and beyond in this picture—Chris found many rugs like these at our local Home Depot and he purchased every dark brown one that he could find…Bless him!! ❤
Here are the three sweet puppers that we left behind in the very capable hands of our daughter…as I said though, I left with tears streaming down my face. ❤
Here’s Sophie (Newfoundland):
And Samson (Newfoundland):
And Gracie (Golden Retriever):
And all three:
All righty, so off we headed for the airport. It was the day before we were to climb aboard the beautiful Coral Princess and leave out of Vancouver for our back to back Voyage of the Glaciers cruises. Our first stop once across the Country though would be on Vancouver Island, B.C (Victoria). We got to the airport with absolutely no traffic issues…miracles of miracles in these parts, yes, even in the middle of the night. 🙂 We took a picture of where we were parked in the garage at Dulles Airport, quite the large hub of an airport.
We’d be flying Air Canada for all three of our flights on this day.
The first leg was Northern Virginia to Toronto on this jet:
Second leg would be Toronto to Vancouver on this jet which was the most comfortable of all of the jets we flew in that day, this one was actually quite nice:
Third leg would be Vancouver to Victoria and that is where we’d pick up our rental car and head to our dear friends Liz and Mike’s house for hugs, a lovely dinner, and wonderful conversation. First things first, we had to get there. As y’all know, I cannot stand negativity, but, I’m going to get a little negative here. Even though Chris had procured us “Exit Row” seats for the first 2 legs of the flight which provided me tons of leg room that was awesome, I still felt like we were two sardines in a can…what is it…have they cut 4 inches off of the seats? Or well, maybe I’ve expanded that much, but, dear me we were smooshed…miserable…tried (and succeeded) not to be grumpy as we flew across the country. We were *supposed* to land in Victoria at 1:40pm local time, but, we were delayed so long in Toronto that they had to put us on a later flight…ugh…I was SO sad that that had happened. But, Liz made everything okay, she was so gracious, so loving, and so supportive in her responses when I texted her to tell her the bad news that I couldn’t be sad for too long. We’d be late getting to their house, BUT, we would be getting there *that* evening! Here is the plane we endured for the 11 minute flight from Vancouver to Victoria (of course you sit smooshed in the plane for 30 minutes before take-off and for another 15 as you are taxying to the terminal…BUT, the flight was only 11 minutes…haha. <slapping self on forehead> ) 😉
This was me after that flight…I was pretty much in a daze by this point. 🙂
Okie dokie…We had landed in Victoria!! Woohoo, strike up the band, do the happy dance, breathe a huge sigh of relief…the hardest part of our journey was now behind us. So we headed to the luggage carousel to retrieve our luggage…well we got a bit of a surprise when my purple suitcase rounded the bend…the front pocket was gaping open and the zipper had been ripped apart…oh joy, joy…that was a fun piece of luggage to push over to the rental car agency and then out to the car then later into the hotel then…well, I’ll continue this little saga a little later. 😉 Here is the pocket I’m referring to–thankfully, the jackets that I’d stowed in that pocket were miraculously inside the large suitcase compartment.
ANYhoot, we finally found our rental car, loaded Liz and Mike’s address into our GPS (my phone). It was a 45 minute drive over to their house from the airport…I tried really hard to slap on a little bit of makeup and put a comb through my rat’s nest before we got over there…but, truly, I could hardly breathe, the butterflies in my belly were definitely doing a dance for that entire car ride. Vancouver Island is absolutely gorgeous btw, although I don’t have many pictures of it because I was too busy primping…or trying to anyway. 😉 I did manage this one shot:
We pulled up in their driveway and there sat sweet Liz waiting for us to arrive. As most of you know, Liz was diagnosed with ALS a little over a year ago. I could NOT wait to get to her to give her a HUG…Chris barely had the car stopped and I was stepping out to make my way over to her so that I could hug her neck! ❤
OMGosh y’all, what a sweet hug that was!!! Here we were a few minutes later:
Talk about happy, I was SO excited to see her…boy oh boy do I love this sweet lady!!! ❤
We made our way into their beautiful home and Mike had prepared us the most scrumptious of meals…that I did not take one picture of…UGH…I’m so sorry. But, everything he fixed for us was completely delicious!!! We so enjoyed every bite. Then it was gift giving time…Liz has been building a beautiful dollhouse so I had gotten her some little items to make a “Red Wagon Decor” out of, along with a miniature Newfie doggie figurine (that looked like their sweet Newf Jack (rest in peace) when he was a wee pup, and a bracelet.
After dinner we headed out to their back deck to chat for a nice long little while. As you can see, they have a front row seat to the most beautiful cove I’ve ever seen. 🙂 And they get to sit and watch all of the cruise ships dock in Victoria. Here are a few shots of the view off of their back deck:
And we even had some beautiful visitors come around:
The sun was was setting as we sat out there and chatted away…it was a wonderful, sweet time with Liz and Mike. But, we knew that we needed to head on out and get to our hotel back over across town as we’d be spending the night there and heading back over to Vancouver via another one of those planes and 11 minute flights very early the next morning. OH those goodbyes were bittersweet though…my heart just about broke into a million pieces…truly! ❤ ***THANK you so much Liz and Mike for having us over to your home and for the great food, conversation, and love…such genuine friends y’all, I can’t even begin to tell you what an affection Chris and I have for both of them!! ❤
Chris and I climbed back into our rental car and begrudgingly headed to our hotel. I was pleasantly surprised with the hotel though…It was the Best Western Plus, Emerald Isle Hotel in Sidney, B.C. (very close to the airport).
Here are some pictures of our room which was actually a suite with a kitchenette…very nice. 🙂
And what did Chris expend the rest of his energy doing that night? Yep, you guessed it, he fixed my suitcase’s zipper using nothing more than a butter knife, his tenacity, and his ingenuity. What can I say, the man can fix ANYthing! lol (I felt bad though because Mike had given us a roll of duck tape at my request to be used to fix that gaping pouch—no worries though, I’ll pay him back the next time we see them). 🙂 I was much relieved about that zipper though, I must admit. 🙂
Trust me y’all, I did not feel my head hit that pillow that night…I slept like a baby…And we were back up and moving very early the next morning because we had a flight to catch that would carry us back to Vancouver and to our awaiting cruise ship. 🙂
Talk about beautiful country…the Pacific Northwest’s views are breathtaking!
This was my outfit for this day, still looking pretty tired, but, this was after about 5 hours of sleep and a shower…haha:
We landed in Vancouver pretty early that morning, we actually were offered an earlier flight than we had booked…so we jumped at that because we figured that once we were in Vancouver, we could get to the ship pretty easily. We had arranged for a Princess transfer from the airport to Canada Place (the cruise port). Once we landed we headed over to the luggage carousel and our luggage was literally the only luggage on said carousel …haha…we figured out that that flight was probably full of either commuters or those that had checked their luggage though to another far-off destination. 🙂 Once we had our luggage, I went looking for our Princess Representative that I knew wouldn’t be too far away, and I was right. Princess has a little kiosk set up right past Carousel #6 in the luggage pick-up area. We headed that direction immediately…
It wasn’t long before a Princess Rep showed up and took possession of our luggage–We had placed our cruise luggage tags in the front pockets of our suitcases and had placed them on our suitcases when we retrieved our luggage. That was all she needed, we didn’t see our luggage again until we were on the ship. Nice!! She told us that we needed to be around between 10:15am and 11am (it was only 9am) and that is when we’d be gathered up and escorted to a motor coach for the trip over to Canada Place. Chris and I took that opportunity to go and grab a bit of breakfast right there in the airport.
Chris and I had a hearty breakfast and then headed back to the Princess kiosk and found a nice comfy seat. We met a lovely couple while sitting there and chatted with them, I got a lovely phone call from a dear lady that I’ve met through the Alaska Cruises on Princess Group on Facebook, her name is Eva and she and her hubby Steve live right there in Vancouver—Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to meet them in person this time around…but, we hopefully will do so the next time. 🙂
Our Princess Rep picked up up at around 10:30ish and we were escorted down a level and on out to our awaiting motor coach. The traffic in Vancouver on this day was pretty crazy, our bus driver said it was because it was Labor Day weekend…it took us almost an hour to get over to Canada Place.
But then all of a sudden, the beautiful Coral Princess came into view. 🙂 AND it was time to start our cruise!
One of the members of the Alaska Cruises on Princess FB group posted this beautiful picture of the Coral as it sat waiting for us right after sunrise that morning.
Oh yes, the butterflies in my belly were fluttering again, I was so excited to be going to my favorite place on the planet, Alaska.
Next up, embarkation, a tour of our Mini Suite D407, and more! Here is a sneak peek of what our Stateroom looked like for the Northbound cruise…
And here is a link to Episode #3!
***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***
Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤