Tea for Two…For Thirty-One Years!

1 Aug

Wow!  Thirty-one years!  Time sure gets away!  What an awesome blessing and a testimony of God’s goodness to be married to this man, my high school sweetheart and best friend for all these years.  We had an amazing day together.  When we travel, Jimmy does all the research concerning lodging and restaurants.  I plan the site-seeing, but he looks at all the options available for hotels and restaurants, then plans our day around our meals. Lol!  And he does an excellent job!  It’s always a surprise and a treat for me to see what he’s come up with.

We started the morning with breakfast at Willie’s Bakery and Cafe,  It was a nice walk from our hotel.  We had a good breakfast and then took a walk of the area.  We’d picked up some self guided walking tour brochures the night before at the visitor center, and we decided to get a couple of those walks out of the way before our guided tour of the Empress Hotel.

The walks took us to some very interesting places in the city.  We enjoyed Chinatown (the oldest one in Canada) and some of the other historic sites along the route.  We walked down some little alleys in Chinatown that were filled with interesting little shops.  It was a delight!

Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown

When we finished with the walking tour, we hurried back to the Empress Hotel where we had signed up for a guided tour of the hotel.  We really enjoyed learning more about the history of the hotel and seeing some of the places that are typically off limits.  Our guide was George, and he was very entertaining and knowledgeable.  The tour took about an hour and a half, and we learned a little about some of the famous people that had visited (Queen Elizabeth has visited 7 times) and some of the earlier royals as well.  It was a favorite place for Bob Hope (who always stayed in the same room)  and the Nixons spent their honeymoon here.

This is where Queen Elizabeth sat when she dined in the Empress Room

Our guide George, leading the way

I found out on our tour, that these very unusual trees are weeping Sequoia’s. We’ve seen others in the local parks. Very unusual!

The original entrance to the hotel

We also learned on our tour that the ivy that covers the hotel is not the original.  It was found that the original English Ivy did a number on the mortar, so it was all removed with the exception of a small area at the very center of the hotel.  All of the rest of the ivy was replaced with Boston ivy, which is much easier on the mortar.

We finished the tour and headed back to our hotel room to change clothes for our appointment for afternoon tea in the tea lobby.  We really should adopt this practice in the US!  It is such fun!  What an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.  We had a table for two with a beautiful view of the inner harbor.

Fresh blueberries and cream were brought out first

Then the tray of tea sandwiches, scones, and desserts arrived

It was a wonderful treat on our special day!  We changed back into our walking clothes after tea, and toured the Royal British Museum.  They had a very interesting special exhibit of photos from the Royal family.  We spent a good deal of time there, then decided to walk along a trail near the coast.  We took lots of pictures and saw some absolutely gorgeous scenery.  It is just beautiful here.  The weather is cool, but sunny.  It starts off in the mid to upper 50’s in the mornings, but reaches mid to upper 60’s in the afternoons.  What a refreshing switch from the heat and humidity we left at home (and will soon return to).

This shot shows how very clear the water is here.

A section of our walk that took us through a large park right in the center of town

Part of the path that leads down to the water. The trail is up on a bluff above the water.

After our walk, we headed back to the hotel to get changed for dinner.  Jimmy had made reservations in the Empress room for our anniversary dinner.  It was so special!  The food and the service were outstanding, and when we finished our meal, they brought us out desserts with a special little sign that said happy anniversary and they each had a lighted candle.  What a great day we had!

Our salads

My risotto with local vegetables and a jumbo prawn

Jimmy’s steak

Jimmy’s dessert

My dessert

Right after sunset, I headed back out to take some pictures at night.  Many of the buildings are lit at night, including the Parliament buildings.  The lighting was  installed  all along the outline of the building  to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  They are still on today and this is the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.  These photos were taken at about 9:45 pm, and you can see that it is not completely dark.  What a beautiful way to end this beautiful day.

The inner harbor at night

The inner harbor

The Empress Hotel at night

The Parliament Buildings, all lit up at night

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2 Responses to “Tea for Two…For Thirty-One Years!”

  1. Jim Grayson August 1, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Hi, Jimmy and Debbie. Happy anniversary to you both. Today, thirty one years is a truly God-given gift. Apparently, when we first met you guys in 1981, you must have only been married a short time. You were such a sweet couple and it was such a blessing to have you in my Sunday School class. Remember how it was in the church office across from Bill’s office? It got too crowded in there and they moved us to the auditorium.
    I said you guys were a sweet couple and you still are. I look at the pictures of you guys and the Light of God just shines from your eyes; it’s so easy to see you’re both still in love and love one another more now than ever. When two believers meet and fall in love, the fire of their first love is strong but it’s not like the “tried and true” love of those who have weathered the times of life together. I’m so happy for you guys and grateful to the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon you and your children. Just knowing you folks has been a great blessing to Sharon and me. We’ve always felt close to you and that hasn’t changed. Were it not your anniversary and if I was well, I would have wished we could have gone on vacation together somewhere. That would have been a lot of fun, I think.
    Well, again, happy anniversary to you both. May the Lord continue to bless you in the wonderful ways He has blessed you through the years. Please know Sharon and I treasure your friendship and love you both.
    In Jesus, we hold you dear.
    Jim and Sharon
    PS- On the 24th of March this coming year, Sharon and I will have our 40th anniversary. We have been blessed by the Lord so much and I have been so blessed to have been married to a wonderful lady like Sharon. She’s been through so much because of me and my problems. Not many women would have stayed…May the Lord bless and keep her always, blessing her heart with His Love, Peace and Joy.

  2. Vicki August 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Happy Anniversary to a wonderful couple. You are a great example and inspiration to all. I love you :)

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