Christmas In Victoria-December 2018

Tour originated in Calgary, home of Harvey the Hound
It was Christmas in charming, scenic Victoria bound
Northward on Hwy 2, 2A, to Edmonton for hosted lunch
Picked up passengers along the way, all ready to munch

Travelled Yellowhead #16 to Tête Jaune Cache, then south on #5
Passengers became acquainted, talking, laughing, busy like a beehive
By-passed many communities, Gainford, Entwistle, and Edson
Overnighted at Best Western in Valemount, first long day was done

Valemount has one newspaper “Rocky Mountain Goat News”
Saw frozen waterfalls, outcroppings, much snow, scenic views
Avola is site of a protected habitat for spawning salmon
Clearwater lies in the river valley of the North Thompson

Lunched in Kamloops, known as “Canada’s Tournament Capital”
Travelled Coquihalla Highway, lots of snow, but saw no animal
Joined Trans-Canada at Hope, site of chainsaw carvings of wood
In New Westminster, saw intricate lighting of tree tops, with hood

Up early, boarded the coach, eager to begin the new day
Uh-oh! coach wouldn’t start, stranded we were, by the bay
Wonderful!  Nagel found us a comfortable replacement ride
Onward to ferry terminal to wait for sailing to Island side

Chemainus had NO POWER, no stay there, no theatre show
Plan changes were made, and we rallied like an old pro
To Victoria we travelled, lodged at Huntingdon Manor
Had dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory, in Inner Harbour core

Street lamps were adorned with wreaths, stars and red globes
Legislative Buildings were dressed in red and green robes
Inner Harbour was decorated with colourful lights aglow
The City, as a whole, put on a spectacular Christmas show

Saw Festival of Trees, an Imax show, had a City tour with guide
Snow-capped Mt. Baker was seen across the Strait, sunset beside
Enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner at Pendray Inn, at end of busy day
Everyone was in a festive mood, talking, laughing, all seemed A-OK

Christmas Day dawned bright and clear, no signs of snow or rain
Ate brunch at the Manor, variety of food, no fear of weight gain
After brunch went to tour guide’s suite to get a gift from under the tree
Everyone received a white Christmas bear and some form of candy

Enjoyed Traditional Christmas dinner at Pendray Inn, good food and cheer
Returned to the Manor, festivity and spirituality over for another year
Boxing Day travelled to Butterfly Gardens, saw flamingoes, turtles and fish
Then, off to Butchart Gardens for Festive High Tea – what a dish!

We hunted for the Twelve Days of Christmas displays – very artfully done
Watched the skaters, listened to the carollers, and brass band – it was fun
Rode the carousel around, talked and laughed, enjoyed it like a kid
When the lights came on we feasted our eyes on an amazing vid

Colours of blue, pink, green, orange, yellow, purple and red in Sunken Garden
Colourful dragon fountain, trees wrapped in white lights, colour in the open
One word cannot describe the sights we saw, they were Awesome Plus!
Still awed, but tired, we walked to parking lot and boarded the bus

We travelled back to Victoria, our last night on Vancouver Island
Ferried to mainland, a Nagel coach awaited us – give Nagel a hand
Reversed route from Calgary, overnighted in Kamloops at a Doubletree
No restaurant on site, our tour guide hosted a yummy Pizza Party

Northward on #5 to Barriere – area long occupied by the Simpcw
Saw pine trees cascading down mountainsides, covered with snow
Blue River is a community with least amount of wind in Nation
Half-way between Kamloops and Jasper, 280 residents is population

Saw some trees with spidery frost patterns, tree density was getting thinner
Jasper began as “Tent City” in 1915, Hinton was site of Farewell Dinner
Morning break was in community of 38 residents, Niton Junction
Home-going today, good-byes and well-wishing has begun

Dropped passengers in Edmonton, Leduc, Wetaskiwin and Red Deer
Rest went south, on to Calgary, where the coach reversed gear
Returned to Edmonton, home office of Nagel Tours is here
KUDOS to Nagel for a wonderful tour, problems resolved when they did appear.

Composed by: Vickie Murphy, Airdrie, AB