No, I’m not looking through rose-colored glasses. Even with an iPhone lens, British Columbia really does look this wonderful in the summertime. Flowers frolic in the sun and shadowy woods with sun-dappled trees beckon hikers.


We visited Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia this summer.

By car, the distance from Jacksonville, FL is 3118 miles.

We flew to Canada via Chicago and changed planes in Houston on the return trip.

Canada is a foreign country, so we did carry passports.

But because Canadians speak English and are friendly and polite, we felt right at home.

That’s our trip in a nutshell. We encountered a rainbow of colors and languages even in places not necessarily tourist attractions. Conversations in Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, and French wafted through splendidly cool air morning and evening. Afternoon Celsius temps sometimes translated to what would be high 80s in the States.

Our impressions in 10 points:

  1. Grocery stores catered to a diverse population.

  1. A courteous call for shoppers to coral their buggies in parking lots.

Shop owners promoted kindness and smiles.

  1. British Columbians preserve nature, setting aside vast acreage of green space even in cities.


  1. Canadians obviously value walking. Designated lanes even on major highways honor cyclists. Still, traffic in Vancouver, BC was bear-ish.

We found a personalized sign instructing my husband to walk!

  1. Homes we stayed in encouraged consideration for others. This house booked through AirBnB posted unmistakable kitchen duties, even providing a stuck-in-the-soil watering can to hydrate the Christmas cactus. I took the hint.

  1. The Parliament Building in Victoria reflects love for the arts, architecture (neo-Baroque) and wise sayings.

The inscription under the rotunda Splendour sin occasu, from the Latin translates “Splendour without diminishment.” The sun never sets on the British Empire.

The VIrtue of Adversity is Fortitude


  1. We detected a strong work ethic. These strapping young swains transported travelers rickshaw style to tourist sites, here to the Emily Carr House.

The Emily Carr House


  1. Victoria’s famed author / artist / naturalist, Emily Carr gives enduring advice on aging well.


  1. Love endures. So does hatred and jealousy. We get to choose.


Postscript I  The American – Canadian exchange rate tilted in our favor. Our $ 64.05 splurge at the Canyon restaurant in Edgemont, BC actually cost us $ 51.24 + tip.

Postscript II   At Grouse Mountain, BC, the skies were too hazy for a helicopter ride or hang gliding. Zip-lining was also sidelined because one of us mentioned that it would cost too much to send a body-bag out of a foreign country. Still on our bucket list? All of the above.

Coming next: Grandma Gets a Keepsake