We make a big deal about family in our August issue, thinking about things for children and families to do. Well summer for me is not just for spending time with my kids, but also my parents’ annual visit, and time for me to be in the child role myself! Although I know they really come to spend time with us, I still feel like I want each visit to have some special moments and to be holiday-like for them. Whilst they are quite content cycling in and out of Sidney, sampling coffee shops and taking in the views, I like to show my mum and dad something new each visit. After living here nearly 10 years I am having to be inventive now!
This summer we took in the For the Love of Africa Water Garden Tour. It was quite something, poking around in private gardens full of wonderful water features, carefully maintained beds and some with artists or music too. We also enjoyed a local performance by Sidney’s own Edie Daponte; she wowed in a small show with two excellent jazz musicians. It was a true “locals” experience as Edie recognized people in the audience, told stories and even took requests!
We braved venturing into Victoria for the Canada Day celebrations, a truly unique experience this year. With the roads closed we were able to wander downtown, listen to music, eat some awesome ice creams and really understand the depth of pride Canadians have in their country and celebrating its special birthday. We didn’t stay for the fireworks though; for those we waited and went closer to home.
Have you ever seen the Saturday fireworks at Butchart Gardens? The gardens are always impressive to see, but on a Saturday night it is quite a staggering experience. Arrive early enough to picnic on the grass and watch a band on the stage. Make sure you leave a blanket down on the fireworks viewing lawn and you can wander the gardens all evening, especially enjoyable as the sun dips and all the illuminations are switched on. Then after dark there is a light extravaganza using music and the lake reflection; we were blown away by it!
And, as with every visit, we took my mum and dad to a favourite Peninsula restaurant before they had to leave. Breakfast at the Spitfire Grill has become tradition, bittersweet at the end of our time together, but essential to complete the Canadian experience. Where do I get all my visitor ideas from? Why, Seaside Magazine of course!
Editor’s notes re July 2017 issue:
Brian Losie was innaccurately referred to as executive director of Help Fill A Dream Foundation. He is, in fact, a volunteer with the organization.
The profile on page 38 was not written by Doreen Marion Gee. Our apologies.