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Confirmed! Victoria Home Exchange for 5 weeks!

Confirmed! Victoria Home Exchange for 5 weeks!

Apr 26th, 2009, 06:56 AM
  #81  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Annetti - Sounds good!!! Where is the new exchange?? Victoria is a lot smaller than Vancouver and I know you kept busy there so there isn't as much to do right in the city. However - if you rent a car when you feel like venturing out there are lots of places to go for short visits. You could see more of the Island and even go back to Vancouver for a day or two. October isn't busy tourist wise so you would enjoy that. The only thing is the weather can get iffy towards the end of October as far as rain etc but generally it is a very nice month. The trees are still colourful - my favourite time to walk through the park - reminds me of being a kid shuffling through the maple leaves. So I vote "DO IT". We have to have our get to gether before the end of August when you first arrive though - we are leaving for the Okanagan Sept 1.
traveller69 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2009, 07:59 AM
  #82  
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Meeesthare:Actually, if the new plans go through, it would mean arrival around July 23 or so. I guess, I confused everyone when I said "four more weeks." So, the four more weeks would be at the beginning of our trip, not the end. Traveller69, I don't know the location. All I know at this point, is that the prospective exchanger is 20 minutes walk to the inner core or a five minute ride. My husband just loves the idea; I am not sure, but I am getting more drawn to the idea. We are waiting for a few details to be cleared up, before we make the final decision. If only, all decisions we had to make could be as pleasant as this one!!
annetti is offline  
Apr 26th, 2009, 08:10 AM
  #83  
 
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Annetti - I would definitely go for it if you will be there in July. Lots more to do around town - festivals etc. Victoria is really at its best then for things to do. We love walking downtown in the evening and mingling with the tourists - watching the buskers on the inner harbour etc. (we are just 3 minutes from there). If you are happy with the description of your exchange then I would definitely go for it. The last half of July/August and Sept are the best months for weather. My birthday is mid July and we always say the weather changes for the better then - its worked so far!!
traveller69 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2009, 08:12 AM
  #84  
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BTW, my husband and I enjoyed the Commercial Drive area in Vancouver. Is there a comparable area in Victoria?
annetti is offline  
Apr 26th, 2009, 08:17 AM
  #85  
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Thank you, Traveller69, your answer must have come through while I was writing another question. I will read your answer to my husband, once he wakes up!
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Apr 26th, 2009, 02:26 PM
  #86  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Annetti. Can you give us any more clues as to the new location? What could be claimed as 'a twenty minute walk to the core' could cover varied neighbourhoods.
icithecat is offline  
Apr 26th, 2009, 07:05 PM
  #87  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 121
Are you looking for a house exchange in Toronto? My husband has always been wary but if the timing fits, maybe I could sell him on it.

For what it's worth, we have a 3-bedroom townhouse in the city close to subway, streetcar, bus and commuter train, and don't have any plans to buy a car. (We borrow or rent for daytrips to visit family mostly, or a weekend away, that's it.)
Feel free to drop me a line at crossoversdairy at yahoo dot ca if you want to discuss this specifically or are game to have me pick your brain about house swaps.....
Jaysfan is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 07:14 AM
  #88  
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Icthecat: I think the new location is near Fernwood Village.

Jaysfan: We would love to visit Toronto. It is definitely on our list of places to go. We had an exchange planned for Toronto for this summer, but it fell through because of the exchangers' work commitments. I prefer to arrange exchanges through one of the Home Exchange sites. It is kind of you to offer. If you think home exchanging is something you want to do, you can visit the various sites as a visitor and look at some of the homes offered for exchange. Some of them are quite fabulous and put me off occasionally from contacting them since our home is more modest. However there is quite a range of homes to choose from; there are one bedroom apartments to huge mansions with acres and acres of manicured grounds. Your home would be perfect and Toronto is a very desirable destination. Home exchange sites often mentioned on this board include:

www.intervac.com
www.homeexchange.com
www.homelink.org
annetti is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 02:57 PM
  #89  
 
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Fernwood Village is an interesting area. Originally settled because it had a shallow water table back in the days when every house had their own well and outhouse. By the 1920s the population density had created a crisis. The water table was tainted from all the outhouses and this led to the 'water riots'. The city had to develop a water system piping in water from a lake ~30 miles away.
Today it is a relatively young community. A recent report in the paper said it was the highest percentage of people who had never been married. There are many old houses some of which are too big by todays norm and have been divided up into apartment units or bedsits with communal facilities.
The community has the Belfry Theater and one pub/restaurant. Strangely it has no grocery stores. The closest are Welburns at Cook and Pandora (this is lower end) and Safeway at Fort and Foul Bay. When you look at your map, you will see that either may be a fair hike, depending on where you are located.
You can still shop at the market on Yates, walk over one block to Johnson and catch either a 2, 2a or 27 to take you up the hill and get off at Fernwood avenue.
Enjoy.
icithecat is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 04:26 PM
  #90  
 
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Annetti - in addition to the great info that icithecat has given you - we have a local grocery store chain "Thriftys" They have a lot of stores around town and they do deliver. So if you are bussing it around town and don't want to lug groceries you can just pop in and do you shopping and for a nominal fee they will deliver.
The Belfry theatre puts on some very good plays so there might be something of interest for you there as well. Although there isn't much right there in fernwood you can walk easily to a lot of the attractions. The best fish and chip restaurant in Victoria (in my opinion) is very close to you as well Haultain Fish & Chips on Haultain just a couple of blocks from Cook Street. Do you have Google Earth on your computer? I love it and always study it before we travel to see where everthing is located. Compared to Vancouver it is a very small city. You can see we are at the end of the Island so the city itself is fairly concentrated. The residential areas do spread out up the Island but the downtown core is very contained. I probably mentioned in an earlier post - I know how you love your sushi and we do have some really good Japanese restaurants downtown as well.
traveller69 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 05:15 PM
  #91  
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Thank you, Icthecat and Traveller69. Dare I say it?? But, my husband and I are thinking (emphasis on the word "thinking") of driving from Southern California to Victoria , so we would have a car if the 2nd home exchange comes through since it would be two months plus in Vic and a car would be nice occasionally to see some of those suggested off-the- beaten-track ideas posted above. We would still use public transit or walk as much as possible. It would also make grocery shopping easier. Still in the talking stage for the 2nd exchange and the car. (I do like the idea of grocery home delivery!!)
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Apr 27th, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #92  
 
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Annetti - That makes a very nice drive. Our first few years of retirement (EARLY retirement!!) we owned a home in N county San Diego and the drive to and from Victoria was always so enjoyable. We did the 101 route because I never get tired of the redwoods and then we did the Oregon coast. You can get the ferry from Pt Angeles directly into the inner harbour in Victoria. Really an easy way to get there. Where are you in S Cal?? It is a very easy drive so if you have parking at the homes its even better.
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Apr 27th, 2009, 07:45 PM
  #93  
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Traveller69: I guess I had better ask about parking. I had not thought about it. But both families plan to drive here, so I hope that I can use their parking spaces.

How long was the drive? Your route through 101 and then onto the Oregon Coast sounds nice.

Where did you break your drive along the way?

Is it a rough ride from Pt Angeles to Victoria on the ferry? I seem to remember someone saying the ride could be difficult.

Also, do you need to make ferry reservations in advance?

However, I am moving too fast, I may NOT have the double exchange and in that case, I am not sure we would drive. The more we talk about driving, the more we like the idea of having a car to explore when we need it, although we would rely on the buses and walking as our major way of seeing Victoria.
annetti is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 08:30 PM
  #94  
 
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Annetti - I think that if your trip is extended back into July, that would be a perfect time to come. I'd go for it!
The ferry trip that's rough is the Clipper, a passengers-only ferry (no cars) which comes into downtown Victoria. The Coho, which takes cars, is larger and more stable and not nearly as rough. It's privately operated - I think the company is called Blackball or something like that. There's also a Washington State ferry between Anacortes and Sidney, that takes cars. We've been on that one and it's quite scenic and not rough at all.
Meesthare is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 09:01 PM
  #95  
 
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Hi again Annetti. We have done that drive so many times - sometimes taking a week to do it and we have also done it when we had to get home in a hurry in 3 days (on I5). We had several places we liked to stop and when my daughter and husband were living in San Francisco we used to stay a couple of days with them. We usually spent the first night in Paso Robles at a motel we like there. We have stayed in Crescent City and different towns on the Oregon coast - again depending on how much time we were taking. It is certainly an easy 4 day drive (are you coming from south of LA?) That makes a difference as well. Of course we always did a pastry stop in Solvang. When you know for sure if you are going to drive and how much time you want to take I can give you some good recommendations. When you get to the top of Oregon 101 splits and one route goes mainly through the forests and the other you head east and then up along the canal. The routes are equidistant to Port Angeles. Yes, you should make a reservation http://cohoferry.com/main/ The picture is where the ferry comes into Victoria - a very nice experience.

We did the drive from Tucson to Victoria in early February in 4 days (3 nights). My husband had a major medical problem so my son in law flew in from Texas to help me with the driving. We just wanted to get home so you see it depends on how leisurely you want to do it. Keep us posted!
traveller69 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2009, 08:51 AM
  #96  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 121
Anetti: Thank you very much for the info and the links; I realised after I'd posted that we'd probably want/need to register. I like the idea of a home exchange, my husband does not. I think an ideal time to do it would be the summer, when we can move into my parents' place for a week or two (they'll be away) -- that way, we're around to greet the guests and DH's issues with having strangers in our home unattended would be mitigated. I'm not sure why he's so adamently opposed to it. My parents' place is great in terms of size, but not in the city core -- they're in the northern part of the city, the older suburbs where you often have to take the bus or drive to get anywhere.

I'll check it out. It would be an easy way of covering off kid friendly destinations if Toronto is marketable (the sites I've gone to seem to want Vancouver and Montreal mostly)
Jaysfan is offline  
Apr 28th, 2009, 06:31 PM
  #97  
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Thanks again, Traveller69. My husband and I are really getting into the idea of over 2 mos in Victoria. We will be very disappointed if it does not go through. He actually thinks driving there may be the way to go, though there was a little wariness today when I ran over something on the freeway, damaged my front bumper and had to be towed. Fortunately, no other problems attached to this, but I dragged a very noisy lawn mower basket for a mile or so!
annetti is offline  
Apr 28th, 2009, 06:44 PM
  #98  
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Jaysfan: You may want to join Homelink. They have a very nice discussion forum where they address all kinds of issues for home exchangers. I have found the comments both amusing and helpful.

My husband is still wary after 13 exchanges; he worries that the people may not be responsible or take care of our home. My policy is to write a lot of e-mails, ask a lot of questions and try to clarify as much as possible beforehand, such as the number of people involved, pet care (if needed on either end), plant care, computers, etc. Try not to leave too much to chance and if anything feels uncomfortable when e-mailing back and forth, don't do the exchange.

Although everyone has to be a first timer when doing an exchange, try exchanging with an experienced exchanger for your first exchange, it will probably go a lot smoother.

Lastly, Toronto is a highly desirable destination and should you decide to do an exchange, you should have no problems at all finding a partner. Some people wait for the offers to come rolling in and that may happen, but writing to others enlarges your possibilities of an exchange. There has been a lot written in the past on this board and you may want to research some of the discussions. Good luck.
annetti is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 07:10 PM
  #99  
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Success! We have a double exchange to Victoria. We will arrive late July. We will have 9 weeks in Victoria. We are very pleased. Now, the next decision, fly or drive. . . ?
annetti is offline  
Apr 29th, 2009, 07:20 PM
  #100  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Annetti - I vote for driving. If you take your time and do the coastal route it is so enjoyable. Also it would be nice to have your car in Victoria because you can take so many nice day trips up Island. You have the time so you should see it all!!! Vancouver had more to do within the city so you filled the time in without the car but it would really be helpful to be able take off on a nice day and see some of the other towns and areas on the Island. We can give you lots of suggestions.
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