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Confirmed! Victoria Home Exchange for 5 weeks!

Confirmed! Victoria Home Exchange for 5 weeks!

Apr 29th, 2009, 08:39 PM
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,352
Congrats Annetti. Now to keep you from getting bored with nine weeks.
We drive the 101 down the coast every few years for the pure enjoyment of the scenery. Cannon Beach is beautiful with the artisan shops, but we find it better to stay in Seaside, just North where there are more hotels and restaurants. The Redwoods are something unto themselves. There is a dirt road that is barely navigable with a sedan, but it takes you in to a trailhead for a stroll amoungst the giants.
icithecat is offline  
Apr 30th, 2009, 05:28 PM
  #102  
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Thank you, icthecat and traveller69 for the encouragement. We have heard back from both sets of exchangers and we have a place to park our car, so that solves one problem. We have almost certainly decided that we will drive. We recently bought a GPS, so that should make it easier for us. I am a terrible map reader and we get lost often. It will be nice to have a car for those occasional trips and not have to bother with the hassle of renting a car. Thanks, everyone and see you soon in Victoria!
annetti is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 07:43 AM
  #103  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 121
I agree that driving up is the way to go. You may find the car really nice for visiting the mainland - particularly if you want to take the opportunity to visit places outside Vancouver.
Jaysfan is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 09:20 AM
  #104  
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Thanks, Jaysfan and good luck convincing your husband to do a home exchange. It really is a great way to travel. It makes you feel so relaxed and you never ever worry, or at least I don't about using a day wisely, since you are not counting your hotel costs. And it is so pleasant to stay in a neighborhood, rather than in a hotel area. Yesterday, I was speaking to two people at work who had spent a couple of days in Vancouver last year, and their take was so different on the city than mine, because they stayed downtown. Annetti
annetti is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 01:06 PM
  #105  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I think renting an apartment in Copenhagen this year will be a nice introduction -- my husband and I really like being able to put the kids to bed in a separate room (or at times, having separating the girls with a closed door between them!).
I'm sure your drive will go well -- you just need to head due north and then catch the ferry to Vancouver Island, right? ;-)
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May 1st, 2009, 02:11 PM
  #106  
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Enjoy Copenhagen! Rental or home exchanges are a great way to travel. I've done both and think for an extended time, they are much more comfortable than a hotel room.
annetti is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 04:43 PM
  #107  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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annetti,

You asked if Victoria has a "Commercial Drive" area, and no, it really doesn't, although that vibe does kick in here and there and there are certainly parts of Victoria that have true community atmospheres (Fort Street, Cook Street Village, Oak Bay Village).

With 9 weeks in Victoria, you'll certainly want a car. And you'd be foolish not to head to Tofino for at least one of the 9 weeks you have planned. It's true paradise on Vancouver Island.

Having a car in Victoria's really useless, but 9 weeks is a long time to be carless in that area, especially since there is so much within close proximity. A rough California comparison would be like being inspired to spend 9 weeks in Monterey without a car after spending a third that time carless in San Francisco. And you know, the Vancouver:Victoria to San Francisco:Monterey isn't that far off!

With your nine weeks, be sure to spend a day or two on one of the local Gulf Islands. My particular favourite is Galiano.

A day out in Sooke at the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is a must.

A day trip heading north to the wineries and farms would also make a good outing.

But be sure to make Tofino a priority.
Carmanah is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 06:11 AM
  #108  
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Thank you, Carmanah. I will take note of all your suggestions. I, already have Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on my list. I am not sure about Tofino; I understand the ride is difficult for someone who gets motion sickness easily, but I would like to go. There has been so much written on this board about Tofino and its natural beauties that I feel I would be missing out on someplace very special. I think we are just about certain we will drive to Vic. This is a real switch for us, since we avoid driving when we can, but everyone we speak to both here and off the board assures us that we will enjoy the drive.
annetti is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 12:41 PM
  #109  
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Icthecat and Traveller69 and anyone else who has taken the Coho Ferry: Do we need to make reservations to board the ferry or can we just show up with our car? We would probably take the ferry between Thursday, July 18 and Wed., July 22nd. Thanks very much.
annetti is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM
  #110  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Hi Annetti I assume you have the website but just in case here is the link for the schedule http://cohoferry.com/ I would make a reservation at that time of year but if you aren't sure of the date and can kill a bit of time you could always get in line for the next sailing. You can leave your car and walk around town etc. We take the Coho in the off season so don't need a reservation at that time. By the way the little restaurant in the mini mall at the dock has great fish and chips!
traveller69 is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 01:26 PM
  #111  
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Thanks, traveller69!! My husband smiled at the thought of the "great fish and chips."
annetti is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 01:56 PM
  #112  
 
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Well we have some even greater fish and chips in Victoria! The very best are at a restaurant very close to your first home exchange Haultain Fish and Chips. There is a wonderful story that goes along with the lady that owns it but we'll save that for another time.
traveller69 is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 02:38 PM
  #113  
 
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Coho in July? I would recommend a reservation also. You could carry the number with you and call the day before.
icithecat is offline  
May 12th, 2009, 05:45 AM
  #114  
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Thank you, Traveller69 and Icthecat.
annetti is offline  
May 13th, 2009, 08:26 PM
  #115  
 
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Hi! I just read over this thread again. You really do need a car on Vancouver Island if you want to see the scenery. I think I mentioned earlier on this thread that I had exchanged in Qualicum Beach (up island). I had a wonderful time but I did do lots of driving. I even took the freighter to Nootka Sound and saw some heli-logging. Certainly a different trip.

This summer I have a home exchange north of Helsinki, Finland. It will be my 38th home exchange.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 02:34 PM
  #116  
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Thank you, Lauren. Enjoy your trip to Finland. Summer is right around the corner.
annetti is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 07:42 PM
  #117  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I like Moksana for yoga, right downtown, Red Fish Blue Fish , a tiny restaurant serving halibut and chips out of a shipping container, Silk Road for exotic teas (rather that the upscale price of Tea in Victoria), Murchies for chocolate treats, and Munro's books for books specific to Vancouver Island and the native art in the area.

For Island specific gear, try Mountain Equipment Co op. If you're in that area, stop by Willie's Bakery for fantastic muffins or a hearty lunch...Habit nearby does latte art.

The Oswego has a funky bar and I like the O-tini!

Love Tofino and want to take theboat to the Hot Springs there ...be sure to stop at the market at Coombs, where they have goats on the roof.

Can't wait for my next trip.
rivet is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 08:06 PM
  #118  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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oops , besides the goats on the roof, there are delicious lunches, bread and pasteries. Mmmm and honey.
rivet is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 08:27 PM
  #119  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Annetti,

I just read the earllier part of your post...Antique Row. You will love it! I would think you can do most things without a car as the transit is pretty good. Maybe check to see if there are bikes you can use. The cool thing about the transit is that there are bike racks on the bus. We biked the Galloping Goose Trail last Sept , which sets out near your Victoria residence- across the Blue Johnson Street Bridge - enjoyed that very much, a relatively flat ride.

You will be able to walk thorough the rose gardens at the Empress on your way to Beacon Hill Park and the Moss Street market on Saturdays. There is a really good grocery store across the Johnson Street bridge with LOTS of yummy bulk items like Turkish Delight and Dragon Boat mix...oh yeah , the dragon boats practice very near you in the calm waters - I love watching their synchronized efforts. The Canoe Club has a good view and interesting menu.

Always have a long itinerary in Victoria. A few things I want to do,but haven't yet are the cemetary ghost walks, the spa at the Empress and kayaking in Johnson Strait to see the orcas. you can also do a return walkon to downtown Seattle for 100 return, maybe spend a night or 2 there.

Aug and Sept ... .perfect time in Victoria. Heading there myself in Sept.
rivet is offline  
May 17th, 2009, 07:27 AM
  #120  
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Thanks,Rivet. You gave us a lot of great suggestions. This thread is invaluable; I don't see how we can run out of things to do.
annetti is offline  

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