10th Dec, 2009

Oh the weather outside . . .

isn’t quite frightful, not if you’re from back east or the central or eastern USA, but it sure is cold here in town! We’re not used to icy days, and the temperatures have been hovering around zero (32 for our American friends). Actually, the last couple of days, that’s been the high! Cold for Victorians. But the sun has been shining and the skies are a gorgeous pale blue with cystal white clouds. The sea glimmers in the sunlight and the stars at night have that special brilliance and glitter they only get in cold winters. So far, we aren’t expecting a white Christmas, but that’s still a couple of weeks away.

butchard gardens lightsIf you haven’t been yet, and are thinking about a trip to Victoria for the season, stay with us and we can book a special trip to Butchart’s Gardens for you. At left is a photo of part of the gardens all lit up for Christmas. It really is a magical place as you walk through, The lights make the gardens a new and completely different place. Additionally, they illustrate the famous holiday song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with whimiscal and wonderful almost life size (or larger than life in some cases) diorama’s. (see photo below)

 As an unrelated UBI, did you know that the 12 days of Christmas refer to the period between Christmas Day and January 6 – Epiphany (or Theophany in the Orthodox Church), which is known as “Christmastide”? True – those are the days when the feast was celebrated, with lots of food, drink, laughter and play and only enough work so that the animals didn’t starve. And in England, Boxing Day was almost more fun than Christmas day itself. The actual day was reserved for immediate family (in the medieval period, that could be a fair number of people, considering the size of some of the families and the apprentices!) Boxing Day was the visiting day, when you went from house to house to give the wishes of the season and partake of your neighbour’s bounty. (And they of yours).

Butchart-Gardens-twelve-nights-of-Christmas-tn

Don’t forget that there is lots going on in the old town – Helmecken House has a special Christmas project on every year, showing what the holidays were like for one of our first settler families, and Craigdarroch Castle also has the old place decked out to the nines – be sure to stop in and see what an upper class Victorian (in both senses of the word) holiday was like.

Craigdarroch Castle winter

Around town you’ll see the usual garlands and lights that the city puts up, and Oak Bay had its celebratory light up last weekend – the place looks almost as good as the Gardens! Be sure to check it out while you’re here.

In spite of the cold air, Victoria and the Admiral Inn are terrific places to be this close to Christmas. Everybody is sprucing up – including us! Because this is our slower time of year, we’re painting the whole hotel! What colours? Well, you’ll just have to come and see, won’t you? I will say that the rooms looks great – Jeff and Arwen and Jesse are doing an incredibly good job.

The housekeeping staff are doing their semi-annual deep clean. Toothbrushes are in short supply in the city, because Helen, Rita, Antonia and Anna Maria are using them all up to get all those hard to clean places. They don’t miss anything, and the rooms sparkle when they’re done. Mark and Felix are helping out with a special deep vacum of all the cloth surfaces in the rooms – beds, chairs, sofas, curtains, as well as checking to be sure everything is in working order. At the front desk, Maureen, Heidi, Megan and Bev are working hard to keep up on all the events so you can enjoy your time here, and Jamie and Judd are training to be on front desk too. 

One of our newest innovations are sweatshirts! That’s right – the Admiral is going to have its very own, gorgeous deep blue sweatshirt/hoodie. Zippered in front, with the crest of the Admiral Inn on the left breast. Tune in next week for a photo, and order yours today.

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