^^We found the local LDS church. So small, and so different from any other I've ever seen!^^
Thursday was another day at sea. At this point I had caught some kind of nasty cold, so my day was full of lounging in heated chairs at the spa reading The Help (Side story: Possibly one of my most favorite books I've ever read. Everyone should read it!), eating all of the pre-cut fruit I could find on the ship, and religiously taking DayQuil and vitamins. Fortunately I was able to curtail my cold and my energy came back just in time to explore Victoria Island on Friday!
I had been to Victoria before, but all I remembered was the condo we stayed in and touring some old castle. So between that and just being older on this trip, I felt like I was discovering a new city. Our first stop was Chinatown; honestly, it wasn't as cool as the Chinatown in San Francisco or New York, but it was still fun to walk around and see something different for a change.
We stumbled across a small outdoor market and a bunch of really cute restaurants on our way back downtown.
My second favorite thing to see on the island was the gigantic parliament building. It was absolutely beautiful and impressive in every way possible.
^^The famous Empress Hotel - built between 1904 and 1908.^^
After hanging around downtown for a little bit my mom, grandma, and I took a taxi to Butchart Gardens. This was definitely my favorite thing we saw/explored on the island - the weather was perfect for walking through acres of flowers! And now for too many pictures of flowers. . .
To kick off our week of cruising with a bang! we spent our evening watching one last cruise ship show, stuffing our faces with one last fancy dinner we didn't have to prepare ourselves, some reading, and a cheesecake run at 1 am. It was the best and definitely one of my most favorite trips ever, and I'm dying to go back already!