Marooned in Victoria;But Marooned at the Fairmont Empress Hotel Which Turned Info Heaven; Fiasco Turned Into Fun

Some things are unbelievable. Harbor Planes have no instruments which means that in bad weather they do not fly. Huh? And what is Vancouver known for? Bad weather. How they can continue in business is beyond my comprehension. all I can say is that Canadians must be a lot more patient than I am. Well, they are, they took the three failed trips quite nonchalantly. Not me, I had hissy fits. If everyone had hissy fits, the company might get instruments which would allow take off and landings in the incessant bad weather.

So on Monday they finally decided that the plane would not go. My rave and rant brought news that I could go instead by helicopter (for a lot of money). So I got in touch with my hosts and off I went. The wait, the confusion, the lack of effective systems of communication was more than a little frustrating but eventually I was heaven bound. The experience was so exciting. It became one of my “born again Canadian” moments. The scenery spectacular, spread out beneath me. . I found myself singing: “You are so beautiful to me, can’t you see. You are everything I hoped for, you are everything to me. You are so beautiful to me.” My fellow passengers were immune to the beauty, sleeping, reading, gazing numbly about. I guess they were regulars, but it seemed such a waste.

Ken and Patty met me and then it was off to the Ray Bateman museum to see a fascinating exhibit of furniture and objects fashioned from a single tree. Ken’s table was my very favorite but there was also a bango made using scrap wood. Others had carved tables, chairs and wall hangings. It was an explosion of creativity. I was so sad to leave London thinking that it was the end of cultural and creative experiences – but absolutely not! Here I was in Victoria in a small museum with true treasures.

The Sunday before that Monday friend Ty learned of an opening on Homer Street two blocks from my apartment. It is rather incongruously called the Leisure Center but is a design center with clothes, objects of art, shoes, and much style. It was the opening night and was crowded with stylish folk. There was wine, champagne and canapés. This staff so cute, so charming, so helpful. The highlight of the evening was a fashion show, a runway of leaves. The music was exquisite, a violinist playing classical music. The clothes were so interesting, the models insolent and pre- occupied, slouching through the leaves. It was decidedly camp! London has nothing on these guys and this scene. Then back to my place for white bean and sausage soup eaten in front of the fireplace. Who cared about the rain? Not me, not Ty.

I did reflect that a lead a good life and enjoy it to the fullest. The streets of Vancouver are crowded with miserable looking pre-occupied souls. They are usually walking their dogs. I do not get the dog thing, there are more dogs then people in Vancouver I have decided. I cannot think of anything more boring then standing around waiting and watching a furry creature urinate and defecate. It is insane. But think of the poor dog’s life? The creatures are confined to a small space for hours and hours and hours all alone while its owner works (and occasionally plays). How can that be fun for the dog? Why I wonder. why do people buy dogs and then imprison them.? For companionship? I have yet to see a talking dog. Something to come home to? Something glad to see you? Get a grip, deal with your aloneness.One woman admitted that her two dogs were a lot of work, they must be. And expensive with the food and the ever present vet bills. I guess I am cold hearted but I would rather be spending my time and attention on real people or, in the alternative, on myself. I learned that a man I coved had a dog; “Deal breaker!” The relationship ended for other reasons but the dog! I would have forced a show down. “It is either the dog or me!” The damn dog would have won. Ken and Patty agreed with me and we had a great chat. Dogs can apparently fly on West Jet, No West Jet for me. They spoke of a couple who spent !8,000.00 on a dog over an eight year period. Think of what else they could have done with the money???

So I save a lot of time and money not having a dog. Another cost saver is the simple fact that I do not, and never have, smoked. So no hanging out in doorways puffing away. I asked a smoker how much cigarettes cost and he said: ten dollars a pack. A pack a day would be $300 a month, so sayeth my math skills. Instead of smoking and dogs I get a personal trainer and a hair stylist. I am ahead of the game, perhaps I should start a religion founded on these principles. But I think a bevy of followers would just get in the way of things.

Ken, Patty and I went to pub for dinner on Monday. The next morning we had our dog discussion over breakfast. Patty and I went to the Empress for lunch before my return flight. But guess what? No return flight as they determined, hours later. It was not safe to fly. I had a hissy fit again but the wonderful staff fed me tea and helped me find a wonderful solution. I got a great room rate at the Empress. The room mate was better than the long term rate at the Trump (the creeps). My Empress room overlook the harbor, it was huge and had a fireplace and a sofa and a bath tub. It was sheer bliss. I got up the next morning and there was fog and clouds and yet again the plane was grounded. I asked, for and got, an extension of my wonderful room rate in my spectacular location. More marvelous surprises and treats which you will hear about tomorrow. I am finally back home and must go and see Hottie and the gang at Equinox.

One photograph is one taken from the helicopter. The other a statute in Victoria whose title is Homecoming that beautifully depicts a man returning from the war greeting his daughter.

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