By Cal Orey
By 4:30 P.M. on Saturday afternoon the CRJ700 (the plane I feared taking for years) landed. So, after starting at 2:00 A.M., and taking a cab, shuttle van, flight to Reno-Tahoe onto Salt Lake City, then Seattle and to Victoria, and finally a cab to my lodging--I was whooped!
On July 1 to escape chaos on July 4 in the U.S., I walked into the hotel lobby located at the Inner Harbour in Victoria. I felt like the desk attendant thought, "Look what the cat brought in." After handing her the proper ID and payment, off I was soaring up the elevator to the 14th floor--with a promise of a suite with a view. I was clueless to what I was getting because the hotel doesn't flaunt these special rooms.
Once on the 14th floor, I slid the card key into the slot, slowly opened the door and walked into the hallway, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. I was greeted with three large windows boasting an island city, mountains, water, and much more. I did adore Montreal, Vancouver, and Seattle but this room did have something unique. An English decor with Mediterranean colors of red, gold, and white made me feel out of my comfort zone but oh-so comfortable like home. The thing is, cloudy skies and rain like in Seattle are my cup of tea and this trip gave me blue sky and sunshine--not romantic.
Next up was the phone. Room service. After being surrounded by people and motion for hours and hours, I craved solitude. I hadn't eaten much for the day--coffee, tea, pretzels, and bottled water.
Being a vegetarian sometimes when out of the country you will find yourself limited. "No baked potatoes?" I repeated to the voice on the phone. Felt like she assumed I was a strange Californian. I scanned the menu (several times). Sadly, there were no basic green salads either with my favorite vegetables. I pulled a Meg Ryan in "When Sally Met Harry" and ordered a salad with tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese, vinegar, olive oil, and French fries. I thought it would be a light meal...
When the food was brought into my room I was pleasantly surprised. The salad was not a side salad but a main dish (for me). The fries? A portion for four. While I was satisfied, the skinny health author who loves to fit into her skinny jeans, I ate about one third of the meal. Done.
The views of Victoria were calming and refreshing. After all, it took me a while to get it that that was my entertainment. There were no pay-per-view movies. No movies! As a film buff who views movies (drama, thriller, romance, mystery, and sometimes horror), I was horrified that I was movie-less! By 9:00 P.M. I fell asleep despite that it was still light outside much like Alaska in the summertime. Another surprise. No dog to take out. No cat to cuddle. Still, I had landed in Victoria, British Columbia. My main goal for several years had been achieved.
To Be Continued...