October 23, 2012

Family History

A picture of my great grandmother that I've always loved - she actually sewed mini alcohol bottles into her coat to smuggle it into the US during prohibition, a true flapper!

I have only been to the west coast twice and both times were unfortunately for business in San Francisco so I didn't get to see much.  My grandmother however has been living half the year in Victoria for quite some time (the other half in Georgia) and a few months ago I decided it was high time I make the trek across the country to visit her.  I scheduled the trip with my dad as a traveling companion and somehow managed to choose the only 4 days (as we were informed MANY times) that it was rainy in the last 3 months.

Despite the overcast skies, it was such a pleasure spending time with my grandmother and her husband Jack sans a massive family get together.  She's had such an interesting life and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of my favorite family stories retold (and a few new ones!) over cocktails.  Some of my all time favorites include the time she spent in Trinidad during World War II as a young girl where she encountered giant snakes gliding over her on the grass and her mother forcing her to eat little birds on crackers at the Chinese ambassador's dinner.  I also learned that as a 100% New York family apparently we used to own stock in a new company (at the time) called Tiffany's (darn! we sold it), there's a painting of my great great grandfather in the New York Athletic Club (now a must see on my next trip to New York!), and my great grandfather was the head of the Fifth Avenue Association!  

Although she is now in a wheel chair, her sense of humor is as keen as ever and cocktail hour still happens at 5:00 like clockwork.

Beautiful sailboats in Victoria Harbor

The fall colors were a few weeks behind the east coast so there was still beautiful red ivy clinging to the Empress Hotel

Breakwater near my grandmother's house, I actually enjoyed how the clouds gave everything a moody Maine-like feeling

A run in the rain with my dad (the photographer here)

Annnnddd the reason I made myself go running in the rain

Butchart Gardens - This used to be an old quarry until Mrs.Butchart decided to create a giant botanical garden

Loan fall foliage amidst the willows

A Dr.Seuss-like garden full of interesting flowers

Stairway to the Japanese gardens - although it looks like it came from Tolkein's imagination

"This is a great place to come if you had something really important to think about" - my Dad on all the little benches and corners in the Japanese garden

1 comment:

  1. So jealous!!! It looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL

    ...and OF COURSE our great grandmother would have sewn alcohol into her jacket haaaaaahahahaa