The Magic of Christmas: Mother, Daughter Weekend in Sidney BC

Travel Diary

What better way to celebrate my mom's birthday than to have a girls weekend in Sidney BC and checking out the Christmas light up at the famous Butchart Gardens. 

Sidney is a town close to Victoria on Vancouver Island. We got there by taking the ferry from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay and driving from there to Sidney. You can also drive there without taking the ferry but you need to have snow tires to get over the Malahat from October to March. The Malahat is a portion of the highway that is higher elevation. 

As you can see by the video, we had a great time exploring Sidney and Butchart Garden. We hope to go there again sometime.
One of the things we like about driving to the south island is passing through Duncan and stopping at the Garage. It's a vegetarian cafe that has lots of vegan food. We especially like the sausage rolls they make there. They are a good deal and they taste good.
We made it to Sidney and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Travelodge but we were in the Business suite so it was the fanciest Travelodge stay we've ever had. Ever notice that it is spelt Travel-odge? We make a point of calling it the Travel....odge rather than Travel Lodge.
We stopped by a restaurant we had been wanting to try for awhile called Fish on Fifth. They are not a vegan place but all of their sauces are vegan and they have a few vegan things on the menu. They have starters, mains, and a dessert that are vegan. There is plenty to choose from.
Here we are enjoying some beverages with our dinner.
We went for the deep fried pickles.
And the vegan big mac. 
For dessert, deep fried banana with coconut whip cream. It was Mom's present from the restaurant for it being her birthday.
It was all incredibly delicious.

Walking around Sidney at night was fun because it was all lit up. We weren't even at Butchart Gardens yet and there were lights all over.
We explored around Sidney some more the next day. The weather was a little iffy but that is what you can expect on Vancouver Island. It didn't stop us from exploring.
Coffee is a very important part of my morning so we made sure to stop somewhere for a nice cup of coffee and a vegan treat. We shared a cookies and cream vegan scone. I also had a coffee with almond milk. It was perfect.
We went around seeing the sights of Sidney.


It's a very nice seaside town. 

There were birds at the harbour.

And there were sculptures of all sorts.

Later, we made it to The Butchart Gardens. The iffy weather had become rainy weather. Luckily they give you umbrellas there. Clear umbrellas! So you can still see the lights easily.
We had so much fun.
We didn't let a little bit of rain ruin our time there. We came all this way and we really wanted to see the light up for Christmas.
They say that Butchart Gardens has 5 seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall and the magic of Christmas! Yay for Christmas.

There was even a carousel for us to ride. I can't remember the last time I rode a carousel. It was a lot of fun.

The lady that was operating the ride was nice enough to take a picture of us on the carousel.
We spent about 2 hours walking around the gardens. We waited inside drinking tea and then it got dark outside. 
They had a little ceremony to turn on the lights. There were Christmas carolers, and they had kids pull the switch to turn on all the Christmas lights. The kids took forever to pull the switch because they weren't strong enough. Finally, an adult stepped in an pulled the switch for them.
We spent another hour exploring the gardens at night with all the lights. 
It was beautiful. It felt like we were in Christmas land. It was pouring rain though, by the way. We got drenched but it was still a lot of fun.
There was a Canada 150 dedication too.
We left and went home to the Travelodge to have vegan hot dogs.

The next day we went to Brentwood Bay and took the ferry back to the other side, Mill Bay. From there we headed back home.
Taking the ferry was something we had never done before this trip. It was cool to see and the sailing was nice because of the very calm water.
This is us on the ferry. Look at how calm the water is. Calm, calm, calm.
I think one of these islands is Salt Spring Island. There are quite a few islands off the coast of Vancouver Island. We need to explore these islands some more.
That is it for our Mother, Daughter weekend in Sidney and Butchart Gardens.
If you enjoyed this post then you should check out our Spotlight series showing other great places to visit on Vancouver Island

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