Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blooming Victoria

I looked down at my ring, still having a hard time believing yesterday actually happened.

It was kind of an important day.

Just my wedding.

To my handsome husband.

Still floating on cloud nine, I took Sean's hand in mine as we walked off the boat that would take us to our honeymoon destination: Victoria.

In no hurry, we were last to go through customs.

"What is your purpose in Canada?" The young immigration offer asked as we stepped up to the counter.

I squeezed Sean's hand. He was terrified of immigration officials ever since he cracked a bad joke on the way to Vancouver B.C. and was reamed by the agent.

"We're on our honeymoon," I said, smiling.

He looked up from our passports.

"How many years have you been married?" he asked.

I looked at him for a moment, confused.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"How many years?" he repeated.

"We're on our honeymoon, not anniversary," I corrected. "We just got married yesterday."

"I see," said the official, eyeing our bag full of naughty lingerie, wine, and edible chocolate panties. "Come with me please."

I groaned. I shouldn't have corrected him. I should have just said "three years" or something.

"Take a seat," he said, trying to sound intimidating. I spared a glance at Sean and saw it was working.

"Don't worry honey. We're not drug smugglers. We're just newlyweds."

Sean just nodded. Another officer came out and indicated for Sean to stand. Why did they have to take him? The man who told a Canadian officer three years ago that he had no weapons of mass destruction in the back of his truck.

White as a sheet, Sean followed the officer into a separate room. I stood and walked to the other officer who didn't know the difference between honeymoon and anniversary.

"Listen," I said. "I am on my honeymoon and you just took my husband into a sealed room and I know you're going to go through the bag. But there are things in there that I don't want him to see. Surprises, you know?"

The man looked at me. Honestly, I could care less if Sean saw the panties. What I didn't want was for him to say something so stupid they would send us back to the United States.

"Fine," the officer said, knocking on the door. I peered inside and saw Sean trembling in the corner. The officers whispered for a second and then indicated for Sean to get up. I took his place as he shuffled out of the room.

"Did you pack this bag?" the officer asked, pulling two black leather gloves over his hands. What did he expect to find? A rabid animal?

"Yes," I said, watching as he pulled out my hot pink thong, black nighty, and Every Position Sex Guide. His face turned red as he quickly zipped my suitcase close. I felt vindictive. Good, he should be embarrassed. We're just two kids in love. Shouldn't he be looking for drug smugglers or something?

Given the go ahead, we left the ferry terminal. The Hotel Grand Pacific was right across the street from the marina. We checked in and got down to business: food. We ambled down Government Street admiring the sun, water, and architecture. We walked straight to the Irish Pub. We had Irish onion soup, ale, and fries. Satiated, we sat on the lush lawn of the Empress Hotel. Ivy crawled up its side and flowers of every size and color burts from its garden.

"Look!" I squealed as a Clydesdale trotted by.

"Really?" asked Sean, watching the horse and carriage pass.

I got to my feet and pulled him to the stand. We hopped on Sugar's carriage and let her give us a tour of Victoria. The sun was setting over the Strait of Juan de Fuca as Sugar pulled us along the coast. Hues of the deepest pink bathed the Olympic Mountains.

The next day we walked to the tourist office. I wanted to whale watch. However, Sean ran up to me, his eyes begging for approval.

"What do you want?" I asked.

He held out a brochure. I took one look at it and handed it back.

"No way."


I sighed, and two hours later I was standing 100 feet in the air on a platform ready to glide over treetops.

"I hate you," I screamed as I launched off the platform. My eyes were squeezed shut until I realized I was still alive and perfectly safe. I opened them and looked down. I was floating above the canopy. I could see all the way to the water. The fresh air felt good on my flushed face.

We zipped from tree top to tree top, each one higher and longer. When our van pulled into out hotel parking lot, I didn't let Sean out.

"Are you stopping near the spaghetti factory?" I asked the driver, who nodded.

"That's it. You're taking me to dinner," I told Sean. "You owe me."

We drank copious amounts of white wine. After dinner, we walked to the IMAX and watched a disturbing film set in Africa. After watching one too many antelopes being eaten, we threw away our popcorn and left.

The sunrise was glorious the following day. We watched it from our balcony. Dressed to beat the heat, we walked slowly to the Royal BC Museum. Afterward, Sean rented a purple scooter and we putted all over town. We drove from beach to beach, the cool sea air filling our lungs.

It was the perfect honeymoon.