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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

But we already paid for our parking!

Today we were a bit lazy...but we still got a lot done!!!! No big long, crazy challenging hikes for us today as we were still recovering from our sojourn around Matheson Lake yesterday.

The day didn’t start out as early as we had planned since I was busy most of the morning doing research on new digital cameras. I find watching YouTube videos are very helpful to watch independent reviews on the camera I’m interested in from professional photographers. After most of the morning was spent doing research (it takes a long time!!!), I finally narrowed it down to the camera I wanted and I found a good independent camera store in Victoria to visit. I really want to support local businesses this year if possible since there are so many small business owners who have struggled and continue to struggle with reduced sales because of shutdowns due to Covid.

Before we visited the camera store though, we had arranged to meet Norm and Jo to tour Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria. What better way to tour the gardens but with a master gardener (Norm)!

We parked on the road near the University, met Norm & Jo and walked into the grounds of the University only to find our that all but one entrance to the gardens were closed. So we walked back to the car, drove around the ring road for the University and found the parking lot next to the “multi faith“ chapel. Norm and Richard each paid for parking and we headed into the gardens.

Tree fuchsia



Tree fuchsia

I was amazed to see the plants we normally grow indoors at this time of year, growing outside in the gardens. To think this is almost the end of November in Canada and such fragile blooms are still growing outside! Finnerty Gardens was gorgeous and so well tended. We all agreed it would be beautiful to visit in the spring, when more plants were in bloom.


As we were leaving the gardens a man who was walking his dog (in a dog stroller) said to us “I hope you’ve paid for your parking because the parking inspector was just ticketing some cars in the parking lot!” know that sinking feeling when you know its not going to be good news when you get back to your car?!

Sure enough...Jerry had a yellow ticket on his windshield. Richard then proceeded to tell me that the machine he and Norm “paid for parking in” didn’t have a place to put in our license plate, even though it charged him $3 for parking...and it didn’t give him a receipt either. Richard is going to call the University parking office on Monday and explain the situation, but we’ll probably still have to pay the $30 ticket. That was an expensive “free“ garden visit!

We left the gardens pretty annoyed with the ticket but we were determined not to let it ruin the rest of our day. We left the University to find the Kerrisdale Camera store to see if my research this morning was going to be the right solution for me. When I met with a salesman I told him I was interested in the Nikon D850 camera. He fitted it with a zoom lens and when I picked it up to take some photos in the store, I could barely lift the camera. It was unbelievably HEAVY! None of the You Tube videos I had been watching this morning talked about the sheer weight of the camera and lens! After further discussions on the type of photography I liked to do, the salesman brought me a mirrorless Nikon Z7 camera to try. The camera was still a bit heavier than my Canon Rebel T7, but it had the features I was looking for, in particular the better image quality I feel my beginner camera is missing. The Nikon Z7 is a 45 mega pixel camera vs the 24 mega pixels in my Canon. Since I had not done any research on the Nikon camera or on mirrorless cameras in general, the salesman wrote down all the details for me on the Z7 and I will do my research over the weekend and think about whether to buy it before we leave the Victoria area next week. My retirement gift to me!...we’ll see....

Canon Rebel & on the left and new Nikon Z7 on the right.

We hadn’t eaten lunch yet and by now it was close to dinner time. We knew of this great Indian restaurant in the Uptown mall where we had eaten with my son and his girlfriend last time we were both in town and rather than drive around to try and find something for dinner, we went to Sizzling Tandoor. The food was amazing and we have a lot of Chicken Biryani and Naan leftover for another day!

The Uptown mall reminds us in some ways of Lakeside Village in Lakeland, Florida where we would normally be for Christmas. Since we can’t be in Plant City or Lakeland this year, with the borders closed with Covid, we will have to make do with the Christmas tree from the Uptown Plaza. At the Uptown mall they have outdoor escalators!! If we had outdoor escalators back home they would be full of snow and inoperable all winter! One of the benefits of being in a more temperate climate like Vancouver Island!

So far we don’t have a Christmas tree up yet in Newman the RV, but I think we will need to figure that out soon! As we drive around our RV park, there are quite a few of our fellow RV’ers who are already decorated with Christmas lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Once we get settled up island next week we will have to make it a priority to get into the Christmas spirit!

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