Those qualities were on full display in our two major stops today. Wandering through the luxurious florals at Butchart Gardens in Victoria reminded me that the gift of natural splendour is greatly enhanced when guided by a gifted creative force. There was very little that seemed out of place in the gardens that Jennie Butchart bequeathed to the people of British Columbia. Vibrant colours bursting out of all species of flora were placed in perfect harmony with a brilliant architectural design. I could have sat for hours in the rose garden or quietly meditated in the Japanese garden. But I think that I loved the old Victorian English layout the best. Crafted out of an old quarry, the place gave off the impression of a grand fairyland filled with leafy vines and colours of all varieties. There is a sense here that the outside world can wait for just a bit while one's consciousness is renewed and reinvigorated. Sigmund Freud once said "Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts."
And if that wasn't enough to stir the environmentalist in me, we decided to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park just as evening was setting in Vancouver. The jaunt across the 450ft long and 230 ft high bridge that is described as "reassuringly wobbly since 1889" was a motion-sickness nightmare. My equilibrium was off immediately as I set foot on the expanse and I felt appropriately nauseated, but I wasn't about to let it deter me. The rainforest ecosystem must be properly viewed from above else it is lost in muddled descriptions. The Treetops adventure of seven suspension bridges through the enormous Douglas firs is enough to bring even the worst acrophobic to his knees, but it is a must experience. As is the cliff walk that is suspended along the granite cliff faces of the canyon, but my height-fearing friend chose to sit that one out. Vancouver has really figured out how to live green and the park at Capilano is a testament to that resolve.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my heart on his birthday. I can't think of a better way or better place in which to celebrate his day. We finished off a wonderful jaunt with a wonderful meal at an amazing vegan joint in Gas Town. Happy Birthday to The Husband. May all of our days be as lovely as today.