Once again, “business travel” took me to a familiar destination where Aaron and I could visit family! I attended a prevention conference in Buffalo, NY a few weeks back and Aaron had no choice but to book a flight, as Buffalo is only an hour away from Rochester. My family made the 6 hour drive up from Ohio and the 2 days we had with loved ones was fantastic!
Before making the drive to Rochester, to hang out with family, we enjoyed hanging out around one of our favorite spots and showing my co-worker around for her first time (hey, Jess!). Aaron loves the falls so much, he decided to buy a shirt with “Niagara Falls” written on it- something he does maybe once every 6 years.
We had fun, to say the least, and the weather was perfect. If you ever visit the falls you MUST hop on the Maid of the Mist. Shuttles leave from both the NY and Canada sides. For $11.00/person you won’t find a better experience in Buffalo!
Our weekend getaway to Victoria, BC would not have been complete without visiting The Butchart Gardens! Of all the things we packed into 3 short days, the gardens were by far our favorite attraction. The gardens reside in Brentwood Bay, a gorgeous 30 minute drive from downtown Victoria and cost $32.10/person during the summer months.
In 1904, Robert and Jennie Butchart established their home near a quarry and cement plant, developed by Mr. Butchart.
“As Mr. Butchart exhausted limestone deposits, his enterprising wife Jennie, made plans to create something of beauty in the gigantic exhausted pit. From farmland nearby, she had tonnes of top soil brought in by horse and cart and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden.”
Now, visitors can also enjoy the Japanese Garden, Italian Garden, fountains, and fine dining in between!
The Sunken Gardens are everyone’s favorite and a true sight to be hold!
Who doesn’t love the merry-go-round? Even though we got crazy looks from (boring) parents we enjoyed re-living our childhood. I think it was between $2 and $4/person and they have a popcorn cart right outside!
The gardens are open year round and floral displays tend to mirror the season. Over the summer, Saturdays are extended for fireworks and music on the lawn!
I just so happened to book our tickets on the last Saturday of the summer season! So we had a magical time enjoying the “Cool Surfin’ Sounds” on the lawn and cuddling up as we watched the fireworks display!
There are multiple options for dining at The Butchart Gardens and we thought they were all pretty expensive, but I had to book the picnic basket dinner because when do you actually get to eat out of a picnic basket when picnicking? The picnic baskets were around $35.00/person and required a reservation before hand because of first-come-first-serve stipulations. The food was fancy and fresh, as they use vegetables straight from the garden!
Other dining options include:
The Dining Room– The Dining Room offers options for afternoon tea or high tea depending on the season and has been named one of the top 100 outdoor dining places in Canada. Lunch or dinner reservations can be made.
The Blue Poppy Restaurant– The Blue Poppy Restaurant is a little more chill and resides in a beautiful conservatory. Lunch, dinner, and Christmas dinner options are provided depending on the season.
The Coffee Shop– Ice cream, coffee, muffins, etc. can be found at the coffee shop and other small vendors throughout the gardens.
Gourmet Picnics– I already told you about this. Totally worth it! Reservations can be made through the dining room.
I would love to experience the gardens in the fall or winter months (falls in Ohio are my favorite), but we were pretty impressed with all of the activities on Summer Saturdays and couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!
What’s your favorite season?