Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy (Belated) Ocean's Day

It's been a busy week in my purple office, but FH was off work for a few days so I skipped out on Tuesday afternoon. Can I say I was celebrating Ocean's Day? It's my blog so I can say what I want. At any rate, I celebrate Ocean's Day any chance I get, so I headed to the:



We had a lovely hike down at Wreck Bay (aka Flo Bay or Florencia Bay). It wasn't too crowded, the sun was out, our shorts were on (I shall spare you the pictures of my sun-starved legs) and we had amazing wildlife viewing (whales and...wolves, which I shall save for another post once I've come down to Earth on that one). This is where we went:



Last week, when I was on my road trip, I stopped in at Sooke Harbour House. I've always loved this spot. When I first visited, oh 25 years ago or so, it was a smaller inn, almost like a big house. I love visiting whenever I'm out that way — the gardens and setting alone are beautiful and it's a treat to wander through the gardens seeing what can be grown right at the edge of the sea. This is also a special place because, almost 20 years ago now, FH and I were married while standing on this:



The other thing I love about this place (besides the memories and the food, which is fabulous) is all of the marine-themed art scattered here and there throughout the gardens. One new, very large, addition is this stunning pole:



I'm kicking myself now that I didn't get some close-ups of the detailing on the pole, but when I got close this caught my eye instead:



There was more in the upper gardens, like these seals snoozing in the sun...





...or this wonderfully, quirky jellyfish made of found materials (a great new use for those old frosted glass lampshades, no?)...





And I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a drift log with roots without looking for something like:



Several years ago, the inn put out a book of art and food: The Art of Sooke Harbour House, which speaks to the owners' passion for both. I have the book and the recipes (especially the mussel and carmelized onion tart) are as good as the eye candy. Here's what co-owner, Frederique Philip has to say on the matter.

[I wish I could give proper credit to all of the artists, but, based on what I see in The Art of Sooke Harbour House, the seals are carved by Craig Benson and the jellyfish is by Nancy Powell of Black Cat Forge. (If you know the other artists, please let me know and I'll give credit.)

Art infuses this place and the entire inn is full of it. They also have an art gallery now, which is well work a look on-line if nothing else. But try to get there in person; you won't be disappointed.

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