Sunday, 24 July 2011

FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT ~ "My Trip to Victoria" ~ By: Alisdair

Waiting at the restaurant for a
 taste of fish and chips ... fresh from the sea!
My Mum, 5-year old sister, Isobel and I wanted to go play. My sister and I took our bikes to go to the playground.  There was only one problem... my bike had training wheels. So Mum looked up bikes for kids like me (I have dyspraxia which makes it much harder for me to keep my balance than most other children) but somebody always wanted lots of money.  Then we found “Lose the Training Wheels.

My Stepdad, John took us to the EIA (“Edmonton International Airport”) so we could go on our flight to Victoria (after finding a 24-hour seat sale for a Westjet flight a few weeks earlier).  It was time to use that ticket! I had a nice chat with the man next to us.  Pretty soon we landed and I got to see my Great Aunt and Uncle.

The next day we got to go to the Legislature Building where we learnt about British Columbia’s history. James Douglas was the first Premier of B. C.  (We went to take a look a second time to find out about Amor de Cosmos who started “The Victoria Times-Colonist.”) This historic figure also saw the gold rush in California and later he also became Premier of B. C.). Francis Mawson Rattenbury was the architect for the building and the Empress Hotel. I got my picture taken with James Douglas and Queen Victoria.

My Great Aunt, Mum and I went to “Fisherman’s Wharf” but unfortunately the seal didn’t come up out of the water. But we then went to Clover Point where my Aunt showed me how to tell a male crab from a female crab.

After that I met my“Lose the Training Wheels” instructors and boy did I make them sweat!  The "Lose the Training Wheels” program uses special bikes with a roller (instead of a back wheel).  There are 8 different rollers (instead of training wheels) which they can make skinnier depending on the child’s confidence as they take a break for some water. This remarkable camp has an 80% success rate -- a success rate that I would soon be part of.

After breakfast the next morning Mum, my Aunt, and I went to Sidney, a town just outside of Victoria. First we went to “Mineral World” where there were rocks and other things, so I made a necklace out of my name. I also went to the “Shaw Ocean Discovery Center.” At the end you could touch some of the different kinds of marine life.

One day my Aunt and I tried to use a GPS to try to go Geocaching, which is when you type in the coordinates and try to find a box of treasures.  You get to choose one and put one back in.  Unfortunately we never did find it.

Then another day I still had to use a roller at the“Lose the Training Wheels” bike camp but... I SOON DIDN’T! I “lost my training wheels” and I lost them with belief!  I was just smiling to know it wasn’t a modified bike but it was your average everyday bike.

The next night I had to sleep in a youth hostel because my Great Aunt and Uncle went away for the weekend. On the way to the hostel, we saw some street performers who did some stunts. After check-in we went to Emily Carr’s birthplace and went to view an exhibition about her life at the “Royal B.C. Museum.” In the evening, we got also got to see the Legislature and the Empress Hotel lit up outside.

In the morning, it was time to go.  We were hoping public transit would be on time and luckily it was. When we were driving home from the airport, I got a BMX bike (with no training wheels of course and a speedometer.)

I really enjoyed my trip to Victoria and if you can’t ride and meet the specifications, I would recommend “Lose the Training Wheels” to you.


  1. What was the name of the fish N' chips place? I just got back from Victoria, and went to a fish N' chips place on the coast...wondering if it was the same one???

  2. It was called "Joe's Seafood Bar" and was located at 1208 Wharf Street (Harbour Level). Alisdair had Wild Pacific Salmon, while I had the cod. Both came with potato wedges and coleslaw (with sunflower seeds in it). I was pleased to see Alisdair eating every bite of his slaw! You ordered and paid at a window and then they gave you a pager. You took your pager and walked around to the outdoor patio and waited until it buzzed and went back to the window to get your food. I took photos of the meal, so could post them later. ~ Denise

  3. Victoria is quaint, and I'm really drawn to it.
    canada immigration system is one of the best in the world. However, it is still hard for many people to migrate or to visit Canada. I'd really like to live there someday.