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Posts from the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

Victoria Christmas Events: Sooke Santa Skate This Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Skate

Sooke Santa Skate

The annual Sooke Santa Skate, put on by our team at Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty and SEAPARC, will be held this Sunday, December 20th, 2009 at the SEAPARC Arena. Join us from 1:30 until 3:00 for a fun, family event. Admission is by donation of non-perishable food items, new, unwrapped toys, or cash to support Sooke families in need this Christmas.

Your local REALTORS® from the Royal LePage Coast Capital office will be on hand passing out free and tasty hot chocolate and hot dogs and collecting your generous donations. Skate rentals are also included if you do not have your own. Bring your camera and get a memorable picture with Skating Santa Claus!

Last year’s event was a success, despite having been postponed due to adverse road conditions brought on by the wild winter weather we had last December. Hopefully we’ll have a typically mild day, making it easy for everyone to safely get to the arena.

I hope to see you there!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Butchart Gardens Christmas Lights Display

The Sunken Garden at Butchart

The Sunken Garden at Butchart

Last night, my wife and I got out and enjoyed the crisp December evening and headed out to world-famous Butchart Gardens on the Saanich Peninsula. Every year they decorate the gardens in thousands of lights, creating a truly magical Christmas experience. Despite the sub-zero temperatures, it was a gorgeous, starlit evening, and the lights were amazing. The gardens are decked out in a Twelve Days of Christmas theme, so along the garden paths there are little vignettes displaying the different parts of the famous song. It was fun to hear everyone reciting or singing “fiiiiiive golden rings” and so on as they approached the various displays along the route.

I brought along my camera, tripod and shutter release to get some long exposure shots of the lights. Lights at night are one of my favourite things to photograph, and I think the results turned out quite well.

A large cedar with lots of presents

A large cedar with lots of presents

There was a brass quartet playing Christmas carols, a carousel, and a skating rink set up for all to enjoy. The admission might seem a little steep at $23.50 for adults (lots less for kids, price list here) but if you buy a yearly pass and go more than twice it pays for itself (many will go once a season, or more if you have guests in from out of town).

I hadn’t been out to Butchart Gardens in about 5 years or more, and I had forgotten how lucky we are to have such a world-class attraction in our back yard. It truly is a top-notch operation and it’s no surprise how popular it remains, after over 100 years in existence.

Enjoy these photos – you can view the rest on my Flickr page.

Ponds are frozen over at the Gardens

Ponds are frozen over at the Gardens

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Spirit Festival was a Success – Sailpast Video

This past Saturday saw the 2nd annual Sooke Spirit Festival which was a resounding success. What started as a small event in a snowstorm last year, grew into a well organized and well attended family affair this year.

I was driving the lead boat (the Coast Guard Auxiliary boat) in the sailpast, and managed to shoot a little bit of video to give you an idea what it looked like out there if you missed it. What a perfect night to be on the water. A little chilly, but the wind held off until after the sailpast, which was a big plus. There were lots of people on the boardwalk watching the dozen-plus decorated boats sparkle on the crystal-clear and calm evening on Sooke Harbour.

Check out the video I shot below. It’s mostly of the boats getting ready and of the beautiful harbour before sundown, as I was driving the boat during the actual sailpast. If anyone has any better video, shoot me an email and let me know and I’ll post it!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Spirit Festival – Parade and Sailpast – Saturday, Dec 5

Ho Ho Ho!

Ho Ho Ho!

The Sooke Harbour Chamber of Commerce and The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit #37 – Sooke invite one and all to the Sooke Spirit Festival, which takes place tomorrow, Saturday, December 5th, 2009. Right in the heart of the town centre, come join us in getting into the Christmas spirit!

What’s happening?

  • Shopping: The parade route in the centre of town will feature concessions selling holiday treats and gifts, and many Sooke businesses will have special Spirit Festival deals!
  • Santa Claus Parade: Starting at 2:30, the big guy in red will travel down Sooke Road through the centre of town.
  • Sailpast: Led by the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, celebrate Sooke’s maritime heritage and enjoy the lighted parade of boats of all sizes from the Rotary Pier or Whiffen Spit.
  • Music: The fabulous Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at the Sooke Community Theatre at 7:30. Don’t miss it! This is a paid event with a portion of ticket sales benefiting the Sooke Christmas Bureau. Info at SookePhil.ca

We have been blessed with fantastic weather this year, and while it will be cool and crisp, there won’t be rain (or a snow storm like last year!)  This is an awesome free family event you won’t want to miss.

Other family events this year in Sooke include the Sooke Santa Skate, put on by me and the team at Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty. Stay tuned to 642Blog for more information about this other wonderful Christmas family event.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Midweek Humour – Hockey Fail [Video]

We all do what we do because we enjoy it and we’re good at it. Sometimes there are days when even when it seems you can do no wrong – you’ve nailed every phone call, email, sales opportunity or customer service goal; and then, out of nowhere, an instance of FAIL takes over.

To illustrate, here is a video of an amazing goal… And an equally amazing fail afterwards:

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Tim Ayres at NAR Conference 2009 San Diego Day 2 – Trade Show [VIDEO]

Today I went to several sessions in the morning and spent part of the afternoon wandering around the massive trade show at the National Association of REALTORS® Convention in San Diego. There was quite literally just about everything you can think of that might possibly be related to real estate on the floor. Virtual tour companies, brokerages, MLS systems, lockbox suppliers, even plumbers, house inspectors and other contractors. I am going to have to go back and visit again to take it all in, it was that large. There were lots of contests and games and giveaways – I didn’t bring near enough business cards to enter! William Shatner was at the NAR booth signing autographs – cool! Below is a short video I shot about the trade show, including a pretty famous blast-from-the-past automobile that was at the DotLoop booth:

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Fall Photo Walk Along The Sooke Harbour Boardwalk

As I watched the sun rising over the back fence and into my home office, I was reminded why I love this season so much.  The crisp, cool air, a bright blue sky, and the golden hue of the morning sun on the colourful autumn leaves prompted me to bundle up and shoot a few photos on a walk along the spectacular Sooke Harbour boardwalk.

Parking the car at the lot on Murray Road, I walked up Murray towards Sooke Road to capture some of the leaves in the trees. I had noticed this the last sunny day we had and had meant to get back there to capture it. Unfortunately the wind over the past few days has pretty much stripped the trees, but they still look pretty on the ground.

Walking down the hill towards the Rotary Pier/boardwalk access, I snapped a few photos of the sun shining through the leaves, and reflecting off the harbour.

I love looking at this house whenever I head out on the boardwalk.

The pier and boardwalk are framed perfectly by the trees

Just because it isn’t summer doesn’t mean you can’t toss a trap in the water for crab. It was deserted on the often-busy pier, save for this couple.

There were lots of leaves left on the trees along the water. The harbour was so still, it was like a mirror, reflecting the trees. Gorgeous!

The harbour boardwalk is a real gem, we’re lucky to have it. It goes from the bottom of Murray Road all the way to Ed Macgregor Park, where it switch-backs gently across the slope offering easy access to and from the water.

I hope you enjoyed the photos! If you’d like to see the whole set, you can view it on Flickr.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Name The New Roaster at Sooke’s Stick In The Mud Coffee House

Work's Boring... I'm Going To The Stick

Work's Boring... I'm Going To The Stick

If you’ve been by the fabulous Stick in The Mud coffee house in Sooke lately, you’ll notice that owner/operator/coffee nut David has cleared out and opened up a back room. What, besides a random-looking door-like window in the wall, is this all about?

David has ordered himself a state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line, so-awesome-it-deserves-more-hyphens coffee bean roaster from Diedrich Manufacturing in Idaho (not just for potatoes anymore!) He was out to visit Idaho a few weeks ago to see his contraption being constructed. It will be ready to ship in early December and arriving at the shop a few weeks after that. The challenge, says David, will be finding gas fitters to install the beast a few days/weeks before Christmas. So if you know anyone that will be working just before Christmas…

Every good roaster needs a name, and The Stick’s is no exception. So, he’s having a contest to name the roaster. Just go into the shop, write down your name and put it in with the rest. Include your name as well, and a contact method so you can get your reward if you win: the very first coffee beans roasted in Dave’s new machine.

I think this is very exciting, and I’m happy for Dave that he’s ready to take his business to the next level. By importing raw beans and custom-roasting them, Dave will be able to not only cut out the middle man roaster, but will have full quality and creative control over what goes into his customers’ cups. But then, those that are regulars like me would expect nothing less from the pusher in the alley in Sooke.

The Stick In The Mud is located just off West Coast/Sooke Road and Otter Point Road, at 6715 Eustace Road in Sooke.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Win 2 Free Nights At Sooke Harbour Resort From DiscoverSooke.com [Video]

My good friend Jason of DiscoverSooke.com is running a contest. You can win two nights accommodation at the fabulous Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina right here in Sooke. Watch Jason’s video below for the details (the links he refers to are below the video on this post).

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The link Jason talks about in the video is here: http://www.sookeharbourresort.ca/specials.html

There are two grand prizes and two ways to win, so pass on this blog post or the video to everyone you know, and increase your chances of winning! Be sure to read all the contest rules on the entry page, which you’ll get to when you follow the instructions in the video.

Good luck!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Close Encounter with Killer Whales (Orca) Outside Sooke Harbour [VIDEO]

What follows below is nothing short of spectacular. Jason from DiscoverSooke.com and Allan from West Coast Outdoor Adventure Rentals were enjoying some time in Allan’s rental Hobie inflatable kayaks on a rare perfectly calm day on the Strait of Juan de Fuca just outside Sooke Harbour. They launched out of Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina and paddled out towards Secretary Island. There had been reports of whales in the area, but nothing could prepare them for what was about to happen.

The whales approached, tentatively at first, but then got curious as to what these two craft were doing, and were soon diving underneath and around the kayaks. An experience those two will never forget, to be sure. The video is a little long, but worth watching, trust me.

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

Whales are certainly common around the Sooke region, and Russ from Sooke Whale Watching (Sooke Coastal Explorations) can get you out to see them in comfort and safety. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss if you visit Sooke.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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