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Sooke Christmas Lights Map 2015

Christmas Lights in Sooke

Christmas Lights in Sooke

Last night, I piled the family in the car and went out in search of the best Christmas lights displays in Sooke. While I didn’t have time to drive every street in Sooke, I think I covered a lot of ground, from up Otter Point Road, over to Broomhill, down Whiffen Spit, and Sunriver Estates. I’d love to share what I found with you!  Read more

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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Friday Morning Link Fest – Christmas, Etc. Edition

That’s right, folks, it’s a link fest. I don’t think I’ve ever actually done one, and I’m not sure why. I read lots of stuff online and I really should share more with you.

HMCS Rudolph: The 21st annual navy lighting contest gets underway tonight at CFB Esquimalt. Protecteur, Winnipeg and Algonquin will be part of the kick-off tonight.

Skate with Santa: Just a reminder that my office is hosting the annual Sooke Santa Skate at the SEAPARC Arena this Sunday, from 2:00-3:30. It would be great to meet some of my readers.

Go Peak to Peak: One of my favourite places, Whistler-Blackcomb is opening its brand new, record-setting Peak 2 Peak Gondola this weekend. Cruising across the valley between the two world-class mountains, visitors will sail over 3 kilometres between the towers!

Radius Victoria Rises: Like a zombie, it just keeps coming back from the dead. This time, as office space until the condo market improves.

Rental Housing Scarce: Victoria, Vernon, Kelowna, and Vancouver remain some of the tightest rental markets in Canada. The CMHC doesn’t take into account basement suites or private rentals, but nonetheless demand is there enough to drive up rents about $60 this year.

The Real Thing: One of several articles I read this morning about sales of real Christmas trees being on the increase this year. Personally, I won’t allow the fake ones in the house, but obviously that isn’t an option for some people.

Grinch Warning: The BBB warns of lots of potential Grinches out there on the Intertubes ready to steal your Christmas. Be wary of scams and use common sense! My lovely wife-to-be is not a scammer, just so you know.

8 Lives Left: After taking a spin in the washing machine, a kitten named Punkin Head Lover Bum has a perfectly reasonable fear of water.

Have fun this weekend, I can’t wait to get my tree!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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