This weekend my niece is celebrating her birthday by heading off with her parents to have high tea at the Empress Hotel. I’m trying so hard not to be jealous!
The Empress Hotel is in Victoria, British Columbia. It’s one of the first landmarks you see when you arrive in Victoria by ferryboat. With ivy growing up its outer walls, the building truly looks like a palace.
I was 6 years old the first time I visited the Empress, and that happened to be the same week that Lady Diana married Prince Charles.
Most 6-year-old girls adore weddings, and a real-life princess wedding — well that’s even more magical. But top it off with the fact that the princess-bride shared my name! Cinderella and Snow White could not compete. The real story was far better than a fairy tale.
As the royal wedding was broadcast on television, 705 million people around the world watched the grand event. I remember staying up very late and watching part of it in our hotel room. In my memory, the room was at the Empress, but it could possibly have been another hotel in Victoria. Regardless, it was a magical memory from my childhood that I have long treasured, despite the true story’s tragic ending.
So back to the tea. Although I have had high tea in Canada once, and I have walked through the tea room at the Empress Hotel more than once, I’ve never had tea at the Empress. Truth is, until about seven years ago, I didn’t care much for tea. But since my dear friend Dani re-introduced me to the elegance of tea parties, and since I now have two lovely little tea-drinking daughters, I really, really hope to share a princess tea the Empress Hotel with them someday. In fact, tea at the Empress with my daughters would be in my bucket list. If I actually had a bucket list — a list of things I hope to do before I die.
Not too long ago, Bonita over at Encouraging Words for Writers blogged about bucket lists. Compiling one seems like a fun idea. My dear friend Aimee also has recommended the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, which could be required reading for someone compiling such a list. Another inspiring book on the subject, which also happens to be one of my favorite children’s books, is Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.
Anyway, since I haven’t read the 1,000 Places book yet or given a bucket list much deep thought, I cannot share any sort of official list with you today. I can, however, share a very rough, very short, preliminary list — from off the top of my head — of some things I’d like to see or accomplish.
- To have high tea at the Empress Hotel with both my daughters
- To visit Prince Edward Island (It’s where the Anne of Green Gables series is based.)
- To go horseback riding in Colorado with my children (I did this several times as a kid, and it was so fun!)
- To visit Austria, Holland, Italy, Spain and England
- To write a series of children’s books (I’d need someone else to illustrate them!)
- To write a book about some amazing and inspiring women I know (You just wouldn’t believe what some have done because of their love for God.)
- To take a college-level photography course
- To visit Washington D.C.
What about you? Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s in it? Do share your comments!