Leave Room For Surprises

I like to have a plan. I love schedules and lists. I always feel happy and organized when we are following The Plan.

Fortunately, I married Ben. He helps me to forget The Plan, when necessary.

He encourages me to be spontaneous, and after being married to him for twelve years, I am finally learning that sometimes, the unexpected and unplanned is the best part of all.

When we were visiting Victoria last time, we did a bunch of the usual tourist-type of things. We went to Butchart Gardens, toured some famous, old buildings, hung out by the harbour front. We had a great time doing all of that stuff (and it was all part of The Plan).

But the best part of our trip was spontaneous.

We were driving along the highway when we saw a sign that said “Hatley Castle”, and Ben said, “Hey, I remember reading about that! Let’s check it out.”

I would never have thought of doing this on my own. I would have been too focused on getting to our next planned location.

But we stopped, and went exploring.

Hatley Castle was built by a rich family back in the early nineteen hundreds, but is now the home of the Royal Roads University. We couldn’t tour the inside, but we stumbled upon some amazing gardens on the property.

There wasn’t a person in sight, and we had a wonderful afternoon exploring all the little paths and bridges. We had packed a lunch that day, and ate it in a little gazebo overlooking a beautiful pond.

We took pictures all over the place, and experimented with using the timer on our camera.

Whenever I think of that trip, the gardens at Hatley Castle have always been my favorite memory.

We made sure to take our girls there this time around.

Turns out, things have gotten a bit touristy since the last time we were there. We had to pay to get in, and there were other people around. It lost the whole “secret garden” kind of feel to it. Still as beautiful as ever, but not quite the same as last time.

After we were done exploring the gardens, we drove around for a bit, and ended up on a road that went right by the ocean. Ben said, “I want to pull over.”

And that was the beginning of this trip’s best memory.

It was beautiful and perfect.

We gathered shells and pretty rocks.

Anika and Kaylia played tag with the waves.

The waves won.

I’m so glad Ben wanted to pull over.

After we found dry shoes and pants for the girls, we went to our hotel. As soon as the bags were unloaded in our room, Ben said, “Let’s go exploring.”

I would never have thought of doing this on my own. I would have started settling in and unpacking.

But I’m learning. So we all went exploring, and ended up in the hotel’s rooftop garden.

I’m so glad Ben wanted to explore.

There are times when we need a plan. It can be a good thing.

But there are most definitely times when we need to be spontaneous, and stop to experience the unexpected.

Pull over by the ocean. Visit the rooftop garden.

It could be your favorite.

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6 thoughts on “Leave Room For Surprises

  1. He sounds like my husband. He is always encouraging me to step off the path and explore… I love that he is like that because without I would have missed so much


  2. It’s so freeing to be able to relax and explore. Planning has its place, as you stated, but my most fun experiences have been the spontaneous times. Your photos are gorgeous.

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