Vacationing in British Columbia
My husband and I were traveling from New York toBritish Columbia in Sept. 2001. Our first stop was a very remote island in the far North of the region to see Grizzly Bears in the wild. We had a wonderful time but it was all very rustic and we were looking forward to staying in the luxury of the Aerie Lodge outside of Victoria. We rented a car and took the long drive there, arriving late on Sept. 10th.
We had prearranged for 2 massage therapists to come to our room for massages and after that and aquick room service dinner we fell into a restful sleep.
We awoke late the next day and had a leisurely breakfast overlooking the beautiful scenery. We could not have been feeling better.
As is his habit, my husband called his office after breakfast just to "check in" and the whole world changed.
He was on the patio yelling "WHAT?" over and over again, white as a sheet. When I walked outside he just yelled at me to turn on CNN.
They just kept showing those images over and over again. My first thought was for my sister - she was in securities at the time and could easily have been downtown. Then my thoughts turned to my aunt and cousins and friends.... I couldn't get through anyone on the phone for a heart stopping hour. Even then no one really knew how anyone else was doing. It was all so chaotic and unbelievable.
We eventually found out that our close friends and family were thankfully OK and ended up being "stuck" in Victoria for an additional week, as we were not able to arrange a flight home.
During that time we were "adopted" by almost everyone we met. The manager of the Aerie gave us the Presidential Suite at the same rate and arranged for us to attend long sold out events to keep our minds off of things. People in restaurants, shops and on the streets hugged us and cried with us and invited us into their homes.
I have never experienced such incredible warmth and generosity as I did during that horrible wonderful week. I will forever be grateful to the people of British Columbia, but I don't know if I could ever bring myself to go back.