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The most meaningful and beautiful place to me in all of Victoria, British Columbia, would have to be beacon hill park and the places to explore around beacon hill park.
Beacon Hill Park is the central spot to this inspiring area and is located along the south shore of Victoria, British Columbia and the Juan de Fuca Strait. It is about a five minute short scenic drive from downtown Victoria, and the inner harbor which is known to be the tourist hot spot, especially in the summer. It has been a park belonging to the city of Victoria since 1882. A trust was then established for the 62-acre (24.8-hectare) site. Beacon Hill Park was originally called Meeacan (the Salish name for belly) by the First Nations people because from a distance, it looked like the belly of a large man lying on his back.
To this day, the beacon hill park includes a donation only petting zoo with cute goats, mini horses, and piglets. The scenic drive around the park can take you into large fields to either find kids happily giggling and screaming at children play grounds, or beer leagues completing at a local baseball, basketball, soccer, or football game. Some times there are even art or foot markets around the area for the locals and tourists to see and taste.
In 1956, Chief Mungo Martin and carvers David Martin and Henry Hunt created the world’s largest totem pole (160 feet) from cedar. The pole was raised during ceremony with thousands of people, including First Nations’ leaders and civic and provincial leaders. In beacon hill park, this is one of the most significant monuments in terms of culture; you can find this monument in the central part of the park.
If you come visit beacon hill park you will probably be stopped and greeted by a vibrantly colorful, and feathery peacock. This little guy (or girl) is very friendly; however, they can catch you off guard when they expand their wings. There are many of these birds surrounding the park filling the park with joy as the kids try to “pet” them. Just don’t feed them anything; especially peanut butter!
Beacon hill park extends off to many other blissful gems and hidden treasures. These places are surrounding beacon hill park, either to the north, south, east or west of the park within steps. For people that do not necessarily like to be active, one place would be clover point, where there is tons of parking and where you can lounge in the car with a early grey tea and take in the incredible ocean views. Another would be walking in cook street village where you can spend your money in gypsy clothing shops, trendy coffee cafes (the Moka house is a must) or casual restaurants. There is also Dallas road where you can ride your bike in between the water front and beautifully colored colonial houses. Additionally right off Dallas beach is the perfect place where you can spread out a huge blanket in the sand or in a tree fort made of logs and rocks and have a picnic or even bonfire at night. Lastly, there is Ogden point, where you can run along a narrow pathway that actually breaks in the water (also known as the break water) and goes to the end until you meet an old red and white lighthouse. They have a Ogden point cafe there as well that is delicious. If your really privileged and either have a boat, or get invited on one you can see some of these sights from afar, which can be equally just as amazing.
As you walk along beacon hill park, you will come across a long stretch of walk way looking over a breath taking view of the ocean, open field, trees and sand. On a sunny day it is by far he best sight in Victoria; causing smiles and good moods in everyone, everywhere. It also makes me personally smile, by watching dogs of all shapes and sizes play and run freely, as it is also used as an off leash dog park. This is my dog, Tana’s, favorite place in Victoria; you wonder why I’m sure. This area is known as Dallas road, where you can find probably the most laid-back fun loving families or happiest hipsters in the world, ever.
I hope this painted a clear picture for everyone who has never been to Victoria before. I also hope this makes you want to come visit. Obviously this place has its unique and amazing qualities to anyone; however it is more to me than just that. It is a peaceful and happy memory of my childhood that will be standing there forever. This is where my sister and I used to play at the play grounds together when we were younger, this is where my aunt took me and my sister to have a picnic on the beach when I was 3 and she was 10, this is where I then took my aunts kids (aka my baby cousins) to the petting zoo to pet the furry animals, this is where I hung out with my aunt and uncle in the sun shine every time when they would visit from Vancouver and this is where I will take my kids when I have them one day. This is where my family, my life and my heart is, and I could not be any more thankful to have it here, in Victoria.
I am so excited to introduce myself to you all. I am writing to you from my Vancouver Island Home on the west coast of Canada. I grew up in Cordova Bay which is near the sea and went to a to local elementary and middle school where I was blessed with good friends and great teachers. I just graduated from Secondary School and I am thrilled to be starting the next chapter of my life
I plan to take a gap year and focus on my volunteering and martial arts coaching. I also support my mother in her esthetics spa business as a receptionist. Between all of these activities I would like some time to really focus on the career I want to build and what I want to achieve going forward. We are a typical Canadian family. People of all faiths and ethnicities call this county home. My father is the child
of German immigrants and my Phillipino mother immigrated to Canada when she was my age. Together they have built a beautiful life for us. It is my hope that I can give something back to the country that gave me so many opportunities. This is why I’ve joined the pagent process. To speak out about what can be as a country and how we need to care for one another.
I am including a picture of the love of my life our Labrador Retriever “ Tana” . We go for long walks on the beach where I look for sea glass and Tana chases seagulls. In my free time I support Prevention of Violence Canada in
their mission to build a Canada free of Violence. Here is a picture of me with the violence Prevention Charter I signed online. Anyone can do it, and it is designed to show our personal commitments to violence prevention. I have encouraged my friends and family to sign and we are really making progress. This fall the Global Violence Prevention Alliance will meet in Ottawa! Canada is the host nation. So that is something we hope will really make a difference to public policy and shared responsibility for building safe communities.
I also work in food security. I have volunteered at the Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria, where we work to ensure that families and individuals have access to a variety of foods. Victoria is a beautiful but increasingly expensive place to live largely in response to our rental and housing costs. This leaves many families with financial constraints inhibiting food security. The Mustard Seed works hard to help those in need. In the near future I would love to see a Canada where we have no need for food banks because every family has their basic needs met.
I can’t believe a year has passed by already. I am sad to say goodbye to my title as it has meant a lot to me and was an experience of a lifetime I will never forget. I was proud to be crowned Miss Teenage Victoria and represent my hometown in the National Miss Teenage Canada competition in August 2015. I met many kind, smart, and talented young ladies across Canada through this experience and gained new friends that I will forever cherish.
I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer and support many children’s charities, and through car washes, bottle drives and selling chocolate bars I was able to raise $2300.00 for Free the Children. I would like to thank everyone who supported me, especially my friends and family who helped me along this journey through their sponsorship, donations, and fundraising help – I would not have been able to do it without you! Special mention to:
- Ashley Sophia Photography
- Richelle Buckingham, Karen Clark Dance Studio
- Brad Maclaren, Sotheby’s International Realty
- Tim Curry, Langford Canadian Tire
- Gary Brown & Linda Clark, Sutton Group WestCoast Realty
- Gina Savard, Everything Wine, Millstream Village
- Family, Friends, and Neighbours!
I would like to extend my congratulations to the 2016 delegates and I wish them much success in the year ahead. Take time to savor this opportunity and be your own kind of beautiful!
With much gratitude, Alicia Maclaren xo
Wow the days are moving along quickly – such a busy few days but would not change it for anything! So many great memories and lots of laughter and fun with the girls I have met through the Miss Teenage Canada pageant! Below are just a few brief highlights to keep you updated on what’s been happening:
We also got to stop in 2 malls – Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Malls. They gave us gift cards to do some shopping but not the usual amount of time I would spend in a mall! lol Thankfully I am a speed shopper! Also see my blog about where we had lunch (taco truck) as they are one of our amazing sponsors.
We capped off the day with a medieval dinner show. That was really cool. But time for bed as Friday means Preliminary Competition!
Day 6: Friday we spent most of the day rehearsing and getting ready for the preliminary competition. We were being judged on swim suit and ball gown this evening. I felt good about this evening but also know there are so many other amazing girls in this competition and they looked great too!
Thanks again for all of your support and for voting for me! You have until noon Saturday to get your votes in!
Thanks for reading,
Today during our adventures into Toronto we stopped for lunch at a taco place called Richtree Taco Truck. The truck was amazing and it was so well organized and situated in a perfect location in the mall. The truck looked very authentic and nicely decorated. The staff were so friendly to all of the girls.
While I was waiting for other girls to order I got to socialize with many people in the mall and got to meet so many sweet little kids with their starry eyes!
When it was my turn to order it was hard to choose as there were so many great options like burritos and tacos etc. I finally decided on the fish tacos and a very sweet and patient guy took my order and then handed me a nice refreshing cold bottle of ginger ale. I waited for my food to come up and they were very fast. They had an assembly line going – it was very cool to watch the food being prepared before my eyes.
Once I got my tacos I found the other girls and went to sit down. I had my first bite and it was sooo crisp and fresh and mouth-watering!! Full of deliciousness!! My new obsession is fish tacos and I would definitely recommend this place to anyone!
Thank you Richtree Natural Market for a great meal and hospitality! I only wish you were out in BC. Currently Richtree has 4 locations across Ontario, including Eaton Centre where we were today. You can dine in or take-out and they use all-natural, fresh, local and in-season ingredients. My kinda lunch!
Thanks for reading,
What an amazing day! Today we were up early to head out for the day. I had to be ready by 0730am sporting my Miss Teenage Canada pink hat! It was my friend Madison’s 17th birthday and we all sang to her before we loaded the 2 big coach busses.
The girls and I headed out for breakfast and we filled the entire restaurant! The servers were so wonderful and kind and wished us all good luck!
Afterwards were went for a walk on the board walk and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and fresh air. We also got some time to practice our walks in a square in a nearby park. I felt so confident strutting my stuff as all the girls cheered me on! I got some wonderful photos too.
We then got surprised and went on these huge dragon boats. We had a really handsome coach that was amazing and pushed us to work hard. We raced and my team The “west coast, best coast” won!! Later we we enjoyed a big group lunch and got a champion group photo!
Such a super fun day! Later when we got back on the bus we all changed into our fancier clothes for a surprise evening. We were told we were going out for dinner and were surprised when they took us to Niagara Falls! We also got to enjoy a buffet dinner and magic show with Greg Frewin.
We also got to see the falls and get a few photos as well! The falls were all lit up and they were so incredible!!
Having so much fun with these girls! Tomorrow we are heading to the Zoo!
Thanks for reading,
PS don’t forget to vote for me!!
Today we woke up got dressed in heels, sash and comfier clothes for dancing then went up stairs in the hotel for a lesson on how to strut and pose and maintain good posture. We also practiced the evening gown walks for finals and top 20 and top 10 walks.
We all had lunch and then we went back up to learn the opening dance for the show. It was amazing and I picked up the dance number quickly and was able to help teach many of the other girls. I was having so much fun with the director Shawn and our song is a remix of cheerleader!
Later we got surprised saying were all going out and we all had 20 mins to get super fancy to go out for dinner.
After dinner we went back to our rooms and chilled for an hour then went a got our opening number dress. The dress is white with red flowers and it is short and sweet!
Off to bed as we have an early day – we are going into the City tomorrow!!
Thanks for reading,
Love Alicia xo <3
We all wore our fancy cocktail dresses for the occasion.
In addition, we had our 1:1 interviews with the pageant judges. I was so nervous about this but they make me feel like it was just a conversation. This interview also makes up part of our score for the competition. We also got to enjoy a nice dinner together and then we had video interviews to finish off before the day was over. I feel like I could have done better with the video interview – but overall still a good day! Today was such a great experience and so great to spend time with some amazing girls but definitely ready for bed!!!
Tomorrow is filled with rehearsals for the pageant shows! Lovin’ every minute of it!!!
Thanks for reading,
Love Alicia xo