photos and a video from victoria, canada!

see MORE

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn679jh89-2

i’m really excited to share some photos and a video we made from our time in victoria canada a few weeks ago! we have absolutely loved the chance we’ve gotten to explore some of the most beautiful places this past year as we’ve partnered with fairmont hotels and resorts. traveling with little ones is not the easiest, but i wouldn’t trade the memories and experiences we’ve been able to create together while doing so for anything. i feel really really fortunate that we’ve had this opportunity and i can’t thank fairmont enough for helping make it possible.

this was our family’s first time in british columbia (and canada!) and it did not disappoint. we stayed in victoria, the capital of british columbia, at the fairmont empress, a historic hotel built in 1908 a block from the capital building in front of victoria’s inner harbor. they just finished the first part of a huge restoration project and invited us to come experience some of the hotel’s traditions, see what’s new, and enjoy a bunch of really fun activities for families at the hotel and around victoria! you can check out the tea and garden experience fairmont is currently offering here.

watch the video we made above!

lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij100lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10-2

we had afternoon tea (or high tea!) at the empress one afternoon which was a lot of fun! slightly stressful with all that beautiful china and a 20 month old, but gosh i wouldn’t mind having tea like that every afternoon! the entire experience felt very fancy and special.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10-5

samson was very into choosing his tea (it was a peach herbal tea that was so delicious) and also watching and waiting for his tea to brew. (you can see his darling face diligently watching the tea timer in the video above, which might be my favorite part.)

lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10-4lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10-3lovetaza-fairmont3

this horse and carriage ride to beacon hill park for a picnic dinner on our first evening in victoria was also a lot of fun. that park is beautiful, especially as the sun was setting.

lovetaza-fairmont-2lovetaza-fairmontlovetaza-fairmont2

picking a spot to put down the picnic blanket for dinner! fairmont packed us the prettiest dinner spread which you can see below.

lovetaza-fairmont1-2 lovetaza-fairmont-4

when you wanna just sit and picnic (and relax?! lol) but your children are too preoccupied with the ducks and water to really care. haha! our biggest tip for travel with kids is to keep a flexible and open itinerary as you just roll with the punches during your activities. those times where we just say “ok, let’s just watch and follow the ducks with the kids!” over doing what i might have envisioned (calm picnic) is when we have the best time. i often have to remind myself of this when we travel, but when i do, i’m glad i did!

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn678-4

the sunsets on this whale watching excursion were absolutely breathtaking, especially once we got over to the race rocks lighthouse where all of these beautiful sea lions were hanging out.  also, we were able to spot over a dozen orca and humpback whales which was incredible to see up close.  i don’t know if it’s something i’d recommend doing with little ones (sometimes we don’t have the wisest ideas) only because it took a full hour (at full speed) to get out to the whales (also a full hour back) and that very cold wind from a full speed boat on the water was hard even for me (let alone my kids). just a heads up for anyone interested! do it for the sunsets and whales, just pack every mitten and winter hat and wind protecter you can find beforehand.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn6788lovetaza-fairmontjwqn678-3

still can’t get over this.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn678-6lovetaza-fairmontjwqn678lovetaza-fairmontjwqn678901223

one of my favorite meals was breakfast at Q at the empress. the jazz apple and ricotta hot cakes (with whipped mascarpone and caramel)  were so so good.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10i

loved checking out the butchart gardens! gorgeous grounds for sure.

lovetaza-fairmont10-6lovetaza-fairmontjwqn6789-3

also, if you’re looking for a great local lunch spot near butchart gardens, we spent an afternoon at the roost where we had a great meal. it’s a 10-acre farm that also has a bakery/cafe attached and depending on the season, you can check out their wheat fields or pumpkin patches, and other vegetable gardens. we were able to meet hamish who started the farm in the 90’s with his family and he gave us a tour of his incredible car collection which included this cinderella pumpkin carriage that eleanor is sitting in as well as that motorized horse that samson couldn’t get enough of. i’ll take that old beautiful dark blue 1960’s mini cooper, please! ;)

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn6789lovetaza-fairmontjwqn67890122

checking out fairmont’s very own observation beehive where conrad proceeded to yell at the bees. haha! it was hysterical. it’s like he remembers that moment last summer when eleanor got stung and he’s still not over it.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn678901

something very cool at the fairmont empress is its own small rooftop garden. they invited us up to pick some of their fresh herbs and fruits to use in making our own fresh juice drinks and sodas (fancy mocktails, if you will) with their bartender right after.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn67890-2lovetaza-fairmontjwqn67890

we are all about making our own smoothies and juices at home, so this was fun to do with herbs like mint, lavender and rosemary which we don’t normally include in our concoctions at home.

lovetaza-fairmont6lovetaza-fairmont5lovetaza-fairmont4

bubbles (one of conrad’s favorite things to say!) are always a good idea.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10

so are hotel robes in tiny sizes!

lovetaza-fairmont5-2 lovetaza-fairmont6-2 lovetaza-fairmont6-3

lunch outside on the veranda, where the crab, chicken, bacon and avocado sandwich won us over for sure. as did the views.

lovetaza-fairmont8-2

josh is elated that eleanor will be learning how to play chess at school this year. haha. he’s been working on it with both her and samson for a while now so they all had fun playing chess together (or attempting) whenever we’d stop by the fairmont gold lounge.

lovetaza-fairmont8-4 lovetaza-fairmont8-3

conrad on the other hand is more of a chinese checkers kind of guy. ;)

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn679jh

we didn’t know until we arrived in victoria and someone saw samson’s shirt and asked if he was going to the bug zoo, that victoria is home to A BUG ZOO! when we heard we were like, clear the schedule! we must go! and go we did! the kids were able to hold a few different insects and i took one for the team and held the tarantula since samson was dying to but you had to be 18 years old to hold her. (i hate spiders with a passion so it’s difficult for me to admit that holding this spider was actually surprisingly enjoyable. she was just so light and soft!) anyway, that zoo is very very cool and we all loved it.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn679jh-2 lovetaza-fairmontjwqn679jh-3

conrad is our cool little new yorker through and through, never leaving home without his sunglasses these days and insisting on wearing them indoors often (if you try to take them off he gets rather possessive of them and refuses. haha!)

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn679jh890

another favorite part of this trip for us was renting bikes through the pedaler and taking a bike tour of victoria (our tour guide, karly, was the sweetest). we biked over to fisherman’s wharf where we fed some fish to the most beautiful spotted bay seals. (you see their beautiful spots really well in the video.) we loved biking along the shore and through some of the local parks and neighborhoods. we stopped at the ogden point breakwater (which you see in the video where eleanor and samson are running and jumping on those walls and finding shells) and that walk right there on the water is truly stunning.

lovetaza-fairmontjwqn679jh89-4lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10-7

we flew kites at clover point! couldn’t beat that backdrop (and we also ran into some local firemen and their yellow firetruck who were practicing drills there. they invited the kids into the truck and gave them a little tour which made their day. the nicest guys. and i love how victoria has yellow firetrucks over the red here in new york! i’d never seen a yellow firetruck before but i’m a fan.)

lovetaza-fairmontjwqnd10ij10-8other highlights not pictured include our meal at jam cafe (thank you to everyone for the recommendation on my instagram!), our walk through downtown and chinatown, and spending time at the marina and harbor. such a beautiful place.

thank you again to fairmont hotels and resorts for an incredible stay and for sponsoring this blog post.

  1. Oh wow. What an amazing video I think this is one of my favorites!! I’ve never been to Canada before but its so high on my bucket list and this makes me want to go even more. That bugs zoo might be too much for me though, I can feel them crawling over me just from looking at the pictures haha I’m so impressed by the curiosity and bravery of your kids hah, so inspiring ;)

    Liefs,
    Yara

  2. Lauren

    Looks like you had an amazing time! I’m flying to Vancouver on Sunday, my first time in Canada! By the way, congrats on winning the Bloglovin award, I voted for you :)

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  3. Audrie Baker

    I love reading about you, your family and your adventures! I saw you won Best Family Blog for the Bloglovin Awards and just know I voted for you as much as I could!I gave out a little YAYYY when I saw your name! I may have also snuck your name in for Blog of the year but I am so happy for you for winning your category!!! Small achievements can lead to greater things and I def see that for you!

    Have a great day!

  4. Carly

    Such a beautiful location! You guys are definitely blessed to get to go on so many big trips. I bet Eleanor loved having a real tea party and the bucket bike is so cool

    Carly from http://www.AModernMomBlog.com

  5. Megan

    Oh my goodness these pictures and your video is absolutely amazing! It makes me wanna hop on a plane right now

    // http://lifeplusbe.com/

  6. Carrie

    You have the sweetest little family! Your trip looks like so much fun. I’ve been dying to go to Canada!

    Carrie | http://carrieelise.com/

  7. brittany

    whoa! these pictures are so pretty!

    i also know you are a fan of peplum tops- i have a peplum tee roundup on my blog if you are interested!
    http://brittanyisablob.blogspot.com/

  8. Ragna

    Hi Naomi,

    Can I ask you where the dress is from Eleanor is wearing in the photo where she’s holding Josh’s hand? Which is so cute btw :)

    Thank you!

    Greetings from Belgium,
    Ragna

  9. Rylee

    Ugh I love you guys! Awesome videography Naomi! What do you use to edit??

    xo
    Rylee :)

  10. Corina

    Love everything about this , Naomi. beautiful photos and gorgeous Davis family smiles :)

  11. Lauren

    I’ve been following your blog since the good old days and was surprised and excited to see you visited Victoria! I’ve lived in Victoria for 15 years and hope you enjoyed it as much as I do! Happy travels!

  12. Ashley

    What an awesome trip!!! My husband & I love Victoria! It is so beautiful there and everything seems so clean and perfectly arranged!!! We were also surprised by all of the amazing food in Victoria. We had the best indian food of our lives there!!! Love your pics!!!

    http://www.sunshineandseafoam.com

  13. hanna

    The video is awesome –Hanna Lei

  14. Natali

    You guys always have the sweetest photo diaries ever!! Thank you for sharing your life’s adventures and heartwarming family with us!

    http://lartoffashion.com

  15. Haley

    As always looks like an awesome trip!

    Where are your tops from? Both the white one with fringe you wore for the picnic and the yellow lemon top? Thanks!

  16. Shruti

    Hi Naomi! Greetings from India. Love the video and the photos! What do you use to record and edit your videos? They always turn out so great!

  17. Christina

    Gahh where are those super cute navy overalls from!?

    PS – looks like the most excellent trip!

  18. Alison

    Wow you had so many cool experiences! I remember seeing the Empress Hotel while sightseeing with my mom in BC as a child, and her saying how much she wanted to stay there. Really exciting that you got that chance!
    I’m so in love with Eleanor’s pinafore dress – I want an adult sized version!

    Alison – http://alisonpate.blogspot.com

  19. The food and sweets look so good!!!! It looks delicious but it’s so beautiful!!! Picture perfect!!!

  20. sally mae

    one of my favorites! you guys are too good. :)

  21. Shannon

    AWWWW. I love your aventures, i have already seen the video of it. The orcas look amazing! Andcan i love more your children outfit’s?

    Shannon – http://shannontreho.blogspot.mx/

  22. Krista

    I’m so glad you all had a great time! I am a proud Vancouverite and have family in Victoria, so I’ve spend so much time there and it never disappoints. And I have to say I think this video was my favorite so far! Not because I’m biased, but because it looked like you all had so much fun and I just loved Samson’s face when the seal popped up to take the treat. What a cool experience. Hope to have you back in BC soon! xx

  23. bee

    Hi Naomi! I’ve noticed in a lot of posts that Conrad signs things like baby, please, and thank you. I’m trying to teach my 7 month old some basic signs and would love to know if you used a video or program or just incorporated signs into your day to day. Thanks so much!

  24. V

    I really like that you disclose when you’ve been sponsored for a trip or just for things in general. I follow other bloggers who seem to travel constantly. It makes me think gosh…how can they afford the OS trips all time?! In saying that, it’s a bit of a naive thought. You can see that their blogs have turned into a business.

  25. Nikki

    this makes me want to go back to Victoria so badly. I was only able to spend a few hours there, but there are so many amazing things there.

  26. Amanda

    Ah, Victoria is one of my favorite places. I feel so lucky in Seattle to be so close to Canada. We try to go as often as we can! It’s so beautiful. Love your animal photos but can imagine how cold that boat ride must have been! Coolest mom ever for holding that tarantula!

  27. Lexie

    So lovely! All of it! Might I inquire where your overalls are from?

  28. wowww I really really love your video, I have tried to do one from my summer holiday and… it was a disaster … I have a lot of things to learn…

    Your children have a lot of chance for living this kind of aventure

    Kisses from France

  29. Cassie

    I am sitting at home near Ogden Point, and it’s so neat to see your experience in our lovely city! Glad you got to experience it :)

    Cassie

  30. Wowww! Love these pictures :)
    Your kiddos are SO cute!!

  31. Steffi

    What a great post and video. I really enjoyed watching it. It reminded me of our trip to Canada last year. There are definitly more spots we should travel to. So maybe next year we will go there and try Fairmont Hotel, just like you. But this year it will be Orlando, Philadelphia and of course New York.

    Cheers
    Steffi

  32. Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful moments.

  33. Kathy

    Thank you for sharing your adventures and travels! I have a toddler and I can definitely relate to the statement that traveling with littles is a challenge but worth it. Do you ever bring help on your trips (a nanny, babysitter or family member to help out) or is it just your family of 5?

  34. Amanda Pearl

    We are heading to San Juan Island next month and wanted to go to Victoria for a few days – how perfect of timing! What whale watching tour group did you use? Would you recommend them? You officially are the first person I (kinda) know that has been there. My son will LOVE the bug museum too…I am so much more excited!

  35. Delaney

    So glad you enjoyed your visit here! Love seeing you guys enjoy all of our favourite places!

  36. Victoria

    Awe, I’m so glad you & your family enjoyed your trip to Canada! :)

  37. Martha

    Wow, beautiful pictures and video! Could you and Josh please do a tutorial video with tips on how to carry in the ergobaby carrier? I’ve had one for a few months after seeing how much you guys use it, but I’m having trouble with it. Josh makes it look so comfortable to even hop around with it lol!

  38. Stine

    Lovely photos! Where is the dress with stripes on from? The one in the picture where you hold the spider:-)

  39. Lexie

    Wow. That might be my favorite video you’ve made. So stunning. And that smile of Samson’s makes me want to be his friend! And I adore your overalls. Where are they from?

  40. sabrina

    gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous photos! but just a sidenote: Victoria is not the capital of Canada – Ottawa is :P

  41. Lauren

    What a gorgeous place!! Thanks so much for sharing!! How blessed you are that you get to explore so many beautiful places!

  42. So excited you came to Canada. Love love the video you made. I also enjoyed the photos. Definitely will go back to this post next time I go to Victoria. Xo!