Monday, September 29, 2008

a daytripper's delight

We couldn't have asked for a more spectacular autumn day than we enjoyed yesterday...a sunny and warm September Sunday.

I purchased a book of 52 fantastic daytrips in the Fraser Valley earlier this year...with plans to visit some new and interesting places over the summer. Somehow summer came and went...and the book remained on the shelf. Yesterday we decided to follow Jack Christie's advice...and pay a visit to Mission and area. We left home shortly after lunch...and found we couldn't drive past our local show gardens on such a beautiful day without doing a quick walk-through. We always buy season's passes and stop by several times throughout the summer. It's beautiful and ever-changing landscape!

Started by a local couple with a dream in 1980...this unique property, set against 7,000 foot Mt. Cheam, has become a world-class destination garden. I've taken you there before...and I'll take you there we'll just do a quick walkabout and carry on.

This was the original barn on the property...and now sits near the garden entrance.

The bees were out in full force...travelling in pairs it seemed!

I have pictures of every theme garden by now...but can never resist a few more shots!
And I know for sure that these two were not sitting on that bench the last time I visited! Don't they make a tranquil picture?

The problem with taking a quick garden tour on a Sunday is that you are bound to meet people you know...and haven't seen for a long time...and need to catch up with.

Fancy meeting Uncle Jake here...we may live in the same community but rarely see each other, so we had a nice little visit. I was surprised to see him touring the gardens all on his own...

...but then we met a nice lady sitting on the garden bench and waiting (that would be Aunt Maggie)! After chatting for some time, we hustled back to the car to carry on with our planned agenda.

Thirty-five miles down the road we approached our next stop...Westminster Abbey...clearly visible on the hill.

Westminster Abbey is Mission's most imposing landmark...a beautiful monastery that attracts thousands of visitors annually. The Benedictine monks who inhabit the Abbey have created a self-sufficient pastoral lifestyle at this inspiring location, and welcome visitors to their grounds and for services.

The Abbey itself was designed by a Vancouver architect and completed in 1982. The monks show hospitality to guest of all faiths...and the monastery is open to the public every afternoon (except Saturday).

The slanting rays of the late afternoon sun through the beautiful stained glass bathed the abbey's interior in shades of burnt oranges and cool blues.

Inside all was still...not a sound to be heard!
It is a lovely spot...and worth a visit. We never stayed for the Sunday afternoon vespers...but guests are welcome to attend.

The Abbey sits high on a ridge above the Fraser River, on a 200-acre site that includes the abbey grounds, farm and seminary campus. Guests are free to stroll the paths...and take in the panoramic views of the Fraser Valley from the lookout.

As we were strolling...we enjoyed the toll of the ten tower bells! We saw young men in black suits making their way to the Abbey...and yes, we saw monks in their long black cloaks.

And we met other guests out on the paths...all carrying cameras. It was a wonderful place to visit...but if you plan to tour the Abbey, be sure to leave your shorts at home. The sign on the door states that those wearing shorts are not allowed inside.

A short distance from Westminster Abbey, is Ferncliff Gardens. Started in 1920, and lying just two miles east of Mission...the garden specializes in irises, peonies and dahlias. Since we were in the area, we stopped by to see an intense patch of colour...acres of dahlias in bloom (and that's Mt. Cheam out in the distance).

With countless varieties of every shade but blue...I picked a spiky yellow/peach one to zoom in on.
The colours were amazing...and I noticed that they had a few plants besides dahlias.

Nearby we found a perfect picnic spot...Nielson Park. Unfortunately there was no picnic packed...but it would have been nice to enjoy Vee's spread from her recent picnic at this lovely spot. Oh well...we watched a family picking apples by the lake and then went in search of some ice-cream. Waffle sundaes were the perfect end to a September Sunday daytrip.

And that, my friends, is all I have to report today. But one of these days....there'll be more! The corn harvest is underway, so I may just take you to the field tomorrow.


  1. I'll say it again, you live in God's country! What a delicious grouping of photos! Each one is a delight. When you said that you picked a dahlia, I gasped, only to discover that you picked it for photographing. :D

    The monastery must be fascinating. We have a small monastery about 30 miles away where they allow guests to stay for the night. I've always wanted to do that.

    Thanks, too, for featuring my picnic!

  2. Thank you Judy, I feel like I was along on your Sunday afternoon tour. The barn, flowers, meeting family, and the Monastery all very inspiring.

    You should have been a journalist and photographer. (you are a very gifted gal)

  3. Judy. . .what a great way to kill time. Your pictures of the abbey inside were just beautiful. I always enjoy seeing things through your lens. . and then make a note to try to see it through my lens.
    Hopefully we'll see corn tomorrow. . but somehow I see an Ann Geddess photo in the making. .

  4. I love your shots...beautiful. I've done the same kind of the Abby but have forgotten the awesome architecture. Will have to put that on my list of 'to do's again. Thx for the scenic tour on my coffee break here!

  5. what a nice way to spend the afternoon....i felt that i had a little break too, before the rest of my crazy busy day....sometimes i wonder if taking holidays is worth it whem you are self employed, because there is so much to do when you are is nice to be needed!
    whating for some good news on your end....soon i hope

  6. When I saw your post I was reminded of the song, "Maria" from the Sound of Music. Maria, was staged in the courtyard of the Abbey.
    The weather was perfect and what a wonderful afternoon of festivities.
    We're all waiting....

  7. I did enjoy the tour Judy. Gardens, mountains, an interesting and modern abbey. Glad I went with you. The trees are beginning to change more rapidly than here.

  8. Everything is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Judy, once again you take us to the most beautiful places. Oh, the views are just breathtaking. And, the Abbey is glorious.

  10. You live in and near a tremendous amount of loveliness...

    The gardens, the mountains, the abbey...

    Love the recent photo's of your Ranen...eating grapes, and last year’s comparison.

    By the way I clicked on the recipe site after drooling over the galette...I am in serious trouble now. OH MY!

  11. What a beautiful place! I enjoyed going along with you. Such a great view out over the river and beyond too...I just love those high, distant views.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson