Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Year of Gratitude - Day Two Hundred Twenty-four

Day 224 - Castles
Ignacio took me to see the Craigdarroch Castle - built for the John Dunsmuir family in the late 1800s.  Dunsmuir was a coal baron who, like so many of his contemporaries, had diverse business investments that did well.  He never had the opportunity to enjoy the mansion he had built, and his family only occupied the home for the 18 years his widow lived.  From that point, the house had a variety of owners and uses, including a military hospital, university, and music conservatory, eventually falling into disrepair.  It is now being restored and sustained by a non-profit organization dedicated to its preservation.
It was a fitting visit, as Ignacio and I had gone to see the Pittock Mansion in Portland just a few weeks before; this was Victoria’s version, so to speak, and while the restoration is not yet complete, it is a beautiful structure.
Dinner was at home, and then we watched the DVD of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake - the best ballet I have ever seen.  It loses a bit in translation to the TV screen (and the editing was frustrating at times, as it went to close-ups too often and didn’t show the choreography), but still covered the important moments to remain an amazing theatrical experience.
As we wrapped up our day, I remarked to myself how nice it was to be spending the weekend with a man with whom I shared so many interests.  Life feels easy with him.  If only we lived in the same city....

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