I have never been more thankful to go out for a round of beers after golf than that night. I had just finished, what I am sure was the best round of golf I have ever played and was feeling pretty happy about breaking 80. When my golf buddies asked me to go to the local watering hole, I thought, “I deserve a celebratory pint”. While waiting for the finishing touches of my Guinness to be poured, I saw her. I had seen her once or twice before but had never done anything about it. Considering how well I played that day I thought perhaps luck was on my side.
It was after high school when I moved to Victoria to attend the university. My first few years were like many others I am sure, floundering around with little focus. I somehow narrowed my field and wound up with a bachelor of science in economics. I had managed to put my self through school with some interesting jobs along the way (I will save those stories for another time). After university, I actually found a job in my field, which allowed me to stay in Victoria. Enough about that, let’s get back to the love story.
So there I was a 40 year old successful business man with a blossoming golf game enjoying my pint when she sat down next to me. It turned out she had just finished her shift and my buddy Guy (a regular at the pub) asked her to join us. There she was sitting on the stool next to me making idol chitchat. It didn’t take long to learn she was as sweet as she looked. She was working as a server at the pub and the Empress Hotel while attending university for nursing. It was clear she loved her family, her friends and enjoyed a good laugh. For those of you who don’t know me, I am usually a little shy at first but with her it was easy. We talked all night. It was a bit of cliché how many things we had in common. Good food, wine, traveling and the outdoors. But alas the night ended and we went our separate ways. I remember thinking to myself she was amazing but for some reason I didn’t get her number.
It was about a week later and things were back to normal, me moving numbers around on a spreadsheet with breaks to practice my golf swing until I received a note from my friend Guy with her number. It was probably a few days later when I contacted her and we were going on a date.
We dated for a while seeing each other a few times a week. I would make Tuesday night dinners. Something new and delicious each week to keep her intrigued, not to mention it was so nice to cook for someone other than myself. It went on for a while like that, seeing each other a few times a week. Since things were going so well we decided to try our blossoming relationship on the road and headed to the Oregon coast. The coast was stunning and we enjoyed our time together. Campfires on the beach and counting stars were the perfect setting for a new love. It was not long after, when I could no longer say I was living the bachelor life.
Fast-forward to this year we decided to buy a house together in the beautiful Oak Bay area. It is a charming 1931 house with heaps of charm. There is an established garden with grapes, strawberries and new blooms every week. We have been very lucky to have about half of the Klopp clan come to stay and we are hoping the rest will come this year. We are lucky to have Lisa’s family so near because we are able to have family dinners including this past Christmas dinner. It was really great this Christmas because I received the ultimate gift, I proposed to Lisa and she accepted.
I hope you enjoyed this little story of how I met the love of my life. The Klopp family is lucky to have such a wonderful addition.
Enjoyable Visit with our Son Anthony and his Partner Lisa in Victoria (3)
A definite highlight of our visit was a trip to the Victoria harbor, where Tony went shopping for our evening meal at the local fish market. Wild Pacific salmon and halibut are so fresh – so I am told – that only a few hours before they land in the customer’s shopping bag they were still roaming in the nearby ocean waters. In the meantime Gertrud and I took in the colorful sight of this busy tourist attraction at the water’s edge. Some brightly painted homes here were actually boats that were permanently moored at a huge ramp-like structure, which looked more like a street with a board walk.
Early in the morning, when everyone else was still sleeping, I sneaked out of the house and strolled down to the beach. In the cool air it took me less than five minute.s to reach the ocean..There my friends, the seagulls, greeted me with their raucous cries.Canada geese seemed to have made Victoria their permanent home. On another morning I was lucky to encounter a blue heron, which was feeding at low tide on the barnacles clinging to a concrete wave breaker. Accustomed to human beings it allowed me to come close enough for a great picture of this majestic bird.
Enjoyable Visit with our Son Anthony and his Partner Lisa in Victoria (2)
The first thing Tony and Lisa did was to show us their home. They gave us the grand tour starting at the spacious basement complete with two bedrooms, storage room, work room, bathroom, then going upstairs to the wonderful living room with its original parquet floor and its large windows to let lots of light come in, the modern kitchen with a view onto the deck and the backyard. Upstairs under a slanted roof was their cozy bedroom. Gertrud and I instantly fell in love with the house and jokingly mentioned that we were going to stay there for good. The house, built in the 1930’s, impressed us with its fine blend of good solid construction and tastefully decorated interior.
From the huge deck behind the kitchen we had a first look at their beautiful garden with an abundance of flowers, shrubs, raised beds for vegetables and strawberries. We also admired the large arbor completely covered with grape vines, which were promising to provide a bumper crop later in the fall. Here one could retreat and under its dense foliage find relief from the hot afternoon sun.
Tony and Lisa were excellent hosts and did their best to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. It was sheer delight to see them harmoniously work together. They amazed us with the fantastic meals they lovingly prepared for us.
Biene Enjoying a Lobster Meal
Culinary Delights on the Deck
One morning Tony took us to one of the many beaches, where we whiled away several hours collecting pebbles in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. A particular challenge was to find tiny pieces of glass from broken bottles that the incessant pounding of the sea on the sandy beach has ground them into smooth slivers. After Tony showed us how to find and identify them, the hunt for these little treasures was on.
Enjoyable Visit with our Son Anthony and his Partner Lisa in Victoria
On the last weekend in June Gertrud (Biene) and I traveled to Victoria, the picturesque capital of BC on Vancouver Island. Tony and his lovely partner Lisa had invited us to come for a visit. When on the way we stopped for lunch in Kelowna, the thermometer at the Orchard Shopping Mall showed a scorching 40 degree temperature. Gertrud and I were looking forward to spending a few days at the coast, where a cool breeze from the ocean would bring a welcome relief from the unbearable heat wave we had been experiencing for the last couple of days.
The 90 minute ferry ride turned out to be sheer delight in the refreshing wind and under a cloudless sky. Having taken an earlier ferry, we had some extra time to explore Sidney, the most northern town on the Saanich peninsula close to the ferry terminal. There we went on a leisurely promenade on a trail very close to the beach.
Around supper time we arrived at Burdick Avenue, where Tony and Lisa had recently bought a house.Great was our joy to see them again for the first at their new place.