Subject: Trip to Tofino / Victoria / Vancouver
Well, our trip is almost here! Thanks to all those who helped me with the planning a few months ago.

A few last minute questions...

We fly into Seattle next Friday night and are picking up our rental car and staying at a hotel by the airport. Heading out early the next morning to Canada -- the question is how early? We have a reservation on the 12:45 ferry at Tsawwassen as our first 3 nights are in Tofino. I know that we need to be there early (at 12?). Factoring in the border crossing, what time should we leave in the morning? What is the best way to get there (I think there are multiple border crossings)?

I know this will be a long day... the drive to Tofino is then about 3 hours? We stay 3 nights at Long Beach Lodge, then down to Victoria for 1 night at the Empress (5 hour drive?). Seeing as we only have 1 night there, should we bother with Butchart Gardens? My kids are 11 and 12; not sure they would be too thrilled with it! Is it a must see?

Wednesday late afternoon we ferry back to Vancouver for 4 nights at the Westin Bayshore. Any tips on moderately priced restaurants and must-do activities would be appreciated! I am happy that we will be there for the fireworks festival -- what is a good viewing point closest to the Bayshore? Can we walk to a viewing point?

Sunday morning it's back to Seattle... my husband and son have tickets to the Mariners game that afternoon, so again we will have to leave early! Is there a border wait coming back?

Thank you so much for your advice! I really appreciate everyone's help.