Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is That a Scone in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

It was time to leave Victoria Island, but we still hadn't done one of things everybody said we had to do while there: Afternoon Tea. Though it's traditionally enjoyed at 4:00 in the afternoon, reservations can be made at anytime starting at noon. We decided to make that our lunch before driving to the ferry.

The most popular Afternoon Tea is served at the Empress Hotel. It's number 1 on all the lists in all the land when you do a search of "Things To Do in Victoria, B.C." Go ahead, check. I'll wait.

Well, geez! What took you so long? I have things to do! You could have just taken my word on it you know. Where were we?

Since all the lists also say that the Fish n' Chips at Old Vic are #1 (and it was nothing special), I was leery. I'm also so opposed to going along with the crowd that I often go out of my way to head in the opposite direction. (Only to find out that the crowd was right! hmpf!) So I was ready to take a stand against Victoria's #1 Tea! I'm no sheep! I don't have to do something just because everyone does it! (Also, Greg refused to pay $120 for tiny sandwiches and a cupa tea.)

A friend at church recommended the Tea at Point Ellice House, a historial building. A very nice tour of the house is thrown in with tea. We had a nice time.

We bid adieu (ain't I fancy?) to Victoria, hopped on the ferry and headed east.

Back to boring old Alberta. ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Victoria, Part IV

We gave our new digital camera a real workout on our last full day on Vancouver Island. Enjoy the photos!


Here's all you need to know: Fifty-five acres of stuff growing. Go!

A deliberate hole cut in the hedge for a peek at the water:

They even put flowers in the food!

Greg even got into the act with the picture-taking! I'm not sure who took what, to be honest.

We had dinner at a gorgeous B&B recommended by a friend.


More flowers in the food! Must be a Vancouver Island thing. (ha)

The day gave me lots of landscaping ideas to go with the decorating ideas I got from the Parliament Buildings and the castle we toured! Now, how to implement them in our tiny apartment?

Friday, August 5, 2011

An Erupting Volcano, The Bachelorette and a Million Dollars

The above is my phony headline meant to liven this post up. Let's face it- even I'm bored with these recaps. But I'm obliged to write them. When we're cast out of Canada and sitting on the porch in a lonely Texas town, we're gonna look at each other and say, "What did we do these past 2-3 years?"

I'm glad you asked, Caryl and Greg of the Future! Here's what you did on the second day of your trip to Victoria:

A rain forest was only minutes away from our hotel, so we stopped there on our way up the eastern coast of Vancouver Island. I read that some of the fir trees in this park are over 600 years old! We did pass some gigantic specimens along the trail to this waterfall:

Cool. Look at Tiny Greg at the bottom of the photo. haha!

We left the rain forest and headed up to the town of Nanaimo. We were told by a friend that we should check out a floating pub, off of Protection Island. We found the ferry that would take us from Nanaimo to this bobbing bar and bistro.

Dinghy Dock Pub

(Yeah- the palm tree is a curious sight in Canada. First one I've seen.)

It was nice to eat out on the water and watch boats go by. After lunch, we walked around the island a tiny bit. People live out there even though the only way to get here is by boat. There were a couple of women on our ferry, in fact, who had bags of groceries with them.

Weird purple starfish!

We liked this area. It was very pretty but not as crowded as Victoria. When we returned to the mainland, we walked around the town of Nanaimo and decided it would be a nice place to spend a night. Sometime. Not this day, though. We had more to see.

Onward. There was a beach we wanted to check out, further up the coast. I was disappointed we wouldn't get to see the ocean on this trip (it was a five hour drive) but we'll be back.

The neat thing about this beach is that when the tide goes out, it ain't fooling around. It goes OUT. We had to walk for days to get to the water.

And even after we got there, the water was so shallow, you had to keep walking forever to immerse yourself in it. We didn't do that. We stayed in water up to our ankles, marveling at how warm it was.

Even MORE interesting- we watched the tide come in. It looked at first like a wave coming in, but it didn't go back out. Greg had to keep an eye on his shoes because the water was spreading back out over the sand so fast.

It was a long day but lots of fun.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Victoria, Part II

Victoria has one hoppin' harbor! Ferries float in, sea planes take off, water taxis scurry around and whale watching tours head out.

Standing guard over the harbor is the historic Empress Hotel

and the Parliament Buildings.

I told Greg as we toured the Parliament Buildings that it was giving me decorating ideas. "All I need is a REALLY tall ladder."

Yeah, you guessed it. He gave me a quizzical look and moved on. But you guys get me, don't you?

We spent the rest of the day touring an old castle

and driving along the coast a bit.

For dinner, we indulged in the much ballyhooed (that's right, I said 'ballyhooed') traditional English fish n' chips at Old Vic. I was disappointed that it wasn't served in newspaper as advertised, but I probably would have worried NOT about the cleanliness of it as you would expect, but about the poor journalists who spent hours tapping a keyboard only to have their hard work wind up as a grease catcher. I've been there, my friend. I've been there. *deep breath* Anyhoo! What were we talking about?

Fish n' chips! Yes- great meal, accompanied by a glass of local beer.

A good day.

Next time: A rain forest, a floating pub and a leprechaun*.

*there is no leprechaun. I made that up to get your attention. ha!