I just came home from a trip to Victoria, BC with my best friend. This was our third trip together, having gone to San Francisco a couple of times before. The overall impression that I took from Victoria was “lush”. At this time of the year, Winnipeg is green and flowers are starting to appear, but in Victoria the green is a different, more vibrant shade and there are flowers everywhere. I was also really struck by how sculpted all of the foliage is. Here people probably trim their hedges and shrubs once in a while, but there it seems to be more of an art form. I can’t decide which I like better — the sculpted look or the slightly wild/let-it-be look that we have here.
Thursday was travel evening so our holiday essentially started on Friday morning. After going out for breakfast at a yummy place called Jam Cafe (great roasted tomatoes), we met up with our friend Jordan who was kind enough to spend the day with us, surprising us with random things to do. First he took us to My Foot Reflexology… it was both relaxing and amusing as there was some pretty funny conversation. Then we went up to the 18th floor of our hotel for a drink and a view of the city. Then on to the bug zoo where Jordan and Rukmali held creepy bugs and I held a cute stick-type bug. Also I wore a millipede like a bracelet around my arm. It was all I could do not to fling it across the room (the sticky feet creeped me out).
After that, Jordan drove us along the water… we stopped at Marina Restaurant, sat on the dock soaking in the sunshine and feeding the seals, and then had a fantastic meal (my favourite of the holiday)… we ended it by sharing three different desserts. Again, all yummy. After that, Jordan drove us through uVic and up Mount Tolmie, where we sat on a rock soaking in the view for a good while (well, to be honest, Ruk & Jordan sat on the rock while I wandered about with my camera).
Then it was back to the hotel for a bit until I met up with two new designer friends (Aaron and Patrick from Nanaimo) for drinks and conversation. I had a lovely time. At around 12:30 am, we called it a night… but I found out Jordan and his friend Jenna were hanging out at our hotel so visited with them in the lobby for a while. Jordan played the kamale n’goni while Jenna painted my leg and foot. I ended up going to bed at 2 am (or 4 am Winnipeg time). A late night for me.
Saturday Ruk’s friend Jen drove down from Campbell River to visit her… I hung out with them for a bit (breakfast and a bit of shopping) but then decided I was in need of a good long nap. Did that, then went for a great run through downtown and along the harbour. My app messed up and said I ran 9 miles in 42 minutes (not possible) — the diagram of my running route ended up looking like a child’s drawing. Pretty funny. In reality, I ran a little less than 4 miles. But it was sunny and hot and fun running up and down hills with new scenery to see. I had no idea where I was going half the time, but I ultimately ended up where I wanted to be. While I was doing that, Ruk and Jen went kayaking. After some reading, napping and TV watching we went out for supper at Jen’s favourite Italian restaurant. The bread was quite tasty.
Sunday Ruk and I had time to ourselves. We went out for breakfast at Willie’s Bakery (yummy again, and a relaxing spot to sit out of the rain), wandered through Chinatown, walked over the bridge and along the harbour trail on that side, then back to the hotel for a bit. It was great to see so many people out rowing in the harbour. After that, we decided to go climb Mount Douglas (thanks Jordan for driving us there!). It was beautiful, both on the climb and at the summit. 360 degree views of city and ocean, tall gorgeous trees, lovely moss, interesting rocks and colours… and these brown hawks (or eagles?) soaring above and below us. I loved it.
We didn’t stay up top too long because we also wanted to check out the Prawn Festival. So, after taking the wrong trail at one point, we got to the bottom, walked to the bus stop and rode through the city and across the same bridge we were at in the morning. We managed to get there before everything shut down and ate some prawns and such. I can’t say it was my favourite thing to eat… but I didn’t grow up on seafood. I was sad we were too late to try out the salmon. We ended up going out for supper again later in the night, and I went for a short photo wander by myself.
Monday was pretty low-key. We did an hour’s worth of shopping (I found a gorgeous feather necklace and earrings at Migration Boutique plus a cool robot t-shirt for Rob). Then back to the hotel to rest (in what we jokingly called “the cloud”), packed up, went for a long lunch and read at Sam’s Deli and then on to the airport.
These are my three favourite photos from the trip:
Thanks Ruk for thinking of the trip in the first place, and for being lovely company!
It looks like you had an amazing time! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!
Oh, lovely! At first I thought you meant Victoria, Australia, then I quickly caught on. BC has always been on my must visit list, it sounds divine.
I’m curious about the leg painting. Is Jenna a body painter? Or was this all in the spirit of 2am shenanigans in the hotel? Either way, it sounds like a great little trip, very restorative.
Just as Australia (in general — haven’t figured out where exactly) is on my must visit list! I have a few folks there that I’d like to spend some quality time with — including a friend who lived with my family for six months on an exchange trip 15 years ago or so.
British Columbia is definitely one of Canada’s nicest provinces… water, mountains, interesting cities, etc.
As for Jenna, she is a school teacher, but does body painting on the side. Jordan had brought her over to paint my friend, but she happened to be asleep. So yes… pretty much in the spirit of 2 am-ness.