Kelly and I spent Saturday night in Victoria last weekend; I had a meeting for the mentoring gig and rather than spend an entire day getting there and then back on the ferry, we decided to make an Occasion of it.
Before 2001 we used to visit the city periodically–check out Canada’s most magnificent bookstore, poke around, admire the waterfront, hit Craigdarroch Castle. Then when the parents moved to Parksville, all our Vancouver Island to-ing and fro-ing got subsumed into family visiting. We’d catch the ferry to Nanaimo, get a ride to their place, and hang out. They were great trips–I still miss doing that–but all we’ve seen of Victoria since then was a brief sail-by last year when the Alaska cruise we went on with my family happened to pause in Canada.
This wasn’t exactly leisurely either, but Kelly and I did manage to pack in some foodie tourism. We hit a lounge named Clive’s Classic Lounge, where they made interesting cocktails: their punch was incredible, and I had a thing called a rhubarb fizz that was very tasty. We also had insanely good Vietnamese food at a place called Kim’s on Johnson and a good brekkie at a hipstery joint, Mo:le.
Our big dinner at Il Terazzo was only just okay; the salads gave me high hopes, but the food–while nicely put together–was entirely lacking in special, or nuance. It is also a massive place, a pack ’em in cheek by jowl and let the noise mount venue. Nothing there was terrible, but the end result was, essentially, meh.
There were a couple big events happening in Victoria–a 90K bike race, and a boat festival of some kind. We were lucky to get a room at the Best Western. We were even luckier to get one on the fourth floor, directly across from a nesting seagull. Her egg began cracking as we were checking out of the hotel, and part of me wanted to stay until the thing not only hatched but grew to adulthood and started applying for colleges. It’s a good thing I didn’t–after kicking a hole in the roof, it crawled out of the bottom of the egg. Kelly and I saw some wriggling and one waving leg above the crown of the nest, but the miracle of bird birth didn’t yield any pictures more amazing than this blurry close-up of parent bird peering at the progress of its offspring as it busted out.