Victoria was fun, as always. Tyler had to go right back to work after our wedding, so we never had any sort of honeymoon event. And while we don't have the money to do anything grand, we REALLY needed to get the heck out of town and do something fun, even for just a few days. So we had a mini-honeymoon, or a honeymoonito.
We spent the first three nights at Abigail's Hotel, which was amazing. Comfortable bed, woodburning fireplace in our sunny, cheerful room, jetted tub, extravagant breakfasts and evening appetizers. I almost would have been content to stay in our room the whole trip, reading my book, soaking in the tub up to my chin, and sipping sparkling juice by the cozy fire.
In the interest of our budget, we moved to a hostel for the last two nights. It was the Ocean Island Backpackers Inn. I'd stayed there in the dorms with bluemoonshark during a marching band groupie trip a few years back and liked it, so Tyler and I reserved a private room there. It ended up being unintentionally hilarious...our room was EXACTLY the size of a full-size mattress, plus 2 feet in length at the foot. We could sit on our folding mattress on the floor and touch opposite walls with both our hands at once, and there was only enough room for one person to stand at a time. And the blankets were too small, and the walls and windows so thin that opening or closing the windows or doors made no difference in sound (when someone walked by, it sounded like they were walking IN your room). And our window opened out into a construction zone, with an alley below inhabited by a man who could not be made to stop singing at odd hours. But it didn't matter...we weren't in the room much anyway, and we were having fun. And the pictures will be great.
Here are the fun things we did:
*The ride on the Coho, which was especially fun on the way up (sunny day, lots of swells...I tried to fly my kite, but it was too gusty).
*Afternoon tea at Murchies, which consisted mostly of chocolate.
*One entire day at the Royal BC Museum. The First Nations exhibit was my favorite, as usual, but Old Town was great too. Tyler was a bit disappointed by the way the Natural History Exhibit was explained, but I loved it anyway. The visiting Titanic artifact exhibit was a zoo of schoolchildren, but it was still interesting, although they didn't really talk about the sinking at all (although they did have a large piece of ice in the room, for those who didn't know what ice was). My favorite part of the exhibit was looking at the personal effects of individual passengers, including a perfume salesman (you could still smell the scents) and one guy who got shanghaied the night before the voyage, so his stuff sank without him. Best lost luggage story EVER. We really missed bluemoonshark this day.*
*One full day at Buchart Gardens. The first walk through was uncomfortably crowded (there were two princess cruisers in Victoria that day), but we walked through again an hour before closing and it was much better. The dahlia exhibit was really impressive, and I still want to live in the Japanese gardens. And we found an Adventure Hat for Tyler on sale in the gift shop, which makes him look even more Australian.
*Two Nanaimo bars, a bag of fresh peanut brittle, an obscene carmel-chocolate apple, huge ice cream waffle cones, gelato (green tea, and a mysterious flavor called "Skrock" or something, which beat out "Lemon Death"), mini-melts (like Dippin' Dots), and various other treats.
*Munros, in which I picked up a gorgeous copy of the complete Fionavar Tapestry and lamented my poor lot in not being able to buy every book on earth.
*Several bead stores, Fan Tan Alley (where Tyler finally found a Mandarin shirt he instantly loved), and the Rave'n Iron, which was nice, but had replaced a store that used to sell really cheap prisms. Also, we came home with even more random ceramic dishes...an egg-shaped dragon teacup for me (perfect for egg nog), a matching covered teacup with attached inner filter for loose tea, and two teacups with a design that looks half-Kenyan, half-Maori. Neat.
*Mockery of crappy souvenirs, along with the buying of delicious Canadian foods, like Cadbury chocolate, Oreos with real sugar, lovely Limonatas. And then there was the Clamato. WTF, Canada?
*Great Indian food (twice), okay Thai food, amazing breakfasts.
*Chatting with various homeless people, including David, who was incredibly cool and had HIV, the guy with Tourette's but who was nice to us, and the Asian guy rocking his heart out every night with an accoustic guitar who said there was great harmony between us. And buying ice cream for an elderly American lady who was confused about money.
*The wax museum and Undersea Gardens, which were just as campy as I remember. The main difference in the wax museum since my last visit was a very realistic George W. Bush figure, which was profoundly disturbing. The octopus in Undersea Gardens put on a great show, though.
So all in all, it was a great trip.
This is me: :)
*One of the questions we had for you: why didn't the local tribes up here do more pottery? We have clay, we have fuel for kilns. Our guess was that we just had abundant materials for other vessels (like baskets), making pottery irrelevant.