Five observations from my recent Victoria adventure:
There are domesticated bee hives smack dab in the middle of the city! The Empress Hotel produces its own honey from bees in their lovely gardens.
It’s possible to gut a heritage building while leaving its impossibly thin exterior walls standing. For some reason, this fascinated me and I snapped a few photos every time I passed it.
Urban pigeons are quite aggressive when they see you enjoying a delicious, flakey Danish from Crust Bakery.
Even if you’re not especially into boats, you’ll see one you love in the Inner Harbour.
No matter how many times you do it, it’s no fun leaving your Boy at university. 😦
Victoria is a lovely city. I wandered around…and quickly became bored by shopping.
Something’s happened to me: I seem to have lost the shopping gene!
Since I didn’t want to blow the budget on retail therapy, I decided to cross an item off my bucket list–a martini at the Empress. I’ve never had a martini, but I’ve seen smooth operators like James Bond and Don Draper drink enough of them that I felt like an expert going in.
My martini was crisp and cold and smooth, and went down surprisingly quickly.
The waitress asked if I wanted another.
“I’m not sure,” I said, trying to look suave and sophisticated. “This was my first ever martini!”
Her eyes widened. “That’s three ounces of alcohol. If you have another one, you’ll be a mess!”
I thanked my wise, one martini waitress and gave her a big tip.
Later that afternoon, I had another learning experience: a martini is not a good lunch substitute, especially if you’ve skipped breakfast.
As I know from past experience, my shopping inhibitions fall away in the presence of alcohol.
The next morning when I woke up feeling buyer’s remorse (and a slight headache), I discovered the small, cutesy boutiques I frequented don’t offer cash refunds like the big chain stores.
Sigh. I either need to quit drinking or give up the recreational shopping.
This summer’s ended with more of a whimper than a bang, so I’m doing something fun before heading back to the daily grind.
I’ve booked a hotel and will stay over for a day of wandering and wine after I drop my Boy off for the fall term at university. He’s not thrilled we’ll be hitting the road at 6:30 AM, but I intend to maximize my time in the capital, so an early start is key.
I don’t want to forget anything in my short time there, so I’ve made a list of my favorite Victoria spots. Looking at my inventory (Bon Macaron Patisserie, Crust Bakery, Rogers’ Chocolate, Pagliacci’s Restaurant…) I’m shocked at how many of my faves are food-related.
Eating my way through downtown Victoria before meeting an old friend (and my Boy’s Godmother!) for dinner that evening will be a challenge.
Will I be up to the task? Hopefully, a “can do” attitude and an empty stomach will see me through.