Monday, July 16, 2007

Victoria, British Columbia

Today is a pretty mellow day. Jim and Suzanne are heading to Butchart Gardens, so Paul and I get to sleep in.

We start our day at Coyote's Cafe...

It's a coffeeshop/cafe with a very special coffee drink called the Howling Coyote. It's a twelve ounce coffee with six shots of espresso, steamed milk and vanilla syrup. Paul asked them why they don't offer it in a large, and then realized that any more caffeine might cause a coronary!

They really do make a beautiful latte, don't they?

Driving down the length of Vancouver Island is kind of like driving through the suburbs...

Just with a lot more cows.

It does have its moments.

It doesn't take long to get to Victoria.

See, they have a city hall and everything!

While tooling through the city, trying to find our hotel, I ran across this Prius Taxicab. Actually, its a brilliant idea if you think about it. The Prius works really well with stop and go traffic. Who starts and stops as much as a cabbie?

Finally, we arrive at the Admiral Inn.

Tomorrow we'll get on this ferry and head back to America.

Meanwhile, back in Victoria, we have some cool stuff to see. We wander around the harbor and its a beautiful place.

Have I been on the road too long? I think I'm seeing Mermaids!

And since when did Shamu get so much bling?

Walking through town, we go past the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The Empress is one of those grand old hotels that's been around for ages, and will be there for ages to come.

And the Canadian Parliament building... To quote The Onion, "Did you know that Canada has a Government, Laws?"
[Edwin comments: It's not the Canadian Parliament, it's the British Columbia Parliament]

Of course, my favorite discovery was a store called "Out of Ireland". They had a lot of great things, from hand knitted sweaters to Jameson's and Guinness shirts. Some of them were really cool, but even I can't justify $50 for a t-shirt. Even if its $50 Canadian. ;)

After our jaunt around town, we catch up with Jim and Suzanne and head out to dinner.

We end up at a restaurant next to the Fairmont Empress called Pescatores. This definitely wins the award for best dinner of the trip! When you enter Pescatore's, it looks like your average, upscale seafood place. It's dark wood cooled by the wrought iron fans spinning from the ceiling. We had an amazing waiter named Andrew, who started us off with a great Pinot Noir recommendation.

He did so well with the wine, I followed his recommendations for the mussel appetizer, the copper river salmon, and the bananas foster. The man knows his menu and what works with what. Paul took a different recommendation for the carpaccio appetizer, so I got a chance to try that as well. Oh my God! Words cannot describe the yumminess! I made sure that Andrew was well tipped for his delicious insights.

As the bananas foster settles, we once again wander around the harbor. As you can see, the sunset over the harbor is beautiful.

Even Parliament sparkles at sunset.

All and all, its been a really great day. Tomorrow we go back to America.

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