Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Jam Cafe, where Jeff and I went with Riley and Christa for a late brunch. We got on the road a little later than expected, but still managed to make it to Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill before heading on to the Nanaimo ferry terminal to catch the 5 o'clock to Horseshoe Bay. It was a great trip but it's always nice to come home.
A couple more photos from this day are here.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
I didn't take any other photos this day because I was way too busy having the best time. We checked out of the hotel and headed to Blue Fox Cafe for breakfast and it was AMAZING. Apparently we got there at exactly the right time, because we waited just a couple minutes while they cleared a table, and by the time we left there were ~15 people in line outside, waiting to get in. After that we headed to Riley and Christa's over by the university.
Once Riley had dropped Christa off at work, we made a quick lunch while we chatted and then went to the liquor store and grocery to pick up supplies for an evening of movies and games with friends. We made guacamole, salad, and fancy mac & cheese, watched Megamind, and played a pretty fantastic game called Last Night on Earth — sort of a zombie strategy game. I rolled my eyes a bit when they said 'zombie board game' but it was actually incredibly fun, so fun that we stayed up until almost 3am playing it! Then Jeff and I went to bed on this moderately uncomfortable hide-a-bed and I woke up to find the cat drinking out of my water glass.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
After the previous day's disappointing continental breakfast, we went to Lady Marmalade instead (great food, lousy coffee). Afterwards we shopped around a little and then went to the bug zoo. It was super interesting and there's a guide who tells you about the insects and you can even hold most of them! Then we got soup and wandered around in Beacon Hill Park. Saw some peacocks and ducks and a bunch of dogs. Went down to the beach and the trail was really muddy but I found a lot of good rocks and we saw some sea anemones so that was ok. It started to rain so we left the park and went into the taphouse downstairs from our hotel to kill time before seeing The Hobbit. After the movie we had a late but lovely dinner at Veneto.
There are a couple more photos from this day here.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
We got up early so we could get some free breakfast at the hotel before they shut it down, and then we headed out to Saanichton to go to Sea Cider. We paid $16 to share a full tasting of nine different ciders, and it was well worth it. The tasting room itself was lovely to sit in on a sunny morning, as well.
Afterwards we went to Butchart Gardens. It was quite beautiful but I thought the admission price was too steep (maybe it's more worth it in the summer). When we finished walking around there we were dying for lunch so we went to a burrito place near our hotel. It was super delicious but I don't think I should have eaten the entire thing because I started to feel ill with indigestion when we were wandering around afterwards. I got a ginger ale and went back to the hotel for a nap. Jeff went walking around by himself, and brought me back a Stones record! I was feeling better in the evening so we went over to a wine & tapas bar in Oak Bay called Vis à Vis.
There are a few more photos from this day here.
Monday, March 18, 2013
We left Ucluelet in the morning, and our first stop was in Parksville at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks (an organic meat & cheese farm and fruit winery), where I got to hang out with these bunnies! Later we ventured out of our way to see the Kinsol Trestle Bridge, the longest wooden trestle in the Commonwealth. It was a little underwhelming but still pretty cool, and there was a nice little trail leading up to it from the road. Unfortunately all my photos from there (except my 365) are on film which is still unfinished in my camera, so I have nothing more to share.
After checking into our hotel in Victoria, we went to 5th Street Grill, a really tasty pizza joint, to drink beer and eat food and watch the game.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Our plans to visit the aquarium were foiled because we didn't know they were closed for the season. We visited a couple of small shops and then had lunch at a little cafe nearby called the Blue Room. Good soup and sandwiches. Went back to Pacific Rim and walked the rainforest trail, and later headed into Tofino mostly just to visit the chocolate shop. The shop was in this little outdoor plaza/mall thing that consisted mostly of surf shops, food carts, coffee, and hippie things. In the evening we headed back to Ucluelet for our dinner at Norwood's, which was amazing (my photos of the food didn't turn out), and then we finished our bottle of wine back in our room.
There are a couple more photos from this day here.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Jeff and I went to Pacific Rim National Park and hiked around a bunch of different places — Shorepine Bog, Florencia Bay, Schooner Cove, and Long Beach. Each was beautiful in a different way, and although I'd been to some of the places on a school trip in 2000, it was interesting to see them again through my adult eyes. The photo above was taken on Long Beach at sunset; the tide was low and there were plenty of surfers around.
Later on we tried and failed miserably to have dinner in Tofino; with the long weekend everything decent we stopped at was fully booked, way too expensive, or had over an hour wait. Eventually we went to the Black Rock pub which was in a nice resort hidden away in Ucluelet, and although the food was really good and I liked the lounge, our server apparently hated us because the service was terrible. And it was just us, too — she was super attentive to everyone else. Oh well.
You can view a bunch more photos from this day here.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
We made the 10:30am ferry and stopped at a moderately disappointing winery in Nanaimo before continuing on our journey. This photo is from Cathedral Grove, an old growth forest in Macmillan Park near Port Alberni. I'd been there on a school trip back in 2000, and it was even more magical than I remembered. We stopped at another winery in Port Alberni that was way more awesome — the proprietor used to be a science teacher so in addition to tasting delicious wine, we got to learn some wine science!
We ate our packed sandwiches for lunch before hitting the stretch of road with no services. It was winding and narrow, but stunningly beautiful in its remoteness. Coming down the mountain with Kennedy Lake below us sitting completely still in the feeble winter sunlight was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen... the lake was a perfect mirror of the sky and from our perspective it was like flying along a border between two worlds. I was too awestruck to get the camera and take a picture, but sometimes it's better to just have your memories of these things.
You can view a few more photos from this day here.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
I met up with Steph and Jordan at the Butcher & Bollock downtown to watch the game. When Steph told me where they were going to be I was apprehensive because I usually boycott any pub owned by the Donnelly Group, due to them ruining perfectly good places with sub-par service and overpriced, boring food. However this place wasn't too bad — they were doing free tasting pours (12oz) of a new beer on tap, the food was decent, and when the game started they brought round cards for each table with a player's number, and if that player scored the table got a free pitcher. We got lucky with Jannick Hansen and won a pitcher of pale ale... nothing like getting drunk on a Monday.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
I ran a few errands around Hastings-Sunrise, then came home and cooked up a storm. I roasted peppers, baked kale chips, cooked stir-fry, baked peanut-ginger cookies, and made relish from the aforementioned roasted peppers.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I went to Angelina's to watch Bomb Girls, an amazing show about Canadian girls working in a bomb factory during the second world war. The most surprising thing about it is that CBC hasn't cancelled it yet, like they do with just about any show worth watching. It was nice to see her; I hadn't in several years. We feasted on pizza and beer and enjoyed ourselves immensely and vowed to do it again soon.