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Confirmed! Victoria Home Exchange for 5 weeks!

Confirmed! Victoria Home Exchange for 5 weeks!

Jan 12th, 2009, 07:18 AM
  #41  
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Thank you, Traveller69 again!!
annetti is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 09:32 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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annetti, haha, that's really cool that you enjoyed Steveston so much (and that you associate it with me)!

I was going to suggest, if you're planning to skip out on the BC Ferries due to potential sea sickness, you might want to read this similar posting:

http://tinyurl.com/8rtx7y
Carmanah is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 05:05 PM
  #43  
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Carmanah, It was the Steveson website you provided and the act of convincing my husband that it would be a nice day's outing that stands out in my mind. It turned out to be a Vancouver highlight for him.

I looked at the link on the BC Ferries. Thank you. I think, I will compare prices, time of ferry vs planes , my fear factor, and then decide. My husband prefers the idea of only one plane flight. I have to agree with him there!! We'll see. . .
annetti is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 09:18 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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dear annetti, if u can get on the ferry from vancouver (actualy tsawassen south of the airport) it is definetly one the world's most scenic ferry crossings and i'll admit to a ferry addiction!. in years past they have had a naturalist/historian on in the summer season. u would catch a pacific cooach lines bus from vancouver airport it would put u on the ferry and then drop u downtown at the bus depot behind the empress hotel.

greater victoria is full of CRD and local parks which are great for walking or lake swimming:

Mt Doug ( walking)
Thetis lake (swimming and walking and kayaking)
Beacon Hill Park ( victoria's "central park" w/ walking/ petting zoo/ splash fountain designed for kids but enjoyed by this adult/ cricket pitch/ soccer fields/ some woodland and runs from downtown to the ocean

Dallas Road the section in front of beacon hill is my dog's favourite as its about 3 km of off lead fun and games

Beach access is great w/ the warmest at willows and gonzales but great beach walking and sunning anywhere

Harling Point site of the chinese cemetary and great views of the olympics. the neighbourhood is nice walking too

farther afield and needing a car or friendly local is Botanical Beach where a 15 minute walk takes u down to a beach littered w/ pothole sized tidepools ( check tide tables for a low tide) u can easily spend the better part of the day if u time the tides correctly

also out that way French Beach PP and others. lots of nice places to overnight on the water including Point no Point

greater victoria has great biycling paths: the gallopping goose from downtown to sooke; the lochside which goes up the saanich peninsula to the ferry and many quiet neighbourhoods to explore

restaurants
yes to Bengal Lounge
Ferris' Oyster Bar
Don Mee for dim sum inchina town
Milestone's; Moxie's and Med grill all nice and reasonable
pubs I like our local Ross bay Pub good pub grub; Sticky Wicket for outdoor volleyball on the roof: 5th Street excellent food imo
Il Terrazzo
Bon Rouge
Oak Bay Marina for brunch

other local brunch spots ( less $) Pluto's Floyd's
and John's: good at other times as well
many good thai and viet namese pho houses

Royal BC Museum and Art Gallery of Victoria

Mountain Equipment coop: everything for the outdoors and casual clothes ( i believe 7 million out of 35 million canadians r members!)

Ocean River Sports if u'd like to try kayaking

water taxies crisscross the inner harbour and go up the Gorge

etc , etc

cheers
AndrewDavid
AndrewDavid is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 09:40 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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ps if u want a health club/gym the YM/YWCA is just a block from Fort Street in the area of "antique Row"
AndrewDavid is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 01:53 PM
  #46  
 
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This past September my sister and I spent some time in Victoria.

Favourite discoveries of mine from that trip:

Fisherman's Wharf (especially Barb's Fish & Chips, but also realizing that there are several take-out options on the wharf).

The walk south of Fisherman's Wharf along the waterfront, along a massive jetty... then along the waterfront walkways which parallel Dallas Road. We'd then walk north along Cook Street, stopping off at Moka's for a coffee, then heading back into downtown via Fort Street.

Breakfast at the Blue Fox Cafe on Fort Street.

The walk through the residential side street to Abkhazi Gardens. The gardens are tiny but the entire experience of walking there from downtown and back was a memorable experience.
Carmanah is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 02:09 PM
  #47  
 
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I should have added Oak Bay to that list. We spent an afternoon exploring the little boutiques and cafes along Oak Bay village - quite a contrast to downtown Victoria as it felt a lot more community-oriented.

We also really enjoyed the open air Red Fish Blue Fish seafood take-out downtown. I assume they are operated by the same people that own "Go Fish" next to Granville Island in Vancouver - the menu was identical. It made for a great casual lunch on a sunny September day.

annetti, you know how I had that Steveston website? On the same site I wrote about a visit to Sooke from a few summers ago:


I admit that when I visited Sooke, we didn't spend much time exploring the town, but it appeared to me that the town of Sooke wasn't really a picture perfect storybook kind of village like some people might imagine it to be. It's not at all like Mendocino or Carmel, but more like a collection of services along the main highway. However, when people talk about Sooke, they're really talking about the region - it's the surrounding landscape that draws people to the area.
Carmanah is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 02:10 PM
  #48  
 
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Oops, forgot to post the link!

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/1b080/dcb2f/
Carmanah is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #49  
 
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Annetti - You are going to be overwhelmed with info by the time you get to Victoria. So, I will add a couple of restaurants to your list. I know how much you love sushi and there are lots of restaurants within walking distance for that. I particularly like Ebizo on Broughton street so put that on your list!!! Also, you can't be in Victoria without going to Johns Place for breakfast http://www.johnsplace.ca/. They serve everything there but breakfast is a must. Also on Fort St we like J&J Noodle house for Chinese. OK - thats all for now but you will have to stay for longer than 5 weeks to see and do everything we recommend.
traveller69 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 05:14 PM
  #50  
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You people posted so much while I was at work, that I have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of thank yous (can I properly pluralize thank you?) to post. I AM overwhelmed, Traveller69, by the kindness on the Canadian Board, so much thought and time has gone into answering my questions.
First of all, Andrew David, thank you for all your walking suggestions. I am a member of the local Y and work out there 4 days a week, but with all these lovely walks you outlined, who will need to spend their time on a treadmill.

I am slowly thinking that maybe, just maybe, I might risk the boat ride with proper medication (!) of course.
I went on a couple web sites to figure out the costs of flying from LAX to Victoria via SF versus flying to Vancouver and then taking the ferry and ferry bus. Believe it or not, the prices I came up with made flying cheaper than the ferry and bus. However, I am wavering since I have read it on this thread (therefore it must be true, right!)and elsewhere how pretty the ferry ride is and then there is the further inducement of only going up and coming down once!!
Thank you, Andrew David, Carmanah, and Traveller 69 for the restaurant suggestions. Yes, Traveller69, I will be more than ready for some good sushi by the time I arrive in Victoria. Sadly, I have found nothing to compare here in the LA area and have given up the search.
Thank you, Carmanah for the link to your Sooke trip and all your suggestions. I was picturing a Carmel; you must have read my mind.
annetti is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 05:29 PM
  #51  
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Carmanah, I have to add that your photos are first class, just wonderful, and your descriptions of the area were terrific, too. Now, I see why you recommend Juan de Fuca Provincial Park! It sounds beautiful.
annetti is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 07:11 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Thanks annetti! I'm glad to have helped! I know that having the right expectations are a large part in enjoying a place.
BC_Robyn is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:35 PM
  #53  
 
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'The walk south of Fisherman's Wharf along the waterfront, along a massive jetty'
If you want to ask about this jetty, it is called the breakwater. You get to take a photo in front of a mini lighthouse. If the weather turns rough, it can go from scary thrill to dangerous, and they do not lock it down, so use common sense there.

The walk through the residential side street to Abkhazi Gardens.
That's Fairfield road, if you are looking at a map.
Before you get to Abkhazi, you pass by Ross Bay cemetary. The city's old one. Interesting to some.

Oak Bay village is where etlathecat shops every Saturday. She likes to poke in the gifty shops and then carry the weeks groceries home rather than drive to megagroceriesRus.

icithecat is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:35 PM
  #54  
 
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We love East Sooke Regional Park -
and it will be beautiful at the
end of summer:

http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/eastsooke




llamalady is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:48 PM
  #55  
 
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For your own grocery shopping, you will be looking for http://www.marketonyates.com/
An upscale store with butcher, bakery, patisserie and deli in one. You will need to fuel up for those walks. It is on Yates between Quadra and Vancouver streets. Yates is two streets over from Fort.
To the left of it is London Drugs which has bus tickets and passes at it's customer service counter. To the right of it is a little Japanese restaurant / grocery store. This is where I buy my lunch sushi a couple of times a week.
icithecat is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:52 PM
  #56  
 
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Annetti

Here is another suggestion for you. You really must experience BC Ferries and the Gulf Islands. However, I think you should fly to Victoria if the fare is the same because you will have your luggage and want to get settled. You will be in Victoria for several weeks so I think you might want to make a day trip and take the ferry to one of the Gulf Islands. That is the beautiful part of the crossing anyway. The crossing from Vancouver side is just open water until you get to the islands . So you can experience the ferry, stay in the scenic area and have a walk around whichever Island you want to spend some time on. It is something to think about and you can plan to do it on a day that suits you. This page of the website shows you the route. http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/southern/

Stay tuned - lots more ideas to come!!!
traveller69 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 07:34 AM
  #57  
 
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The above two posters have some excellent ideas! My hairdresser is a few blocks away from Market on Yates so I will often stop in there for groceries on my way home. The same company owns Market on Millstream, but you'd need a car to get there. The advantage to the Millstream store is that if you do have a car, it's much easier to park - plus, the store is bigger than the Yates store.
I would agree with flying to Victoria and then having the ferry experience on the way to one or more of the Gulf Islands. The trips are shorter, and honestly, they are not rocky rides at all unless the weather is horrible - which is unlikely in the summer, and anyway if the weather were horrible you'd probably wait for a nicer day to do your exploring.
Llamalady has mentioned East Sooke Park. We love it too, and there's a wonderful little restaurant there, but talk about twisty roads! We took a friend there this past summer and by the time we got to the restaurant he'd pretty much lost his appetite.
If you're looking for an interesting place to have afternoon tea, we really enjoy Point Ellice House (another website for you to check out).
More ideas to come!
Meesthare is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 09:58 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Mea culpa, Mees - because I don't
have the motion sickness issue I
never take winding roads into
account!

It's hard to stay on the straight
and narrow - or the strait and
narrows for that matter!
llamalady is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 04:21 PM
  #59  
 
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Yes, Llama - it's hard for me to realize how difficult that can be for some people. We don't think twice about the twists and turns in East Sooke; we've had lots of lovely lunches at the Smokin Tuna Cafe and enjoy taking people there, but some of our guests have turned a little green by the time we arrived at our destination. I know this has been an issue for Annetti.
Meesthare is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:13 PM
  #60  
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Thank you, llama lady, another friend from my Vancouver thread! Also, thank you Meesthare for thinking about the twisty roads. I remember you mentioned that it can sometimes be an issue for your "sweetie." Traveller 69, thanks for the idea about visiting an island near Vancouver for the day. Dare I ask for suggestions? Also, thanks for the food shopping suggestions and most importantly, thanks for the sushi recommendations! If I missed thanking someone, pls excuse me, but with so much help offered, I am having difficulty keeping up, but I am in NO way complaining!

I think this thread is going to prove that Victoria need not be a three day excursion from Vancouver or a weekend from Seattle, but a destination in its own right. I am very, very happy to receive so many ideas and I am sure that other people are taking note, too.
annetti is offline  

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