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I leave TOMORROW (Tues) for BC -any last minute advice?

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Aug 20th, 2007, 11:26 AM
  #1
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I leave TOMORROW (Tues) for BC -any last minute advice?

WHOOHOO!! It is finally here! Tomorrow I leave for a week in Vancouver (staying at Greystone B&B) and then next Tuesday I am off to Victoria for another week(staying at Medana Grove B&B).

I am so excited. I have been to Vancouver but not Victoria ... I also plan to do a day trip to Whistler (with Greyline on the Whistler Mountaineer Glacier Dome and am taking the helicopter tour -never did anything like that before!) and if I am not too tired once I get to Victoria, I would like to go to Sidney. (I already have a whale watching tour planned in Victoria)

I promise to do a trip report when I get back!
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Aug 20th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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BAK
 
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At some party in The Graduate, Benjamin was told something like, "Plastics my boy. Plastics."

I suggest, "Shrimp, my friend. And Salmon."

Salmon can be fresh, or smoked. BC shrimp are often tiny little things packed with flavour. EAt them cold.

Have a good time. It's a wonderful part of Canada.

BAK
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Aug 20th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Last minute advice - it's raining and grey and feeling very autumn-like here at the moment. Pack appropriately.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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We just returned from a week on Vancouver Island, 4 days in victoria and 3 in Tofino. Loved every minute of it. We've spent time in BC, but never the island. Can't wait to return. We were fortunate to have wonderful weather with the exception of one drizzly, but warm, day in Tofin. The people (tourists and residents alike) were super friendly, the flowers gorgeous, the harbors busy, colorful and fun with every conceivable form of transportation from float plane, mega yachts, kayaks, canoes, sculls, sailboats, fishing boats, ferries and the very darling Harbour Ferry sevice. In Victoria do both of their trips; one up the inlet and the other up the harbor to fishermans wharf, where you have to plan on a jump off for Barb's Fish n, Chips. Our only disappointing meal (and most expensive) was Chandlers that touts it's fresh catch. I make far better salmon at home.
We took the Big Bus tour for a city overview that we really enjoyed and we're not normally tour people. Take good walking shoes. We put on miles a day.
Don't pass up Butchart Garden...it's incredible and we had a wonderful late lunch in the dining room of the main residence. We weren't in the mood for high tea, although it looked wonderful. My husband raved about his bison burger and chips while my Caesar salad, topped with tiny flower petals from their garden and the buttery halibut was divine. It's lovely linen table cloths, silver (very casual dress) 100 yr. old, wavy glass windows, stone pillars, flowers everywhere and great service. We chatted with an elderly, British couple who had been sent to BC in government service over 60 years ago and were season pass holders at Butchart. They have been visiting at all 4 seasons for 50 years! They were just one example of so many folks we met on the island who were eager to share their hospitality.
Tofino is a darling, small, fishing town on the Pacific Rim coast, 5 hours from Victoria. We watched salmon, cod, halibut and crab being cleaned daily from our room balcony, knowing it would be on our plate that night. We had wonderful fish every day and loved walking the long, clear water, pale gray sand, immaculate beaches. As an American, it's a thrill to see Bald Eagles as a common daily event. We chose an early morning, low tide, bear tour to see more of the shoreline. It was also great, as was our captain Pipot. The black bear there (smaller than the BC mainland)are protected and have no predators so have no natural fear of humans. Our boat was able to snug very closely to the shore, only feet from where they were effortlessly turning over 30 lb. rocks, hunting for mussels. My photos even show their drool.
We bought Tofino, beach sand, jewelry from Kevin who has a small glass art studio on a side street that we found on a walk and had fried oysters (late breakfast) at Big Daddy's as a farewell brunch before heading back to Nanaimo for the ferry ride to Vancouver.
We hated to leave and can't wait to return so have a wonderful trip and I look forward to hearing about it when you return.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 02:40 PM
  #5
hdm
 
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Everyone will tell you to have tea at the Empress Hotel. I say forget tea -- go to the Bombay Lounge for a drink and their small but delicious Indian buffet. Some nights there's live music.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Of all the places you might go to, I'm not sure what appeals to you about Sidney - it's a small suburb of Victoria that's mostly populated by aging retirees. They do have a nice summer market on Thursday nights, which is fun.

I'd suggest a trip to at least one of the Gulf Islands - Saltspring is probably the most interesting.

And salmon is definitely the thing to be eating - these days it's plentiful and delicious.

Have a great trip! Right now it's a cool, damp day but the forecast for the rest of the week is for sunnier days and a bit warmer - in the low 20's (celsius). It does get quite cool at night.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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can't say enough about Salt Spring Island (like driving thru an Ingmar Bergman movie) and Tofino (sublime,sublime,sublime,deserted beaches and picturesque vistas at every turn).Just returned from there last weekend. Victoria struck me as sort of a retirees hangout but it was sweet nonetheless.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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Donnawho - sounds like you didn't spend much time on the UVic campus! Not too many retirees there.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 10:26 PM
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... and tourists to Victoria would go to the UVic campus because... ?
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Aug 21st, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Because it's a beautiful campus, Finnerty Gardens is glorious, and there are bunny-rabbits everywhere! Before we moved out here, I did in fact visit the campus as a tourist.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Oh - almost forgot - if you look around, you'll see lots of ripe blackberries available for picking. I know that's true of most areas around Victoria, but on campus it's possible to park the car easily while you're picking.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Try to ignore the piles of garbage everywhere in Vancouver...they are in the midst of a strike by municipal workers that is in its sixth week.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Meesthare - thank you! I've never been to the campus and have been told it's worth a look, but never knew there were any gardens there, for example. Next time I'm out that way, I'll be sure to visit. And I'll be sure to bring carrots!
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Aug 21st, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Hey, Carmanah - yes, it's definitely worth a look. You'll see signs along the Ring Road that show you where Finnerty Gardens is. It's at its best in spring; they have an amazing collection of rhodos and azaleas, but there are lots of lovely flowers there now. It's beautiful.

I had no idea when I first visited the campus that I would one day be teaching there! My first day on the job, I saw two bunnies looking at me curiously as I walked up the path to the School of Nursing. I said to them "Hey, guess what? I work here now!"

Last week I fed most of my lunch to a very cute baby bunny who came around to beg. He liked lettuce very much, but carrots are even better.
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