Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Canada
Reload this Page >

Trip Report: Victoria-Tofino-Okanagan-Nelson-Banff-Vancouver

Trip Report: Victoria-Tofino-Okanagan-Nelson-Banff-Vancouver

Oct 5th, 2005, 11:09 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
Trip Report: Victoria-Tofino-Okanagan-Nelson-Banff-Vancouver

General

Well, we’re back from our long-anticipated 2-1/2 week vacation in Canada. This threatens to be a lengthy trip report – there are a lot of things I’d like to include that may be small details, but which would have been very helpful information to have had in advance. A big BIG thank you to everyone who helped me plan this wonderful trip. I should mention, my hubby didn’t think he would be on this trip... he was not feeling well for awhile and tested positive for lung cancer. But after ever-more-invasive testing, we finally got a “no cancer” finding and a diagnosis of sarcoidosis, which is treatable, thank God. So, this vacation was a major milestone in our lives and we were grateful for every moment.

Anyway, to start:

Getting There – Orlando to Victoria

We chose to begin by flying into Seattle. The airfares were much better than either Vancouver or Calgary, and car rental as well. I haunted the Southwest web site for months and so was able to book our flight dates on the very day they were posted, $119 each way Orlando to Seattle. Car rental (also booked far in advance) was $113/week – with an upgrade coupon from Southwest, we were given a full-size, 4-wheel drive SUV. Of course, that lowered our gas mileage, but gave us a lot more space.

Our flight left Orlando at 7:30am We’re morning people anyway, and this would get us into Seattle by lunchtime. Speaking of lunch – or lack thereof – this is where we have made bad travel decisions in the past. This time I packed sub sandwiches, water and fruit to eat on the way. This made such a positive impact on our energy level and mental outlook. We changed planes in Albuquerque, with only a 25 minute scheduled layover. This would have been tight but ok. As luck would have it, our plane was about 1-1/2 hours late (unusual for Southwest). With Southwest’s A-B-C boarding scheme vs. assigned seats, this left us lined up for quite awhile. For those who may be traveling through or to ABQ airport, we did notice a Quiznos sub place right next to our gate, plus a couple of other choices.

Our flight should have landed in SEATAC at 11:30am, and we had hoped to catch either the 2pm Anacortes ferry or the 3pm Tsawwassen ferry. But we didn’t get in until around 1pm and so got a late start. This meant that we had to wait for the 5pm Tsawwassen ferry (no 4pm on Thursday for that time of year). That did give us time to stretch our legs and walk around the terminal. This would have been a good place to get something to eat; there was an oriental eatery and a yummy looking crepe place.

The ride across to Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay) was simply beautiful. This route took us through some small islands, some rather close up. The sky was blue and the air was brisk, and blew out all the travel cobwebs. The fare, by the way, was $10CAN each plus $31CAN for the car and taxes, for a 1-1/2 hour ride. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

Once we disembarked, the drive down to Victoria took longer than we anticipated, almost an hour. This was mainly due to the hundreds of cars from the ferry, all traveling the same way, stoplights, etc. So allow yourself some time. We needed to check into our hotel (Shamrock Suites) by 8pm, so called ahead to reassure them that we were indeed on our way.

Victoria

By the time we got into Victoria, it was 730pm and getting dark. We found the Shamrock Suites mainly by the lighted garden area between it and the Robert Porter House B&B. I had only reserved a studio, but we were given a larger 1-bedroom. A lot of space, more than we required, but still a very nice gesture. This was actually an apartment – meaning you could settle in for a long stay and be comfortable. It was spotlessly clean and had perhaps the most comfortable bed of our entire trip. It is an older building, and had older radiators that had been replaced with newer radiators. It is away from the main tourist drag and so not as noisy at night, except for traffic noise. (Thanks for the recommendation, traveller69!).

In my obsessive planning, I had envisioned walking down to a restaurant for dinner. In reality, it was now dark and we didn’t know how to get around. And cold – even the locals were complaining! It had apparently been warm and pleasant until just before we got there. So we decided to drive, but then discovered that finding a place to park is quite a challenge. In the end, we ditched the car in a parking garage and followed our noses to the nearest seafood place, the Garlic Rose. Now, this was an ok place, but overall I would say that it is overpriced for the quality. We did like the atmosphere on this cold night – nice thick walls of an old building, small and not crowded or noisy, casual – as tired as we were, that was appreciated. Alex had a salmon dish that he enjoyed very much, and I had a prawn dish. Now, I think of prawns as being very large shrimp. These were very small, maybe 50-60 count. What constitutes a prawn is open to debate, I know...anyway, the sauce was very tasty and what there was of “prawn” was fine as well. Still, I wouldn’t put the Garlic Rose on a “must visit” list.

(To be continued – I’ll add to this trip report in installments.)
sludick is online now  
Oct 5th, 2005, 02:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Hi Sludick - I have been anxiously awaiting your report so I am glad you have done the first installment. I am so sorry to hear about your husband's illness - what a scare for you but I trust he is fully recuperated by now. Sorry about the Garlic Rose(not a favourite of mine) - I should have made some recommendations to you for nice restaurants within a block or two of the Shamrock. I am glad you found it to be as nice as I said - would have hated it if you had the only uncomfortable bed or???? But sounds like everything was perfect for you there. I am now looking forward to Installment 2.
traveller69 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 05:18 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
traveller69 -- the Garlic Rose wasn't bad, really. Like you said, not a favorite. But it did have that wonderful aroma, and we were able to relax.

Victoria, continued:

The next morning dawned rainy and cold. We started off by heading for De Dutch Pannekoek House on Johnson Street, housed in the Best Western Carlton Plaza. (The hotel does offer continental breakfast. It is mainly coffee, tea, and toast.) This was on a Friday morning, yet very few people were on the streets; we got the impression that Victorians (is that the term?) are not early risers, and had a chuckle about that. The Best Western is much nicer than it appears on their web site, lots of marble inside and very inviting. Something new on the menu - a "low carb" section! Another laugh, considering the breakfast we had in mind. I had the three-berry pannekoek and Alex the peach melba panekoek. Visualize a large, eggy crepe-type affair that is so large it covers a large plate, with a helping of your chosen topping and real whipped cream (which is barely sweetened). We had looked forward to this treat for quite a while, and were not disappointed.

Fortified, we headed for the harbor area. Our first stop (once it opened) was the Undersea Gardens. I had been to this once before as a child. Years later and grown, it had lost its luster, and we didn't linger long.

Instead, we headed for Thunderbird Park and the Royal BC Museum. Now these are 2 stops one should not miss while in Victoria, I think. Once in the museum, you can choose to stand in line to buy your ticket, or use a self-serve machine. We went to the machine, which was entertaining in itself -- doesn't take much to entertain us. We purchased tickets to the IMAX show "Bears" and to the museum at large. If you go, I recommend you do so as well, it was excellent. The museum is not your usual set up. There are exhibit galleries that are set up as a total environment, as though you are actually in the subject -- I would say like EPCOT in Disneyworld, but that would be an insult to this wonderful museum. To take a look, go to this link: http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/visit...galleries.html

We also enjoyed the museum shop, and began our shopping there. After spending several hours at the museum, we exited to find that the rain had stopped and the sun was out. We wandered through the totem poles at Thunderbird Park, then spent the rest of the day walking through all the shops.

We stopped for a beer and appetizer at a pub, Steamers I think. Service was friendly and beer was good, but do stay away from the pierogies. In fact, our server recommended another restaurant for dinner -- and even called to make reservations for us -- at Nautical Nellies. She cautioned us not to be put off by the name.

In the late afternoon, we took a walk through Beacon Hill Park, just across the street from our hotel. It is quite extensive, and we wish there was some equivalent where we live. We ended up on the hilltop overlooking the water. Great natural beauty as well as flower gardens, sports fields, petting zoo, etc. Also, milemarker "0" of the Trans-Canada highway can be found here.

We had a great dinner that night at Nautical Nellies. The menu was extensive (seafood, mainly) and the decor was really interesting, especially the lights that were hanging down. We chose the lobster dinner for 2, which had a large lobster, salmon, halibut, clams, mussels, shrimp, corn on the cob, etc. We were stuffed. Afterwards, we walked the area amongst the crowd, listening to musicians and street performers.

(to be continued)
sludick is online now  
Oct 5th, 2005, 09:40 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,121
Very interesting so far. Now I'll have to look up sarcoidosis.
April is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 06:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hi sludick,

I've very much enjoyed reading what you've written so far.

All the best to Mr. sludick.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 09:45 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
Thank you for your kind wishes.

While I'm still on the Victoria subject, there are a couple of hotels near the Shamrock Suites that also looked nice -- Helm's Inn and Queen Victoria. Plus the Best Western Carlton Plaza. Also, I considered the Gatsby Inn, which is more in the middle of things. Those may be possibilities for others.

Butchart Gardens

The next morning, we left Victoria to head for Butchart Gardens and thence to Tofino. To get to Butchart, we retraced our route up Highway 17 (which is how we came from the ferry). We were running early -- I suppose we were still running on Florida time, 3 hours later. So we drove up past the turnoff a ways and then down another route that one might use if going to Butchart from the north. We stopped for breakfast at The Roost. It's a little farmer-style place with a great bakery. When I say "breakfast," that is exactly how you order it. There were only a few tables, and we had some very interesting conversation with a lady visiting from Saskatchewan as well as the proprietor.

I would say that Butchart is only about 20 minutes out of Victoria, had we taken the direct route. We arrived just after opening, and so avoided the worst of the crowds. And there were a great many people visiting by the time we were about halfway through.

For those who haven't heard of this wonderful place, it began life as a limestone quarry owned by Robert Butchart. When the limestone was all played out, Mrs. Butchart began to transform that bleak pit into a spectacular garden. I believe it is 55 acres in total. It's hard to describe how unbelievable the gardens are, other than to say I am glad to have a digital camera so that I could take hundreds of pictures..

We finished up around 1pm (4 hours later), and stopped in the restaurant area to rest our feet, enjoy a glad of wine, and just take a final look out. If you have any opportunity to visit, at any time of year, this would be something not to miss.

On to Tofino:

From there, we headed back south on 17 to pick up Highway 1 towards Tofino. Our AAA map had this as about 4-1/2 hours from Victoria. Believe it. Along Highway 1, there are a number of scenic viewpoints you may want to stop. From there, Highway 19 to Highway 4 (exit 60) take you across the island. There is a Giant Hemlock Grove you may want to stop at, particularly if you have a picnic lunch. Similar to the Giant Redwoods in California, these ancient trees are very imposing and worth a stop.

Port Alberni is roughly halfway. This is where you should stop for gas, restroom breaks, etc. After that, there is nothing else until you get to the Pacific side of the island. Also, we ran into very significant construction past Port Alberni, where the road was nothing more than gravel and we were escorted in groups through construction equipment. Once past the construction you will be covered in dust. But, again you will find some very lovely spots to pull off and enjoy the scenery -- at this point, you may certainly need to stretch your legs.

Once on the other side of the island, the road seems to come to an end with a "T." Just stay to the right, and you remain on Highway 4 heading past the Pacific Rim park and on to Tofino. Our destination: Middle Beach Lodge.

(to be continued)


sludick is online now  
Oct 6th, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,465
Great report sludick!! Can't wait to read the rest - especially your experiences at Middle Beach Lodge (we stayed there this past February and we loved our little one bedroon "apartment").
Did you happen to dine at either the Wickanninish (The Pointe) or at RainCoast Cafe, and if so, what was your experience??
Borealis is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 12:59 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
Hi, Borealis! Yes, we loved Middle Beach Lodge; it is truly a special place. We didn't eat at either restaurant, although we did consider them.
sludick is online now  
Oct 7th, 2005, 08:00 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
Tofino:

Middle Beach Lodge is not on the main road (tho' the sign is). We turned onto a small lane and followed it into the forest, past a campground, and to the water's edge. (You will go a different direction depending on whether you are bound for the Beach or the Headlands registration.) At first, I wasn't sure we were in the right place: we saw row of pegs on the building wall where yellow slickers were hanging, and galoshes under them. But this was the place -- a lovely wood-beamed big room, stone fireplace, picture windows. It was around dinnertime, and the front desk person suggested we might like to attend their salmon roast that night. This sounded much better than searching for restaurants, so we signed up (the cost was around $31CAN each).

Oh, I should mention also that in addition to the raingear, there are also flashlights at the front desk for guest use. There are numerous walking paths through the woods and to the beaches, which is part of the charm of this place.

We found our room to be so cute that we took pictures of it. There was a long line of wooden pegs along one wall to hang our clothes, and a deck that we could look out on the woods. It was very small, no TV (which I loved, but dismayed Alex).

After cleaning up, we took the path through the woods to the Headlands, where dinner was being prepared. Another lovely big room and spectacular views of the ocean, from a different angle than our location. There, we found that the tables were already set with our respective names. First, there was a reception, and we enjoyed a nice glass of wine, watched the sunset and got to know our fellow lodgers. The dinner itself was prepared simply, as though we had stopped in for dinner at a friend's house. It was served buffet style. There were several salads, a medley of marinated veggies (delicious), yummy fresh-baked breads, and roasted salmon. All in all, we both agree that this was the single most enjoyable meal of our vacation. Not fancy or fine dining, but very relaxing and fine tasting.

The walk back through the woods in the dark with some of our new friends was a fine way to end the evening. Back at our lodge, there were fresh-baked cookies, tea, and cocoa waiting. What could be better?

The next day we went whale-watching. We'd booked a whale-watching package as part of our Middle Beach lodging, so they had everything all arranged with Remote Passages. We went out on a zodiac boat (kind of like an inflatable lifeboat on steroids, with engines that can propel you along at breakneck speeds. You have to dress out in a "survival suit" (in case you fall out of the boat). What a rush! We saw gray whales, humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters, seals, and misc. other critters. We saw old forested areas that, according to our guide, had never been logged or had a fire within the last 10,000 years. This is an entirely different experience than if you go in a larger boat.

This was a half-day event, and later we stopped for chowder at the Weigh West Marina.

We spent the rest of the day visiting the shops in Tofino and walking the beach and trails at Middle Beach Lodge.

That night, we went to Schooner's for dinner. Alex had the lamb and pronounced it scrumptious. I had the special, a prawn with orzo dish. It was not as good as the lamb, and had those scrawny prawns. But still, this is a great restaurant, and would highly recommend it. We had creme brulee and irish coffee for dessert. We spent the evening at the lodge, transferring our pictures from camera to laptop and sipping herbal tea.

Our schedule the next day was to make our way back across the island to Nanaimo. (To be continued)
sludick is online now  
Oct 7th, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
The Journey to Okanagan:

Here is where I made my first errors in my planning.
(1) Not planning enough time in the Okanagan. I had planned to leisurely travel from Tofino to Nanaimo this day, spend the night in Nanaimo and then take the ferry across to Horsehoe Bay and drive to Kelowa for 1 night. We realized this wasn't enough time and decided not to stay in Nanaimo and so headed out early in the morning from Tofino.
(2) Not allowing flexibility in our schedule. We discovered too late (in line for the ferry) that our hotel reservations in Nanaimo had a 7-day cancellation policy. But we decided that it was worth it to keep going to Kelowna.
The ferry was very busy, and even though we were 40 minutes early, the ferry was too full and we ended up waiting until the 3pm ferry. This put us in Vancouver at the rush hour, but it really wasn't too bad. We took Highway 1 to the Coquihalla (Highway 5) Starting around Hope, the scenery turns nothing short of spectacular.
We stayed in Merritt that night (since waiting for the later ferry, it was getting late), and were lucky to find a room at the Ramada. Room had 3 queen beds....none of them very comfortable..
The next morning we headed out towards the Okanagan, which was only a couple of hours away on 97C.

(next installment: Okanagan)
sludick is online now  
Oct 13th, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Loved your account as we will be doing a similar trip next year. Have I missed your next installment?
anabanana is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 11:10 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,104
Greetings from Australia. I'm enjoying reading your trip report as your holiday itinerary is very similar to our 2003 holiday. Please continue!
marg is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 08:53 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
Hi, I'm back. Sorry for the delay, my pc crashed. So, to continue:

OKANAGAN:

We rolled in around mid-morning on a beautiful day, warm sun and cool breeze. Our reservations were in Kelowna, north of where we came into the area. However, we turned and went south, spending the day visiting wineries all the way down to Oliver.

In all, we visited a dozen wineries, including:
- Sumac Ridge (we enjoyed their reds and bought some Merlot and Meritage)
- Thornhaven Estate
- Quail's Gate (our favorite for wines, we bought a goodly supply of reds)
- Hester Creek
- Gehringer Brothers
- Blasted Church (didn't care for it)
- Burrowing Owl (beautiful views)
- Inniskillin Okanagan
- Mission Hill (beautiful grounds, but I have some reservations)
- Tinhorn Creek
- Stag's Hollow
- Hawthorne Mountain

Not all of these in one day, of course! :}

It takes about 1 1/2 hours to get from Oliver back to Kelowna. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, courtesy of frequent stay points. We needed to do laundry, and took our clothes to a coin laundry. They washed and dried our clothes, while we walked across the parking lot to Joey Tomatoes.

Joey Tomatoes was a pleasant surprise. From the decor, we expected a pricier menu, but it was surprisingly affordable. And surprising good.

The next morning we started at Mission Hill. Now, I'm going to say something that may get me into trouble, about Mission Hill. I grew up near the Napa Valley, in California. When I first began to visit the wineries, they were just becoming recognized for their wines. Napa Valley grew inflated and snooty from their success and lost a lot in the process, IMO. In our last visits we found that tastings had evolved more to "happy hour" drinking, with stiff fees for "tasting" and large pours vs. actual sampling. But Mission Hill looks a lot like Mondavi, and seems to follow the Sebastiani model. So my perhaps unpopular opinion is the Mission Hill may be the downfall of this lovely region. If so, I will mourn the loss of the great little wineries that we visited, with their friendly, unpretentious staff, excellent wine, no charge tastings, and charm. Anyway, I've said my piece.

This day, we worked our way back down through Penticton and Oliver to Osoyoos. It was also our day to visit fruit stands and farms. It was late for most fruits except apples, which we did get, along with some really good fresh prunes (Alex called them German plums, but we all know the truth..). traveller69, we took your advise and stopped at Covert Farms as well. That would be a great place to go in the summer and pick your own! We stopped also at another farm run by an older Hungarian lady. Alex is of Hungarian descent, and they happily argued over the attributes of her various peppers, many of which we have not seen outside his home area of northeastern Ohio. We ended up buying a bunch of peppers, which we roasted, put in oil and vinegar and ate for a week.

I'll stop this here and pick up on the Nelson part of our journey. Thanks to all who have taken the time to read my looong saga and encouraged me to complete it.
sludick is online now  
Oct 14th, 2005, 01:38 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 916
sludick, your stories are a pleasure to read!

I thought I'd mention that my dad, who is a "wine educator" when he's not being a high school science teacher, would agree with about Mission Hill. He too finds their winery somewhat pretensious and palatial.
Carmanah is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 01:45 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,014
I am anxiously awaiting your Banff report!

Come back!
moneygirl is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 02:11 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
>>>>>>I am anxiously awaiting your Banff report!<<<<<<

Moneygirl, what you can do in the mountains in the summer / early fall is rather different from what you can do there in the winter.

Sludick, I continue to enjoy your report. Glad to hear you thought Joey Tomatoes provided good value for money. I think they do too.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 02:12 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Hi Sludick - Great report so far! I was in our place in Oliver when you would have been here. I hope the weather was OK - it was a little wetter than usual this fall.
You are absolutely right about Mission Hill. Some people may not agree but the wines are certainly not the best compared to many other wineries (and we have dozens of them) There are so many great little wineries around that you would have loved but time is certainly a problem when you just have a couple of days. Next time!!!! Actually Tin Horn and Burrowing Owl are getting a little snooty now too. We did the rounds in August and found so many excellent smaller wineries that didn't worry about how many different samples you had. I used to go to the Napa and Sonoma in the old days too and it just isn't the same place anymore.

I'm looking forward to the next installment of your fascinatin trip report.
traveller69 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 06:43 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,014
Judy, I know! I know! I am all set for activities and trying to be realistic about the weather! ( Meaning I know we'll probably be drving most of the time we need to go anywhere... even just down the street if the weather is anything other than sunny.) I am still trying to decide on a place to stay and I figure those don't change much! You and borealis have been so helpful... thanks again!
moneygirl is offline  
Oct 15th, 2005, 04:48 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
traveller69 -- we agree about Tin Horn and Burrowing Owl, although I hesitated to "pile on" after my Mission Hill assessment. It was in fact Tin Horn that brought us to the area. Until we were served a bottle of Tin Horn wine at Joe Fortes in Vancouver last year, we were unaware of the Okanagan. But we were a little disappointed in comparison with some of the others. And Burrowing Owl was the only place (aside from Mission Hill) where we paid for a sample -- although it was framed as a $2 "donation" to burrowing owl rehabilitation, a worthy cause I am sure. We entertained ourselves on the way back with discussions of owl rehabilitation..is there a 12-step program for owls? What happens if they fall off the wagon? Or, do they go to physical therapy? How does one convince an owl to rehabilitate themselves socially and return to polite society? (All kidding aside, I wish we had this sort of effort going on for our little Florida burrowing owls.)

marg -- were you caught up in the wildfires during your 2003 holiday? We were in Banff as well in 2003.

Judy_in_Calgary -- at Joey Tomatoes, one of the servers came around offering samples of steak with a cracked-pepper coating. It was the best beef we had the entire time.
sludick is online now  
Oct 15th, 2005, 05:40 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,605
ON TO NELSON:

We picked up Highway 3A in Osoyoos. As we ascended into the mountains, we stopped at a vista for a final look. The climate was similar enough to where I grew up (Antioch, California) to make me nostalgic. Sometimes I miss the smell of the dried weeds, and found a comforting perfume from the ones growing there. I carried a sprig in the glovebox for the rest of the trip, bringing it out occasionally for a sniff.

Highway 3A is very scenic, winding through mountains, ranches and small towns. We saw deer and a coyote. We had a AAA guidebook with us and read about the history of the area and its small towns as we went along. The discover of copper, gold and silver brought settlement in the 1800's. Grand Forks was the home of what was said to be the largest copper smelter in the British Empire. In Castlegar we learned about the Doukhobors, a group of Russian immigrants who settled in the area 1908-13. Their influence is apparent by the billboards advertising borscht and other treats, a Doukhobor village museum, and other things.

We pulled into Nelson by the late afternoon, where we had accommodations at the Hume Hotel (formerly the Heritage Inn). The Hume is an historic landmark property, and has been in business since 1898. I read that Bob Hope stayed here in 1991 and commented, "It's nice to actually stay in a hotel that is older than you are." This was a real jewel, and we were so pleased to stay there. It has been beautifully restored, with 41 rooms, restaurant, lounge, pub, nightclub -- everything except parking. There is a public parking garage next door, though.

As we checked in, we noticed a beautiful "library" off the lobby. It looked like the perfect place to unwind and have a glass of wine. We did, and ended up staying for dinner. Alex had liver and onions (his favorite meal, makes me wrinkle my nose -- ick) and declared it delicious -- I declined a taste. I had the breaded veal cutlets, another classic and house favorite, and enjoyed them very much. There was a musical combo that played beginning around 8pm, and we spent a lovely evening right there at the hotel. The staff at the Hume was quick to learn your name and seemed to keep track of your activities, much like the atmosphere at a bed and breakfast. By the way, the Hume has wireless internet, which we didn't realize until the next day. Ask at the front desk, they will set you up with an account (it was free). Breakfast was included with our stay, and it was served in the café (as opposed to the library lounge/restaurant). It was very good.

Steve Martin's movie "Roxanne" was what brought us to Nelson (it was filmed here). Even almost 20 years later, it still is a feature. We stopped at the tourist information center, where the lady there equipped us with a walking map of the various scenes from the movie, and a number of other maps and brochures guaranteed to keep us occupied. So, the next day, we walked. And walked. And walked. From the lake, the streets go sharply uphill, so steep in sports that the sidewalks are stairs. I ended up pulling a muscle, and had to confine my walking to level ground for several days thereafter. Not so used to hills in Florida, I guess!

We had planned to dine at Rickaby's, which was "Dixie's restaurant" in the movie Roxanne. But the menu was not at all the same as their web site, and wasn't what we were looking for. We had a glass of wine and an appetizer, though. The staff was friendly and offered to take our picture when they noticed our "Roxanne" fixation. Afterwards, we returned to the Hume and again enjoyed a terrific meal in the "library." I had the best breaded oysters that I have ever had anywhere. They were absolutely fresh, and huge -- they only served me 4 oysters, and I couldn't finish them all. There was music again this evening, a perfect ending to a great stay.

The next morning, we limped to the car, and headed towards Banff.

(to be continued)
sludick is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:12 AM.