Victoria Journals

Shop Til you Drop - B.C. 2003

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A November 2003 trip to Victoria by tvordj

Feeding a giraffe! Photo, Aldergrove, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: This was my second visit to Canada's west coast. While visiting Victoria, Vancouver and Parksville, Vancouver Island, i visited family and friends and fed a giraffe and I shopped. And shopped. It really was the Shop til you Drop "tour"!

Traveling West in Style

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Story/Tip

My cousin's house, Victoria Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
I had a huge amount of air miles so for my second visit to Canada's west coast, i decided to book Business Class. That gave me access to the Maple Leaf lounges in various airports in Canada and very cushy seats on board! I left on October 31. How much *fun* is it to travel on Halloween! I got to the airport by 7:30 a.m. for a 9 o’clock flight and spent a quiet half hour in the Maple Leaf lounge. At the gate waiting to board, I saw a woman in a chicken outfit, complete with yellow tail and orange legs/webbed feet! The first flight attendant on the plane that morning had bright sparkly sunglasses and the other one had big green "Mr. Spock/alien" ears! Everyone got on the plane with a smile...Read More

Chinatown in Victoria

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brightly coloured shops downtown Victoria Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Weather has much improved. It’s clear, sunny and cold. They’re all complaining about the temperature but it’s colder than usual for here. It’s still warmer than yesterday though. Today’s route takes us on a scenic drive around the Oak Bay area into downtown Victoria where we’re hoping the Street market is still on. Turns out it wasn’t but we had a nice wander anyway. Oak Bay is one of the very exclusive areas of Victoria with some estates assessed in the million dollar range and higher. There are marinas dotting the coastline around the peninsula and there are golf courses as well. Mind you, we also passed farms which are only barely 10 minutes from downtown. Victoria seems to have all bases covered...Read More

Royal British Columbia Museum

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Attraction | "Explore BC Natural History"

Totems in Thunderbird Park Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Enjoy and explore the history of the province of British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, B.C. This museum and Imax complex has marvellous exhibits on the natural history of the area from the ice age with a full size model of a wooly Mammoth to information on the land, sea and mountains. There are some excellent First Peoples galleries and a modern history (20th century) gallery with scale recreations of a typical turn of the century street, a part of the ship helmed by Captian George Vancouver, and so much more. There are so many interesting items and exhibits, my favourite being the First Peoples' halls because of the bea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 23, 2009

Royal British Columbia Museum
606 Douglas Blvd.
Victoria, British Columbia
(250) 356-7226

Shopping Victoria with Ange

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Another view of the Inner Harbour, Victoria Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Another sunny day with a chilly breeze. Perfect for walking around. Caught the bus and got to the appointed meeting place to wait for Ange, Murchies Tea and Coffee on Government Street. Again I was surprised that the downtown was not that busy, with either cars or people. Apparently though, this is mainly a tourist area, not a business area, and in November, tourist season is over. There are distinct advantages to traveling off season! Spied from the bus: sign at a garden center "Better Gnomes and Gardens". Victoria is a city of gardens and gardeners. Also a city where a lot of people retire from other places in Canada. This is evidenced by quite a few medical supply shops, one of which I saw had ro...Read More

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guest House

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Restaurant | "Fresh Baked, Fresh Brewed"

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guest House Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Spinnaker's is a guest house and a brew pub on the outer edge of the inner harbour of Victoria, BC. It's rustic looking on the inside with spectacular views over the harber. They brew on the premises and all the breaks and desserts are home baked including their mile-high pies that I swear were tall enough to contain all of the 4 and 20 blackbirds! ! There's plenty of variety on the menu and because it’s a brew pub there is a lot of variety for drinks to try as well. I've eaten lunch here a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. To get there from Victoria centre, head towards Esquimalt and over the Johnson Street bridge. Once you're p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 23, 2009

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guest House
308 Catherine Street
Victoria, British Columbia
(250) 386-2739

Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo

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View to the mainland BC from the ferry Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
There was frost on the ground this morning, and that doesn’t happen too often round here. We got on the road about 10:30 and took the Inland Island highway to Campbell River. This is a fairly new road, and though there were some glimpses of the water, the views were mainly trees and some mountains inland on the island. We arrived about noon and had a drink before lunch. Alison’s house is lovely and very sunny and bright. Lunch was delectable, that salmon melted in our mouths and the garlic bread and salad were perfect side dishes with apple pie and cream for dessert! We had a lovely visit there for the afternoon and drove back along a waterfront highway which is a bit more scenic than the ...Read More

Smithford's

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Attraction | "Everything Including the Kitchen Sink"

Smithford's Photo, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Quote:
This store is eclectic, amazing and absorbing. Their motto is "Don’t have it? We got it!". The shop has a yard out front which is surrounded by a wooden fence that has carved and painted lazy cats strewn all along it. There are garden items and large carved creatures and whimsical ornaments as well, such as a bird cage that has the cat inside, and several jaunty birds on the outside, smugly looking in. A purple giraffe, a larger than life Mountie in full red dress uniform, a rooster on a scooter, it just went on and on and you could have spent an hour just outside!Inside there were shoes, clothes, furniture, books, crafts, and lots of folk art. Smithford's is unique and eclectic, with folk...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 23, 2009

Smithford's
164 W Second Ave.
Qualicum Beach, B.C.
(250) 752-3400

Lefty's Cafe

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Restaurant | "Lefty's Fresh and Flavourful"

Quote:
Lefty's cafe focuses on fresh food and healthy choices but it doesn't sacrifice taste. There isn’t a deep fryer in the joint and the "fries" are oven roasted with seasonings, called "Southpawtatoes". I had a burger that was juicy and delicious and stacked with fresh vegetables. Their lunch menu has lots of fresh wraps and sandwiches and warming soups. They bake most of their goods on site or use local suppliers wherever possible. The restaurant itself is casual, not fussy. They have vegetarian options including a nice veggie burger. There are lots of windows and it's situated on a cross roads in the middle of Qualicum Beach village, Vancouver Island so ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 23, 2009

Lefty's Cafe
351 Birch Ave.
Parksville V9P 1K8
(250) 954-3886

Lions, Tigers, Bears and Giraffes

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Fort Langley, BC Photo, Ft. Langley, British Columbia
Quote:
Lions and Tigers and Bears! And Giraffes!!!!The sky started out overcast but turned out brilliant. What a great day for the zoo! First we had to drive to pick up Linda's sister Cathy and her daughter Megan. We are heading to FortLangley for lunch. We got there on a small open top car ferry across the Fraser River. Fort Langley is about 130 years old and was the place where the charter that created the province of British Columbia was signed. They still have a restored old fort here that you can visit but we didn’t take the time to go. Glover Road is the main street through Fort Langley and the shops, of various ages, are fashioned after the frontier style, with wooden siding an...Read More

Museum day in Vancouver

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English Bay towards Stanley Park Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Yet another sunny day and the nicest yet. Linda made omelets for breakfast and we left to pick up Cathy about 11 or so. The drive in to the city to the museum, which is in Vanier Park, was the better part of an hour on the highway. Vancouver is quite large and all of the surrounding cities that add to the Greater Vancouver area go on for miles out. Maple Ridge is a good 40 km from Vancouver proper. The Vancouver museum is all about the history of Vancouver and the lower BC area. We were lured by the special exhibits at the time, one on the history of underwear, one about Vancouver in the 1950’s and one all about the opium trade, popularly advertised as "Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll". There ...Read More

Vancouver Museum

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Attraction | "Vancouver Museum Exploring"

Vancouver Museum Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
The Vancouver Museum is just outside of the downtown core, on the edge of Vanier Park by the university of BC and is actually about 100 years old. It details the history of the city starting with the earliest discoveries by non-native dwellers such as Captain Cook, the fur traders and the early logging settlements. The museum has been in its present location in Vanier Park since 1968. It’s also connected to the MacMillan Space Center. It's close to the Granville Island area and there are lots of transport links to the museum. While the focus of the museum is the history of Vancouver, they also have great exhibits on the First Nations, the Pacific ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 23, 2009

Vancouver Museum
1100 Chestnut St
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 3J9
+1 604 736 4431

On My Own to Explore Vancouver

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Just a Second, selling little clocks  Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
First rainy day since the day after I arrived out west. It’s not raining hard, just a light rain, at times just a heavy mist. Breakfast comes with the room but there’s nothing cooked. Still, not a bad cold buffet though including hard boiled eggs, pastries, yogurt and the usual cereal, toast, etc. The best bus downtown from here is 98B B-line in case anyone needs to know but to get to the stop I have to walk a couple of blocks. It's a handy bus, though, just a half hour straight through to downtown with only a few stops along the way. The route goes along the south end of Granville Street which was an interesting ride. One stretch was residential and most of the homes either had a lot of ...Read More