Victoria or BUST

Published: July 11th 2007
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Our day started at the crack of dawn this morning! We wanted to be on the first ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC. The alarm clock rang at 5:30am and we were in line for the ferry by 7:00 am. We left the car and grabbed some to go breakfast. I stopped and talked to Bill at the tourism booth for some recommendations on what to see in Victoria. The ferry took about 90 minutes and we drove right to our hotel and parked the car. We set out to see the sights of Victoria, starting with the Parliament buildings. We signed up for the free tour and it was great. They took us through the building and we even got to meet a famous character from Victoria’s past, “The Hanging Judge”. Our tour guide, Janet, and John Cook worked together to give us a colorful view of Victoria’s past. We took a quick “gawk” into the Empress Hotel, where the High Tea is almost $60 per person. The hotel was very elegant and we pretended to be guests. From there we headed up to Chinatown, where we had lunch at Don Mee’s. Amy was more adventurous, and had a dim sum lunch. The food was delicious. We then toured around Chinatown for a little while and window shopped. We did take a side trek down the famous Fan Tan Alley, which has been in many movies, including the Mel Gibson movie Bird on a Wire. We decided that we wanted to see Beacon Hill Park, and it looked like a short walk to the world’s highest totem pole… we were wrong. For you isle of death fans, the next portion of our day consisted of a walk thru death park. We walked, and walked and walked with nothing insight. It was at least 90 degrees and none of us had anything to drink. We finally met someone on the sidewalk who directed us to the Beacon Hill Drive In, where we had the best tasting slurpee I have ever had. (I am sure this was due to the fact that I was dying!) The drink brought us back, and we headed down to the water. This end of the park was very dry and not maintained, so it seemed we were walking thru fields when we were actually in a city park. We found the totem pole, took a few snaps, and starting looking for a bus to get us out of the heat. No buses where to be found, but the girls at the petting zoo told us it was just a short walk… (Yeah right) back to our hotel. We checked into the hotel, grabbed our bags and headed for our room. We opened the door and were immediately hit with a blast of heat, which felt like a brick wall. We figured we just needed to find the air conditioning and get it going. We looked and looked, but no air to be found. It didn’t even occur to us when we had made the reservation to ask if the hotel had air conditioning. After all the Pacific Northwest was supposed to be cool—but we have been experiencing a heat wave here. We set up the two fans and laid down for a quick rest. Two hours later, we woke up hungry. We headed out to find someplace cool to eat supper. We promised ourselves we would not walk too far, since we had already walked something like 6 miles in the totem pole search. We checked out a few places that had 30 minute waits, and ended up walking to Pagliacci’s, which was recommended in our guide book. This place had an old movie theme atmosphere and every item on the menu was named after a movie or an actor. Again, we were hit with a brick wall of heat, but we decided to stay anyway. Amy (surprise, surprise) tried the Victoria Lager and wanted everyone to know that it is delicious. She said it was so good she would be willing to dance on the tables, but I think that was the overexposure to sun talking. The food was delicious, and a great jazz trio started up just a few minutes before we were ready to leave. They were good, but the cool air outside was better. We walked down to the harbor front and took in some local street entertainers. We took a pee in the Empress Hotel, since we couldn’t afford the formal tea, and then headed back to the steam room (aka our hotel room) for the night.

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