looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Shopping in Victoria, Visiting Vicky

We got up, packed our bags, checked out, and left our bags with the hotel porter downstairs while we wandered around the streets of Victoria shopping and looking for breakfast, and seeing what else there was to see.

We had seen Munro's Bookshop the previous evening, so we stopped in. According to the "Victoria Visitor's Guide" brochure we had, "your visit to Victoria is not complete without taking some time to browse Munro's Books. Located in an outstanding neo-classical heritage building...". The wall hangings and stained glass windows were pretty. The books were good too. We spent quite a bit of time there, browsing through books.

We found our breakfast in a Dutch Pancake restaurant. Other notable stops: I found some volumes of collected issues of Cerebus in a comics store; Lisa found liquorice in a British Candy Shoppe; and  Mitchell found speakers in an audio store. After following Mitchell into the audio store, I wandered around, went outside, and finally met up with Lisa and Mitchell in a Glass craft gallery. They had glass furnaces inside the gallery, and lots of beautiful pieces of work arranged for display around the balcony overlooking the work area. We saw one guy getting lessons on how to make a stemmed goblet.

Regretfully, it soon became time to collect our bags from the porter at the Empress Hotel, and go and pick up our rental car from Avis, which was thankfully located only a couple of blocks away. The car turned out to be - once again - a dreaded red Pontiac Grand Am. I guess it is Avis' standard midsize vehicle! This one had BC license plates rather than Arkansas ones.

We followed Vicky's instructions reasonably closely and navigated our way to Oak bay, and spent some time with Muriel, Vicky, and Robert and Marita. At this point, the camera decided to stop working, or I would have had some photos of this event. It was a bit of a worry, because we were about to drive straight into serious scenery and were intending to use the camera quite a bit! I had just put what I thought were new batteries in it, and although we were traveling with some rechargeables, we had packed the recharger in the other bag! We were sure that we wouldn't need it until we returned to Seattle. Nothing to be done - we'd have to try fresh batteries as soon as we could. We had a great time talking, drinking coffee, and eating oat biscuits with Muriel and her daughter Vicky, and her children Robert and Marita were companionable and lots of fun also.

Before it got dark, we took our leave of Vicky and Muriel Wyatt and, again following their instructions, drove around the bay and back towards Trans-Canada Highway 1, whereupon we continued up Vancouver Island looking for a place called Parksville.

It got dark pretty quickly, sooner than we thought (well, we were quite a bit further North than San Francisco). We didn't see much except for early in the journey, and that was mostly trees and cliffs and lakes, and I didn't see much of that because I insisted on driving.

We covered the 175km to Parksville in about 2 hours, and without incidents arrived at the Tigh Na Mara Resort Hotel. This turns out to be a forest dotted with log cabin buildings, very secluded and at this time of year, almost deserted. We had no idea what kind of view the balcony had, it was pitch dark. We could see the trunks of some trees, could have been a dense forest for all we knew.

The cabin itself is very cozy, with a bathroom, bedroom, and a large combined kitchen/dining/lounge with a balcony - we were on the top floor of the block.

Apparently the seafood restaurant at the resort is very reputable, and that's where we had dinner. It was a very good one, and we staggered back to our cabin considerably heavier. What were we going to do? It wasn't nearly Thanksgiving yet.