You didn't think I had forgotten, did you?
Part of the problem with vacation posts is that sometimes they get so picture heavy, you just don't know how you are going to do the trip justice. Last summer, Andrew's main request of our summer vacation was that we get to spend a day in Victoria, which I had absolutely no problem with at all. I spent five years in Victoria studying at the University of Victoria, and it is one of my favourite cities in the world.
We rented a car in Duncan, and drove into city, parking in the downtown area so we would have easy access to the touristy places and shopping. This is the view of the Parliament Buildings in the Inner Harbour. It's amazing to think that you look straight ahead and see this:
Then turn your head slightly to left and see this building: the Fairmont Empress Hotel (although, when I lived there it was just called the Empress Hotel):
Willow had never been on a horse and carriage ride before, so we decided to take a tour of the James Bay area - one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Victoria. I'm not sure why the photographer decided to cut the horse out of the picture...
Because he was a very nice horse, and stood very nicely while we all petted him.
I noticed this statue when we finished the carriage ride, so I had to go check it out - it's very interesting how she looks like she is standing on the rocks. I thought at first she was supposed to be a First Nations historical figure -
But it turns out I didn't have it quite right. Below is the plaque that was placed at her feet:
I'm still not entirely sure who she is supposed to represent, but the statue is to commemorate the Canadian volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939.
Behind the Spanish Civil War statue was a large fountain that was surrounded by the Canadian coat of arms:
Did you know the unicorn represents Scotland? I learned that recently whilst watching the Monarchy television series on Netflix on demand. I'm not sure I understand the connection between the unicorn and Scotland - but there you have it.
Here is Willow in front of British Columbia's coat of arms:
Some random petunias. I don't normally like petunias, but the colours of these were lovely:
Another thing I love about Vancouver Island - random totem poles. It's odd, when you grow up seeing them everywhere, you don't pay them much attention. I find that I appreciate them much more now that I live far away from them.
We walked from the downtown core up to Chinatown to have lunch. We had wanted to have lunch at the Fan Tan Cafe, but there was a line up of people and a 50 minute wait for that one, so we walked around the corner to a nondescript Japanese restaurant, where we had a delicious lunch - and didn't have to wait for it. I had cold soba noodles - something I don't think I have eaten since I lived in Japan, and had forgotten how much I liked it.
Some more aboriginal art (I have to say, Victoria has a lot of fountains):
Oh! I had to make a specific stop for this... now, my friend Tara may be the only person who reads this blog who knows what this pastry is...
It's called a honeybun, and you get them at Chinese bakeries. The pastry itself sort of looks like a hot dog bun with sesame seeds on top, but it is a sweet dough and it is filled with a buttery-coconut filling. I shared this with Andrew and Willow, neither who was all that enthused. Next time I won't share and will eat it all myself!
After this, we walked back to the car and drove the Dallas Road scenic route into Oak Bay, where I took this pretty picture of Willow:
Yes, my child likes to pose.
We drove through Uplands (a ritzy, old neighbourhood where they filmed the Winona Rider "Little Women" movie), and ended up in Cadboro Bay, where Willow conquered the resident sea monster:
And I will finish with a peaceful shot of Cadboro Bay:
This bay is just down the hill from the University of Victoria dormitories, and I used to walk down here frequently to spend time on the beach. I wish I had thought to remember to take a picture of the hill back up to the university - you would have thought I was a masochist for walking down so often!