Thursday, September 24, 2015

British Columbia by Boat: Day 2 Victoria

I'd originally planned to visit the Butchart gardens this day, but changed the plans because of the fireworks the night before, which was worth it. So this morning, we set out to explore the city and see Beacon Hill Park. The park itself was pretty, but after the Butchart gardens felt a bit of a let down. Beacon view, however, offered gorgeous views of the coast towards Washington, so after that we kept walking along the coast, where some sort of century was going on.
The coast walk took a while, and around lunch time we stopped at the farmer's market for lunch. Bowen decided he wanted to go back to the B&B to sleep (which caused us to become skeptical, but he did seem genuinely tired). On my way back to the B&B we stopped to pick up some fruit, chocolate, and Chocolate Ensure for Bowen. At the B&B, Bowen drank an entire bottle of Ensure, laid down to bed, and then after 20 minutes decided he wasn't tired enough to sleep after all.
Well, I had to buy bus tickets to Vancouver anyway, so we walked over to find the bus depot and buy tickets. After that, we went to a Victoria institution: high tea at the Empress hotel. When I tried to book this via Opentable the day before, I couldn't get a single table for 4 adults, but I could get 2 tables for 2 adults. Well, my jig was up as soon as my wife and I both presented our reservations (they were completely full: I saw the hostess turn away folks at the door), but they nicely put us into a 4 person table (plus an extra chair for Bowen). Looking at the setup, I concluded that they weren't hard up for space, but only had a certain number of dishes prepared for any given day, and once they ran out they were done.

I'd always avoided the high tea since it was relatively expensive and required reservations. It was quite excellently presented and the food was excellent, if diabetes inducing. The tea was good too, though we ended up with 4 boxes of Empress Hotel tea that I'm not sure we'd ever get around to finishing.

After dark, we got in a nice (if windy) walk around the inner harbor area, and hoped for good weather for a few days of sailing.

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