Short Getaway: Victoria for Victoria Day! Pt. 2

Hey all,

So…continuing from my last post.

Early the next morning (okay, not that early. We finally managed to leave the hotel at around 11AM), we set off in search of breakfast. We were done with walking, so we experienced Victoria’s public transit.

Remember how we had a list of restaurants we wanted to visit in Victoria? For our Sunday breakfast, we had chosen Blue Fox Cafe. According to everyone, it was the place to visit in Victoria, and we were pumped! Sadly, when we got there, the line-up was an hour long. We just couldn’t afford to wait that long (it was about noon when we got there) since we had other plans for the day. So we quickly googled up another place to eat. Floyd’s Diner came up in our searches and we walked two blocks north towards it.

We were starving by then, which made Floyd’s perfect. Their portions were HUGE. They were also on the Food Network show You Gotta Eat Here, where one item on thier menu got featured: The Mahoney. If you didn’t already know (I certainly didn’t until I read the menu), the Mahoney’s is a bit of a gamble. For $15, you get a mystery plate of food prepared by the chef. It’s different every time. If you and your friend both got Mahoneys, you’d get two completely different dishes. The fun part is this: you can choose to pay the $15, or flip a coin. If you win the coin toss, you get your Mahoney for free. If you lose, you pay double the amount, making it a $30 brunch. We didn’t get the Mahoney because we both craved other things on the menu, but it’s a cool concept!

When our bellies were full, we walked to the Royal BC Museum. The last time I was here, I must’ve been 9 years old. I didn’t remember any of it except for the woolly mammoth. I brushed up on my history and I think my favorite part was walking through these fake streets depicting what settlements would’ve looked like. The special exhibit they ran while we were there was on the gold rush. It was pretty cool to learn about the rise and fall of B.C’s Barkerville. I really want to give that town a visit now!

We stayed at the museum until closing time, and realized we had quite a few hours until dinner. We wandered around downtown Victoria, quenching our thirst with dollar drinks from McDonalds and slurpees. We spent a good hour or two at Chapters, devouring new books. And then came the moment we were waiting for: Il Terrazzo.

Il Terrazzo is supposedly the best Italian restaurant in Victoria, and although I can’t attest to that because I’m not an expert, the food is pretty good. My bf’s duck was so great he’d compliment every bite. The service was excellent, and the restaurant itself was very nice. If you’re looking to splurge a little, or want to take a date out somewhere fancy, go here. Also, their free bread was warm and delicious, and boy they were generous.

We were so full we ended up walking back to the hotel again. That’s when we started to watch Fresh Off The Boat. Best. Show. Ever. We knew we had to wake up early the next morning for the parade, but we ended up doing a small marathon of it. I was literally crying at some of the episodes. Happy, laughing crying.

The next morning was exhaustion. We woke up early because we didn’t want to miss the Victoria Day Parade nor the free pancake breakfast our hotel was hosting. We were right on the street where the parade passed by, so we could sit outside under tents and watch the three hour long parade. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think we’d stay for the whole thing but we stuck through almost 2 and a half hours of it. There’s just something about parades where you want to see what is going to come next in the long line of floats, dancers and performers!

We spent a while at Mayfair Shopping Centre, but it wasn’t super interesting. We eventually started to crave Asian food, so we Googled up a nearby Korean restaurant..which turned out to not exist. Then we searched up a Japanese place…but when we got there, we found that they take a break from 2PM till 5PM. We got there at 2:10PM. So eventually we went to Swiss Chalet. So Asian. So satisfied. Not. But nonetheless, our waiter was super nice, and the ribs and chicken wings weren’t bad. Just not quite what we wanted when we were craving Asian food.

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And that was it. Our little weekend getaway that was relatively inexpensive as far as going away goes!

Hopefully, there’s more summer adventures to come 🙂 Short getaways are pretty refreshing!

– Karen

Short Getaway: Victoria for Victoria Day! Pt. 1

Hey all,

For Victoria Day, the boyfriend and I decided we’d take a short getaway to Victoria— the island. You know what? I didn’t realize that Victoria Day was to celebrate Queen Victoria until probably two years ago. I always thought it was a random day to celebrate the island where our Parliament resided.

Anyway, get ready for picture dump.

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We took the coach to Victoria. It was my first time coaching since my family had always driven onto the ferry, but I can say that it was a great experience and I’d be alright with doing it again. The bus drivers are super friendly, and not having to deal with lining up to board the ferry on foot was great. You also get first dibs to lining up for food in the ferry, and those lines can basically take the entire ferry trip.

We got to our hotel at around 11AM, having taken the 7:30AM coach and luckily enough, they had a room ready for us! We dropped off our stuff and walked downtown. Our hotel was not super close to downtown, but we decided to walk it to see how far it was. We stopped along the way to visit Chinatown. We had expected it to be super boring, but the two blocks or so we visited were pleasantly interesting!

We checked out Fan Tan alley, which is rumored to be haunted. We didn’t find ghosts, but we did find very interesting shops that sold trinkets and toys we remembered from our childhood (chinese finger traps anyone? whoopee cushions?). But we couldn’t stop long since we had planned to eat at Fisherman’s Wharf. So we left Chinatown and headed straight there. With a few detours to do touristy stuff like take pictures in front of the Parliament and look at the Empress Hotel:

By the time we finally got there, we were starving. Which was good because it made the food that much more delicious! We shared fish and chips, an oyster sandwich, and a three-salmon chowder. It’s was so good and definitely worth it. As we ate, we watched kids feed the seal, though a random sea otter kept vying for the food.

After our nice meal, we rounded it off with ice cream! Sea salt caramel with caramel cups that were soft on its inside! How do they do that? Nobody knows!

Taking our ice cream, we walked to Beacon Hill Park. My bf said there was a petting zoo there, and I wasn’t super excited. Mostly because I was exhausted from walking all day, and plus, what would be there? A lamb or two? I was wrong. It was a pretty amazing petting zoo. The entrance fee was by donation, but it was well worth it.

They had:

These aren’t all the animals. There were pigs, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and lots of other small animals. The lambs and goats were really the only animals you could “pet”, but kids sure did try to run at random chicken who had escaped their enclosure or grab at squawking peacocks. The alpacas were the cutest things there! They were so derp. I’m glad we visited the petting zoo. Not only had I not been to one for years, but I don’t recall them being this good.

We ended the night with going to Sushi Matsuri. We had a list of restaurants we wanted to visit during our trip and this was one of them. Walking in, we knew we made the right choice. They were playing our favorite documentary there: Jiro Dreams of Sushi. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do. The food there was really fresh!

After returning to the hotel, it mainly consisted of us pigging out on popcorn, marathoning Storage Wars since it was on TV, and then passing out because we were so physically tired. Not bad for a first day! It also felt very long, which felt very satisfying.

For days 2 and 3, I’ll put up a separate post. This one is getting a tad long!

– Karen