Friday, May 17, 2013

In Victoria

I'm in Victoria. Pavel had a conference to attend at the Empress, so I tagged along for an escape.

An escape from what, you may ask. Wouldn't it be nicer if you asked escape to what? To that I'd say an escape to some time with Pavel, to a bit of luxury, to some walks along the harbor, and maybe to find Cadbury Shortcake Snacks (last seen by me in Victoria, about 15 years ago).

But you asked escape from what. It's a good question. I don't really have much to escape from, life is that good. But if pressed, I'd say an escape from the day to day.

Because isn't that why going somewhere--whether near or far--is so wonderful? I always feel a new lease on life coming with sudden acute observation. It makes me feel completely present, everything new and important. Heck, even the seagulls are fascinating.

So here I am, in Victoria. Pavel's been busy most of the day, so I have set myself a nice routine. After breakfast with him I take a short walk to a cafe where I have some coffee and write in my journal. Then I take another walk before meeting Pavel for lunch.

Coffee so far:
Habit, Caffe Artigiano, and Caffe Fantastico (here with a rhubarb Danish from Fol Epi Bakery).

Where we've lunched so far:
Chorizo and Co.

Choux Choux Charcuterie (they use local heritage pigs for their sausages and the mortadella they put in my sandwich).

Red Fish Blue Fish (all local wild caught fish) Here we had pretty good fish and chips, but I came back a few days later for one of the rhubarb creamsicles they sell.

The weather here has been perfect. Well, perfect for a Portlander used to some overcast skies. And perfect for someone who would prefer cooler weather for walking. And perfect if you like to see skies full of clouds in various shades of grey, and the light made when the sun breaks through, here and there. And perfect, at the end of the day, when the sun makes the Strait of Juan de Fuca sparkle, and the clouds break just enough to let you see the snow capped tips of the Olympics, just across the strait (you might have to zoom in, and squint).

And there's so much to see. Signs that clarify:


Invitations (at least that's how I read a coffee sign):

Or just to offer some perspective on your day (and night):

There are wrapped things, like potted plants in the hallway of the convention center:

And ships at the Point Hope Shipyard:

The air smells like linden blossoms, the rugosa roses that are hedges along the Selkirk Water of the Gorge, and cold salt.

The neighborhoods and gardens are wonderful. There are so many carefully pruned hedges and trees. To make room for the passersby (or undersby?):

And others that look like some sort of huge, slightly goofy, pet:

The clematis are taking over:

And, some sort of moth-like creatures are as well:

Late in the afternoon, this one fellow is taking a nap (he must have read the sign) with his dog watching over him:

And those Cadbury Shortcake Snacks? Even at the English Sweet Shop, where I found them last time, they'd never heard of them. Oh well. I'm making do. I found some delicious ice cream sandwiches from Cold Comfort. Actually, it's not at all a cold comfort. Just a comfort.

And when all else fails, the lounge at the Empress always has boiling water, tea, and silver pots at hand. And the city does it's best to remind me it's teatime.


Unknown said...

You're back! And in fine form. Look forward to to my next trip north to follow in a few of your footsteps. All the Best from Berkeley. Steve

Charles Shere said...

Chorizo in Victoria! To what is the world coming! Portagee bangers?

Giovanna said...

Well, I'll say I'm somewhat back. I'll try to stay back. It does feel good to be back.

Yep, Chorizo in Victoria. Seems the farther we travel the closer everything gets. The world seems to be simultaneously expanding and tightening. It's either climate change or me getting older.

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