Ok, I've been meaning to update my supposed "travel blog" with my notes from Victoria for weeks. Here they are!
For those of you who don't know, the new husband and I took a "mini-moon" to Victoria since our big honeymoon in the UK is 3 weeks post-wedding. We took the Victoria Clipper from Seattle's pier 69 to Victoria's inner harbor on August 26th. I would say it was scenic and fun, but to be honest we were both pretty sleep deprived from the night before and mostly I remember an obnoxiously loud Canadian espousing his child-rearing philosophies to some obnoxious American parents whilst Ryan & I tried to nap.
We arrived just before supper and breezed through Canadian customs, then rolled our luggage up a small hill to our gorgeous hotel, The Queen Victoria. I managed to book one of the top-floor suites for a better rate than a cheap room at The Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific. Our room had a balcony with a water view, a gigantic jacuzzi bathtub and was pretty stellar I must say. By check in time we were famished so we walked across the street and got some Spaghetti Factory-- not super classy but quicker than walking downtown to find some place authentically Canadian. We also walked to a local grocery in hopes of picking up a bottle of wine only to discover they do not sell alcohol in grocery stores in BC. We were fairly tired anyway, so we just went back to the Vic and called it a night.
Victoria was lovely, but a little off-setting. Going from America to Canada is kind of like slipping into an alternate universe where everything is almost the same...but not quite. Large American chains ala McDonalds and Subway had the same logo but with a tiny maple leaf embedded. There was a "Canadian Idol" with the exact same logo, music, and contestants (seriously, there was a Blake clone) but the judges were all way too nice for "American Idol." There was a "Marble Slab Creamery" instead of a "Cold Stone Creamery." Is this an attempt at a more distinct Canadian identity or a case of pathetic corporate pandering? Probably the latter, although I didn't mind the Canadian version of Reese's cups, it came with 3!
That's all for the moment, I'll update on the rest of BC as well as Big Britain after I successfully hop the pond tomorrow morning. If you're lucky maybe something hilarious will happen on our 10 HOUR LAYOVER in Calgary. Cheerio!