The first thing we did after getting off the ferry is to head over to Red Barn Market and pick up some bulk spices. I really miss Red Barn Market!
Then we drove into Victoria and went for lunch at Lotus Pond, an awesome little Buddhist vegetarian restaurant. We shared the Hot & Sour Soup, Szechuan Ginger B (my favourite - and I can't find a place that has it in Vancouver), and Mixed Vegetables in Crushed Ginger. It was FANtastic!
Hot & Sour Soup
Man, I love Ginger B!!
After lunch we wandered the city and worked up an appetite again. We decided on Swan's for dinner. Swan's is a great little brew pub down near the water, located in the funky Swan's Hotel. Their food is good and their beer is amazing! I had a Portabello Burger with fries and a pint of Double Shot Stout, made with espresso from local roastery Caffe Fantastico. The burger was good, and the stout was sensational.
Kirk deciding on his order
My yummy burger. Check out the colour of that stout in the background!
After dinner we wandered down to Peacock Billiards to play some pool, and we randomly ran into our friends Warren & Dayna! We played a few games (pretty poorly, but it was fun nonetheless), then headed over to The Garrick's Head for a drink.
Did I mention it was Halloween? Dayna is dressed as a cave woman, and
the rest of us went as ourselves (that's scary enough!).
Kirk enjoys his drink at the Garrick's Head
Kirk and I were staying at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, 'cause we're fancy like that! Actually, we just got a really good deal and thought it would be fun to stay in the second-least-expensive room. We were right!
The BC Legislature is around the corner from the Empress, and is beautiful at night.
The hallway leading to our room.
King sized bed... aahhhh.
The next morning we reluctantly climbed out of our king sized bed and went to John's Place for breakfast. John's Place is a Victoria institution, and for good reason. There is a huge, crazy selection of posters and photos on the walls, the best service in town, and good food too! I had the Vegan Burrito, which is new on the menu and a welcome edition (I used to have to get potatoes and fruit salad there for breakfast, even though they had vegan options for lunch & dinner). The burrito had tofu, all sorts of veggies, salsa and guacamole, and it was SO good! Yes, I know I'm not supposed to be eating tofu, but I make exceptions when I'm eating out, which is difficult enough as it is. I have probably cut my soy consumption down by 85% over the past six months, and I'm okay with that. Those of you who know me know nothing is black and white for me - I'm a shades of grey kinda gal.
The burrito was huge and I ate the whole thing!
That afternoon we had to go up to Nanaimo to pick up Kirk's bicycle, which has been in storage in a friend's garage there for a few years now. While we were in the neighbourhood, we decided to go to Coombs, which is a funny little town about half an hour north of Nanaimo. It's best known for the Old Country Market, which has goats living on the roof. It was raining and the roof goats were nowhere to be seen, but we met up with some goats and a friendly rabbit in the back of the store.
This rabbit was so tame! I love him.
All in all it was a really fun trip, and we ate our weight in awesome Island fare. This trip just reiterates my belief that Victoria is a great place for us to visit, but not such a great place for us to live...