We took a few days off last month and headed over to Vancouver Island for a mini-holiday to celebrate our wedding anniversary. You can read about our previous stops in Part 1 and Part 2!
We continued our drive through the Cowichan Valley en route to Victoria. In all the years I have been going over to the Island for work, I have never driven that stretch of the highway before. The constant drizzle didn’t help the views, but under better conditions, I think it would have been a pretty drive.
We had no concrete plans for when we arrived in Victoria, only that we knew we would have a few hours to kill before checking into our hotel. The first order of business? Consult Google for the “Best Donuts Near Me” and find out that the top two contenders are Yonni’s Doughnuts and Empire Donuts. Yonni’s was the closest, so Yonni’s it was – and with a good Americano, it hit the spot 🙂
With the weather improving and Jonty able to walk a bit further, we decided to take a little tour around the Legislative Building, as it was pretty close to where we were staying, and just a stone’s throw from the donut shop!
There were tours running every 30 minutes, with the next one started in 5 – perfect timing! I didn’t see any signs disallowing photographs to be taken, and nobody stopped me after I snapped the first one, so I just continued 🙂
I think this was my fourth legislative building that I’ve toured over the years, and while they all have similar qualities, they are all quite unique in their own way. Jonty and I were the ring-leaders for question-posing, and I think our tour guide was appreciative of that – I expect it can be fairly monotonous, giving the same tour, if nobody asks questions.
We checked into the Marriott Victoria and were surprised to find we had been upgraded to a penthouse suite for our anniversary, overlooking the harbour! It was a great room, with a beautiful view, and made a wonderful surprise!
After we settled into the hotel room and checked out the complimentary concierge lounge (ooh, swanky!), we mapped out a few of the local craft breweries in our vicinity that wouldn’t require a tonne of walking for Jonty on his crutches. We stopped in at the Hoyne Brewing and Driftwood Brewing Companies before quickly realizing that Victoria doesn’t really have the same zoning regulations as Vancouver, so many of their really small craft breweries don’t have “tasting rooms”, where you can sit down and enjoy their beer. Instead, we sampled a few tasters at each place, bought a few bottles to take home with us, and got a few recommendations of other places to try.
We stopped in at Moon Under Water for a flight (they were having an event, so we couldn’t stay very long) and Swan’s Brewpub for a meal (it was okay, but perhaps a bit too commercial for what we were looking for), and finally onto The Churchill, which was exactly the type of place we were looking for!! With a cozy atmosphere, a long pub bar, and a bartender with the right amount of crack-a-joke-then-leave-you-alone vibe, it was perfect.
The following day we caught the ferry back to Vancouver and, again, we were treated to beautiful blue skies and gorgeous views.
Since we made it back to Vancouver in good time and we weren’t ready to finish our anniversary getaway just yet, we finished up our vacation by going to Postmark. They were just changing over from their brunch menu to their dinner tapas menu, so we enjoyed the ambiance and setting sun over a drink or two. We love the ambiance of this place – it’s an old warehouse building with very high ceilings, reclaimed wooden beams, and a great place to people-watch while eating really good food.
It was so nice to get out-of-town and explore our province, without a plan or agenda. We were reminded of our three-month road trip and how much we loved that experience. Hopefully 2016 will bring more of the same!