I now understand why it's so difficult to get a Vancouver Islander to meet you in Vancouver. It's a major undertaking - a 1/2 hour drive from Vancouver to the ferry, wait in line forever, 1-1/2 hour ferry ride, 1/2 hour drive to Victoria. Once you are ensconced in the city of cherry blossoms, you don't just pop into Vancouver on a whim.
It is a hell of a nice ferry, though. I was expecting some old wooden scow with a fish and chip stand on an outdoor deck and barf bags handed out as you board. But it's shiny and new and about 6 levels, at least 2 of which are taken up by a car park. There are restaurants and staterooms and comfy seats and two outer decks from which to take in the air. Or the cigarette smoke, depending on where you happen to stand.
It was great to finally meet Toccata and Jen (blogger meetup number 12 and 13, for those at home keeping score), not to mention Toccata's gorgeous-but-she-knows-it cat and Jen's sweet kid. After settling ourselves in at Toccata's character house, we all headed out and met up with Jen, and between the two of them, Jen and Toccata showed us all the sights - the oceanside graveyard housing Emily Carr and the creepy long-toed nun statue, the houseboats, the dog poop signs, the pebble beach where I scored my only souvenir, the government buildings and the Empress Hotel, all the freakin flowers, and of course the Save On Foods Memorial Arena. Poor Jen was sick as a dog but she cleans up real nice and was a trooper about schlepping all over town. The cold meds had not dulled her fierceness either. Toccata was a wealth of information about Victoria and knows the place inside out.
We met up with Jen's offspring at the Japanese Village for supper, one of those places where they put on a mad chopping, slicing, flipping, sizzling show in front of you. Apparently we were the only party in the restaurant that night not celebrating a birthday, so nobody came out with a drum and wished us happy birthday dear customer. A shame, really. The weird bear/gorilla/owl creature wearing a sombrero turned out to be some legendary Japanese creature. (Ayla: "I knew it!")
And the next morning, after lingering over coffee a bit with Toccata, who was gracious beyond belief to give up her bedroom, we were off. Our whirlwind trip to Victoria was far too whirlwindy. I would loved to have had more time to kick back and yap with Toccata and Jen, but then I would have been in danger of becoming used to being on an island. And we can't have that, can we?
Coming up - the great BC odyssey pic spam. Pinky swear.