Well, today was our day in Victoria. I'd say it was a pretty good day. We started off having a quick bit of breakfast in the morning, mostly just some toast and juice. I like toast and juice. And raspberry jam. I had apple jelly though, haha. The first thing we did as part of the actual day after breakfast was to go visit Aunty Bea. Well, my great great aunt I think, mom's great aunt... Something like that. She's 103 years old this year, oldest person on my family I think. I don't think I've actually seen her since I was but a wee tike, so it was pretty cool to see her now. I can't honestly believe how well she looks, for 103. You look around at most elderly people these days and about 90% of them are completely senile. Not Bea, she's completely with it. She may not be as able bodied as she used to, but if she isn't doing well for her age I don't know who is. It some ways I'd never want to live to be that old, but there's lots of ways I'd really like to. Can you imagine all she's seen since 1906? Talk about someone who'll know their history. I can't even think of what it would have been like to experience every major event of the century first hand. It blows my mind.
After our visit with Aunty Bea, Dode dropped us off in downtown Victoria, near the parliament building. The first thing we did was walk to the Royal Museum, they've got a big showing right now with a tonne of stuff from the British Museum. We took a look at some of the more modern exhibits first, though, which I found pretty boring to be quite honest. I'm not really into modern stuff, the Industrial Revolution is where I start to glaze over. But then we went down a floor and checked out the Treasures exhibit, where they had all the stuff from the British Museum. That is what I'm interested in. They had stuff from every part of the world, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Oceania, North America. Everywhere. All the really good stuff too. Perhaps the coolest thing is what I looked at right away, a full sized cast of the Rosetta Stone. I'd never seen it in person before (I guess I still haven't, but this is pretty close), only in pictures, and I didn't think it was that big. It's amazingly large. I was pretty taken away. I've always kinda liked museums, but I've never actually felt so close to a piece of history. There was a lot of other cool stuff on display too, a mummy, sarcophagus, typical ancient Egypt stuff. It was all pretty rad too. The other rooms of the exhibit had their own bits of flair; some cool stuff from Mesopotamia, some ancient Islamic artifacts, Greek and Roman statues and bronze work, some neat stuff from China and Japan, artifacts from Oceanic civilizations. That's about where it started falling apart though. Once it got to the North American stuff it didn't really hold up too well. There was even some things from the "modern" era, which was essentially a chair made out of assault rifles, and some high heeled boots with gemstones on them to look like Chucks.
We checked out the gift shops a bit, but that was about it for the museum by then. We went past the Empress Hotel to take a look at it. We originally wanted to go there for tea, but we found out before we left that it's ridiculously expensive, so I took some pictures instead. Oh, that reminds me. We weren't aloud to take any pictures of the British Museum stuff. At all. Not just no flash photography like the rest of the museum, absolutely NO photography. LAME.
But anyways, we walked past the Empress down Government St (I think), and made our way to Murchie's tea shop. Jen said it was an awesome place to get great tea from, so I wanted to check it out. I got three teas there today, some of their Earl Grey, some Darjeeling tea, and some Ceylon tea. The Darjeeling and Ceylon teas have specific names, but I can't really remember them right now, and want to leave that as a surprise for my fellow tea drinkers anyway; hopefully you'll share a pot with me. We also had lunch at Murchies, they have a cafe in their shop just next to the tea store. It was really really good. We both had panini sandwiches, which were absolutely fantastic. I've had panini's in Saskatoon before. These were nothing like them. I don't know if I can really go back to the Saskatoon ones now. We also had some cheese cake for dessert. <3 strawberry cheese cake. We also took another look at the tea wears at Murchies, and I ended up buying a nice new teapot with a built-in infuser. Only $14 so I'm super pleased with it. Makes an awesome pot of tea, too.
After lunch we walked back down the street toward the wharf, and stopped in at a hemp shop. It kinda threw me off when mom suggested we go in, I thought I would be the one to suggest it. But we went in, and I looked at some really nice hemp bunnyhugs and shirts, and mom checked out some earings. I ended up not getting anything, but she ended up chatting pretty good with the folks working there, and picking out some nice earings. From there we went a bit farther down the sgtreet and went into an Irish import store. There, I did buy a bunnyhug. A really awesomely nice green Guinness bunnyhug (don't act surprised). I really like it a lot. (Typing this paragraph, I just noticed that Firefox wants me to spell check bunnyhug to hoodie. Not happening) When we finally made out way down to the wharf, I was starting to get a little tired of walking around. We sat down for a bit and watched one of those live statue performer things. That was pretty neat, I think. He was pretty good. Didn't get a photo, though, too many people getting in the way. We made out way around the docks and back to the parliament building, where we sat down and waited for mom's cousin Christy to come pick us up. Before we sat down we got some fresh juice from a street vendor. Nothing beats fresh squeezed orange juice, with a splash of lime juice, on a sunny day. I spent the rest of the time we were waiting snapping pictures of everything around us. My inner shutter bug was having a field day :P
Once Christy picked us up and brought us back to Dode's, the rest of the family from the area started congrigating at her place. And let me tell you, these ladies were having a great time just hanging out and catching up. And hilarity ensued. So many stories, so many hands pinching my cheaks.... Haha, well not really. We took a swing down to the liquor store though; mom, Beth and I, to see if we could get some Dude Beer. No such luck, the closest place on the Island is in Nanaimo, so we won't be making it up there. I'm going to try again in Kamloops. But I did grab a new beer to try. It's an Irish Ale, called Red something. The bottles are in the kitchen right now and I'm laying in bed typing this, so I won't check now. But let me tell you, it's fantastic. I'm going to pick up a couple more sixers of it tomorrow before we leave so I can share it when I get home.
Back at Dode's, festivities were in full swing. And by that, I mean dinner cooking. It's one of those times where almost everyone is in the kitchen, hanging out, and helping with dinner. I loved it. I haven't had corn on the cob since I got braces in grade 8, but tonight made me miss it. And to add to it, I think everyone was buzzed. Even Dode and Peg, and they're in their 70's (I think anyway. I remember being told they're the same age as Oma.) What a great time. Eating dinner was even more fun. Corn on the cob, and beef dip sandwiches. I can't imagine anything much messier. What a riot that was. After supper we all sat in the living room, just visiting. I'd say there were at least 5 conversations going on at any given time. What fun, I really enjoyed talking about so much to everyone. Stories from when they were kids, when I was a kid, how things are changing, how they're staying the same, what they've all been up to. All sorts of different things. Smiles and laughter, all the way through.
Eventually things started dieing down, and everyone started to disperse. Lots of goodbyes, lots of hugs. I swear, it was like in a movie, where the family all gets together once a year and are completely over joyed to see eachother. I didn't think it really happened like that in real life, exactly like in a movie. But it does, I've seen it.
I think I'm cutting this short right now, mostly because I'm really really tired, and have been typing for about 30 minutes now. I actually climbed into bed early because I was tired. I'll try and expand on this more tomorrow, but for now I'm going to get some sleep. We're leaving tomorrow morning and heading to Kamloops, and to Calgary from there, so I don't want to have a hard time getting up in the morning. Also, the neighbours wi-fi is being a pain right now, and I want to make sure I can publish this tonight. So that's all for now, I'm sure I'll remember a couple more things to add in tomorrow. Tah tah for now, and wish me luck on the way home!