Oct. 15, 2014
Before I begin todays adventure, I forgot something interesting that we saw in Seattle. We passed by the original Starbucks. The line to go in was at least 50 people long! We choose not to wait.
Now, back to today. We both slept in this morning. I got dressed first and rushed down to get breakfast for both of us before they put things away. I am wearing my dresses and tights every day, but I am using my special toe separators now, lots of walking. The sketchers are the perfect shoe for long walks and still look nice with my dresses. We again had hard boiled eggs, toast, fruit and cheese and meat for breakfast. The toast and fruit were for me. The coffee was good this morning, yesterday it wasn’t hot. Terry arrived in the lobby soon and we took our time over breakfast. It was raining outside, not hard but steadily. We decided it was a good day for indoor activities, so we picked the legislative building and the Royal BC Museum.
The legislative building was as beautiful inside as it is outside. Terry wandered on his own taking pictures, while I walked along on the tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and glad to answer questions. Most of our small group were Americans and we had lots of political questions. I am pretty sure he hears them all the time. The history of the building is very interesting and the tile work was stunning.
The house members were on break until Monday, but we got to look inside their meeting room. I asked if they holler at each other like we see the English Parliament doing. He said yes, but only for 30 minutes at a time during open questions. In one room they had a display for their earthquake preparedness day called the The Great Shakeout, just like ours. They have frequent small earthquakes here and are preparing for the Big One, just like we do.
I bought a cute patch in the office / gift shop. It says: Girls in Government. And they mean it, the current 3 main leaders here are all women. They also had a nice display about Women’s Suffrage in Canada. We both enjoyed this building and felt it was just the right amount of time.
Next we went to the Royal Museum, which is right across the street. It was $23 to get in and I think it was worth it. The ticket also allowed you to leave the museum and come back anytime on the same day. They also had a free coat check, which was great since I was wearing a coat, scarf and sweater and gloves and carrying an umbrella. The first exhibit we went to was a special limited one about Vikings. This was very interesting and I am sorry they would not allow pictures. I have not attended many special exhibits, but in my and Terry’s opinions this was the most beautifully designed display ever! The clever way the displays were arranged, the lighting and the interactive parts were great. On one display they had real Viking rivets hung on thin string in the shape of a Viking ship so you could see where every rivet went, really creative. There was a computer screen that allowed you to “dig up” artifacts and another that had you “collect” the materials for a Viking ship and then build it. That ship had rope made from 690 horse tails! All the components were pretty amazing. We spent a lot of time in the Viking area. The next exhibit we looked at was Natural History. This was also very well done. I really liked the stuffed owls.
I went into the gift shop and looked for a bookmark, but they did not have one. I did get a coaster with a picture of a Viking pillaging and he had an armful of books. My kind of Viking! I also picked up a few gifts, better to spend money in the Museum Shop and have my money support that great museum, rather than some random, tourist gift shop.
By now we were getting hungry and so, getting my coat, bundling up and opening our umbrellas, we headed off to lunch. Last night we spent more time on Trip Advisor, after that wonderful Greek dinner we wanted to get suggestions for meals. We had often passed a place called Murchies on Government Street. It was highly rated on Tripadivsor, #15 out of 1000. We went in, on one side is a tea place, with many different types of teas, on the other side is a coffee bar with a long counter with salads, sandwiches, and pastries. Terry ordered a grilled sandwich and fruit salad and I got tomato soup and a Greek salad. I did not care for the soup, though Terry though it was good. Both salads were very good, but the sandwich was amazing. Terry offered me a taste and I ended up eating the last third, it was extremely delicious.
I don’t usually like sandwiches but this was exceptional. The turkey was finely shaved, the cheese had a strong yet mild taste and the bread was a thin roll and really tasty. We both can imagine eating that sandwich every day for a long time and plan to go at least one more time. As we sat and ate, we could hear many people ordering the same sandwich. We did not try the pastries, but the looks of ecstasy on the faces of those eating them were a good recommendation. Many people who got pastries, also had small pots of tea. When we were done eating I went to the back area which was a store. It carried primarily coffee and tea stuff. In the very back was an old machine that had been made in the Black Forest in the 1800’s. Inside a glass case were 3 little old ladies sitting around a table drinking tea. When you pushed a button they lifted their cups and moved their heads. It was pretty funky.
We left Murchies with the intention of going back to the museum, but when I suggested going to the hotel for a bit, Terry agreed and that’s what we did. I took a long, happy nap, it was cold and I could cuddle under blankets. Terry played with his ipad and dozed. It was so nice. This is what I enjoyed in Paris, staying in a place long enough to not have to rush wildly around.
When we finally headed back out into the rain, it was too late to return to the museum, so we headed to another Trip Advisor restaurant. This on is called the Skinny Tato and is a Polish restaurant. It is rated #17 out of 1000. It was fairly close and had just opened when we arrived. There were seats for 16 customers, but we were the only ones there for a while. Once again Trip Advisor came through. The food was wonderful!
We started with pickle soup! It was thick and creamy and had a very veggie taste with a hint of pickle. On the rainy day it was perfect. Terry ordered a large potato pancake stuffed with Hungarian Goulash and 4 different salads. I got a plate with 3 potato pancakes, 5 vegetarian pierogies and 2 salads. This food was delicious. We ate slowly and savored every mouthful. So now I must urge you to jump on a plane, car or boat, rush to Victoria to eat at Ithaka, Murchies and Skinny Tato. These are truly amazing restaurants. If they were close to home, we would be regulars.
After our very satisfying dinner, we walked back to the hotel. We stopped for some Starbucks and then snacks at 7/11 and now are sitting in the room, watching TV and relaxing. Tomorrow is supposed to be rain free so we plan to go see the famous Buchart Gardens. This is turning out to be a terrific trip.