21.2.10

Victoria Snippets - I like saying snippets!

I've fallen down the rabbit hole...

Here I am in beautiful Victoria. It really is beautiful, and it feels so much like home too. I sometimes forget that I'm a whole country away from Newfoundland. That familiar feeling never lasts long though. Once I realize that it's February and I'm not shoveling snow, shivering under 37 layers of clothes, or suffering from a perpetually dripping nose, I remember where I am - and I laugh! The weather is the biggest difference for sure. The warmer climate leads to a whole whack of subtle differences from the east coast. It's 10 degrees here most days. There's no wind blowing off the frigid Atlantic Ocean, so when it's 10 degrees - it really is 10 degrees. When I'm out in a sweatshirt, almost everybody else is wearing a winter coat - I'm talking big, puffy, down-filled coats. I'm convinced the apartment below me has their heat turned up most of the time, warming up my apartment so much that I have to open the windows. I see woodsmoke rising from chimneys around the neighbourhood. The house across the road has junks of wood stacked up in the driveway. The grocery stores keep the flowers outside the entrance in, technically, winter. There was a wind warning last week - for 20 knots! Know what that amounted to? My skirt blew up occasionally.

Every now and then I notice something else that's a little bit odd too. I made a list!
  • There's been construction all along the main street by my apartment since I arrived. They seem to be making progress, and I can see the end in sight - much unlike the construction that downtown St. John's was undergoing last year.
  • The firetrucks are yellow.
  • I've yet to see a Union Jack, even though I'm in British Columbia.
  • Trains! I live near the railroad tracks (I'm not sure if I'm on the wrong side or not), and I can hear the train's horn every day around 8AM and 6PM. It's quite loud and I love it!
    Also, I walk across a big blue bridge almost everyday. Sometimes it moves.
      Photos...

      I posted a few pictures on Picasa awhile ago. It was only a few random shots that I had taken with my phone though. I haven't done any official sightseeing yet. Yes, I've been seeing the sights, but it's not official until I take lots of photos while wearing a hawaiian shirt. Anyway, I'll probably be uploading pictures as I take them.

      Apartment...

      Speaking of photos, I really should snap some of the apartment. It's coming together quite nicely. We've got some snazzy furniture that I'm really happy with (like the queen-sized-super-comfy-awesome-for-my-back mattress). The counter stools we have for our counter height dining table are crazy-comfy too, plus, they look really cool. The cats even have some furniture of their own. I got a great price on a cat tree at Petcetera. The only problem is, they think the bed is awesome too. So awesome, that they spend both their morning and afternoon naps on it. It's a good thing the cat tree is a giant scratching post as well.

      I've finally got my the Bettie Page poster that Jess gave me up on the wall. She's looking all classy in a poster frame. I'm an adult now, no push pins for me, no sir! There are a few others hung up as well, such as my Night of the Living Dead movie poster. You knew that baby was going up!

      Write, dance, hoop, knit...

      I caught the writing bug last November, so I've been searching for creative writing workshops or courses that I can take, but so far haven't found anything. Nothing that starts earlier than September anyway. I do have my name on a waiting list for a belly dancing course though, and I've signed up for a hooping workshop, but that's not happening until the beginning of April. I've always wanted to make a hula hoop. It's on my ever-growing to-do list of crafty projects. I've also just signed up for a beginner's knitting course, and I'd also like to learn how to crochet.

       The seeing of the sights...

      Oh, the sights to be seen! I haven't even scratched the surface of all the things I want to do yet. I've yet to go to the Royal London Wax Museum, Miniature World, Craigdarroch Castle, Butchart Gardens, UVic, Emily Carr House, and the Victoria Bug Zoo. I want to go on a whale watching boat tour, ride the train, take a horse-drawn carriage tour, go to the planetarium, and go on a ferry tour. That's not even including all the festivals and events coming up this summer!

      What I have done so far has been loads of fun, even just walking into downtown. I have to pass over the Johnson Street Bridge to get there, and it's history is really quite interesting. It was designed by Joseph Strauss, who later went on to design the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It's a bascule bridge, which rises to allow clearance for boats. I've only seen it rise once though, and that was from a distance. City Council wants to replace it with "an enhanced, safer bridge." The total cost is estimated at $63 million. There's a bit of controversy over the proposed replacement. People want to keep it as is because of the history surrounding it. I can appreciate that, but if it is replaced with a modern design, won't 100 years in the future be proud of it's history? I think so. Maybe the guy who invents it will go on to invent a time machine or nebula flavored ice cream, all because of that bridge. Ooh, or maybe bridge flavored ice cream!

      I've explored downtown pretty exhaustively, but I still find new shops almost every time I'm wandering around. There are so many choices here, because there are so many similar stores. Take clothing for example; there are tonnes of independent designer boutiques, vintage clothing shops, "big company, mass-produced" clothing stores, athletic stores, and even second hand stores. There are dozens of home decor and furniture shops. There are magic stores, comic stores, gaming stores, novelty stores, book stores, antique stores, shoe stores, purse stores, pet stores, garden stores, kitchen stores, candy stores, convenience stores, porn stores, art stores, craft stores, and everything-else stores. Starbucks is everywhere, along with dozens of other coffee shops. It's a window shopper's paradise. It's just too damn bad I can't stand window shopping.

      The walking trail along the water is wonderful! It's a popular jogging route, so maybe I'll take that up again soon. The view is absolutely beautiful, even when it's clouded over. On clear days, you can see the Olympic Mountains rising above the horizon. It still throws me off a bit to actually see land on the edge of the ocean. All you can see off Cape Spear is the sky and ocean, with nothing visible on the horizon. I always liked to imagine that the ocean ended in a gigantic waterfall, spilling the Atlantic waters into the unknown. (I always liked to imagine I have Head Explody too, but that's a story for another time.)

      The Royal BC Museum was chock full of amazing things. I didn't have a camera with me (the battery was dead), so I plan to go back one day and take some photos. The exhibits were fantastic. I was a wee bit disappointed with the Woolly Mammoth though. According to the Woolly Mammoth toys in the gift shop, it's a fake. I just assumed it was a real one because there was nothing to state otherwise. I guess the fact that there was no information about the origin of the specimen should have tipped me off though. The rest of the Natural History Gallery was fascinating, though it seemed like there could have been more information supplied with each display. That might just be my geeky nature talking though. It was the same with some of the exhibits in the Modern History Gallery. There are recreations of boats and buildings from 100 to 200 years ago, all of which are amazing. There were certain things though, such as furniture pieces, where I had no clue as to what they were exactly. The First Peoples Gallery seemed to be a bit more informative. I'm guessing it's because of the "foreign" nature of the artifacts.

      Too many snippets...

      Wow. That's quite a lot of snippets! It's actually not really snippets at all, but full blown paragraphs. I guess this could have been broken down into a few different blog posts, instead of smushing it all together like I just did. Oh well, I'm sure I haven't run out of topics yet. Plus, I need to get in a picture-taking groove. It's fully charged and ready to roll!

      2 comments:

      1. Hello! Thanks for the comment over on my little corner of the blogiverse. It is super cool to be stumbled upon.

        The other site from which you found me... does it happen to be a social network for a particular niche? ;) If yes? Awesome. We should be friends on said site.

        Cheers!

        ReplyDelete
      2. Messaging you now...hee hee hee...:P

        ReplyDelete

      Thanks for commenting! It gives me the warm fuzzies. :)