On the pretense of going to cover the Victoria Film Festival (and I did see some films, three to be exact), hubby and I headed to Victoria over the weekend for what was our first trip of the year.
The ferry ride on Saturday morning was very quiet. Not even half full, we liked being able to wander around and pick places to sit at random. We even ventured outside and I shot some photos from a covered area near a door. Here's one of my faves from that morning trip:
We arrived and managed to check-in early which gave us a chance to rest before my day of movies started. Picked up my pass at the media office (which was a bit of a disaster since the media liaison was no where to be found. He did turn up, eventually.) and headed for my first movie where I met up with Bill and Khaled. It was nice to see Bill so soon after VIFF; nice to catch up. The media pass was all fancy and bright and I tell you, I felt like a bit of star prancing from theater to theater.
I had some decent luck with the films, enjoying two of the three and downright loving one of them (reviews forthcoming) and thoroughly enjoyed the festival atmosphere which is a lot more laid back than VIFF. Perhaps it's because Victoria over all seems much more relaxed than we are on the mainland or that it's a much smaller festival but I did enjoy the casual atmosphere and general friendliness of staff and other attendees.
Hubby and I had a nice romantic dinner on Saturday night and then spent a good few hours walking around the city. It's a very different atmosphere after 9PM. It seems as though everyone over the age of 30 retreats indoors to make room for the bands of kids who seem to be bused in from all over. They're loud and obnoxious but keep mostly to themselves, until after 11PM. Hubby went out again at 11:30 and came home just before midnight and from what he was saying, those crowds get a bit rowdy after a few drinks.
Sunday morning we headed out for breakfast and then over to Sidney for a little book shopping. Here's a picture I snapped as we whipped around the corner into Sidney off of the highway. I can't believe it's actually legible since a split second before I was still trying to find the camera. [Edit: this one's not cooperating. Check it out here].
We parked the car at the foot of Beacon Street and walked up one way and down the other. Our first stop was The Haunted Bookshop which is where I bought a near perfect early edition of "Alice in Wonderland" a few years ago. It's a fabulous, well kept store with classical music playing throughout. We wondered around for 20 minutes before finally making our way to the next stop.
Sadly, I got caught up in the whole bookbuying experience to actually take any more photos of bookstores but let's just say that if it sold books and was open on Sunday, we went in. I was happy to see an entire little store dedicated to kids books. Only in Booktown!
I did buy a few books most of which will be making an appearance at the next Bookcrossing Meetup. I also picked up a few for me which will eventually find bookcrossing love.
We headed home on a midafternoon ferry and the gorgeous weather had us on the observation deck of the Coastal Celebration for about 20 minutes. I snapped loads of pictures and judging from them all, I have a thing for clouds. My favourite is below but you can see them all here.
The ferry ride was fun but wow, do those things fill up quickly in the afternoons. If you'r not jumping out of your car immediately and heading upstairs to find a place to sit, chances are you're not going to. We ended up spending the last hour of the trip napping in the car.
It was a great first trip for the year and I can't wait for many more adventures to come. For anyone looking to head to the Island for a few days, I'd also recommend the Quality Inn Downtown. The rooms are nice and clean, secure underground parking, very affordable and a five minute walk to all of the action downtown!