The sun is shining on this wonderful summer day in downtown Victoria. The birds are flying and I’d be lying if I said anything other than that Spinnakers aka where we had dinner got the evening going in a most egregious manner. Besides an evening in the downtown streets of Victoria, we also visited The Royal BC Museum this morning and got caught up on countless exhibits before making our way to Redfish Bluefish for a lunch that would make any sailor smile.
If you’re downtown I suggest you go to Spinnakers because it’s not just going to dinner, it’s an experience getting there in the tiny Victoria Habour Ferries. They are these tiny little boats and when we went last night it was raining and quite a fun trip. Besides the trip being a novelty, the captain is probably a character so it’s a win-win and puts you a good mood for that first beer.
We arrived at Spinnakers and guess who I see standing there? A lady I traveled with and hung out with in Prague and Berlin two summers ago! She is now the manager of the restaurant and after a moment of ehhh we both clicked who it was… I have not spoke to her since that summer but it was sure good to see a familiar face in a new place, yes? We had a celebratory “how you been shot” and got down to business which was drinking beer. We took Leah’s recommendation and went for the Double Pale Ale, it was a good choice. Not long after that a massive plate of pulled pork nachos was on the table and an old University roommate who also knows the manager was sitting with us.
We did what gentlemen do and that iss share stories in a loud public speaking voice in a room filled with noise and distraction while making quick work of whatever brown beverage gets placed on the table in a pitcher like apparatus. I’d like to thank Spinnakers for the delicious meal and hospitality, it’s a small world my friends but we wont’ get into that now…
From there we headed to a friends house downtown and were joined by another old Bishop’s University roommate of mine before hitting the streets. Supposedly the place to go if you forgot to check your calender and find yourself roaring on a Monday is Big Bad John’s. Actually, that’s a solid selection ANY night of the week. The bar is celebrating 50 years in business and the ceiling is covered in bras, seriously. Besides that it has like 4 floors including a volleyball court on the rooftop and it’s like a mini hotel once you get passed the big burly bouncers who are more than friendly if you’re not a degenerate.
We drank pitchers, threw peanut shells aggressively on the floor and chatted with anyone within earshot. After that we tried our luck at darts, I can hit the board consistently but it’s not my game but I do like the concept of darts as it’s a true “leisure activity”. As you know I’m a fan of all things related to say golf, fishing, croquet, lawn bowling and the like so why not darts? Next stop is horse shoes, marbles and lawn darts but I digress…
The place wasn’t that packed but let’s be real, midnight on a Monday isn’t exactly the prime time for the masses to rejoice and forget about the problems of the week, is it? Shortly after we were back to where our soles were connecting with cold concrete and were running around the streets. I said “I need music or food” and a gent I was with said “they have both where we’re going”. It turned out he was correct and we were on our way to The Mint.
I really and truly loved The Mint, it’s my kinda place. It’s located in the lower level of this building and it has a classy feel with a beyond reasonably priced menu. Myself and two friends ordered 5 dishes and numerous rounds of mojitos and it came to $120 tip included, deal. If you go, you have to try a mojito as it’s called “The Mint” because it actually grows mint on the roof, supposedly.
This morning it was back to business as usual and we rolled to the Royal BC Museum to see the exhibits on the First Peoples, Dinosaurs and the Diamond Jubilee Celebration by Cecil Beaton. It’s like I’ve gone on this weird round trip when it comes to museums. I used to love them as a kid, went through 20 years of never being interested and now once more find them fascinating.
The dinosaur exhibit was focused on new findings in the field based on superior technology. They are digging deeper than ever before into their data and finding new things. One thing I find pretty cool is that birds are dinosaurs or at least direct descendants and I’m very happy that the birds we have today are incredibly docile compared to their dinosaur brethren.
I really liked the First Peoples Exhibit and it made me realize something… People travel the world and get all caught up in another cultures history and that’s cool. Just don’t forget to dig deep into the history and culture of where you’re from. Canada only became Canada in 1867 but that is positively NOT where the history of this place starts. Next time you’re in a Canadian Museum, take some time to look through the exhibits. I will note that I loved the pipe collections on display, I think everyone needs a hand-carved soapstone peace pipe but I digress…
Finally let us discuss the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Celebration exhibit. The exhibit showcases photos of the Queen taken by Cecil Beaton between 1942 and 1968 and it really shows the queen growing up. The Queen’s mother had someone call Cecil one day and say that he has been invited to photograph the Queen and that started a relationship where he was basically the Royal Families “head photographer”. He had some great shots and if you take the time to peruse the exhibit, your opinion of the Queen and who she is will probably change a bit like mine did.
Finally I just finished eating at Redfish Bluefish and let me tell you, it’s delicious. When we arrived I was like “wow, this line is huge” and it’s not even peak season yet. We waited a while and finally made our order and then it happened. What happened you ask!? What happened is I had the best BBQ Salmon Sandwich of my life! Brendan ordered the fish tacos and a seafood poutine which I naturally pecked at. I wouldn’t order the poutine again but the sandwich was out of this world.
Tomorrow we’re headed north, I’m off to soak up every last second of my time here with old friends.
I’m here with the Explore BC Project, to learn more visit the Tourism BC Facebook Page and look up #ExploreBC on Twitter.
P.S: I’ve seen the future and it involves Nanaimo bars.
P.P.S: Victoria gets the iyashinoshigoto “Safety Stamp”. Things can happen anywhere but this place is good.