We had another good breakfast at Popsey's, then hit the road to Victoria. Campbell River is halfway between Port Hardy, the northernmost town on the Island, and Victoria, at the southern tip. We really felt the change in climate, from the north and west coast cool, temperate barely-summer weather, to the rest of the island's hot dry summer.
We had a good drive down, and went straight to the doggie daycare place where the pups will be tomorrow, for their "meet and greet". Cookie and Kai have never been anywhere like this! Diego (and for a time, Tala) were old pros at daycare. Diego especially loved it. These pups, though, are with us constantly! The few times we've been away, a teenage dogsitter hung out with them. So this is an entirely new experience, and I think it's good for them.
Whisker's Urban Ranch is a small, mom-and-pop operation. There were lots of dogs in an indoor playroom, and staff takes them for on-leash walks at intervals. The owner introduced C and K to various dogs one at a time (we could hear but we couldn't see), and all went well. We know ours are not aggressive at all, but it will be interesting to hear if they interact much with others. They normally don't bother.
If we had taken our trip in April, we were going to leave them at doggie daycare places while we went to a ballgame in Oakland, and while exploring Powell's in Portland. Such a great option that you can find in any decent-sized city now.
After the daycare stop, we found the hotel -- and it's awesome. The Coast Bastion, my home-away-from-home in Nanaimo, is lovely. But the Coast in Victoria is even nicer. We have a corner room, with harbour views on two sides. An extra bonus: one night is free from Coast Rewards. Sweet!
There's a very good restaurant here, but we can't really go and leave the dogs in the room, and they're not doing room service. But they are doing takeout! And everything packed in paper and cardboard, too -- which seems to be the norm on the Island.
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Here's an amazing thing. For the second time in the last few weeks, Cookie slipped her lead in an unknown environment and came when called. Could it be our hard work and patience is paying off? Is Cookie becoming a bit more domesticated? And perhaps Allan now believes me that his method of walking them is not secure enough. But this recall is new and it is amazing.
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A few words about tourism in the time of COVID in BC.
The restaurants have all removed a good portion of tables to create distancing. I'm not sure how they are managing to stay in business with half their tables gone, but everywhere we've been, there is a lot more space and ventilation. Tables are limited to six people.
Frontline staff in restaurants and hotels are all wearing masks, which serves as a good reminder for customers, I think.
In hotels, many things have been removed from rooms, and you can ask for what you need at the front desk -- things like coffee makers, wine glasses, the ubiquitous ironing board, extra pillows. Hotel staff, including cleaners, are not entering guest rooms while the rooms are occupied -- so no cleaning while you're there, but lots of cleaning in between guests.
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Tomorrow... Russell Books. Allan's eighth wonder of the world. The Great Pyramid at Giza, Machu Picchu, Russell Books.