cpmvfsgu day 4: victoria

I slept more last night than I have since the hives started, and this morning felt halfway human for the first time in months. 

I took Cookie and Kai for an early-morning walk on the harbour. There are few things I love more than a paved, accessible, waterfront walk. (On our first trip to Vancouver Island in April 2018, I was in love with a very special such walkway in Sidney, not far from here, that is also studded with public art.) 

The Victoria harbour is beautiful, and/but full of expensive-looking marinas, hotels, and condos, plus party-coloured float houses. (Some or maybe most must be vacation rental properties). It would all be an exclusive private manse if not for the beautiful public, accessible, walkpath. And since it's Victoria, it's ringed with well-tended plantings and gardens. A lovely way to start the day.

In the late-ish morning we dropped the dogs off at Whisker's Urban Ranch, and headed to Jam Cafe for breakfast. Besides having removed many tables, this restaurant has installed plexiglass barriers between tables, a smart move. We had a truly outstanding breakfast, including mimosas -- grapefruit-juice for me, and pineapple-black currant for Allan -- both doubles. I can't remember the last time we had a delicious, indulgent, alcohol-laced brunch.

From there we went to Russell Books. All of this -- doggie daycare, brunch, books -- is in Victoria's small downtown. On that earlier trip, the one on which Allan discovered Russell Books, we had also visited the Central Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, as I was planning on looking for jobs in both systems. Seems so long ago... and yet, on the calendar, not at all.

I quickly found a big pile of books by various nonfiction authors on My List, and really didn't have too much more left in me. I left Allan there and drove back to the room, and itched/scratched/napped until Allan called from Munro's Books.

Then back to the room, and back out again to get the dogs. Each of these trips is less than 10 minutes, including getting the car from the parking garage. The dogs were happy, tired, and content, as dogs should be after daycare. The staff said: "They behaved beautifully! They were a bit shy, but who isn't?" I can imagine it was a bit intimidating for Cookie and Kai! They're not usually in the company of a large group of dogs. 

Several other dog-parents were also picking up. It's so wonderful to see people using doggie daycare. It can be the difference in a dog finding their forever home.

Our plan was to have dinner on the wharf from Red Fish Blue Fish, which we fell in love with on our first trip here, thanks to a tip from a friend. But we hadn't banked on brunch being so extravagant. (Plus the silver lining of urticaria seems to be a marked reduction in my appetite.) We couldn't even think about food until RFBF was almost closing. The huge lineups there have been replaced by online ordering, a covid-related change. So I put in the order, and Allan went and picked it up. It was still wonderful, but would have been better if I were hungry!

After dinner, the four of us took a sunset walk on the harbour walk, which was now quite busy with people and dogs. 

We are a short ferry ride away from Washington State, and right now Washington and Oregon (where much of my family is) are being devastated by wildfires. We read that earlier this week the air quality in Victoria was very bad. In the Bay Area (where another bunch of my family lives) the sky has been orange, and folks need their lights on all day. 

Tomorrow we get the ferry to Salt Spring Island, which was meant to be our short getaway, before Campbell River and Victoria got tacked on.

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