Victorian times.

The plan was to take the bus from Jenine’s Burnaby digs to Tsawwassen where I’d catch a ferry to the island. Google gave me a travel time of an hour and half just to get from Burnaby to the ferry terminal. The ferry ride itself is about an hour and forty-five minutes long, but the journey is more like two hours if you take into account how long the loading and unloading takes. Finally, Victoria is another 30-minute drive from the Swartz Bay terminal.

This makes the grand total travel time of… FIVE HOURS.

Conveniently, while Jenine and I were discussing travelling, I mentioned that I had taken the sea plane once and loved it. In the process of explaining the experience, I ended up convincing myself to just transport myself to the island via Harbour Air. After all, I had barely 11 days to cram with enjoyable companions and adventures.

Time is money!

$207 and less than 45 minutes after leaving Burnaby, I was in Tammy’s arms.

Tammy is a very close friend of mine who saw my visit as a good reason to take five days off work. She made good use of the five days to remind me how much I missed her, and the island.

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This photo is somewhat unique in that it shows her taking pictures of wild succulents instead of tiny flowers. Half of the hike was spent waiting for her take that perfect shot of microscopic flowers. Do you know what pollinates those tiny flowers? TINY BEES! A swarm of tiny, angry bees chased Jordan up a tree.

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Among the arbutus trees is her very patient boyfriend, Jordan who definitely didn’t get chased by tiny bees because I made up that part. (Besides I don’t think climbing a tree is a very effective escape plan for when you’re being pursued by something with wings.) As evident by the photo, he enjoys climbing.

Both photos were taken on the day we did a hike in Goldstream Provincial Park. I had been to this beautiful park in the past, but I had never seen the railroad trestle bridge. I considered crossing it, or at least walk to the midway point to get that instagram-worthy shot but even though the railroad ties were a maximum of five inches apart and I, more than five inches wide, I found myself imagining not-so-good things happening like spraining my ankle or barfing. So I didn’t, and thanks to my adventurous yet sensible ways, not-so-good happenings were avoided.

On the other hand, I was brave enough to crawl into a slightly flooded mine shaft but that’s as interesting as it got: it wasn’t very deep, and Sharpie’d mementos were found on the rock.

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The day we did this hike was the best weather I got while in Victoria. The remainder of the visit was spent avoiding the sogginess by climbing indoors at Crag X and playing board games.

I enjoy board games, but they don’t fit with my lifestyle very well. Carcassonne? What am I supposed to know about ruling a medieval fortified town?! Just understanding the rules was my biggest challenge, followed by trying to count points, all while trying to decide whether to trust Tammy’s advice or Jordan’s. The answer? Neither, because they both destroyed me.

My last night in Victoria was a night of redemption. I was even up for the challenge of having an extra opponent, Kristina. Interestingly, blogging was what brought Kristina and I together in the early 2000s but we didn’t actually meet in person until 4 or so years ago. During our online comradeship, I sent her a drawing of a cartoon cat, and in return she mailed me a photo of her cat reading my blog. I hope there are still people online being as sweet to each other as Kristina and I were. Nowadays you’re expected to Paypal somebody: “Pay… to be my pal.”

I had another strategy board game like Carcassonne in mind for the rematch but I think I ended up subconsciously choosing a game that I had a shot at winning: What Do You Meme. This is a game based on internet stuff rather than medieval farming, or managing a monastery. I did perform significantly better at playing this game, as well as keeping score but the game ended in a draw. This tie meant I couldn’t even flip over the table dramatically.

But it’s ok because I’ll be back next year, and I’ll be bringing my Scrabble board with me. If you think I’m good at putting words next to one another in neat rows, imagine how good I am at intersecting words!

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