Some photos and video of Natalia and I visiting Victoria for the Victoria Day Long weekend.

Sooke Harbour House


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Natalia and I decided to spend Victoria Day in Victoria this year. We crashed Donni and Karl's date weekend
and we hung out together for the long weekend. Here is Donni having dinner at the Sooke Harbour House.
She is having a margarita.


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Nati and I having dinner at the Sooke Harbour House.


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Donni and Karl looking 'romantic' with no flash and candlelit dinner.


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Nati and I with the Pacific Ocean behind us.


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This was a green soup that was part of the 'prix fixe' menu that Natalia enjoyed.


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A tile mosaic outside the Sooke Harbour House that I took a photo of for Nati's sister Maria.

Touring Victoria


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Saturday morning saw Karl and I touring around Victoria's finer tourist spots. Both Karl and I thought
these people's yard was quite impressive.


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Some kind of weird eel underwater at the Pacific Undersea Gardens.


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A crab underwater in the same aquarium in Victoria's Inner Harbour.


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I thought this attack dolphin was pretty impressive.


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Donni and Natalia with the attack dolphin (yes, I know this is a whale, but this story is too funny to not
make comments about: LINK )


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I thought the octopus hat was humourous.


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Natalia and Donni with the Victoria Empress hotel behind them.

Being soccer hooligans


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So, Karl and I ditched the ladies (they wanted high tea) and we toured the pubs of Victoria. Once we had
sufficiently toured around, we joined a pack of goons to support the Vancouver Whitecaps FC against the
Victoria Highlanders. We were cheering the Whitecaps and I even joined the fan club (and got a scarf!).

Singing outside the pub


More songs outside the pub


Songs on the bus


Apparently, they all hate Portland



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Karl with his soccer bunnyhug, complete with a Cascadia crest.


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We decided to watch the game from behind the goal so that we were 'less disruptive'.

Video of the kid with a beehive on his head



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The Whitecaps were indeed on tour. However, they drew to a 2-2 tie at the end of the day.


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Karl and some random weird guy in the pizza shop. I think we ate hot dogs, pizza, meatballs on a stick,
and chicken on a stick from 7-11. What a great day!

Touring the Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park


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What better way to enjoy a hangover than with a 4 hour drive into the woods? Here we are at a little market
just off Cowichan Lake, near Youbou.


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I appreciated the entrepreneurial drive behind building up a little market to attract people to their restaurant.
Donni and Karl bought a really awesome bench from a vendor here and he didn't even mind that they didn't pay him.
He just pulled the price tag off and told them to pick up it 'whenever'.


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Map of the Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park.


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The trail options for hiking.


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A little better look at the trail options along the Upper Carmanah Valley.


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Natalia is giving me a sweet dance move here.


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Karl and Donni are more recently married than we are, so they're the newlyweds.


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Donni and a big cedar.


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Natalia is pretending that there are monsters under the big trees.


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Natalia and Donni being monsters.


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Karl and the kids walking on the boardwalk.


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I call this 'Karl gazing wistfully at the Carmanah Creek.


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I suspect that whoever/whatever was on the boardwalk when this tree fell was supremely unhappy.


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Looking up at a really really tall Douglas fir (or Sitka spruce).


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Donni and Karl by a really large tree that was cut through for our trail.


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These trees are called the 3 sisters.


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Looking up from in between the 3 sisters.


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Donni really wanted to take a photo looking up as well. She looks funny taking it.


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We took our lunch break sitting on a big log watching the creek flow. Thanks to Donni and Nati
for making us such an excellent lunch.


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I think it's funny that I caught Karl mid-'jaunt' as he's jumping off the log.

Video of Natalia doing a log dance



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Karl is freaking out his wife by walking out onto a fallen log.


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I thought this trillium looked nice.


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Donni and Karl showing us the more adventurous part of the hiking trail.


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Karl found a tree that looked symbolic of something. He's cradling the balls.

Video of the trees



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This is where we turned around - at a place called Grunt's Grove. Thanks to Donni and Karl for taking their
long weekend to hang out with us on the island. What a great time!

Victoria Day in Victoria


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Here is the view from our sweet hotel (Executive House Inn) looking down at the parade. I liked this float
since it had dinosaurs on it.


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There were quite a large number of marching bands, but in this case, this is actually part of Canada's armed forces
lighting off the cannons.

Video of the cannon launch



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Natalia and I took a little boat tour on the 'pickle boats' around the Harbour. Here is Nati with the Empress
Hotel behind her.


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Natalia and the pickle boat, along with her super-cute jacket.


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We stopped at the Fisherman's Wharf to have some fish and chips. They sell smelts to feed to the very fat seals that
live in the Harbour. Apparently, every so often, killer whales come in and clean out the seals since they get too
fat to get away from predators.


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Of course, it wouldn't be a proper sunny day without Natalia eating ice cream. She managed to find the kid's flavours
again and had bubble gum.


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We made a stop at the very excellent Royal BC Museum. Here is Natalia in front of the totem pole that used to be
on top the big pole in the Harbour. It was removed when the Mayor found out how much it would cost to change a light bulb
that the city had put on the top of it for airplanes.

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