a sweet escape to victoria

Hey, beautiful people. Long time, no write! I apologize for my lack of posts lately but I have been working my little booty off making sure I finish my manuscript in time. To compensate for this, I wrote far too much in this post. Don't hate me, please. 

After making desserts non-stop - literally every day - for three months, going through a whack load of personal, emotional heartache, as well as some unexpected stress-inducing events, I needed a break. It seemed like the perfect time to FINALLY visit my dear vegan friend, Eva, and her lovely partner, Peter. You can call them Peta. They have been living in Victoria, British Columbia for about a year now and seem to love every minute. I've been invited countless times now to come visit, but I've been too busy! Well, no longer. 

I told Eva I would be coming at the end of July and thus the trip was set. Victoria is a splendid and equally special little city on Vancouver Island (in British Columbia). Although I say little - which it is, by normal city standards - it's by FAR the largest city on the island, since the rest of Van Island is basically hippie forest towns and native lands. Incidentally, my fave place in the world is Tofino

Victoria is predominantly populated by "hipsters, old people and homeless guys" to quote my knowledgeable friends. They pretty much were bang on. The city is full of young trend-setters/followers who are drawn to island life yet who also have a love for city culture. Victoria offers just that. It's like a condensed, island-version of Vancouver. But then you have the - to put it gently - quirky characters that hail from more rugged parts of the island... these being the homeless guys. And finally of course you have the older folks who simply love island life and live in the quieter parts of Victoria. Okay I am giving way more information that you probably care to read, so on to the trip. 

It took about six hours to get there on transit from my door step. Not bad. I met my gorgeous friends downtown and we promptly headed to a raw vegan eatery named Cafe Bliss, where I ordered and devoured a veggie wrap, jar of juice and an almond butter cup. OMG. The vacation had begun. They showed me around downtown a little bit in the warm light of the setting sun, then we walked back to their apartment (everything is in walking distance in Victoria) and grabbed some groceries on the way. Chilling was the event of the evening and sleep soon followed. 

The next day Eva immediately took me to Moss St. Farmer's Market where vendors and pedestrians abounded! Seriously, it made the Burnaby Farmer's Market look like a dead zone. There were line ups everywhere and I hardly had time to take some good pics before being run over by the organic-loving, locavoreous hoards. Fortunately the mid-morning light made up for the dinky point-and-shoot camera I brought... sort of.  

Dang it. Maybe not. After the market we walked down to the beach and sat on logs eating organic berries and soaking up some good ole' Vitamin D. I wandered around, being attacked by cuddly dogs and failing at using the "super macro" feature on the evil camera. But in the end, I actually love the out-of-focus shot of charred beach wood. See below. 

More grocery shopping followed, then Eva and I visited a romantic store cleverly titled The Garden of Eden where in I purchased some locally made vegan leather hand cuffs because you know... it's always a party with vegan leather hand cuffs. Went back to their apartment and while they peacefully slept in their "matching" arm chairs like the adorable couple they are, I cooked dinner like the excellent house guest I am. We dined on steamed veggies with quinoa. My diet on the trip was essentially the same as at home: fruit all day, and lots of it, then a simple whole food cooked dinner. Yummy and easy.

The next day we wandered about some more, and saw another market as well as several buskers (Victoria was in the midst of their annual Buskers Fest). Then - GET READY FOR IT - we dropped by Tattoo Zoo, the vegan tat shop that the amazing Sarah Kramer and her husband, Gerry, own... WHY WOULD I DO THIS? I wanted to get inkeddd, maaan. I made an appointment for Monday at 5:30 and away we went. Mwa ha ha.

One thing I love about Victoria, it may very well be my favourite thing, is the architecture. I'm no architect but I adore the classic buildings, simple yet unique houses, and thick tree trunks. There's a few beautiful cathedrals too.You know a building has been around for a while when it has vines growing up to it's roof. We stopped by a new and used book store called Russel Books where I picked up Dubliners by James Joyce, Orlando by Virginia Woolf, and Love in the Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; I'm a lover of the classics, folks. Another quiet night with Peta spent making dinner together in sweet harmony to the tunes of Kanye West's new album (you shall not judge me).

Monday had arrived! It was a very relaxed morning in the apartment. Lots of reading and napping. In the afternoon we went to meet Peta's friend who was visiting for the night. More specifically, he was visiting to come out to 90's night at a club in downtown called Lucky Bar. That's right. 90's night. We found him, then Eva and I went to Tattoo Zoo where I got a needle jabbed into my wrists thousands of times for the sake of my own vanity!

Jokes. In all seriousness it could not have been a better experience. Gerry tattooed me himself and I was happy to discover he is a SUPER cool guy; him and Sarah are like the ultimate pair of humans. So what did I get permanently ingrained into my delicate skin? Check it.

It has already become part of me, and the message has always been a huge aspect of my personality and behaviour. You gotta live in the here and now, appreciate and take in every moment, and witness the beauty in all. Scratch that - participate in the beauty! BE HERE NOW. I could not be happier with my decision. 

Eva bought me dinner afterwards at the NEATEST vegan food place called Green Cuisine where there is a mondo awesome buffet of all things vegan and yummy. You grab a box or plate, load it up with everything from steamed broccoli, saucy tempeh and baked samosas to brownies, raw cashews and salad greens then you pay by weight. Neat? Neeeat. 

I also got some GT's Kombucha as my own buzz-inducing beverage for pre-drinking fun in anticipation of 90's night. But flash forward to 10:00 pm: to the dismay of our party group, we stood in line for an hour and a half only to head home. We were all just way too tired and ultimately chose sleep over Salt-N-Pepa. Fair is fair. I will return soon to avenge my lack of 90's night craziness.

The next day it was time for me to head home, so I said a bittersweet goodbye to my friends and got on the bus/ferry/more bus/skytrain. After a sleepy journey back to my Burnaby dwelling, I was happy to rest my head and contemplate the nature of time and space and it's relevance to my little vacation.

Ah, universe - how I love thee.

P.S. in my next post I will be raving about a vegan clothing company called Della, that sent me the adorable top you see in the moving picture GIF thingy above!