Day 3: This was by far our most exciting day. It starts on the night of Day 2.
After being in BC more than 24 hours with a chance to catch my breath, I decided to call up my friend Mark (of the amazing band New Providence) who lives in Victoria. I knew Victoria was kind of far away and involved traveling over water, but hey, if you're not going to go nuts on vacation, when will you?
It was so nice hearing his voice. After many phone calls and a lot of googling, we decided it was feasible to take a day trip to the island to see Mark. The only way of making it work, however, was if we had a car. Which we only had for one more day. So it was decided we'd forgo the sleeping in plans, drag our tired asses out of bed early and beat it to the Tswwassen ferry.
Victoria is a perfectly lovely city. Lots of the historical bits I'm used to, as well as gorgeous vistas. Mark gave us a great tour of the city, all along the water front. Top down, sun on our faces (burning us, it turns out). We walked out on the long pier where the cruise ships stop and looked at the Olympic Mountains across the straight in Washington State. I was mesmerised -- they had snow on the tops of them! And they were huge!
We finished up the afternoon by driving to the top of Mount Doug and surveying all of Victoria laid out below us. Note: this is a must-see when in Victoria. Just barely, in the distance, we could see Mount Baker, a real live volcano, towering about the mountains around it, completely covered in snow. That pretty much blew me away.
Day 4: We headed out on foot (rental car now returned) and visited Granville Island where we poked around, saw the sites, and bought fresh produce and bread to make a picnic on the quay. There was even some decent busking to listen to. I also ate the most amazing donut of my entire life. Curse you, Tim Horton's, for killing all the little places that made donuts that way!
After we got our share of sun, we took the Aquabus across to downtown and hit up the Golden Age of Dutch Art exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery -- a very neat and beautiful building, by the by. I hardly ever go to galleries, but it's something I always enjoy. I particularly love historical context, so I love audioguides. The best was one paintin of a women receiving a love letter and all the things in the room and the picture hint at what it says. That's the kind of thing I've never know without an audioguide.