We’re in Victoria for the weekend to visit family. Zevi’s dad lives just outside the city and I have some family here as well. My grandparents moved here right after I was born, so I’ve been coming out here for as long as I can remember, and even though I’ve never lived here, I always feel at home when I arrive. The lush beauty, the ocean, and the laid back pace of life never cease to make me feel relaxed and renewed.
On our first day here, I ventured out for a run (I’m training for this race at the moment) and was excited to discover a beautiful trail through the woods right near Zevi’s dad’s house. After the winter we’ve had (and apparently are still having) in Calgary it was an immense relief to see a green landscape instead of brown and white. I had a lot of fun flying down the hilly path and feeling the springy moss under my feet. My sister and I went a longer run yesterday and as we ran through leafy forests and by budding bushes I couldn’t help but wonder if I could somehow extend my stay until Calgary was just as green.
Along with its natural beauty, Victoria had always charmed me with its small town quaintness. It has more quirky charisma than a city of its size really should. Houses sprawl on huge lots, but somehow their moss-covered exteriors and weathered stone steps make them look magical instead of overbearing. The year round evenness of the climate lets the city’s residents spill their personality out the front doors of their homes, rather than keeping it confined to the indoors. The neighborhoods are a mishmash of colours and textures, leaving nothing the same from one house to the next. It’s such a refreshing change from the stark sameness I see as I look down the streets of Calgary.
We ate at a few great restaurants in town. Jam is worth the wait for brunch – you may have to stand in line but you’ll be glad you did when you taste the delicious huevos rancheros. Go down the street and grab a coffee at the adorable Union Pacific to keep you warm while you wait. I try to stop by Adriana’s every time I’m here, and not just because she’s a family friend. I’ve yet to have better Mexican food than the stuff she makes north of Puerta Vallarta. They even make their own tortillas!
We’re heading back home to snow and cold in Calgary in a few hours, but it sure was nice to see some green and smell the ocean for a few days.