Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Tradition Gingerbread House

Every cool Grandma helps their granddaughter make a gingerbread house. Linda and Madison put this creation together today. Last years was spectacular so this year they had to bring their A game. Madison loves her dog Echo, so they decided they would do a dog house. So here it is..complete with dogs, dog bones and a Christmas tree. Job well done ladies....enjoy the pics.  For more pics go to our Facebook Page.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Victoria is for the Birds!

If you are old enough you will remember Alfred Hitchcock's horror film "The Birds".  So when you see your neighbourhood filling up with crows, it is hard not to remember the movie and the results.  We just lost our pet bird Mozart, so if you saw the movie, you know what has been going through my mind.  Every day at dusk, the crows in Victoria migrate to a communal roost. About an hour or more before dusk, the crows will begin to fly towards the roost, collecting together into ever larger flocks as they get nearer. Generally, it seems as though most birds do not fly directly to the communal roost, but stop at nearby "staging areas".

In some cases there may be several staging areas fairly near the roost. Often staging areas are in cemeteries or other areas where fairly open areas are surrounded by or interspersed with trees. Birds will fill the surrounding trees, hunt for food on the ground, and engage in general socializing. A roosting area may be virtually empty while nearby thousands of crows mill about in a staging area.  So why did they have to pick my cul-de-sac for their staging area?  They never use to.  I guess were just lucky.  There were hundreds in our cul-de-sac.  Enjoy.
For more pictures, please go to our Facebook page.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December in Victoria at Goldstream Park

Under blue skies and 10C I made my way to Goldstream Park today to enjoy the beauty and all the activity created by the annual salmon run. The run is virtually over, but the Goldstream river is full of dead salmon and the gulls and bald eagles are have Christmas Dinner. The bald eagles we all around me as I watched from the estuary viewing platform. I am sure I saw at least a dozen in the same tree. Many of them are further out in the estuary, but some come very close. There were lots of photographers taking lots of shots. Enjoy a day at Goldstream.

For more pictures of this adventure, please go to our Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Crocodile Burger - In Victoria?

Yesterday, I had lunch at Nautical Nellies and had my first crocodile burger.  Who would think that something this ugly could taste so good.  Just think how many burgers this little puppy would make.  Well it was truly delicious.  Succulent white meat that looks like halibut. So drop in and try one out.  Not even the Pink Bicycle that specializes in burgers has a Croc Burger. Krikey it was good, all smother in roasted red pepper and augmented with srirracha aioli -  Gourmet or what?

 My lunch partner had Shrimp Pappardelle.  It also looked very good.  My only problem with Nautical Nellies is that the menu has so much selection that it is hard to choose just one item.  So, we shared a vegetarian spring roll.  That got the flavour juices flowing.  I love this restaurant and highly recommend it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Magic of Christmas, CVS Sightseeing Tour

Last night we had the pleasure of joining The Magic of Christmas Tour, offered by CVS Sightseeing and Discover the Past Tours. Hosted by Tom from CVS, and guided by Kate from Discover the Past Tours, we embarked on a three hour walking and bus tour of Government Street and Oak Bay. Kate kept us entertained, despite the chilly weather, with fascinating stories of historical Victorian events and Christmas traditions. Government Street was the hub of 19th century Victoria, as it is today. Many of the buildings are original and tenanted by local businesses like Roger's Chocolates, established in 1885. Their delightful Christmas window displays look much like they did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kate explained that many of our Christmas traditions originated with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, mingling her British heritage with his German home sickness! The merchants of Government Street competed with each other for the best window displays to entice customers in to buy their wares. Robert Service lived in the heritage building on the corner of Government and Fort, where he worked in the bank. The building is now a pub, named in honor of Robert Service - The Bard and Banker! Kate had dozens of these interesting nuggets of information for us as we walked along Government Street and then progressed by bus down the Christmas lit Oak Bay Avenue.

Oak Bay has its own unique history and unusual characters. In the late 19th century, Oak Bay was almost a whole day's horse ride from Victoria, through forest, bush and the ever present mud. Last night, many of the businesses were open and we had time to explore the village and do a little shopping and even had time to stop by The Penny Farthing Pub for some Christmas cheer and a welcome chance to warm our toes!. We were fortunate to encounter roving singers from the Victoria College of Performing Arts, who sang carols along the Avenue. Our next stop was the Oak Bay Beach Hotel where we enjoyed a scheduled visit to Kate's Cafe and listened to more stories with a festive drink and OBBH's famous home baked cookies. Kate's Cafe contains many architectural items salvaged from the original hotel, which adds to its charm. We had time to check out the beautiful lobby and the famous Snug before boarding the bus back downtown. Kate our guide regaled us with a ghost story to cap off the night.
The Magic of Christmas Tour runs Friday and Saturday nights, 6 to 9 PM, from December 6th to 21st. At a cost for adults of $39, it is a wonderful experience at a bargain price. Tourists, visitors to the city and residents alike would all enjoy this amazing tour. Learn about the city you live in and hop aboard a CVS Sightseeing tour. Details of this and other tours can be found on CVS's website at

For more pictures visit our Facebook Page

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nautical Nellies 17th Anniversary

There is a reason Nautical Nellies' has been around for 17 years...good food, great customer service, excellent surroundings, superior location and very good management.  The food is always fresh and very tasty.  The staff are great and well trained.  Check it out and you will see what we mean.