Mixing Business With Pleasure


My work rarely takes me away on business yet this week was an exception. I decided to attend a one-day course in Victoria, BC – the capital city of the province of British Columbia. Located on the southern end of Vancouver Island it is a quaint city of 85,000 that I find it fairly walkable within its city core. Taxis and public transit are available as well.

Even though this was a work trip I added an extra day (Friday) to explore and invited my BFF Cat to join me. She was cool with checking out the city on her own while I was at my course on Saturday. For one to make their way to Victoria there are a few options. Of course there is flying as they do have an airport, particularly common if you are coming from further away. If you are heading over from Vancouver there is the added option of taking one of the sea planes with Harbour Air (and possibly the quickest option). Though the most common route is taking the ferry. BC Ferries has regular sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry terminals, transporting both vehicles and foot passengers. Being the latter, Cat and I both used Vancouver’s and Victoria’s transit systems to arrive at the respective ferry terminals as both of them are a decent drive away from the cities. 

We had both decided on some of the things we wanted to see and proceeded to head out as soon as we arrived at our hotel. We lucked out that the rain in Greater Vancouver did not reach Victoria and we were able to meander the town without need of umbrellas, at least on the Friday. As both of us had visited here before we had a bit of an idea of where we were going (okay, actually Cat did as her sense of direction is far superior to mine. LOL). Some areas were planned and others were found by chance. I will show you most of the trip by way of photos yet list a few of the places (with links if applicable) that we saw.

  • Fall colours at Beacon Hill Park where we hung out with both peacocks and Canada Geese
  • Admired the First Nation’s totems and buildings at Thunder Bird Park
  • Strolled along the streets of the downtown core, popping into shops and admiring some of the character of the buildings
  • Walked down Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown, snooping around all the cute shops and then took in the rest of Chinatown
  • Stopped in for shopping and tea at Silk Road Tea (my fav – take my money!!)
  • Popped into Munro’s Books, a beautiful store that has served Victoria for over 50 years and started by Jim Munro and his then wife, author Alice Munro
  • Quenched our thirst at two local craft beer breweries: Vancouver Island Brewery and Phillips Brewing
  • Perused the artisan shops at Victoria Public Market (again, take my money!!)
  • Bought some yummy bread to take home at Fol Epi Bakery (Yates St location) 

All in all a good weekend. Not a bad way to spend a partial work weekend (even if it rained part of the time). Victoria, I’ll be seeing you again.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World.

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Panorama of Beacon Hill Park

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First Nations totems at Thunderbird Park

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The entrance to Chinatown’s Fan Tan Alley

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British Columbia Provincial Legislative Assembly  lit up at night

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Witches in Victoria! LOL

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Sunday Special – Terrace, Canada (where I am now)


This weekend I am visiting my sister in northern British Columbia in a small town called Terrace. As I come up here every year I have posted some info about the area before, though each visit is always different. This post will stray from its usual format as it will be photos of our activities here. Food, friends and furry creatures will be showcased. The fall colours here are quite spectacular, despite the gray clouds plump with rain, waiting to catch us unprepared and having us escape to warm fires. My best friend has joined me on this weekend getaway, after all she is family. Visits consist of errands, dog walks, dinner parties and pumpkin carving. Having been up here so many times previously the touristy activities are now moot. These trips are definitely ones where ‘hanging with the locals’ is expected – LOL. Sadly for me I have acquired a miserable head cold That has me napping and bonding with a box of facial tissue. The napping is not so bad. Here is a showcase of my weekend. If you want to know more about some great places to see in Northern BC, visit my previous post here.

Carving away

The finished products

Mine is on the left

Apples from the backyard tree will be used for apple sauce

Furry buddies

Fenwick in his puppy coat

Hilarious night playing games


Autumnal foliage


All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

Surviving the Wait


That may sound like a ridiculous title since I have been waiting to see my life’s goal materialize for years and years. I will be waiting (and working towards it) some more too. Good thing is that I know it will happen soon enough. Still, the wait can appear soooo long. That is why I like small “mini-trips” (I would call them weekend getaways but this one is during the week). A few days here or there seems to break up the seemingly long days of saving, planning and waiting. A small high on this journey. 

As of RIGHT NOW I am on transit heading to one of my best friend’s home where five of us will pile into a car, cruise to the BC Ferries terminal and board a ferry to cross the Straight of Georgia. We will alight on Vancouver Island to continue on a scenic drive to Tofino!!! Tofino is Vancouver Island’s gem. Although  a surfing mecca it offers visitors so much more: beaches, nature, relaxation and occasionally incredible thunder storms. It is my first visit there. I have yet to hear a negative comment about Tofino. 
I am so very excited for this getaway. A chance to wander through new-to-me spaces and celebrate a dear friend’s birthday (all without breaking the bank) is the perfect remedy to break up the monotony of the wait.