We had a great time in Canada. First thing I noticed about Vancouver was that they're building a convention centre on what used to be little wooden docks that they used a lot in Highlander when we went there on honeymoon ::g::. Second thing I noticed was that the chef in Aqua Riva cooks beautiful food, but goes that one step too far: for example, I had clams and mussles to start, which were lovely, but they came with chips and garlic dip????! The main course was similar - there seemed to be two dishes on the plate :). They gave us desert free because we were chatting to the waitress and told her we were in Canada celebrating our 10th Aniversary - it was a lovely surprise. It turns out when we went in there on our honeymoon they had only been open four months so they had just celebrated 10 years too :).
Then we went to Abbotsford to visit dacro and she is as lovely as I had come to expect from being friends online - Rod is a sweetie too, and so is their puppy. dacro very kindly put up with us for two and a half days and saladbats came up too so all three of hpvamp's mods were in the same place at the same time. We didn't take over the world though, we'll have to wait for next time for that. It was brill and we had an HP meet up over Sushi on the Sunday which was fun - good food too :).
After this is was off the Victoria where we stayed in the Empress. Wow - lovely and posh, and such a rambling structure. They were so good to us and every member of staff seemed to know it was our 10th Aniversary. We had to change rooms at one point because we needed internet access to check our bank balance and stuff and they had no problem with it at all. When we had tea at the Empress (tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off and little cakes and such - a tradition if one is in Victoria) they gave us a free chocolate torte at the end with a little chocolate plaque saying Happy Aniversary. It was so nice of them.
We did loads of things in Victoria including meeting up with some friends and eating way too much food. Our friends have two lovely kitties and we spent the whole day with them on the Saturday and they took us to wineries and galleries and all sorts of lovely places (the friends not the cats :)). I think Victoria was my favourite part of the trip when it comes to atmosphere of the area - I could live there very easily.
Then we went to Tofino - we stayed in a lovely lodge called Middle Beach right on the sea. At night we could hear the waves. Problem was Tofino is rain forrest and boy does it live up to it's name :). We had three lovely sunny days and then torential rain - we spent a lot of time curled up in our apartment in front of the fire; very cosy and relaxing; just what we wanted to end the holiday. We also had a two person tub that we had three lovely soaks in over the week. The main lodge doesn't serve dinner everyday, only once or twice a week off season, but when they don't serve dinner they do home baked cookies at 8pm for free. Was lovely.
Tofino has a wonderful resturant called the Pointe as well - very posh and very spectacular views. The food was also magnificent; worth every penny. The waiter was great, explaining every dish as it was brought to the table and reccomending wine etc. They also gave us free bubbly because when Rob booked it he was chatting to the lady on the desk and happened to mention why we were in Tofino. It was so lovely.
Then we came back to Victoria for one night - we were supposed to go back to Vancouver and stay in a hotel near the airport, but Rob checked it out online and it turned out to be in a very dodgy area so we booked the Marriot in Victoria instead and travelled over the next morning. If you want a very nice five star hotel in Victoria that is not as expensive as the Empress, then I reccomend the Marriot - it was lovely. Expedia has it for a lot less than they charge if you just walk in.
Trying to adjust back to the timezone now - almost there. Hope I don't fall asleep at my desk today :). It was a great holiday, just long enough; I was ready to come home when we did.