I spent this past Victoria Day long weekend visiting my family in Victoria. It was blue skies and mid-20s all weekend -- just perfect.
We headed up Mt Tolmie for views,
then visited UVic's Finnerty Gardens.
Those gardens are one of my favourite places on campus. They're full of native plants, including huge old rhododendrons and interesting species like metasequoia, apparently a deciduous conifer. Plus the grounds are perfectly maintained and there are hardly any visitors. Really, do go if you ever find yourself in Victoria.
|not in the Gardens, but worth a picture -- the Empress Tree outside the Island Medical Program|
The parade's actually a pretty big deal. School marching bands come up from the States to compete and they're fantastic; full of energy and playing catchy stuff like Muse or Walk The Moon. There are also all sorts of community groups, from motocross to falun gong to firefighters. The penny-farthing bicycle routine is a classic; one of my favourites.
We had great seats too. We'd been planning to sit on the curb, but ended up in a roped-off area of chairs right beside the judging platform. It had been set up for the public, but stayed empty for the longest time because everyone assumed it was for VIPs. How lucky.
After the weekend we took the ferry over to Vancouver for my sister's graduation. She's just finished medical school at UBC. The ceremonies at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and UBC were a flashback to three years ago...even more so when I realized that the MD/PhD graduates crossing the stage had actually started med school in my class -- one of them had shared a clinical skills group with me way back in 2010. Major props to all the grads, but them especially; what an accomplishment.
Other highlights of our brief visit included walking along Kits Beach, seeing the Gastown steam clock, and trying everything from chili chicken gizzards to egg tarts at Chinatown's T&T Supermarket. As one does in Vancouver.
|steam clock -- was neat to watch it whistle the Westminster chimes on the quarter hour|
|Canada Place and North Shore mountains from the CPR station|
|taro bubble tea -- I love that it's purple|