Our home base is close enough to Canada that I occasionally listen to Canadian radio, and my phone will sometimes tell me I am on a Canadian tower. However; with the pandemic, we hadn’t actually gotten to visit Canada since our arrival.
Recently the border reopened and we connected with friends to rectify this. With an early start, we went to Port Angeles and took the ferry into Victoria on Vancouver Island. It was a lovely ninety-minute ride with a big deal made when we hit international waters and they sold duty-free liquor. Bottom shelf stuff with no taxes was a huge draw. People really hate taxes.
My only visits to Canada in the last three decades involved a canoe and remote woodlands. I arrived assuming it would be pretty much what I was accustomed to in the US, and on the surface that was true. It was very similar to a US city if you spent thousands of hours polishing it. Remove most of the litter and graffiti, make the buildings posher, and landscape the shit out of everything. If Victoria is indicative of Canada at large, it is a very nice country.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the British obsession with tea and the ceremony around it. When Boris Johnson was being harassed by reporters and came out to offer them tea I had a coworker from England tell me it was the most British thing he had ever seen.
Kendra booked us at the Tea Room of the Empress in Victoria for a proper tea. As excited as I was, you would think I would have ended up disappointed — it is just tea and snacks after all. It was an absolute delight. Each of us had our own different pot of tea and shared it with the table. All four teas were good and two of them were downright delicious. The ambiance was great, the food was tasty, and the experience was very enjoyable. If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend taking tea at the Empress.
May peace find you.