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March 15th, 2006

Wacky Canadian Adventures

It actually wasn't terribly wacky, to be honest. We took a ferry up from Seattle to Victoria, BC, which takes a little under 3 hours each way. On our first day in Victoria (Saturday), we walked around a lot and checked into our hotel (the fancy schmancy Empress hotel) and I guess we really didn't do a lot else. Sunday was my wife's birthday. Normally on Sundays, we as Latter-Day Saints would go to church and not work or buy anything. However, since it was Sonya's birthday, and since there wouldn't have really been any way for us to make our own food, and since we were on vacation, we did not follow the standard Sunday protocol. We had a really expensive Sunday brunch in the hotel's nice restaurant, then we saw the movie 16 Blocks (which was not particularly original or noteworthy but was still quite decent), then we walked around and eventually we had a really expensive dinner at the hotel's other restaurant. On Monday, we checked into a bed and breakfast called "Ryan's Bed and Breakfast," which was pretty nice and a lot cheaper than spending another night in the Empress. We also went and saw Butchart Gardens, which is one of the big main tourist attractions in Victoria. Unfortunately, it's still winter, so a lot of the flowers weren't blooming yet. It was still pretty nice, but I'm not sure if it was really worth the hour-long bus ride each way and the money it cost. That took most of the day. Yesterday, our last day, we checked out of Ryan's and sort of had 6 hours to kill while lugging around our baggage. Fortunately we had packed light. We went and saw the "Undersea Garden," which was a neat place where you could go into an underwater boat thing and look at fish and octopuses and stuff. Then we went to the Royal Wax Museum, I think it was called, and looked at lots of creepy wax statues of people. Then we sort of ran out of things to do and kind of just had to hang out for a couple hours.

Stereotypes reinforced while in Canada:

1. Canadians are polite. The buses said "Sorry, I am not in service" instead of just "NOT IN SERVICE (JERKWAD)" and Do Not Enter signs said "please."

2. Canadians say eh a lot and are strongly associated with moose and mounties. Right in downtown Victoria, there are like several tourist-trap type stores with names like "I AM CANADIAN EH" which sell shirts talking about why "eh" is a cooler thing to say than "huh," as well as statuettes of moose, mounties, and moose dressed like mounties.

3. Canadian money -- pretty wacky! Blue and green and pink and loonies and toonies (twonies?) and beavers on nickels oh my!

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