This weekend our party of three packed ourselves into the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder for a weekend trip to the island. I am typically apprehensive about driving larger vehicles, having only owned smaller sedans, so when the opportunity came to try my hand at the largest SUV I have ever laid eyes on, I thought it would be worth practicing. After all if I nailed this one, all others will be easy. And to my delight it was an easy drive and we got to Victoria safe and sound because of it.

We stayed in a comfortable suite with two queen beds. The kitchen with coffee marker and mini fridge, shared a sink with the bathroom. The sick is located adjacent to the kitchen counter, you would do you business behind closed doors and walk out to wash your hands clean. Awkward placement, but space saving.

We spent the evening and morning after exploring Victoria the touristy way. We hit up Chinatown marked with plenty of red brick and strung up yellow and red lanterns.

Taking time to especially explore the corridors of “Fan Tan Alley”.

Stopping at “Kid Sister” for some of their small batch ice cream served in homemade cubby waffle cones. I paid $1 more for organic vanilla versus regular.

We strolled by the water, taking in the marina.

And stopped in front of the parliament building in awe.

We even contemplated a horse and carriage ride, but passed on the novelty.

We took a pause to take in the iconic and majestic “Fairmont Empress”. We missed the cut off for high tea, so instead enjoyed their lounge decorated with the Queen’s portraits with a splash of graffiti.

Naturally, when in this setting one needs to enjoy their signature spirit: a pretty purple gin. We tried it three times, in three different purple cocktails. Each strong and refined.  “Q1908”. Empress gin, lemon juice, sugar, egg white, and butterfly pea flower. “Empress 75”. Empress gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, sugar, veuve clicquot, and grapefruit pearls. “Auxiliary”. Empress gin house vermouth and laphroaig.

As we sipped, we snacked on complimentary bowls of popcorn seasoned in charcoal. Both original and delicious, salty like hickory bbq.

And followed it up with one of their desserts. The “Floating island” is finished at the table. Bourbon vanilla bean creme anglaise, fresh raspberries, meringue chips, and wild roses. This was a great textural dessert, lots to sift through. With perfect meringue, like off a freshly baked lemon pie. Shards that melt in your mouth while adding crunch. And the pear gel offered a nice fruity balance.

And for dinner we visited “Canoe”, a seafood restaurant by the water. They boasted a multilevelled patio facing the marina with the sun setting in the distance. For the full restaurant review visit the link below.

The next morning we waited 30 minutes for breakfast at “Blue Fox Cafe”. A popular cafe with over 50 menu items, 12 of which are just bennies. For the full review that click this link.

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting some more tourist hot spots. At the “Bug Zoo” we were the oldest children in the tour groups. There are plenty of bugs in plastic cages to look at, with descriptions by each so that you can learn a thing or two.

For the daring there are opportunities to hold a few of these creepy crawlies like the giant stick bug or the hairy tarantula. My favourite displays were the ant tunnels and the cockroach box decorated to look like a cottage home.

At “Miniature World” you explored themed displays built small with vivid detail. It took you to space and through Canadian history from Victoria to Newfoundland following a train Coast to Coast.

You learned your world war history and relived your childhood through their fairy tale dioramas. And got to play a peeping Tom when you looked through the tiny windows of tiny Victorian homes. Each accurately portraying life long, long ago.

“Circus world” was my favourite theme, it gave you all the carnival fun from the big top to the Ferris wheel. And with a push of a button it came to life with motion. King Arthur had his full story told through miniatures. From the meeting of Merlin and the pulling of the sword to the retrieval of the holy grail.

Our last stop was Beacon Hill for some nature. They are best known for their wild peacocks, whom have taken over the park at 80 plus strong. They can be see strolling around the walk ways and begging for scraps from picnickers.

But for majority of them and more animals make your way to their petting farm. There, they strut their stuff and mark their territory with tail feathers flexed. They walk amongst the farm’s pigs, goats, llamas, and fancy chickens and ducks.

For those who want to get closer to the animals there are baby goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs that like a good cuddle and pet.

From here it was time to catch our ferry home. This was a success trip in the Nissan Pathfinder, a spacious SUV that easily transition from rocky roads to smooth highways, and congested city streets.

NISSAN PATHFINDER, Rock Creek Edition
https://nissan.ca/