Victoria

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After Christmas in Vancouver, we left for Victoria, where we stayed for two months. Neither of us had spent much time in Victoria before, other than a visit here and there. But we both loved it. And we also scored the most amazing place to live, just a block away from the ocean. It was supposed to be writing time, and it was. I finished a couple of chapters, we went on a lot of dog walks, I played derby with the Eves of Destruction and had a total blast (I forgot to take any pictures though!), and we drank a lot of good coffee. Basically, it was an academic’s dream come true. Possibly also an editor’s dream come true, and definitely a huskador’s dream come true.

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Not only were there lots of muddy walks at Thetis Lake….

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But there was also a good place to nap afterwards.

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Or good places might be more accurate (Lucy kept stealing this placemat and using it as a pillow. She’s weird).

Anyway, we felt sort of bad that while people in London were suffering minus 40 weather, and Nova Scotia had snow hurricanes, in Victoria it looked like this:

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The buds really were out on the trees when we arrived on January 1, and although there were a few cold days, they were this kind of cold:

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Not bury yourself in a fire pit to try and get warm kind of cold. Also it didn’t snow at all (in Victoria, anyway). There was frost one day and everyone freaked out.

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Mostly we went for brisk, sunshiny walks (this is in Sooke),

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And walked along the clifftop.

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The one exception was when we went to Salt Spring Island to watch a derby bout, and managed to get totally stranded in a snow storm with no power and only a bag of gross donut-y things. We did make it out though, dodging fallen tree branches, and cheering on Larry the Yaris as he *barely* made it up hills.

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When we got back to Victoria, we went for dinner at the house of some distant relatives of mine and they spent 10 minutes apologizing for the weather on Salt Spring. In the meantime, I think London might have completely been erased off the map after its 8th snowstorm in a row….

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In February my mum came to visit from Vancouver. We picked her up at Nanaimo and went to Parksville beach to let Lucy have a run. Here she is behaving like a good dog.

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And here she is off leash, running into the ocean and eating enough seaweed and rotting clams that she barfed for two days. Obviously it was worth it.

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Lucy actually had a fantastic day, because first she got her fill of off-colour shellfish, and then this happened….

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OMG, it’s a cow! It was super cute – they started playing chase across the fence.

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The game ended when the calf decided she was hungry….

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And the other animals wanted to play….

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We took my mum out for birthday tea.

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And celebrated Chinese New Year’s.

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Tim and I also went to Miniature World, which was a lot creepier than I remembered it being from childhood visits.

Half way through our time in Victoria, I went to Chicago to go to the CAA conference. I had a great time catching up with friends, saw some amazing papers, reveled in the CAA book fair – it was an all round good time. But the only pictures I managed to take were of the totally bizarre cats, Reggie and Butts, who were my companions at an airbnb. They were hilarious, and *extremely* friendly.

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In any case, while it was genuinely winter-like in Chicago, in Victoria it looked more like this:

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These are the Beacon Hill Park peacocks. They just kind of hang out and look awesome.

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We didn’t go to a lot of exhibitions in Victoria, but we did manage to see the Big Button Blanket at Legacy Gallery, which was a pretty amazing collaboration between the UVic Art History department and Tahltan artist and curator Peter Morin. We were able to go for the opening ceremony at the gallery – I feel pretty lucky about that, it was very powerful.

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And that was Victoria. So good.

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We made a point of eating our last meal in the city outside, on Fisherman’s Wharf. Because we could.

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