Monday, December 27, 2010

First Peoples Gallery

As part of our Victoria BC tour we stopped at the Royal British Columbia Museum. I enjoyed the partial HMS Discovery replica in the Modern History gallery and the forests in the Natural History section. I was not prepared for the impact that the First Peoples Galley would have upon me.

Part of my apprecation of this art stems from my time in the Boy Scouts.

But there was something deeper that I cannot explain.

I just know that I need to return someday and marvel at this place.

To let it soak in even deeper.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

High Tea on Vancouver Island

Legend has it it that Anna Marie Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, was looking for a light meal to make the long stretch between lunch and dinner bearable. Her solution was a combination of tea, small sandwiches, and desserts. While High Tea is not as popular in Canada as in the United Kingdom, Victoria is an exception. We were visiting the Provincial Capital of British Columbia and decided to check this tradition out.

We passed on having High Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, instead we partook in this tradition at the Gatsby Mansion. While more than a third of the cost than the Empress, it still had fine offerings with a touch of elegance. The meal consisted of four courses.

A Fruit Plate....

followed by a Scone Plate...

then a variety of Sandwiches...

and then, last but not least, the dessert plate.

As you can see, this was not a light meal. While the practice here is to advertise this as High Tea, careful reading of teatime traditions would discover that this is actually Afternoon Tea. Whatever it was called, it was enough to fill us up for a walk touring the night lights of Victoria and several hands of UNO.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Easter Eggs at Christmas?

This year my parents decorated their Christmas Tree with eggs. You should note that these are not ordinary eggs, but egg shells decorated by my relatives in the Czech Republic. Here are a couple of examples.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Double Trailhead Tour

Saturday I joined the Adventurous Young Mazamas for a Cross Country Ski trip at Old Man Pass. We crossed the Bridge of the Gods and passed through Carson on our way to the trailhead. At this point there was snow on the road, but not enough to hold us back. That changed with the Wind River Road started to head upwards, as the road had not been plowed and to continue farther did not seem prudent. So we parked the cars and found another place to ski. First we toured Government Mineral Springs, then we skied to the Trapper Creek Wilderness Trailhead and then on to the Falls Creek Trailhead. Our mileage was somewhere between 8 to 11.5 miles, depending whether or not you believed Keith's GPS.

As started the drive back home a hear of Elk crossed our paths.

To relax our muscles and our spirits we stopped at the Carsons Mineral Hot Springs Spa for a hot soak in their mineral waters. The facility dates from the 1930s and could be described as funky or rustic, depending on your point of view. I enjoyed sliding into a bath that I could fit my long legs into without having to fold them like a pretzel. After the bath they cocooned you in a swaddling wrap. It reminded me of the hibernation capsules from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyessy. Unlike those poor murdered scientists from the film I emerged from my wrap to finish off with a sauna. Very relaxing.