Tuesday, August 31, 2010

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things – a wordless post

Hola Bloggies:

I hope you are enjoying my Vancouver Island recaps. I honestly believe the Pacific Northwest is a special place. And I love sharing its beauty with my readers!

On Today’s post I thought I would give you a bit of a walking tour through beautiful Victoria.

Shall we!?!?smile_wink

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Question: When you travel do you like to have a pre-determined itinerary or do you just go with the flow?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sleepless in Victoria

Hola Bloggies:

Happy Monday!!! In the words of one of my good elementary school friends: “Be Great” this week!

Today, I’m excited to share with you one of my favourite places in Victoria (Vancouver Island, Canada). When I moved to Victoria, to start Law School, it was one of the very first places I discovered: Fisherman’s Wharf.


Unlike, the wharfs one finds in other tourist cities, this one is still a working wharf.


People live here.


In ridiculously cute arrangements.


People work here (fisherman still bring in the catch of the day).


People sail out of here.


And of course tourists congregate here.

The main draw for tourists (aside from all the ridiculous cuteness) is Barb’s Fish and Chips. A wonderful take-out restaurant floating in the wharf. And that my dears, is the reason I was at Fisherman’s Wharf.

The line-up was very long. In fact I think I waited twenty minutes in line and almost fifty minutes for my food. But the food at Barb’s is worth every minute.

Let me put it to you this way – my parents, who have visited Victoria twice, still wax poetic about the fish and chips at Barb’s. It’s all in the freshness of the catch.


Once I got to the front of the line, I didn’t hesitate. I ordered myself a one piece halibut dinner with salad instead of chips. It’s the kind of meal that dreams are made of.

While I waited for my meal I headed off to browse around the Wharf. It’s really grown since I started going there, years ago.




Eventually I was called to the window to pick-up my meal.

I took my precious loot and found a nearby bench. It had been much too long since I had some Barb’s.




The coleslaw at Barb’s is my favourite – bar none. And the salads are fantastic (I love me some beets).


And then there is the fish – halibut just doesn’t flake like this, away from the Coast.

I loved every moment of my Fisherman’s Wharf experience; and I can’t wait to go back.

Question: What is your favourite fish? I love salmon, red snapper, halibut, cod, and tuna – equally!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

There’s No Place Like Home

Hola Bloggies:

I’ve missed you friends!!!

After almost a solid month of travelling (mostly for work) I finally arrived home late on Friday night. It feels so good to be back in my own casa.

The next time I travel will be in late September; granted it will only be for a few days (in Vancouver). Then there are October and November – which will frankly be non-stop travel. The difference is that those trips will be for pleasure!!! I will be flying to Southern California to run the Long Beach Half Marathon, Toronto for my wedding dress fitting, Whistler for a brief work event, San Jose del Cabo (Mexico) for our wedding, and then Guanajuato (Mexico) for our honeymoon. Happy times indeed!!!

For now though I’ll enjoy chilling in my Rocky Mountain casa.

With all this running around I need to catch up on a lot of blog posts. That means for the next little while you’ll see Vancouver Island, Rocky Mountain, and Calgary posts.


A Little Slice of England

While I was on Vancouver Island, my co-workers did their best to introduce me to all their favourite haunts.

One place in particular, The Crow and Gate, was deemed special enough for my goodbye luncheon. The property is located outside of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Canada on beautifully landscaped grounds.


I’ve never been to England but this is what I imagine a proper pub in the countryside to look like.


Diners could either choose to enjoy their lunch in the cozy and dark interior (probably a wonderful place on a cold rainy winter day) or in the lovely exterior of the premises.


There is no traditional table service at the Crow and Gate, rather, everyone orders at the counter. At the suggestion of other diners, I ordered the local (from Fanny Bay) pan-fried oysters, paired with a Pimm’s.


If you’ve never had a Pimm’s, I highly recommend you give it a try! It’s a cocktail made of Pimm’s (an old school gin based beverage), mixed with either sprite or ginger ale, and traditionally garnished with cucumbers, mint, and strawberries. It goes down very easy and is wonderfully refreshing on a warm summer’s day.


There was a bit of a wait for food but I was so busy enjoying the ambiance that, I scarcely noticed.

When my plate did arrive I was genuinely surprised at the size of the oysters. They looked rather plump and juicy; rather unlike any pan-fried oysters I had ever eaten.

You’ll have to excuse the lack of further food pictures – my co-workers didn’t know about the blog and given that it was my last day I preferred to keep it that way. But you will have to trust me when I say that the oysters were magnificent!!! So good in fact that when I cut into the first one a spurt of oyster juice went flying. Not gross. I swear. lol

Honestly, I couldn’t have thought of a better place to visit on my last day in Nanaimo. It was a fitting end to a wonderful two weeks at the local office.


Question of the Day: Do you like oysters? What is your favourite way to eat them?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Down on the Boardwalk (Penny’s Palapa)

Hola Bloggies:

It’s Monday and I’m finally back in the Rocky Mountain casa. It feels so good to be home. Aside from the ridiculously joyful reunion with Daisy, it’s just nice to be in my own space. In fact I slept like a baby.

It was the sleep of the happy.

Although, I’m completely enjoying my return to the Rocky Mountains I can’t help but reminisce about my last couple of weeks spent by the Ocean shore.

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There’s just something about living so close to the water that is soothing to the soul.


Walks on the boardwalk, views across the great blue escape, and drinks at the yacht club. I relished in every Island moment.


Of course, I did my best to enjoy as many meals by the waterfront as possible. One of my favourite came at a wonderful Nanaimo spot, Penny’s Palapa.




Located on a floating barge in the middle of the harbour, Penny’s Palapa is a super cute and colourful restaurant. A perfect place to spend a leisurely summer lunch.


The menu was as unpretentious as the locale.


It only took one glance at the menu and I knew what I was going to choose. You see, once upon a time I visited Ensenada (Baja California, Mexico) and had fish taco perfection. Ever since I have been looking for a taco that could stand up to the Ensenada tacos of my dreams.


Since I knew this would likely be my only chance to visit this particular restaurant, I indulged in a bit of over ordering and started with a Mexican tortilla sauce.


I’m far from a Mexican tortilla soup connoisseur but one thing is for sure – this soup had flavours that reminded me of home. Given, that my mom is a fantastic cook, that is indeed a good thing.

I ate about half the soup and didn’t regret one bit of my over ordering.


I have to confess I was a bit disappointed to see the use of what looked like rather huge flour tortillas. I like to keep it genuine (i.e.: corn).


Still, the big pieces of red snapper filling more than made me forget about the tortilla. In El Salvador (where I’m from) we’re quite partial to red snapper so I was thrilled with this fish taco.





I filled my tacos with all the greens and salsa that I could find on the plate. While this may not have been the most genuine fish taco it was nonetheless a quality dish. I was one very happy camper.

Question: Have you ever had a fish taco? Thoughts?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good Even in the Dead of Summer

Hola Bloggies:

How is your weekend treating you? As you read this, I’m enjoying one last full day in Victoria before heading back to my Rocky Mountain casa. If all is going according to plan, I’m spending today hitting the gym, running along the Ocean, and taking in the vibe of this small but impressive city.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time at all, you know I’m a huge foodie! But did you know that one of my favourite things are soups!?! It’s true! Even in the dead of summer I love me a good bowl of yumminess!




Recently, I hit up the Noodle Box – a Victoria chain of restaurants that have now expanded to Vancouver. The whole premise of the Noodle Box is that everything is made to order, in an open kitchen, using fresh ingredients.



Tom Yum? Yes please!!!



This dish contained a wonderful blend of rice noodles, bean sprouts, green onions, chillies, prawns, and a spicy hot and sour style broth. It was so good I kind of wish I had some right now! Love!!

Question: Are you a soup in the dead of summer kind of person too?