03 September 2005

A Trip to Canada ñ Day Three

New pictures to acccompany this entry are here.

I woke up early again (about 6:30a) with a terribly tight chest, really painful making it difficult to breathe. At first I thought I might be in real trouble, but a few minutes brought some small easing, and it dawned on me that I was suffering some kind of gastric or respitory reflux or something (iow, a trapped burp or something akin to it). After a half-hour, it subsided enough to be able to get on with my preparations, though it never left me -- I'm still suffering it even as I type.

The bus ride from the Barclay back to Vancouver Central and then on to the Twassen ferry docks was uneventful, and to my surprise we drove directly onto the ferry. I hadn't realised that the ferry would be that big, but it's quite large (not as big as a cruise ship, but roomy enough for a few hundred people).

By this time, I had been awake for several hours, so I gladly ponied up the $14CAD for the brunch buffet as soon as we got on board ñ I was starving! It was satisfactory (not great), and gave me a relaxing place to call Heather and Mark while I got some more soda (which seems to help the chest problem).

The ferry ride was about 90 minutes, and the view was great right the way through. We got back onto the bus, drove off the ferry and about 30 minutes later arrived at the Victoria Bus Terminal which is next door to the Conference Center. Victoria proper seems strike a very Tallahassee-like tone ñ some old architecture with lots of outlying "burbs."

After all the walking I did yesterday, I opted to take a cab to the Dominion, my hotel for tonight. It was $5CAD, well worth it.

At 3p I got bored with relaxing in my (much nicer, but still small compared to the "chain" hotels) room at the Dominion (where they lied to me about the internet service -- naughty!!) and decided to get some lunch. A flyer for the "Old Vic" that I saw at the bus station turned out to be just a couple of blocks' walk, so I headed that way (the clerk also let me know that another internet cafe was nearby -- the Serious Coffee bar in the hotel has internet, but they charge a ludicrous 10¢/min for it). On my way down Johnson I noticed that I had definitely stumbled into the "bohemian slacker" area of town, less hippie than Little Five Points in Atlanta but less yuppified than, say, Asheville or Coconut Grove in Miami. If I was to live in Victoria, I think I'd want to live as near to here as possible. I passed a guy walking by me dress in FULL CRASS REGALIA, and overheard that he's the owner of a store called "Blank Generation." This I gotta see.

Found a number of interesting little stores worth stopping into, bought a couple of gifties (more about these later). As the day wore on, I decided I would take a recommendation given to me by a Dealmac colleague and try SYN, the restaurant/bar next door to my hotel. He was absolutely right -- good food, cheap prices, GREAT martinis. I only wish I had been feeling better -- it was a struggle to finish dinner. I had given some thought to walking across the street to the Cineplex Odeon to catch The Aristocrats film, but was feeling so poorly after dinner I just went to my room and crashed, such as I could. Sleeping is painful and difficult. Let's hope it gets better tomorrow.

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