Had breakfast at the B&B this morning – it was really good for me, but they didn’t handle Lis’ special diet as well. This was partly on them and partly on us, I’d say. The breakfast served to the non-special dieters was a bowl of granola and yoghurt with strawberries on top, followed by a scone, followed by an egg/crepe thingy – all of which was quite yummy. The Lis no-dairy version was the strawberries minus the yoghurt and granola, and scrambled eggs with ham. The part that is on us is that we only told them that Lis couldn’t have dairy – we didn’t mention the part about how she can’t have sugar, primarily because we don’t usually run across sugar for breakfast. However, the strawberries were in a syrup, which of course is mostly sugar, so Lis couldn’t really eat them – just had a couple of the least sugary ones. The part that is on them is that they should have been able to replace the scone with something, rather than just take it away. And the part that is on us is that Lis is really picky about eggs (it’s very easy for her to be grossed out by them if they’re not cooked just right) and doesn’t really like ham. So the upshot was that I walked away from the table full and Lis walked away hungry. We tried to run her by McDonald’s on the way to Port Angeles, but we missed the end of breakfast by about 15 minutes. So she had a cereal bar and cashews in the car.

We got to Port Angeles in plenty of time for the ferry, but not so early that we had to sit around for eons waiting to board. Once on the ship, we went up to the forward observation room where we had a good view of the crossing. The weather was much improved today but still a little chilly and morning-cloudy. But, by the final third of the trip the sun had come out and the temperature had warmed, and so we went out on the forward deck. Looking ahead we could see Victoria and the hills of Vancouver Island, looking back we could see Washington state and the Olympic Mountains in all their glory, and the sun was warm and the wind was down – it was truly lovely. There are few things as transcendently awesome as being out on the deck of a ship in glorious scenery and beautiful weather, even a plain ol’ no-nonsense gal like the MV Coho.

There were two cruise ships in port (Carnival Splendor and Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas) so the Inner Harbour area was pretty crowded and a bit of a pain to navigate through. However, as we have seen before, once we were about 5 blocks away from the Empress Hotel, things cleared up significantly. By the time we got to Market Square, only about 10 blocks from the Empress, everything was pretty quiet. We had lunch at Green Cuisine, but they didn’t have the regular Fruit Crumble dessert that they ALWAYS have and is the main reason we go there, so we were pretty disappointed (especially Lis – she was having a rough food day).

We had a couple hours to kill until we could check in at the B&B we will be staying at in Victoria (we have never stayed a week at a B&B – we are a bit apprehensive, as we like B&B’s but also grow tired of having to socialize with people. However, we are only having the breakfast part of the B&B on the first morning (tomorrow), so we’re expecting it might be more like staying in a boutique hotel.) so we drove around the island a bit and ended up driving along Beach Drive/Dallas Road on the east side of the island, which is way scenic. We got out and walked around for a while on this cool point with some wonderful tide pools and rock formations – that turned out to be about 5-10 blocks from the B&B. We hope to walk there a lot more during our stay.

The place we are staying is called Binners Bed & Breakfast. “Binners” is actually the name of our proprietress. She let us in and sat us down at the dining room table and we just chatted and compared travel notes and told stories and laughed for the next 2 hours or so. Her husband Edward came home about halfway through this time and joined us – we had a really great time and enjoyed them both very much – so much so that we completely lost track of time and pretty soon it was 7pm or so and time to try to find something to eat. First, though, Binners and Edward showed us to our room – they offered us an upgrade to the 2-room Cascadia Suite, but we found that we liked the light and feel of the smaller Harmony Room that we originally booked. They showed us all around the room, showing us where everything was and how everything worked – we appreciated the attention and the thoroughness.

The place itself is very different from the James House – a regular modern house in a regular modern neighborhood, as opposed to a grand old Victorian mansion. From the outside it doesn’t look very imposing at all, but the room is very comfortable and the amenities are much better – there is a little kitchenette-type area in the room with fridge, microwave, sink, coffee maker, kettle and toaster – at James House there was no way to have a cup of coffee or tea after hours. As we’ve often noted before, you do frequently have to sacrifice amenities in some of the grander older settings.

We headed out for dinner at about 7:30-7:45pm – very hipster cosmopolitan for a couple of dinner-at-5:30 gals like us (we can’t wait until we’re old enough for those Early Bird Specials we’ve heard tell of). There is a little neighborhood village area a few blocks from the B&B with some nice looking eateries, but they were crowded and loud and we almost punted and ate at Subway, but then we saw that the Pizzeria wasn’t too bad and had a table open, and so we ate there. The waiter was a touch attitudinal (I think I offended him by asking what beer he had on tap and then not wanting to order any – they had an ale and a pilsner, whereas I’m more of a porter/hefeweizen/stout girl) but the food was good and everybody else there was very nice. We had a hard cider instead of beer or wine and it was really good – very much hit the spot.

Then back to the inn, where we unpacked and hit the hay – Lis is snoring away as I type, and I hope to be snoring away myself as soon as I’m done here.