Today we were on our own for breakfast – we had juice and Ezekial muffins with almond butter, which is our regular workaday breakfast. Then we just lazed around the room reading until about 11:15. We had amassed some leftovers and were going to have those for lunch, so I thought that maybe we could take a walk before lunch. I suggested this to Lis and she said “Yes, let’s go to the petting zoo.” What an excellent plan – so off to the Beacon Hill Park Children’s Farm we went.

The Children’s Farm is one of our very favorite places in Victoria. The B&B is just about 3 blocks from Beacon Hill Park, and it turns out the Children’s Farm is located on the side that’s near the B&B, so we were there in about 15 minutes. It was another gorgeous day, though the wind was up today making things feel chillier. The Children’s Farm has lots of peacocks and ducks and chickens and a big homely turkey, plus a pot bellied pig and a miniature horse and some donkeys and alpacas and sheep – and then the main attraction for us, the goat enclosure. I wandered around taking pictures for a while, and then noticed that I had lost Lis – she was in the goat area, petting a baby goat and conversing with an adorable 5 year old boy named Nicholas.

We spent about an hour or so with the goats. One of the great things about this goat petting zoo area is that the goats are calm. The other great thing is that if you hang out there long enough you will eventually have a baby goat in your lap. I had a little boy goat named Tosh and Lis had a little girl goat named Taylor. I also spent quite a long time with a little boy goat named Henry alternately eating my hat, munching my sunglasses, and nuzzling my cheek. Nicholas came and chatted us up every now and then (when we seemed to have interesting goats around us, it seemed – Henry also gave his hat a thorough going over). It was really a great time – we always have a marvelous time at the Children’s Farm. And, we actually got pictures this time – sometimes we get too involved with the goats and forget to take pictures. But we’ve got pictures of us with goats, and several painfully adorable pictures of mamas and babies, and babies asleep in a pile – I can’t wait to post them (damn that forgotten USB cable!!).

But, we were getting hungry – time to head back for lunch. The ease with which we got to and from the Children’s Farm made us decide to try to go back at least a couple more times. This is another fantastic thing about this B&B – it is so close to such great walking and such great views. Definitely my new favorite place to stay in Victoria.

We ate our lunch on our tiny little balcony and then decided to drive out to one of the local “Cideries” to taste some apple cider – if we could find one that we liked as well as the hard cider we had for dinner on our first night, we would buy some. Initially we were going to go to a place called Merridale Cider, because the pamphlet we had from there said they had lots of tours and things to do, but they closed at 4pm and it was already 2 and they were an hour away. So we went to the closer one called Sea Cider. There wasn’t really anything to do there other than taste the cider, but they are beautifully situated looking out over the water. We sat on the deck in the sun and tasted 4 different ciders, and eventually chose to buy a bottle of one called Kings & Spies. There was another very unusual cider called RumRunner that we almost got – it is aged in rum barrels – you can really taste the rum in it, and it’s really, really interesting. Ultimately, though, we decided it tasted too alcohol-y for us and went with the other. They were both really excellent, though.

For dinner we went to a Japanese restaurant downtown called Koto. We each had a miso soup and a salad, and then split an entree of tempura and ginger pork. While we were there these skater-dude guys came in and sat at the sushi bar. There were four of them, and we were a bit apprehensive that they were going to be loud and annoying, but they were the cutest skater dudes ever. They had interesting conversations and made funny jokes and were really quite delightful.

After dinner I was tired and wanted to head straight back to the room, but Lis wanted to walk around a bit, so we did. We looked at some restaurant menus and checked out a candy store, and then went in to a souvenir store because I need a new Victoria t-shirt (my old one is threadbare and ratty now). The young man and woman working the store were very cute and chatty and told us stories about some of their cruise ship customers, and soccer, and where she was from in Ontario, and the time she went to New York and how great she thinks New York is, and her recent cruise to Alaska on the Volendam – it was very fun, though I worried we wouldn’t ever get out of there. Eventually I got my new shirt ($10 on sale) and we were on our way.

Back at the B&B we chatted with Binners and Edward for a bit, and made a dinner date with them for Sunday – we’re going to a local Italian eatery to listen to Klezmer music – how fun is that!

Lis: We’ve never made a dinner date with the owner of a B&B we’ve stayed at before, but we find Edward and Binners so enjoyable that we thought we’d ask. Mary said, “Are you allowed to have dinner with your guests?”

Edward said, “Oh boy, an invitation!”

Binners said, “Edward, you don’t know that!”

Mary said, “No, that is what we’re leading up to.”

Binners said, “It’s our own damn house, we can do whatever we want!” Then she said, “Which guests were you suggesting we have dinner with?”

I said, “The guests after us,” and we all laughed. They are a very cute couple.

We are going to be the only guests here for our entire stay, which I have to admit, is kind of fun. There were supposed to be other guests in the downstairs suite, but they cancelled. Apparently people are cancelling vacations to Victoria because of the Swine Flu. Mary: Go figure…