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Vancouver Island, pt. Deux

Tuesday was our one and only full day on Vancouver Island. After a bit of a sleep-in, I headed downstairs for the Continental breakfast, only to find our hotel, like the last one, didn't have one. Well, there was only one response to this: Tim Horton's, stat! Luckily, there was one within a ten minute walk of the hotel. The only downside--no soy milk for Deborah's coffee (in fact, the befuddled expression of the server upon asking was priceless). I returned towards the hotel, looking for a Starbucks I'd Google-mapped just for this possibility, but couldn't find it and returned to the hotel. The hotel restaurant serves Starbucks, so I asked them for coffee with soymilk and was rewarded with the very same for free to make up for my harrowing morning mission.

Fed and caffeinated, Deborah and I headed out to wander the waterfront near the hotel. Quite a nice area with shops and condos, including the aforementioned Starbucks. Deborah wanted to visit the Nanaimo Art Gallery, but it was closed for Canada Day. Instead, we headed out on the road to visit Lake Cowichan, which is a beautiful area mid-island. We stopped at a farmer's market for a lunch of veggie sandwiches and shrimp gumbo soup.

And, wouldn't you know, after the turn off towards the lake, we ran into another vineyard! So we stopped in for a bit. Vancouver Island has some very good white wines and berry wines (that's wine, not liqueur--big difference in the more subtle, dry flavor). Less so the red wines we favor, but we still had fun.

At the lake, we found a quiet, shaded hiking trail to wander on for a while, then visited a little historical museum. Our return trip took us past the farmer's market again, where we found sweet strawberries and English peas. Dinner back near the hotel was a delicious Indian cod curry. Our Naniamo hotel had a bathtub, which I took advantage of both nights.

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