Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Memory Coast - We're snowed in!

Photos: (top) How to clear the snow off your car if you live in Victoria, BC. (middle) My Canadian pannekoeken (hybrid between a crepe and a pancake, kind of) at De Dutch. Seriously recommended! (bottom) Well, there WERE signs of spring in Victoria...

As seems to be my normal pattern, I woke up early this morning and pulled the drapes aside to check the weather. Holy cow, we're knee-deep in snow! Did I warp back to Calgary overnight? No, wait. I'm still in Victoria. Oh dear. I don't think residents here have much experience with 10-12 cm of fresh snowfall of the heavy, wet kind especially. Doesn't Vancouver share a single snowplow with Victoria, sending it back and forth on the ferry as required?

Soon enough, Karen's up and nearly falling over with shock at the sight of the yard. And did I mention it's STILL snowing? Time for breakfast so we can figure out our plan for the day.

Off we shuffle up the snowy street to a great restaurant called De Dutch. If you haven't yet tried this place, you're crazier than a bed bug. It is seriously good! My pancake is the size of a real Italian pizza and Karen is kind enough to let me try her two dishes of YUM. I'm thinking of my Aunt Corry while I eat. Being of Dutch descent, I bet she'd really like it here. In fact, I'm now feeling more inspired than ever to make a return visit to the Netherlands soon. Omnomnomnom.

On the way back to Karen's place, we stop briefly at the bank. This city is in chaos. The roads are not plowed (and they're icy under the slushy snow), schools are closed, the sidewalks aren't really shoveled, no one has snow tires, buses are not on time, and oopsie, there's a fresh fender bender across the street now. We overhear someone at the bank mentioning that a cabbie just went into Elk Lake which happens to be on the way to the ferry that I need to get to tonight. Hmmmm. Not good. Everyone's moaning about the drive to work, but they kind of give me the evil eye when I shrug, laugh, and tell them I live in Calgary where this is nothing.

Back safely at Karen's (where I watched a guy clearing off his car with a dust pan), we hatch a plan to get me safely to the ferry and keep her safe at home. Now we've got time to put on a movie and do some cooking together so that I have good food to take with me. Did you know that yams are really dense when you're trying to chop them? Oi! Must be why I never eat them.

Mmmm, the kitchen is smelling REALLY good and I'm just about finished packing. How the heck have I accumulated so much stuff in a day?! I have this strange pattern of usually leaving a place with way more stuff than I arrived with, almost always unintentionally. Karen's been her usual kind self and I bid her a quick but heartfelt farewell when my cab pulls up. I hope it's not too long before I see her again.

Arriving at the ferry without incident, I am delighted to learn it is arriving sooner than I had written down. Time to read...until the departures lounge fills with hords of loud tweens. Good grief, where did they come from?? No longer able to concentrate as they are louder than my iPod, I stare blankly out the window and try to imagine how the people who live across the way go swimming when the tide is out as the water receeds seemingly half a kilometer from shore.

The ferry ride passes the time. I get excited when I spot two seals in the water beside the boat as we steam through the Gulf Islands. A few years ago, on the same journey, I saw another seal in the same general area. It's the little things that excite me. I watch the hords of tweens outside on the deck in the blasting arctic wind, running into it and blowing back from it. At least their screeches and hoots are a bit quieter when they're out there. I don't know how they haven't frozen to death yet. Another bit of excitement when we're about to cross open water: the elevators get shut down because the seas are rough enough that they can't operate safely. Cool! I board my bus in Tsawassen, hail a cab at the downtown bus terminal, and soon I am back on the North Shore. No signs of snow here!


Mum said...

Too bad the snow and cold followed you but it was -30 the other AM in Calgary, so it's all relative.

Mum said...

Hey, that's heather buried in the snow!