Thursday, February 17, 2005 ______________________________________________________________________________

Photo Montage 

I got back from Victoria last night and here are the details.

We're in Victoria! That building in the background is Parliment. Interestingly enough, even though Vancouver is really where everything happens, the capital of BC is on the Island.

This is the Empress Hotel. It's a really really big deal although I haven't really found out why. For $40/person you can have tea in their sitting room. $40 for tea crumpets and finger sandwiches. Not to mention a strict, strict dress code. $40 that would be better spent getting absolutely sloshed, IMHO.

The Bug Zoo

Every time I go to Victoria, I make it a point to visit the Bug Zoo. I have this overriding fear of bugs and I figure that through systematic desensitization I will eventually get over that fear. The Bug Zoo is the best place for me to do this because not only do they have a nice wide array of bugs, they take most of them out of their tanks so that you can hold them. Look! There's Jim with a Scorpion right now!

If I remember right, I think that scorpion's name is Steve. Oh! and here's me holding Steve. Scorpions never freaked me out so this isn't some kind of break through or anything. My uncle used to breed scorpions twice the size of Steve.

Here's one of my favourite shots:

This one is of Jim and Emma. This trip I actually got up enough nerve to hold Emma and she is such a sweetheart. In fact, now I want a Mexican Red-legged Tarantula. They're fuzzy and gentle and oh so cute. Unfortunately all the shots of me holding Emma are out of focus. Well, that's not true. The only thing in focus in the shots of my holding Emma is my cleavage. Enough said. Here's a top-down look at Emma:

Mexican Red-legged Tarantula babies are currently selling at $100CAN+tax at the Bug Zoo. While they are certainly not dangerous, I think it would not be fair for me to buy one just because the cats would harass her. The reason I say "her" is because although we won't be able to tell what gender the babies are for at least another year and a half the males don't stay as chubby and live for only about 5-6 years. The females always stay fat and furry and can live up to 30 years.

This dude here is Cedric who thankfully didn't come out of his tank to do the whole meet and greet thing. Cedric's venom probably wouldn't have hurt us just because of the kind of centipede he is but I don't think I would have wanted to find out. Not to mention this guy can run like a mofo.

This little beauty here is Pinky and she's the infamous bird-eating spider. You know, the ones that can get up to 12 inches across? Yeah those ones. Well bird-eating is a bit of a misnomer. While it's true that she eats anything smaller than she is (including birds) she doesn't like to lunge for them and certainly doesn't trap them in webs or anything like that. If a bird is stupid enough to land close enough to Pinky then she will eat it. Her diet consists mainly of small reptiles, insects and mammals.

This is a fantastic picture that Jim got of one of the many phantasmids at the Zoo. Phantasmids are an order of insects that can camoflage really well. So leaf insects, stick insects, you name it. Right here we have a phantasmid that's trying to climb Jim:

The female thorny devil that is currently getting very intimate with Jim is a special kind of phantasmid in that she doesn't camoflage that well. That's not really a problem because she's covered in armour and spikes like you wouldn't believe. Which would explain the expression on Jim's face in the picture.

Yes these Katydids really are as big as they look in the picture. Nothing interesting about them here except to note that their bodies are only about as large as an average adult male's thumb. The rest of it is legs and wings.

I can't remember this beetle's name mainly because I was trying to remember the many names that the world community addresses it by. There's the Rhinoceros beetle, Atlas beetle and Goliath beetle to name a few. I just think it's too cool. Fun fact: this is the strongest animal in the world. Bet you thought that the strongest animal was an ant, didn't you? I could talk all day about bugs but seeing as how this post is really supposed to be about my trip to Victoria I will move on.

All the Other Tourist Attractions

The Royal British Columbia Museum.

Which was surprisingly disappointing. Jim and I had already been there so we were familiar with all the regular exhibits. Due to the fact that we visited during the off season, there was no special exhibit on display. Well, we got to peep through two little holes to watch the construction of the up and coming new exhibit. It wasn't a complete loss though. Behold!

John Lennon's Rolls Royce. That alone was worth the price of admission. On the way back to the car from the museum we saw this:

And thought it was amusing enough to take a photo of. I mean seriously, whoever beheaded the crossing man really has too much time on his/her hands.

Then there were the Undersea Gardens. Relatively unremarkable, but I like fish.

The lighting wasn't picture-condusive, so we didn't get too many shots.

Day 3

Having already pretty much done everything we could have done in downtown Victoria we headed out to a pub that came highly recommended.

That's the view from our table. That's my hand around the best beer I have ever had in my life. It was so good that I got a little more drunk than I had planned to and so we took a walk outside the pub so that I could clear my head a little. The path outside the pub was very scenic and we took more pictures than I think this blog's audience could care about. Here's a few choice ones.

In this picture Jim and I look so close and cuddly, but that's just because I when Jim ran toward me to get into the shot before the timer went off he bumped me and I was slowly slipping off that rock we were sitting on. I was clinging on to him and vice versa so I wouldn't topple off completely. Remember how inebriated I was.

A strong contender for the GQ 2004/2005 male model of the year:


Now all I need are a few swimsuit shots and his application is set.

After that walk Jim and I remembered that we had bought a pair of mini cigars to enjoy.

What a bad influence Jim is eh? Before any of you get the screaming meemies, I'm allergic to cigarette smoke, not cigar smoke and it's not like I or Jim inhale or anything alright? Besides, Jim's not allowed cigars more than twice a year and I only snoke when he does.

Now that that's cleared up, let's move on!

P.S. Before any of you might have any comments to make about Jim's Hat, you might want to know that it's warm, it's comfortable and that I made it. So there.

This is the picture that a nice stranger took for us at the end of the pier. Jim wanted to set up the timer again, but I wasn't comfortable leaving the camera on the floor where it's accessible to the inattentive public's feet.

I felt like a bit of an idiot posing for this shot mainly because I had no idea what Jim was up to. It's really cool though.

Just before we left Victoria we went up to Mount Tomie which is the place where you can see all of Victoria from. Granted, Victoria's not all that big, but it was nice. It was also cold so we just snapped a few shots and got back into the car.

All in all it was a great holiday. Mostly we wandered around attending to anything that happened to catch our fancy. Considering that the whole point of this holiday was to take time off, I would say Mission Accomplished.

posted by Joie! at 12:06 p.m.


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