Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Left Coast

Back from the lovely West Coast - I do think I feel a special affinity for the Pacific - especially since out there it isn't unusual to be able to eat veg - many regular grocery stores even have a good selection of veg and organic products. Something I found to be sadly lacking on the East Coast.

It's so fresh and temperate - everyone was complaining about the long wet winter but sunshine arrived when I was there...did I bring it? LOL. Today in Toronto it's much like the coast temperaturewise and I understand it had been hot recently.

This old tree trunk was one of many that had new trees growing out of them - many many cedars, moss and ferns. To the right a waterfall in Manley Park near the in-laws place at Arbutus Ridge.

A major bonus at this time of the year a gorgeous floral display - rhododendrons in full colour..

This photo was taken at a nearby garden - Glendale I think it was called - stunning rhodo garden a Japanese garden, herb garden...lovely. They even have a cool little cafe on the premises - should have had lunch there...the garden is down the road from where we were staying in Saanich. My sister in law Brenda, our gracious host, is a member and avid gardener.

This funky outer space looking plant is euphorbia...

Another waterfall shot...and the beach below Manley Park above...I don't suppose you can see the zillions of tiny crabs scampering about.....

Aside from enjoying nature we had a great time visiting and also checked out the Lotus Pond Restaurant at the recommendation of Trevor from VIVA (Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association) - they have a yummy lunch buffet complete with dim sum goodies...I noticed there was a Polish restaurant next door offering veg options as well - vegan and gluten free - only in B.C.!

Our Saturday meal to celebrate my inlaws 60th was prepared by Sonja Limberger - former chef at Naam - a Vancouver institutions and it was delicious - a pear salad, an Irish stew over quinoa, and my fave - a wild rice and hazelnut casserole with miso gravy...for dessert? A raw cheesecake with strawberry glaze...mmmm. Her catering service is called Five Elements Cooking and she is working on a cookbook...

We didn't get to visit Greens as apparently they had a fire and were closed...:( Brenda did prepare a wonderful Mushroom Gravy Tempeh from their cookbook.

Had lunch one day with B and G at "The Garage" in Duncan - a yummy wrap and salad - it really is a refurbished garage - that contains a bookstore, grocery and upstairs a live music venue - 7 nights a week.

While downtown on the last day I did some shopping natch - lavendar bath salts (grown on the island) from Salt Spring Soapworks and wonder of wonders stumbled upon the teeny tiny shop of "Smoking Lily" - have two of their t-shirts - a fuchsia and grey with a seahorse screen print that I just loooove. Got a green printed v neck longish tee - so soft - I could wear it as a dress.

We didn't make it to any jazz but noticed Joe Coughlin was at Hermann's Jazz Club...oh time.

Friday night - checking out the Jive Bombers at the Rex - on a recommendation from our visiting friend Monique and then to C'est What on Saturday afternoon to hear Del Dako's group again. Check out the Banknote on Saturday at 10 p.m. for Jim Gelcer's Trio - with Justin Gray and Reg Schwager.

More later...still on B.C. time...and yes, GO CANUCKS! The fever has taken hold of that province let me tell you - even the West Jet staff were sporting the Canuck jerseys.
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