Of Tea and Scones

In which Jen sips tea and witnesses many beautiful things.

For no reason at all, I woke up early. This wasn’t so bad.

Looking out of the second story window over the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Oh, good morning.

After breakfast, we headed downtown to the harbor and played tourist. Here’s herself, Queen Victoria, standing before the Parliament Buildings.

The queen stands very straight, holding a scepter. Her left foot is extended however, giving her the impression of motion.
Statue of Queen Victoria before the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

I love how straight and tall she stands–and yet the sculptor managed to add the suggestion of movement, with the extension of Victoria’s left foot. You know this one had a wicked flying front snap kick in her.

Just to the east of the Parliament Buildings is the Royal B.C. Museum, where we went next. Good collections, really well-done exhibits. The Modern History Galleries were fun. There were lots of kids engrossed in the interactive exhibits, like the Endless Seas.

An impressive wooly mammoth at the Royal B.C. Museum.
A young girl’s exuberance gets the better of her.

I found the exhibit on First Peoples’ languages fascinating. It’s a complex topic and multimedia heavy–the curators handled it well. I enjoyed the First Peoples Galleries the most. Totem hall gives special acknowledgment of the art and aesthetics of First Peoples works. As the museum website points out, up until the last decade or so, First Peoples works had been presented as artifacts, in an anthropological context. Material cultural is fascinating but its study can have a distancing effect–the study of The Other. Art, on the other hand, is transformative, radical.

A Nisga'a carved mask. The museum description: Conceited White-woman Mask.
There were dozens of beautiful and fascinating masks at the Royal B.C. Museum. This one, however, won it all.

There was a Native Plant Garden I didn’t have time to visit (rats!). Three hours was not enough time. And today was high tea day at The Empress.

The Empress sits caddy corner to the Parliament buildings, with a view of the harbor. This statue of Emily Carr was fun. She’s looking over her shoulder at her monkey… which had an adorable name. Google will know it.

Statue of Emily car seated, with her dog, monkey, and notebook. The Fairmont Empress Hotel stands behind the statue.
A statue of Emily Carr! With The Empress in the background.

Afternoon tea at The Empress was a complete and utter indulgence. I have absolutely no regrets. Someone was a good little Anglophile today.

No… I’ve run out of steam and I haven’t even told you about the amazing chili oil at Pizzeria Primo Strada! In brief: yum.

Finally, this would-be Canadian legislator: