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Return to the Garden City, part 2

May 25, 2011
The Inner Harbour

We've arrived (Orin O'Neill photos)

Checked into our hotel, Safety Ed and I had some time to kill before the Friday evening meetup at QV’s Bakery. It was still warm, and still sunny, so we took the opportunity to ride around and get the lay of the land.

Going south on Douglas Street eventually brings you to Vancouver Island’s southern shore. On a nice day, you’ll find people cycling, jogging and doing other things.


There was a fairly brisk wind blowing off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, though I think a parasail can work with a gentle breeze.

QV's Bakery

QV’s Bakery is just across the street from the gate to Victoria’s Chinatown. It’s been the rally’s Friday-night meetup spot just about forever. There was a good turnout, with lots of different kinds of scooters.

QV’s has a great selection of pies, cakes and pastries. They’ve also added sandwiches and burgers, and serve a $3.99 CDN breakfast, seven days a week. We found Allstate Bill enjoying a Belgian Chocolate Brownie. Mmmm. I make a mental note to have one of those later, but in the meantime seeing many people slurping on root beer milkshakes makes me want one, too.

The itinerary shows a ride to a trivia contest at 7:30, and the Second Annual Screech-in at the Victoria Eagles’ lodge at 8:00. I saw pictures of last year’s Screech-in and decided I wanted to be an honorary Newfoundlander, too. This decision was an easy one.

It was a short ride to the Eagles’ place, across the Johnson Street Bridge (aka “the blue bridge”) and a little ways west on Esquimalt Road.

Victoria Eagles

The building is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it, a simple white stucco structure. There’s lots of stucco in Victoria; done properly, it’s impervious to rain and wind.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the Screech-in, but I did know successful completion of whatever test was required would make me an hono(u)rary Newfoundlander. Among other things, Newfoundland time is half an hour later than Eastern time because… well, just because.

We hung out with the local members in the bar, enjoying cheap beer while waiting for the ceremony (?) to start. But time went on, nothing was happening, and contrary to the itinerary there were no burgers. And we later discovered the only native Newfoundlander had left earlier. No Screech-in. (BTW, screech is a rum-like alcoholic drink that’s unique to Newfoundland)

A big-ass slice of pizza

Our hosts were most gracious, ordering what turned out to be the biggest pizza most of us had ever seen, a 28-inch monster that was bigger than any manhole cover in Victoria (I think). They only charged us a toonie each! We watched Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Final, which turned out to be a disappointing loss by the Vancouver Canucks to the San Jose Sharks.

When the game ended, we thanked our hosts and called it a night. Saturday would be a busy day. Favicon

  1. Jack Riepe permalink
    May 25, 2011 1:11 pm

    Dear Orin:

    Despite what you may have heard, I am a man of principle. As far as I’m concerned, you made every honest attempt to fulfill the requirements to become a honorary resident of Newfoundland. And I can understand why you would want to do this as they have really great, huge, black dogs there that appear to be wooly Labrador mammoths on steroids.

    So I am awarding you honorary Newfoundland status. And to whoever the hell was supposed to do this, kindly wait until all the candidates have shown up — next time. Furthermore, I am also awarding you honorary Jersey City resident status. In fact, I am giving you mine. Hopefully, you will outlive the stigma.

    Don’t waste lots of space thanking me now. I know how you feel.

    Fondest regards,

  2. May 25, 2011 4:14 pm

    Only time I’ve had screech I was in Alberta. So I think it’s crossed province lines.

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