Before boarding the ferry, we stumbled upon a little wine bar and store called Wine on the Waterfront. I was delighted to see that I didn't recognize any wine in the store except for one of my favorite Pinots from Carmel Valley. I love finding stores with boutique selections and wine geeky menus. We cozied up to the bar, and the owner recommended a Primitivo from Whidbey Island. We lunched on salami and manchego sandwiches and sipped yummy wine all the while looking out the window at the Olympic Mountains. What a great find! We finished just in time for boarding.
There is something exciting about waiting in line with passport in hand
. Even though we had been on vacation for a week, this renewed our sense of adventure. The ferry departed from Port Angeles, and we were rewarded with even better views of the snow capped mountains. The ride took just under ninety minutes as we made our way across the Juan de Fuca Strait. As we pulled into Victoria, Mike and I were both surprised as it was a much bigger city than we anticipated. To be honest, we were a little overwhelmed being back in an urban area. We wandered the streets in China Town. We popped into several stores in the shopping district. Mike enjoyed a sampler tray on the patio at the Canoe Club Brewery. We finally discovered a great spot to unwind at a neighborhood joint called Sips. This wine bar also had a few local drafts on tap as well as a lengthy micro/craft beer list. I ordered their local red wine flight while Mike sampled some beers. Despite several regulars at the bar, the manager took the time to explain all our drinks and offer us additional tastes. We selected a couple meats and cheeses to snack on. Mike loved the duck prosciutto while I delighted in the blue goat cheese. Instead of continued exploration, we choose to spend our remaining time relaxing in this charming spot. Mike declared the Driftwood Blackstone Porter (Victoria) one of his new favorites while I had my best glass of wine of the trip, Cassini Cellars Pinot Noir (Osoyoos, BC). Despite our meat and cheese plate, I knew we did need to eat something else for supper so I ordered some salmon for Mike and me to share
. A fennel and cauliflower gratin accompanied the perfectly prepared fish and I made a note to copy the dish when I get home. Before we knew it, it was time to walk very quickly back to catch the ferry.
As the ferry pulled out, the evening sun cast soft light over the port and surrounding city. Mike decided to ride outside while I settled in the lounge. Even with the cool temperatures, I had to venture out as we approached Port Angeles. Despite being nine o’clock, dusk was just beginning and it further highlighted the dramatic scenery of the Olympic Peninsula. I leaned sleepily on Mike as the international portion of the trip came to a happy end.
I try to leave the US once a year. Of course, I prefer long distance travel. However, a trip to Tanzania or Peru is not practical every year. Good thing I count a jaunt to Mexico or Canada. After six days of camping, Mike and I got a hotel room in Port Angeles one block from the ferry to Victoria, BC.