The City Where I Grew Up

The gals at Bamboletta have written a few posts on our surroundings in the beautiful Cowichan Valley. The special thing about Vancouver Island is how many great towns, nooks, beaches, bike trails, tressels, lakes and cafe’s there are throughout. Unlike most of the crew, I’m really new to the Cowichan Valley. In fact, I just moved up there from Victoria a few months ago, ready to give up the hour long commute and nestle into a sleepier lifestyle with my pals. I feel inspired though to write a post about Victoria. I mean it is the place where I grew up, where I moved away from in my 20’s and came home to 10 years later to have my daughter.

The landscape of Victoria hasn’t really changed much from my youth. I’ve always lived downtown and aside from a couple bigger changes (The Atrium – my absolute favorite place to spend time when I’m there) and business’ coming and going (though, there are way more business’ that have been there since I was a kid than not), it’s pretty much just the same. Thamar and I went there on Sat to a craft market. She’s from Holland and we often get caught up in conversations about our hometowns. She understands why Victoria has lost a little of it’s shimmer for me, but honestly, there’s nothing like going home with a friend who isn’t from there to remind you of it’s charm. It’s easy to transform yourself into someone just seeing the city for the first time. You get caught in between a world of pointing out houses you grew up in and streets you walked down everyday, and suddenly it’s exciting again!

Here are some of my favorite places and things to do…maybe if some of you come to visit our studio someday, you can check out my list!

The Atrium. Home of amazing cafe’s, restaurants, shoes, kitchen wear, a living wall AND beautiful and modern architecture.

Milkman’s Daughter. The Smoking Lily lifestyle store. I love going here just to poke around and get inspiration. We’re big fans of their clothing at Bamboletta and this store has so many other unique things…it’s a store full of pretty!

Picnic. A super awesome sandwhich shop off the beaten path but right in the touristy part of town.

Beacon Hill Park. It’s a totally magical park I never get sick of visiting. There’s an awesome children’s play park, a put-put course, flower gardens, an outdoor movie theater (I saw Edward Scissor Hands there last year) and the BEST petting zoo!

Lojo (Lower Johnson St). I moved away for ten years and when I came back, Johnson St had been dubbed ‘Lojo’ officially…with a sign and everything! Victoria is tiny, you can walk across Downtown in 15 mins and our good shopping is limited almost to one block, but it’s got some pretty amazing stores and a pretty huge variety too. When I travel to Vancouver, I never find as much stuff as I do on this one block!

Ogden Point Breakwater Pier. This is my happy place. My whole childhood was spent walking along this pier. I kissed a first crush near the lighthouse. When I was 6, I fell between some of the big cement blocks on the lower level of the pier and got a scar I still boast. I walked this pier when I was pregnant and now do so with my daughter. They’re putting in handrails after decades of falls and I can’t believe it took them this long! Kind of sad though as it takes that thrill of a windy day away…for good reason, obviously!

So, there you have it, some of my favorite Victoria things:)I’ll leave you with this video I saw the other day. It’s kind of sweet and you get to see different shots around the city.

Thank you for reading!

xo

Brooke

danica - June 10, 2013 - 12:40 pm

I love this, I have a lot of darkness from my time in Victoria and these are some of the places that I so fondly remember, I have still yet to go to the atrium! MUST VISIT, looks so cool!

Kate - June 10, 2013 - 12:51 pm

I also love this city and it is a fantastic place to raise kids, although the comic ham valley is paradise as well!

Kate - June 10, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Silly autocorrect, it was meant to say the cowichan valley!

Brooke - June 10, 2013 - 1:15 pm

The Atrium is awesome for kids too, there’s cool things to play on and it’s nice to have a coffee and have your kids be distracted too :)

Andrea - June 10, 2013 - 1:35 pm

My hubby took me to the Breakwater on our first date. We don’t live on the island right now, but we took our daughter there on our vacation last year. One of my very favourite places.

Regan - July 13, 2013 - 8:59 am

That is so fun that you mentioned the Atrium! My husband and I have a shop there and we so enjoy the feel of this wonderful building! Our kids love to play there too! Even on a rainy day it is a bright fun place to be!

Regan - July 13, 2013 - 9:22 am

…my daughter has a beautiful Bamboletta doll (that is now over 4 years old)…we love your work!

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