Travel blog: Birthday celebrations and day trip to Victoria, BC

It was my birthday last week, which means my weekend was filled with lots of good food and fun.

Friday night, my mom made our family a beautiful build-your-own-taco spread. We had homemade corn tortillas, pan-fried veggies, refried beans, guacamole, salad, and quesadillas.

A table full of vegan versions of Mexican food including tacos, quesadillas, and salads.

For dessert, my mom baked a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam.

Vegan chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and blackberry jam centre.

The next morning, my partner and I drove to Victoria to spend the day eating vegan food and exploring.

Our first stop was Fern Cafe and Bakery, which is one of our favourites. I was excited to see the pumpkin spice latte was back, so I ordered that with whipped cream. I also ordered their featured menu item, the “eggs” benny. Everything was delicious. The eggs were made out of tofu, and they were topped with tomato, cheese, and soy bacon, covered in a cashew hollandaise sauce. My partner ordered the fried chick'un and pancakes. Yum!

Me sitting in front of vegan eggs benny and a pumpkin spice latte. Across from me is a plate of vegan fried chicken and pancakes.

Vegan pumpkin spice latte with coconut whipped cream

After brunch, we drove to Hatley Castle in Colwood. The castle sits near the ocean on the Royal Roads University campus.

Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC.

The views were fantastic! The castle itself was breathtaking with the ocean behind it. Lush garden surrounded the castle grounds, with mazes of shrubbery and flowers.

Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC.

Sadly, the inside of the castle was closed to visitors. I misread the website, thinking it was open. So that was too bad, as I was eager to see the inside.

However, we did a quick walk through the gardens, which were still very nice. My favourite were the Japanese gardens.

Japanese gardens at Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC.

After that, we headed back into downtown Victoria. We looked around in some shops and went to the Legacy Art Gallery to see its current art exhibit: Still Standing: Ancient Forest Futures. The exhibit was all about the old-growth forests in BC, with works from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists. It was a powerful exhibit that made me think a lot about the deforestation that is currently happening in BC.

We also went to the Chinese Canadian Museum in Chinatown, which also had a lot of heavy, but important, topics, as well as some interesting historical photos and stories.

Our final stop was at Virtuous Pie for dinner. I am very sad to say that I forgot to take a picture of our pizza, but it was a Hawaiian pizza with pepperoni crumbles, pineapple, and cashew mozzarella. It was their featured pizza, so I’m not sure how long it will be on the menu. It was delicious though.

We also ordered garlic knots as an appy, which I did get a photo of.

Garlic knots from Virtuous Pie

And last but not least, for dessert, we had Vietnamese coffee ice cream and cinnamon pillows. The ice cream was so dense and creamy, with the perfect amount of coffee flavour. The cinnamon pillows had a cinnamon bun texture and were drizzled with icing. It was all so, so good.

Me sitting with a bowl of vegan Vietnamese coffee flavoured ice cream with a birthday candle and cinnamon pillows.

To finish the birthday festivities, on Sunday my partner’s mother took my family to a restaurant in Nanoose Bay called Seascape. I, again, forgot to take a picture of my food, but their veggie burger is delicious and vegan by default! And you get a beautiful view of the ocean through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading.