For me, the best part of traveling is when I chat with the locals. I learn from them what life is like in the town or city. Where do they eat? What shops do they visit? It can be an amazing way to explore a new destination. I asked those very questions to locals in Victoria, and here's what they told me.
We've all had the feeling of rushing to the chocolate shop just before closing time, picking through the last dismal cards on the rack, or sending panicked flowers and praying they're delivered on time. This year, why not show you've given some real thought to the gift -- and get it organized ahead of time?
Some are geographically distant from those they hold dear and raise a solitary glass to absent friends. Others have lost loved ones to the grave. But for many of us, "no contact" is a choice we consciously made. Loneliness is simply less painful than the agony of spending time with our toxic families.
Prior to the 1970s, house parties were an essential element of the homosexual social scene. Photographs of these private affairs are rare. The few that are available in archival collections memorialize a history of forced seclusion. One of the most tantalizing photographs I've come across in my research of Canadian LGBT history is of a trio of men attending a Christmas party in 1956. Standing in front of a decorated tree, a young man with a then-stylish pompadour delights in opening his gift while another man, who has his arm around him and another gentleman, looks on.
This Christmas, their laser-beam eyes are focused on you. You're the dish of the day. You're gonna be stuffed with advice and ladled with criticism. Because they can't stand themselves. Deep in their souls, they feel like failures. What better antidote than subtly belittling you via the mechanism of meddling.
If you do want to spoil yourself with lavish eats, I recommend any of the specialty meals at Café Boulud, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel. Crafted by Chef Sylvain Assié and overseen by Chef Daniel Boulud himself, you may have a difficult time returning to your regularly scheduled meal times afterwards.