ICON, Victoria and travel to Vancouver

So the last day of LSSP (Fellowship day) went splendidly. We did an Amazing Race style activity including the library and art gallery… both of which I enjoyed (though the library was better). Our team placed second which was pretty stellar, and then we had awards and a pizza lunch with tonnes of candy for dessert.

Then it was ICON: time to register, move hotel rooms and see so many familiar faces that weren't present for LSSP. A bunch of admins, alumni and I went to Fire & Ice (which was awesome!) for dinner before our Gov/Admin/staff/I-board meeting and Opening session. Gosh I loved seeing the really tall and really short people up at the podium. Fun times!

The service fair was pretty sweet. I even ended up with a Kiwana, courtesy of Florida district, which is an awesome stuffed animal: half koala and half iguana.

The next day began with International Council. Interestingly that stayed on time. Then I pretty much helped run oratorical contest judging before judging the bronze and gold single service awards. I wonder who won those in the end!

Lunch was at Casey's sports bar, also with admins. I certainly enjoyed it, before heading to our non-themed caucus. Once evening arrived we headed to Mellow Mushroom for our sub-regional dinner (thanks Tracy!) which was delicious! I definitely recommend it. After a return on a packed DART bus, I played BS with some CKIers and talked before heading off to bed (and not enough sleep).

The morning began with packing, checking out and house of delegates, which as usual involved controversy and entertainment. I went to our PJ party caucus after a Subway lunch with some admins and then departed Birmingham for Victoria, stopping in Chicago and Vancouver on the way.

Arriving in Victoria after midnight, I went to sleep, and then in the morning called Scott to arrange our lunch at the James Joyce Restaurant. It was good to see him again. I liked the style of the restaurant as well. We followed lunch with a walk through The Bay Centre and the harbour, ending up at the Undersea Garden to watch the fish. I really liked the octopus swimming around, since I'm used to seeing them only sit still.

The wedding was next, at the Empress. Tessa and Matthew looked marvelous. I loved how the wedding was small and unique but in a fancy location. Robyn made a great best man, and Tesa's brother made a great maid of honour. The reception was good (yummy too, though the salmon was dry/overcooked) and I enjoyed the Empress' Library. It was pretty! Whenever I needed to get up and walk around (or the music was too loud) I was able to check out all the historical photos of the Empress and whatnot. Tessa's dress was marvelous — and over 100 years old! Great story there! Plus, Robyn did a song for Matthew, and Tessa's dad played some awesome tunes. I truly enjoyed myself and met some awesome people!

Yesterday morning I packed up (again) and headed off to see Victoria some more. First I checked out the Parliament building with a tour. Then I took a gander at the ferry show in the harbour. After that I confirmed the cost of transit (etc.) at the visitor's center and ran into fellow wedding guests, Anick and Jasmine. We then took a walk and stopped for ice cream and chocolate before checking out the Wax Museum together. I really liked the historical nature of the wax museum (compared to Madame Tussaud's, which is more commercialized, this is more historical and Canadian/Royal focused). I think my favorite displays included Henry VIII and all of his wives, the Martyrs of Justice, the Literary figures, and all of the horrors of torture and whatnot — fascinating really. There was also a good balance of literary characters as well.

We then went walking through some shops, stopped in a secondhand bookstore and went to Rebar, a vegetarian restaurant, which was delicious! I really liked my Ruby Tuesday drink of beet juice, orange juice, yogurt and raspberry juice. We ran into Robyn and Patrick before I headed off to catch transit.

The bus ride to the ferry put me to sleep. The ferry ride was good though — there was even a naturalist explaining stuff found beneath the waves. I ate some food to tide me over and then, before I knew it I was on the mainland. After three buses and a walk I made it to Colin's place and since then I've had a chance to relax. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week in Vancouver!