Our second stop on our honeymoon tour of the Pacific Northwest was Sidney, British Columbia. The Washington ferry has a direct route from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to Sidney, so a night in Sidney seemed like a must before we headed on to Victoria, BC. Especially when we found out that Sidney is considered the bookstore capital of the Northwest and boasts around twelve bookshops within a four block radius. Sold – to the bookworms on their honeymoon.
We left our home sweet island home mid-morning. The ferry ride was a couple of hours so we entertained ourselves by admiring the gorgeous scenery and eating leftover cupcakes from our dessert buffet.
We arrived in Sidney and were able to walk to our hotel from the ferry docking point. It was an easy walk – even in the misty rain that was falling as we pulled suitcases behind us like small children who had run away from home.
The Sidney Pier Hotel was impressive – a large glass structure, nestled right by the water. This was the view from our room:
We immediately set out to explore. First order of business – find food. There was this cute place just to the side of our hotel named “The Rum Runner,” and I regaled Kevin with movie quotes from Pirates of the Caribbean in my best Johnny Depp voice. (“But why is the rum gone?”)
We started the meal with an Arnold Palmer and some locally brewed root beer.
…before moving on to the main event: a massive fish taco for him and fish and chips for me [you’ll notice that fish and chips and chowder are a recurring theme for me during my time in the PNW].
We chuckled and eyed each other knowingly while inadvertently eavesdropping on the older couple at the table next to ours. They were in their late seventies or early eighties and totally reminded us of ourselves. “Yep – that’s us in fifty years,” we were both thinking.
After lunch we spied an open house sign, and decided we simply had to see what a Sidney townhouse was all about. We LOVE open houses, so it was simply so “us” to spend a few minutes wandering through a place on our honeymoon. There was also an open house on the residence side of the hotel building, so we looked at that place too. Maybe someday we’ll make our way back to Sidney to live.
We then explored the grassy park behind our hotel, admiring the view and the artwork.
We decided to explore the main street in town – Beacon Street – and hit up a few of those bookstores. There certainly were plenty to choose from. We didn’t buy any books, but we had a great time perusing the options.
Sidney was such a cute little city. The people were so friendly, it was very clean and well-kept, and overall, we agreed that we could see ourselves living there someday. There are places you like to visit but would never live – Sidney wasn’t one of those places. It seemed very livable.
Lots of statues. And we do love imitating art…
Dinner was low-key. We picked up a couple of pizzas from a local place and carried them back to our hotel. Looking back, we agree that it was one of our favorite dinners of the trip. Just some pizza, a lovely hotel room with a view, and excellent company (if we do say so ourselves).
The following day, we wandered back down Beacon Street, stopping in at a few of the bookstores which had been closed the day before. Our favorite included the friendly Rosabelle, guard cat who also served as the head of customer service. Not a bad life for a cat….
We then bid farewell to Sidney and hopped a bus bound for Victoria….
What types of shops do you explore when you visit new towns? Bookstores like us, or are you more drawn to clothes, souvenirs, or some other good?