Updated on November 14, 2018
Exploring Our *NEW* Victoria Neighbourhood (+GIVEAWAY)
To say it’s been a busy handful of months for us over here would be a huge understatement! In case you haven’t been following my updates on Facebook, back in May of this year, King Dad, The Heir, Petit Prince, and I packed up our house in Calgary, Alberta and moved to Victoria, BC! It has been what I would call a “process” and I have so many things to share with you about this experience. I thought I’d ease into the experience by starting sort of at the end. After spending a few months living with family while our Calgary house sat for sale and we shopped for a home here in Victoria, we finally settled into our own place in August. We downsized BIG TIME (more on that another time), but we did it because we had a dream about what our life in Victoria could be. Our priority was to find a neighbourhood that offered loads of amenities within walking distance. Because when you go from a climate where -20C is the norm for 6 months of the year to one where it rarely dips below 0C, you want to take advantage of that climate year round. I am happy to report that we have found the perfect neighbourhood for our family and it is incredibly walkable! I’d like to introduce you to my favourite part of Victoria and show you what makes it so great!
Since a walkable neighbourhood was a top priority for us, there was one really crucial thing we all needed… comfortable walking shoes. I mean shoes you can spend the whole day walking and standing around in without so much as an uncomfortable pinch in the toe or rubbing on the ankle. We found the perfect walking shoes for everyone from Skechers! I may have opted to go super matchy-matchy for King Dad, The Heir, and I, because why not? The three of us have been loving the Skechers Zingers Retro Rockers style and have worn them all over town, but especially in our neighbourhood at all our favourite local stops. For Petit Prince, I went with the Flex Play Mid Dash style and he adores them!
Where have we been walking in our Skechers now that we’re firmly planted in Victoria? All over Cook Street Village! Cook Street Village is my absolute favourite part of Victoria. I may be a little biased because I used to rent a little apartment in this area of Victoria from 2000 until 2006 back in my university days before grad school, marriage, and kids were even crossing my mind. Here we are a solid 12 years later, back in my old stomping ground introducing our kids to the beauty of the west coast. Where we’re living now, we are 10 minutes on foot to Cook Street Village in one direction, and about 10 minutes on foot to downtown Victoria in the other direction. It’s bliss!
Cook Street Village has changed just a little since 2006, but surprisingly a lot of the same shops are still there and still just as busy as ever. What I love about this part of Victoria is that you could easily spend an entire day in Cook Street Village with the whole family and not run out of things to do. We typically walk over in the morning and stop at Moka House Coffee to grab a hot beverage for everyone. Moka House has been a Cook Street Village institution for as long as I can remember. They’ve been here for over 30 years now, and they have a pretty amazing patio out front. As an added bonus, they’ve got outdoor heaters so you can grab your coffee or hot chocolate to stay and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the village outside year round.
We usually go right from Moka House Coffee to the Cook Street Village Playground, also known as the dinosaur playground or as The Heir calls it: the one with the zip-line. This playground has it all. There’s a huge sandbox with a giant dinosaur and hidden dino eggs buried in the sand to find and a play structure for little kids with smaller slides and a small climbing wall for the 2 to 5 year olds to enjoy. There are swings (even baby swings), a massive slide, a spinning spiral carousel, a bouncy climbing web, and of course, a zip line! The kids could spend hours here and we enjoy this playground often!
After a busy morning at the playground, it’s fun to stop for lunch. The kids love the pizza at Pizzeria Prima Strada in Cook Street Village, and King Dad and I love it too! These fire roasted creations are some of the best pizzas we’ve had outside of Italy. It’s a lot of fun for The Heir to watch the pizzas being prepared and cooked in the big traditional wood-fired pizza oven. Sometimes the wait for a table can be long, but there’s a Little Free Library right outside Prima Strada that is always filled with interesting books and the kids love checking it out.
Just as new to the neighbourhood as we are is Empire Donuts. And really, what neighbourhood village would be complete without DONUTS? I was so excited when we found Empire Donuts on their very first day open in the summer. They have so many fun donuts to choose from (my favourite is the rootbeer float), and they even serve fried chicken. Seriously, fried chicken and donuts. What more could you possibly want? I love the retro style at Empire Donuts, and The Heir and King Dad love the Star Wars pin ball machine. It’s just a fun place to stop on our walk home to grab a treat for dessert.
Although we spend a LOT of time in Cook Street Village with it being so close to home, we also enjoy walking into downtown. Our favourite brunch place from our university days is still open and still serving up the best Eggs Benedicts and Belgian Waffles I’ve ever had. If you ever find yourself in Victoria, you must stop at John’s Place for brunch. You won’t regret it! Though they have replaced their old juke box with a new digital one, most things at John’s Place never change. Not only have some of their servers been there for over 30 years, but their host Rodney is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met (and he’s been there since long before I discovered John’s Place in 1999).
Downtown Victoria is always busy and vibrant. The Heir loves finding the rainbow cross walk and exploring the old heritage buildings. With the Royal BC Museum, Parliament, the Empress Hotel, and the Inner Harbour, there’s never a shortage of fun things to see and do downtown.
We absolutely adore living so close to downtown and Cook Street Village. We’ve put a lot of miles on our Skechers since we moved into our own place, and we’re still walking in comfort! Looking for the Skechers Zingers or Flex Play shoes for yourself or your little one? You can order these styles directly from Skechers Canada. Shop Skechers now!
How would you like a chance to WIN a pair of Skechers shoes for yourself? TWO lucky Canadian readers will each win one pair of Skechers shoes of their choice! Just scroll down to the giveaway and get your entries in for a chance to win. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, 18+, and closes on November 27th, 2018. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Don’t forget to follow the Super Stocking Stuffer giveaway “hop” and enter the other awesome giveaways linked up below!
Enter the Skechers Giveaway:
Welcome to the Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It! Looking for a fun way to kick off your holiday shopping? How does the chance to win 100 stocking stuffer prizes sound? 100 bloggers have teamed up to bring you the Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop! You have until November 27th to enter all the great giveaways through the linky at the bottom of this post!
Disclosure: The Mommy Island, The Kids Did It, and the Super Stocking Stuffer Hop participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. Open to Canadian residents, 18 years of age and older. Confirmed winner(s) will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor(s). For questions or to see your product featured on The Monarch Mommy blog contact Stefanie at http://themonarchmommy.com/work-with-me/.