Adriana’s, the Whole Enchilada

“The country of Mexico has just gotten its first Taco Bell.   You’re welcome.  Finally, Mexicans will have access to….Mexican food.  Bon appetit.  I can’t imagine how confused they will be when they get a taco.  ”  — Jon Stewart

We’re not telling anyone because “it’s always raining on the Island”…………..but we’ve been having stellar summers here with heat and blue skies and sunshine!

On several such hot summer days we found ourselves in Central Saanich — that’s within running distance of my house in North Saanich! — noticing much activity at lunchtime at a small storefront restaurant called Adriana’s.

Every time we’ve been near this place midday, there’s a lineup!  What’s their deal?!
Well, for one thing, they offer wholesome, hot meals to go.



Adriana’s serves authentic Mexican food — no Taco Bell fare here!

Adriana’s opened in 2011 and has remained committed
to using locally sourced ingredients to prepare their quality meals made in-house.


The options here are several, and they’re prepared
using top-notch local ingredients.
For example, their meat is sourced from
Carnivore ( Carnivore Meats & More ) in
Brentwood Bay, just north on West Saanich Road.


The chicken in my Chicken Fajita Super-Taco, below,
came from Carnivore.


Everything here is housemade, including the chips.

In addition to individual meal orders, there’s a good selection of prepared meals to go.


If you’re looking for authentic salsa or other Mexican dips, this is your place.

I love the chip and salsa sampling station!

You need authentic Mexican seasonings?  Check these out!


Our meal came with a complementary savoury cookie — just the right note to end a flavourful, hearty meal.  Of course, all cookies are made in-house as well.


The sign outside on the sidewalk really says it all:








2140 Keating Cross Road


Mon – Fri  9 – 7,  Sat 10 – 4


Cast Art Studios

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed.   And you are beautiful.”   —
Amy Bloom

Seeing such a sign generally does not instill confidence in the quality of items below that arrow!

And the “showroom” is a fenced off portion of a parking lot just off an industrial street on the Peninsula.
But let us not generalize!
These items are not ones that you’ll tuck up under your arm as you head off to the cashier.
They’re statuary made of concrete, and they are large, and they are heavy.    












And they are durable — tested to withstand even Prairie winters — and I recall plenty of those!
We checked things over carefully………

…..including the bird baths, of course………decorative pedestals……


………interesting benches………..
……………..wall art…………..

…………serenity-inspiring statuary……………


……….and my personal fave, which has nothing at all to do

with the fact that I’m about to become a grandma!


These palletized items are ready for shipping, to anywhere!

So, you want statement garden art?    Where y’ gonna go?

Cast Art Studios
2145 Keating Cross Road

Mon – Fri    9 am – 4 pm


Cumberland Museum & Archives

Museums are managers of consciousness. They give us an interpretation of history, of how to view the world and locate ourselves in it. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negative terms, they are propaganda machines. Hans Haacke

The village of Cumberland is nestled between ocean and mountains in the Comox Valley. With a population of 3400  it is the little town that does. Does what you ask? Does it have a viable bike shop? consignment store?, chocolate shop?,yes, yes, and yes and also a bookstore, unique coffee shops and a museum that has sensitively recorded the community’s history…. the good and the bad.


We spent a morning in the Cumberland Museum & Archives building, reading and exploring the different displays. There was the hospital and general store display,



the iron lung machine for TB patients,


well written reports on Chinatown and Japantown that had been established in the area in the late 19C, and early 20C,




posters on Wanted Men….note on why Joseph Naylor was wanted.


and most impressive was  the descent into the basement and entering a replica coal mine.





Cumberland Museum is well worth a visit when you explore up Island.

Cumberland Museum and Archives

2680 Dunsmuir Ave,
Cumberland, BC
(250) 336-2445
Sun-Sat: 10:00 am -5:00pm

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.

 Anne Lamott

Six women and a van.

Off to hike the wilds of Mount Washington.

Explore the different restaurants in Courtenay.

And unplug at a Spa/Resort.

Home away from home: Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa. (10 minutes south of Courtenay)

We all were so pleased with the resort: its location (by the ocean),


IMG_7266its amenities (the spa, including the underground hydropath, manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage, sauna, hot tub, pool, gym)


the beautiful gardens


and its wonderful restaurant, The Breakwaters.



Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa

4330 Island Highway S

Courtenay BC

1 800-663-7929

The Breakwaters

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
Ruth Reichl

Located just south of Courtenay, The Breakwaters is the restaurant that is adjacent to the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa.



I have had several meals at the restaurant and they have all been excellent. My mother, a great fan of oysters since  emigrating to the west coast over 60 years ago, claims that The Breakwaters serves the BEST oysters, ever!! She states that she can recall the taste of them a year later.


The menu is laden with treasure dishes from the sea and the Wild Pacific Salmon dish I had was delicious. Served on a bed of preserved lemon and crab risotto, sea asparagus and pickled vegetable salad, it was a lovely meal after a day of hiking.

IMG_7133A friend ordered Local Halibut with English Pea Puree, carrots, pickled vegetable and pea tip salad and enjoyed that dish!



But what had all of us in lip smacking raptures was the Tuscan Flat Bread…. prosciutto, Natural Pastures bocconcini, oven dried tomatoes, and fresh basil. Incredibly tasty!


The finale was ending the night with house made raspberry sorbet!!!


What a meal! What a delightful evening!

The Breakwaters

4330 Island Hwy S

Courtenay BC


Hot Chocolates & Cakebread Artisan Bakery

“Out of love I made you a cake. Also out of milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla.”
Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

Mum and I decided to do a mini vacation to the beautiful land of Courtenay. On the recommendation of a friend we visited this WONDERFUL bakery and chocolate store!

As I stood in line to order my hot chocolate I asked the lady behind me ( a regular) what she would recommend from the cake section. She stated that her husband always had the carrot cake and that the chocolate cake was the signature dessert of the bakery. So I ordered both!!



The bakery and chocolate shop sell housemade gelato and chocolates, breads and buns, cakes and pastries, and flavoured olive oils and balsamic vinegar (which you can sample with pieces of their freshly made bread).



Mum and I ordered the gelato, salted caramel chocolates, two slices of cake, three bottles of the raspberry balsamic vinegar and two paninis to go. ALL so delicious!!


Hot Chocolates & Cakebread Artisan Bakery
368 Fifth Street
Courtenay, BC

M-Sat 8:00-6:00
Sun     10:00-5:00



Locals Restaurant

Locals Restaurant


What I’ve enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn – I love it!

Jamie Oliver

Since patronizing Locals in mid June I have continued to praise this incredibly palate pleasing establishment.


My mother and I shared all our orders from appetizer to dessert so I was able to sample twice as many dishes. Yum, yum!

Grilled prawns (succulent and superb), seafood pasta, and strawberry rhubarb cobbler to list a few.



There are nooks and crannys and rooms in the house so that your dining experience can be cosy and intimate or family style.


The service was impeccable,  the food delicious and the decor so tastefully put together.


Locals Restaurant

1760 Riverside Ln,

Courtenay, BC



M-Sun 11-9pm