Astera’s Greek Taverna, Nanaimo B.C.

Exceedingly cute and impressively tasty & authentic, Greek restaurant; owner seems to be a recent immigrant from Greece.

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Found this place via Yelp: To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations when I walked in — even though the place IS very cute looking — because most of the Greek places I’ve been to recently were beyond bad. Like seriously unauthentic and just plain bad… I’m not the world’s best cook but I could have done better using a cookbook than some of these places.

At first, I was a bit irritated because the staff, while friendly, didn’t seem like they had their act together (four of them, plus the owner, running around like chickens with their heads cut off… highly inefficient, getting orders wrong, etc). It took them forever to seat me (even with multiple empty tables), and then way too long to get my order… and then my food never came. The owner came by asking how I was and I said, “Hungry.”

After a 1/2 hour wait I got my taramasalata, and it was very good.

Ultimately, Great Greek food!! Happy food dance. Best Greek food I had had in a long time. My grilled octopus was tasty and not rubbery at all, taramasalata that was fresh and tasty, and the spanakopita (well that’s hard to screw up) 

Cathedral Grove Forrest, Macmillan Provincial Park, B.C.

Located along route BC-4 on Vancouver Island, is the otherworldly Cathedral Grove Forest, in Macmillan provincial park.

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Both Tom and I had the same reaction when we first stepped into this grove of trees, it seemed unreal. It reminded Tom of the forests of Pandora in the movie Avatar, I thought it was a bit like Star Wars… either way it was a magical.

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