Friday night, the three of us went out to see Coraline (in 3D) -- my only beef was the extra $4 each we had to pay for the 3D glasses; the movie was fine. If you're curious, I posted a full review at the MediaNook.
Today, we decided to actually take in one of the events I regularly post on FrugalVictoria -- the Bigleaf Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre north of Duncan. I actually had no idea you could tap Big Leaf Maples which are native to the region -- I thought all maple syrup came from Sugar Maples. Nifty.*
We watched a tapping demonstration -- someone actually drilled a hole in a tree, hammered in a plastic spout and attached a 15L wine bag with some tubing (unlike the traditional bucket-under-the-spout method which offers a healthy dose of bugs along with the sap). We checked on the bag about an hour later and there was a good amount of sap already collected, maybe a litre or two. Of course it takes about 45L of sap to get 1L of syrup -- which explains why those litres were selling for $20 each.
However, after tasting several varieties, we happily bought three bottles from local farms and families, and continued with our visit. We rode the train, explored the grounds, and let kiddo run off some steam at the playground. Then we headed into Duncan for lunch (at a great little hole-in-the-wall diner) before heading home.
* Turns out Bigleaf Maple tapping is pretty new to the Island and the subject of recent research at UVic, too. What I find most interesting is that the industry could actually increase biodiversity in the region because the trees are often seen as a "pest species" and are specifically removed. By proving their value, these trees may be saved.