Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vancouver Day 1

I am exhausted.

Thursday - we arrived almost an hour early. There was NO ONE in line at immigration. Our bags were already on the carousel when we got there (it's a LONG walk from your plane). For Dinner we went to a restaurant called Fiddlehead Joe's down on False Creek. Walkable from the condo. We got seated in a corner by the kitchen. At first I was a little put out. That corner was a tad smokey! But oh, that smoke smelled good... and since I was already inhaling it, I had the burger. Robb & I went out after dinner. To stun our viewers at home we were headed to bed by 12:23 am (I took special note, it was that early).

Friday - Lyle and I got up early (you know, 8:30 am) and went for coffee at Cafe Artigiano. Beautifully done coffee and so tasty too! The Frommers guide lists it as a "must do" and there must have been plenty of people who read that as the line was OUT THE DOOR the entire time we were there.
We took a walk along the seawall down to the rock sculpture. Out in the bay was the firework barge waiting to blow its load on Saturday night.
This is the beach at English Bay. The next night it would be teaming with about 300,000 people. (okay, they are spread out all around the bay, but you get the idea.)

As we were fully expecting summer, but did see clouds that morning, we had on long pants but they were white. AS we left coffee, it began to rain. RAIN!? I had numerous choice words for rain on my lovely August weekend and NONE of them can be written here.

So we ducked into a covered mall. Saw the new Holt Renfrew of Vancouver (for those not in the know, Holt Renfrew is a bit like the Neiman Marcus of Canada. The Vancouver store recently moved from being about a quarter of a block, to becoming an entire block. 4 stories.) The old location seemed to have a healthy mix of price points. The new one, mostly just the top end. We were disappointed. There is an odd thing that happens in Vancouver, it's hard to find color. All the gray, black, brown and navy you could ever want to own is readily available, but good luck on finding something bright. (as if to prove that point, our friends kept telling us how easy we were to spot on the street, Lyle in white pants and blue white and red polo, me in white pants and an bright orange polo.

We toured the city by foot for the rest of the day. Gastown in Vancouver used to be cute and touristy. Then it went down. Way down. Now it is on its way back up. Cute trendy overpriced shops are springing up all over. We also stopped at a great restaurant called Salt. The entrance is down a dark alley and the only indication you have arrived is the banner hanging overhead. If you turn down one alley too soon, you are likely to run into a dumpster diver or two asking for spare change. See, Gastown is in transition!

Friday night we met up with Cathy and Graham in Kitsilano. Enjoyed hearing about their trip to Paris and Germany, then off to our favorite Greek restaurant in Vancouver, Acropol. This is where we held our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. We love it there and make the effort to go there on every trip to Vancouver. Once again, we walked to the restaurant then back to Cathy & Graham's.

After all that, I went out with my friend Neil and we did manage to balance the early karma of Thursday night with a 4:30 am return home time. But what a fun time I had. I ran into two more friends while out. Another Neil and my friend Jay. As we entered the bar, I said, "I ALWAYS run into Jay when I go out here. ALWAYS." But then he wasn't there! About 2 am, finally,. JAY! I swear, if I hadn't run into him, I would have been home much sooner. Yes, I blame Jay. And beer. I never drink beer. Gin, yes. Vodka, yes. Beer, no.
This is the view from Fiddlehead Joe's. Where the Granville Bridge support comes down is where we will have brunch tomorrow, Nu. Above us (you can't see it, so stop trying to look up) is the Burrard Street bridge. We will walk across that Saturday night.


The T-Dude said...

That picture of a wonderful coffee makes the office swill I am drinking right now even less appealing.

Rachel said...

I miss Vancouver sometimes. It can be awfully fun. Awfully expensive, but awfully fun.

Jim said...

Office swill? PUT. DOWN. THE. CUP. Surely you can do better. But then maybe you want to be able to afford to put your children through college...

As for the cost of being in Vancouver, if you don't buy coffee, dining out can be reasonable. It's like a big city in that way. Housing costs on the other hand, it's very much like a big city that way as well!

Christopher said...

It all sounds Fab!