Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 1: Getting Here

We almost didn't.

Set to leave for Vancouver at about Noon. At about 10:00 AM I noticed that J, the dog, had labored breathing and was quite listless. This on top of a cough and vomiting her breakfast right back into her dish (ewww, but also convenient to clean up). Quick call to the Vet. Can you see her? No?! OK, off to the emergency vet we go. Fours hours later she is alright and we've been sent home with instructions to care for her, an anti-nausea shot, and a much lightened wallet. Better safe than sorry, IMHO, but what a way to start a vacation. Poor girl.

Quick lunch and we hit the road at about 3:30. Made very good time up to the border where, surprise surprise, the Canadian Border Officer was quite nice (all the while wearing body armor). If past experiences serve as a guide, we'll have a surly guard on the US side coming back. These folks obviously go to different schools.

Pulled into the hotel, Robson's Suites, just before 7 after getting only a little bit lost (but not really) coming off the 99. Getting into the place is interesting. We have a key remote that operates two security doors for the garage (yep, we got "free" parking) and we have to use our room keys to make the elevator work. I don't think we are in Kansas anymore Toto. Wait, have I ever been to Kansas? Ah, yes, once. We spent a night in Topeka, went to a movie and a mall, and bought music from a bargain bin before continuing West to the Rockies. But I digress.

The room is really nice, a small efficiency apartment really. Dropped the bags off, and went to purchase much needed toothbrushes and to stop at a local ATM. After which we explored a bit along the waterfront walkway and started planning out a run. Came across a sculpture of squatting red figures that was pretty interesting. A very tiny dog was barking at them (or was it me?)

This was all very intriguing and I'll have to see if I can find a sign describing what this is all about.

It was time to eat.

So many Korean, Chinese, Japanese places around here and they all had lines. Actually, it was neat to see so many people out and about on the streets. After walking a bit we chose a pub, The Dover Arms on Denman. This, over an African fusion place that looked very interesting. But after the day I had had I just need the comfort of a nice beer (a smooth, creamy, and rich Black and Tan to be precise). Lots of sports going on (US Open, baseball, and some NFL game) and even more drinking. I am so rarely in these sorts of places that it all seems novel to me. M had the fish and chips (she appears to have enjoyed the meal) and I had a burger which was very tasty, and I mean that sincerely, as sincerely as one can be about a burger.

I was huge too and I'll need to lay off the beef for a while this week.

Desert? Of course. Gelato at Mum's Ice Cream on Denman. An ample scoop of Chocolate Gran Marnier cheerfully served hit the spot (and rubbed it out). The woman ahead of us was raving about another flavor and had that wonderful "yummy face" that one gets with a tasty treat. What is it they say "nom nom nom!"

Time for sleep now. It is a pity that we do not have more time in the city. Every time we have planned a visit in the past something (illness mostly) has gotten in the way (and almost did today).

Up early tomorrow to go for a run along the Seawall out to Stanley Park. A fairly short run I think as I'd like to explore more of the neighborhood before we catch the ferry out to Vancouver Island and make our way to Tofino. I'll discover how a building can actually be a ship along the way.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with yet another "We are not in Kansas anymore" moment (or is it a "You're going to need a bigger boat" moment):

1 comment:

Andy said...

Dining recommendation....Shanghai River Restaurant in Richmond