Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

Vancouver so far

Traffic leaving Seattle was problematic. It took four hours to get here - and less than five minutes of that was waiting in the border line-up.

Our hotel, the Best Western Uptown, is fantastic. Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free parking, spacious room, US $52 a night including taxes. Hard to beat that. Plus, tonight's Hippo Hop is just up the street.

After getting in last night, although I hadn't eaten all day, I agreed to keep on until we could get to an all you can eat sushi restaurant on Burrard St that a coworker of mine recommended. The food was incredibly good, but dang it, I was cranky from lack of food, and I had trouble figuring out how to order anything. Once I finally did, I made a huge mistake and over-ordered; after seeing the first platter of BC rolls arrive at our table, I had to rather embarassingly call the waitress over and make sure they didn't serve us any more food. We did however enjoy kal-bi ribs and bulgogi pork, cooked by the Marmot himself, which was yum.

Afterwards we made a token effort to enjoy ourselves on Davie St, but I was too damn tired. Heading back to the car, I was lucky to meet tuc1 for the first time - damn, what a handsome man. I would've loved to have spent more time chatting, but I really had to get home. We ducked in to the discount bookstore, picked up the new Douglas Coupland book and a book on BC's wine industry, and headed home.

This morning, we got up and had our free brekkie. There's a Douwe Egberts coffee maker down there the likes of which I've never seen before. Apparently it mixes concentrated coffee fluid from a big plastic bag with hot water. Weird, and not particularly tasty - but did I mention free? Hard to go wrong with free.

Afterwards, it was off to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I think I may have been there when I was in grade school, but I honestly have no idea. US$16 entry fee? Ouch, but whatever; sometimes you just have to see the local tourist attractions. It was pleasant enough, though. I especially enjoyed Yet Another Tacky Canadian Gift Shop - people, come on: maple leaf shaped pasta? That's pushing it too damned far.

It was now time to find a rugby shop Dan remembered reading about on the North Shore; instead, we got kinda lost and wound up wandering around the Park Royal mall in search of a telephone book. We did, but it didn't have what we were looking for, alas. There was however a bear sighting of this Canadian bear whose name I just can't remember, and whom I probably met at least a decade ago. Ah well. As the rugby shop was unfindable - we made a final effort driving along Marine Dr to find it - we decided to go in to a McDonald's, because their walnut fruit salad looked tasty. After ordering it and paying for it, though, it turns out no one could find the walnuts... so I got my money cheerfully refunded while the cashiers traded stories about their worst customers [at my request]. I paid for a newspaper, and we sat down to find the time when Hitchhiker's Guide was playing next. Turns out it was only an hour later, and on Burrard St, so not very far away at all. We went, parked, and were overwhelmed by the new paint fumes in the garage... strange! Upstairs, everything looked fantastically new, and I was overjoyed to find I could get taro bubble tea at the refreshment stand; Dan had a Canadian Whopper with onion rings. Most awesome movie food ever!

The movie, well, I enjoyed it immensely. I was often amazed by the graphics they used, and one sequence in particular impressed me to end simply because it was proof that no, damn it, you don't always need CGI to do something interesting and new. Hell, I even teared up at the end of it all. Wonderful job!

Then, it was back to Davie St in hopes of finding somewhere to get coffee and cake... no go. Instead, I went in to Marquis Wine Shop or whatever it's called, and found a bottle of Domain Combret 1994 riesling for US$16 - it's been aged on its lees for 9 years and then bottled. I had to buy a corkscrew and stopper - ow - but I figured it'd be worth it to get a chance to taste something this unusual. A few minutes later, we were back at the hotel having stopped at Mark's Work Warehouse [nothing interesting, all very expensive in US dollar terms] and a takeaway sushi place [incredibly cheap, and wonderfully fresh - yay!].

Sadly, though, the wine was corked, so no wine for me. Instead, I'll take a nap; then, we'll head back up to Davie St to return the wine and get some supper. Then, it's off to Bear Bounce!

[At least the winemaker is hawt, though:]



Tomorrow: breakfast, plus the Van Dusen gardens, a trip to Safeway to buy Maple Shreddies, and then back home.

Oh, and I nearly forgot: the Roots shop on Burrard St - everything is on sale there through tomorrow. 25% off absolutely everything. Excellent!
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