After spending last week madly trying to get our yard work done so we could take off for a few days in Vancouver, we took off late on Friday to spend the night with Sylvia’s Mom. We had a great time with her on Saturday, and visited with some other members of our family before heading to Sylvia’s Dad’s for dinner and more visiting. At the end of a great day (and no pictures…I’m a terrible blogger) we took off for Vancouver, where we spent 4 nights right next to the Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. We were joined by a couple of family members who do not wish to be documented in our blog, so the pictures will only be of Sylvia’s and my escapades, but all the wonderful spots we visited were enjoyed by all of us.
It was late when we arrived in Vancouver but Sylvia and I decided to take a lap around the Vancouver Convention Centre and see the sights. There were no cruise ships in town, but we ended up wandering around Jack Poole Plaza where the cauldron of torches from the Vancouver Winter Olympics is located. My pic didn’t really work that well, so I stole this one from the Interweb. I don’t know what your impressions are of this torch but I was really quite surprised on how small the structure actually is. It’s not much more than 25 feet tall and 50 feet across which is much smaller than it was in my Mind’s Eye after seeing it so often during the Vancouver Olympics.
After a nice Mother’s Day brunch the next morning we drove to North Vancouver to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the associated forest walks they have developed. It’s rather expensive for a walk in the forest if you ask me, but not a bad deal for the locals as a one day pass allows you to get in for the rest of the year for free, and bring along future guests for a 15% discount. The tourists have to pay full price though, and the $37 charge didn’t deter anyone, as the place was packed.
The bridge is quite long and quite bouncy with all the people on it. I didn’t think Sylvia would enjoy it, but she had a great time.
They also have a Cliff Walk section that includes a skywalk that juts out from the granite.
After a couple of hours wandering around the forest we made our way back into Vancouver to check out a couple more attractions, that included food and beverages and then made our way back to the hotel to prepare for an evening of more eating, this time at an Asian Fusion restaurant. Eating did seem to be the theme for most of the time we were in Vancouver.
On Monday we made our way to Granville Island where we wandered the various galleries, artisans and yes, restaurants for several hours. Sylvia got caught up feeding the seagulls for a bit which could have been messy, but turned out quite well. At least the seagulls seemed to know that if they ever let go on anyone the free meals would probably be over.
Monday night was time for a French Restaurant and while the food was pretty good, it was difficult to pick something from the fairly small menu that we thought we’d like to try. There’s just something about Foie Gras and Sweetmeats (don’t ask, and I promise I won’t describe them) that doesn’t appeal to our particular palate. What we did manage to settle on did taste good though, but I believe it was the single most expensive meal we’ve ever had.
Tuesday morning started out a bit cloudy and drizzly but we walked across downtown to visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This is a little bit of peaceful paradise smack dab in the middle of Chinatown. It was built in the 1980’s by Chinese craftsmen and all the structures were built without nails for screws. It’s quite impressive and very tranquil.
The lattice work was all very intricate and held together with little wood pins and wedges. The posts were a very special wood that’s rare in China and covered with a very thick coat of paint. They were so hard we thought they were steel until we saw where some paint had chipped off.
After the garden tour was over we found yet another spot to stop and eat and then wandered over to the Vancouver Planetarium. Sylvia and I hadn’t been there since we took our kids there when they were in Elementary School. It’s about 46 years old and the original projector had finally broken down a couple of years ago. They have replaced the old school central projector that contained hundreds of different lenses with 6 projectors that they can now control with an Ipad. The images they create are pretty impressive.
After the show was over we wandered back to the hotel and prepared ourselves for our last evening out. Dinner was another new experience for us. It seems that the new trend in Asian Cuisine is a Ramen House. This is a gourmet version of the Mr Noodles that our kids used to eat by the bowlful when they were young. The restaurant we went to had very large colourful menu, but every dish had two pages dedicated to it with impressive colour pictures of each item. The food wasn’t bad, but the pictures were better than the taste of the Ramen.
After dinner we attended a Joe Bonamassa concert at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. This is the second time I’ve seen him but was a first for Sylvia. The show I saw a year ago was in Tucson at a Hockey Arena, and while I really enjoyed it I was looking forward to hearing him perform in a proper theatre. We weren’t disappointed as the sound was great and Joe’s guitar playing was exceptional. He played for a solid 2 hours and 15 minutes with hardly a break. He also only played a couple of songs that I heard at last year’s concert so it was a whole new experience altogether.
The following morning we packed up and drove home to West Kelowna to get back to the chores and yard rejuvenation. It was surprising to see how much the lawn had grown in the 5 days since I cut it last. As we’re heading to Calgary next week to see our kids and grandkids we’ll step away from the major yardwork for a bit and just try and maintain what we’ve accomplished so far. That’ll keep us busy enough.