Friday, January 06, 2006

New Year's Day


Rainbow Roll
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
I don't really have good photos from the NYE party, which was an evening of retro videos in Dag's and my hotel room. It was cool because everyone who was involved in the trip showed up so a total of 10 people - a good number. And it was nice to have everyone together for the changing of the year. It was also nice that the balcony supported all our weight while we Wooed and Hooed to the people down below. Next day we headed down to English Bay Beach to watch crazy people jump in the water for the annual Polar Bear Swim. And the most important thing was next...to patronize the sushi restaurant that we liked so much last year! They have a new name this year and new decor and a LOT of customers so yay for them. The sushi did not disappoint!
After a nap, we headed out to the Goth night that J & K found. It was interesting that J & K & I kept "recognizing" strangers who looked like people who frequent the Goth night we go to in Portland.
The trip back was mellow as we were all pretty exhausted and I settled into my post-vacation depression. I just got way too wound up before this one started. Have to check that next time! Ah well, nothing a few days at work couldn't fix. Now I'm good as new and ready to start reading about Puerto Rico in prep for my March trip! And then Dag and I head to Chicago and Champaign-Urbana in June!
WOOHOO!
(but not too much!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year's Eve Day


Empty building
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
That morning for breakfast I made poached eggs on toast to go with granola, cantaloupe and yogurt. J & K were already up and had eaten by then and we made plans to meet them at the Seabus terminal downtown to take a short excursion to Lonsdale Quay over across the Burrard Inlet to the North shore. There's not a TON to do over there within walking distance...a small indoor market with a bunch of little booths. Had I had my wits about me, I would have bought some yummy cheeses for the party that night. But instead I just sort of wandered around witless wondering if I should have some ice cream or if it would just make me too cold. The scientologists were there giving out free stress tests! Outside the market, we all felt that we should "DO" something since we came all the way over (other than just get back on the next ferry downtown). So we walked to the right and discovered a bunch of decrepit buildings and a sign the city had painted promising future waterside access for the first time in a bunch of years. A bit past there was a really nice pier that we walked out on and took photos. It was lined with benches and I imagine when the weather is warmer it's full of people picnicing and feeding birds and great stuff like that. There are two telescopic viewers on the pier that don't take coins! Sure, one of them had a big splorg of chocolate caramel stuck to the lens, but you could look through it for as long as you wanted with no quarters required! Back on the other side, we caught the skytrain, which, deceptively, is underground for the portion of it that is downtown. This was a real point of confusion for Dag and I last year because we could see it on the map but when we looked up...NO SKYTRAIN! We took this underground aboveground train to Commercial Drive, which was kind of a bohemian area of shops and restaurants a ways out East. We settled on a Carribean restaurant which was spectacular. I wish I could remember the name. It's just South of the Broadway Skytrain stop on the East side of Commercial dr. J & Dag had Jerk Chicken, K had curry chicken, and since they were out of all three fish dishes, I had a vegetable burrito-type thing. The wrap part was almost cornmealey and the waitress couldn't tell me what it was made from. It was really really good. After lunch we headed back into town to do shopping for the party before everything closed down for the Holiday.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Vancouver Aquarium and Chinatown


Beluga
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
First full day in Vancouver (Dec 30), we all slept in, despite my suggestion to get there when the Aquarium opened at 10 to avoid some of the throngs of children. It was good to sleep in, though. I had to admit I was glad to have been overruled on that one. I made breakfast in the room - scrambled eggs with white cheddar. The aquarium visit began and ended with the incredibly cool Beluga whales. Afterwards we walked to Chinatown and by then most of the six of us had at least one desperate NEED, be it food, sitting down, cigarettes or a bathroom, so any browsing around the many brightly lit and colorful shops was fleeting and distracted. To heighten the frenzy, the first restaurant we found was not what we'd hoped (very cafeteria-ey) so we had to backtrack several blocks before getting all of our NEEDS met. I can't tell you if Foo's Ho Ho Restaurant is really all that awesome or if they just have food, chairs, a bathroom and a waitress who knows where to buy cigarettes.
After dinner we all retired to our respective hotel rooms for some down time before heading out that evening. A bit of communication breakdown had two of us doing one thing and the other four at another place. J & K ended up scouting out a dance club and finding good information about a goth night for Sunday. J & D & Dag and I found a neighborhood pub-ey style of place and accidentally ordered a monster plate of what we thought, based on the menu description (something about cheese warmed in a way I can't recall), would be a plate of cheese. It ended up being a plate of cheese with fries underneath and gravy on top. I felt it was a bit gross but that did not stop me from eating 1/4 of it! After an attempt to watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica in the room and losing J & D to exhaustion, Dag and I wandered over to Hamburger Mary's for a late-nite breakfast of scrambled eggs, hash browns and toast. I'm beginning to understand why my bathroom scale was 5lb "off" this morning!

Monday, January 02, 2006

On the bus


IMG_6701
Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.
Heartfelt apologies to everyone I promised during-vacation-blogging to! Internet cafes abound in Vancouver, but on this trip, spare moments did not! I will fill in trip details over the course of this week. It was a great time but also frenzied and exhausting so tonight I curl up with a dvd and my poor neglected kitties.