Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the goose loves canada - day 3

Alas, we've come to our final day in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC.

(You can scroll down past this post to see Days 1 & 2, or just click here:

Billy and I were driving back to Seattle Monday afternoon, to spend the night at my sister's house and drive back to Portland on Monday, so we were ready to adventure for as long as possible.

We started by meeting Holly, Daryl, Matt, & Ruth (the bride's family, Billy's aunt/uncle/cousins) for breakfast. We walked down to their hotel (about 8 blocks from ours) and I made Billy pose with the massive moose mountie (say that 5 times fast!) in the lobby.
Breakfast was delicious (I must have been too famished to think of taking photos), and then we said our goodbyes to the family. We headed back to our hotel to take some final photos and pack up.

I like this photo - it shows the shadow of our hotel!
Billy had to fly a paper airplane out our 27th-floor window before we left. It went straight down.
After checking out of our hotel, we decided that we would rent bikes for the day and ride around town, do a little more souvenir trolling (we needed some "thank yous" for those back home), and then ride around Stanley Park, which is the large area of trees towards the back of our scenery photo above (the photo with the shadow).

Billy's snazzy getup.

I demanded politely requested the cruiser.
So we rode alongside the waterfront area (like we walked on Day 1) and ended up in Gastown again (yeah, I think that's our favorite spot in Vancouver). We found some gifts for the homefront and were ready for lunch in no time.

Fun sidenote - while walking along the street looking for a good lunch spot, I definitely got asked out by someone. He was asking Billy and I if we knew of a good coffee shop, and then looked directly at me and asked "Would you be interested in getting coffee with me sometime?" After I stared at him blankly for a few seconds, he motioned to Billy and I and said, "Oh, are you two a couple?" We said yes and he quickly vanished. Billy said I should have gone with him, to get a free cup of coffee. Thanks, husband.

After our fun Canadian encounter, we decided to go to a Southern BBQ place for lunch. Yeah, I know. BBQ in Canada? But it was delicious!

Check out my awesome helmet hair.
 Billy ordered a bbq sandwich thing and I ordered a corndog and hush puppies off the appetizer menu.
Billy ordered a beer (duh) with the best name ever - it was an I. P. Eh. Get it? Like an IPA, but the way Canadians say it - "eh"! Those clever people.

After devouring our food with no problem, we hit up one last tourist shop to find the most perfect present for Bentley. He was staying with our dear friend Jackie, but had a somewhat rough weekend. On Sunday morning, he broke out of his crate and promptly found and ate a whole bar of chocolate. And chocolate is poisonous for dogs. So he spent Sunday afternoon at the vet, with an IV and a catheter and stuff. They gave him charcoal to prevent absorption of chocolate, which he inhaled, rather than ingested. So then he was on antibiotics. We were going to get him a little something anyway, but then when we saw this 2 or 3 foot long elephant, we knew that was the perfect present. Yeah, a little big, but he'd love it. However, the store was in Gastown, on the opposide side of the city from our car. Billy said we'd come back to get it on our way out, but that would add a bunch of time. So I told him I'd just bike it back to our car. And I did!
On our way back, we biked through the convention center area, where they have this giant raindrop sculpture thing.
We also passed Canada Place, where they load up cruise ships and stuff. I think it also was part of the Olympics thing or something.

As Portlanders who "love" rain, we were more than enthralled by the statue.

It's so large! And yes, that's Mr. Elephant with me.
We made it back to the car where we deposited our gifts and our large elephant safely. Then we took off for Stanley park, which is a forest-y area on the edge of the city. There's a bike path that goes all the way around it, along the water. The day was a little breezy, but very beautiful.
Before we left, I calculated the mileage (it was in km on the map). But I did my math wrong and at first came up with 15 miles. Luckily, it was only about 6, or we would have been there a long time, at the pace we went!
A nice lady took a picture of us for our Vancouver photo frame.
And look, geese! I didn't just take this because of my love for geese, but because I finally saw Canadian geese where they belong! In Canada! But Billy thinks they're just called geese here, just like french toast in France is just called toast. Right?
Soon enough, we were back around the little peninsula and rode our bikes back to the shop, where our car was parked. We gave back the bikes and headed home.

Luckily, the wait times at the border coming back to the good ole' US of A weren't so bad. We also stopped at the duty free store, where Billy stocked up on a few things (read=liquor).
We stayed the night in Seattle, visited Monika's classroom on Tuesday morning, and then headed home. We were very happy to see our little pup, who was all recovered from his chocolate gorge. And he LOVED his new present!
He's sharing Mr. Elephant with his girlfriend Dakota, Jackie's dog.

Aww what a cutie!
Bentley's now had the elephant for about two weeks, and it no longer has eyes (those went first, actually), tusks, a tail, or a mouth. The tip of the trunk has also been breeched, and it's lost at least half its stuffing. But he loves carrying it around, chewing on it, and rolling around on it. And then when he gets tired, he lays on it! Yesterday, he brought it into the kitchen and sat on it while he watched us make dinner. It was so worth it!

Canada was lots of fun. We'd go back in an instant if we had lots of money and free time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the goose loves canada - day 2

Good Morning, Canada! How beautiful you are!

Welcome to Day 2 of our Canadian adventure. Sunday morning was gorgeous, and since it was our only full day in Vancouver, we were ready to tackle the city!

Look at that snazzy boy!

Not sure what I'm looking at, but I don't think it's the camera.
This is a picture of our hotel hallway. Billy is standing in front of our door, headed to our personal elevator. Our door was the only one in that little area, and that elevator was right there! It was actually the staff elevator, but we used it because it was fast and very close by. Except one time, when it arrived with some cleaning ladies on it. They pointed us to the other elevator. Oops!
We started our morning at a coffee shop, which I was too half-asleep to photograph, I guess. We avoided the hundreds of Starbucks every block and went to a Canadian place. Still a chain, but really delicious coffee. That fueled our walk to Cafe Medina, a breakfast place near Gastown about 12 blocks away.

We read about good breakfast places in several different touristy mags, and this one was found in all of them. We really enjoy a good breakfast, so we didn't want to go with just any old place. So after a 20-block walk (yes, we got a little lost), we came across it:

So true.
 But, as with all good breakfast places, there was a wait. About 25 minutes, I think. So we are hanging out on the sidewalk and finishing our coffee when all of a sudden, the military cavalry of Canada comes rolling down the street.
 I really have no idea what they are, or why they were parading, but there were a ton of military jeeps, guys with guns, and tanks.

I know this picture is too dark, but look closely. Yes, he has a sword/saber thing.
And finally, our names were called for breakfast! Beautiful, beautiful, breakfast.
Billy's Mocha - they do not dissapoint!
 Cafe Medina is known for their waffles, and we love waffles, so how could we pass that up? Billy and I each ordered one (they come in around $3 each); I chose the lavender milk chocolate for dipping, and Billy went with the classic real maple syrup. We are in Canada, eh? :)

My mouth is watering for these right now. Trip to Canada, anyone?

 Knowing that two waffles weren't going to cut it for our day's adventuring, we also shared the fritatta of the day. Or did they call it an omelette? We saw our neighboring table get one, and we couldn't resist. It was delish.
 After getting filled up on a wonderful breakfast, we mosied around the city until it was time to get ready for the wedding! Then we drove out to Burnaby for the ceremony and reception.

Without further ado, here is the bride herself! Beautiful Lauren:
Lauren has had SMA since she was born, I believe, so she's in a wheelchair.
But that doesn't stop her from doing anything!
And her now-husband Chris, who's from Canada (hence the Canadian wedding). They wrote their own vows, and it was the sweetest thing!

You may now kiss the bride!

The happy Mr. and Mrs.!
Lauren and Chris have two adorable long-haired dachsunds, who were in the wedding!
 So of course Billy and I had to go visit the pups after the ceremony! Look at that little tutu dress on Alexa!
 And the handome pup in his tux shirt!

Billy's getting some puppy love. We missed Bentley, so we really enjoyed seeing these puppies!

 They are siblings, from the same litter, and really love each other.
 Christopher and Lauren did a really nice job of decorating and personalizing the reception. Here's our table name.
 And little placecards with dachsunds!

We started with sushi while the wedding party had some photos.

 Holly and Daryl - parents of the bride! Holly is Billy's aunt - his mother's sister. Billy's mom died almost three years ago, so it is special for Billy to see Aunt Holly, since she reminds him of his mom. Unfortunately, we don't make it to CA nearly often enough to visit with them!
 And the happy couple! They had put little bells at the guests' place settings - whenever someone rang the bell, they had to kiss!
 The groom's parents - really adorable people.
 And the bride's parents, giving a very heartfelt message.
 The first dance! Look how adorable that dress is!!

 Both  Lauren and Chris love Disneyland, so they chose the most appropriate cake topper! Inside was very delicious red velvet cake... Billy had two slices!

Oh hey, those people look familiar!
 Here's Lauren's family - Holly, Daryl, and her brother Matt. Sorry for the awful lighting.
 And Matt's gorgeous girlfriend Ruth! She has the most incredible voice ever.

 Cake cutting time!
 I love this photo, despite the awful lighting! They had just fed each other cake, and are both examining the mess on their hands.
 Back to the puppies... it was Billy's way of escaping the dance floor. :)
 But I got him this time! We're belting away to whatever song that was, I guess?
Not sure what's happening here.
We hung out at the wedding till about 11pm, when we decided it was time to crash. Overall, it was a very beautiful wedding and we are SO glad we were able to attend! Best wishes to Lauren and Chris for a million happy years to come!