Monday, September 12, 2011

the goose loves canada - day 1

Road trip! On September 10th, Billy and I took a much-needed and fairly-well-deserved vacay up to Vancouver, BC (yeah, Canada!) to see his cousin Lauren get married! The wedding was on Sunday afternoon, so we drove up to Canada on Saturday morning (we actually drove to Seattle on Friday night and then left from there on Saturday to break up the drive) and came back home on Monday night. This was my second time out of the country (going to Tijuana to build houses in high school counts, right?) and my FIRST time to Canada, so I was very excited, especially about the whole passport-customs-border-crossing thing.
 Luckily, the border crossing was pretty quick on the way up. We showed our passports and flew on through!

Best place on Earth? I thought that was Disneyland... well that's the happiest place on Earth, I guess.
 Here we are, driving down the main drag that heads into downtown Vancouver, where we stayed.

Look closely - a pink car and french in the background!
Here's our hotel - supposedly the tallest building in Vancouver - with a rotating restaurant on top. No, we didn't visit the restaurant. We were not up for spending $100+ on dinner, or spending $16 per person for a buffet breakfast, especially when the restaurant doesn't ROTATE in the morning!

 And the view from our room! This looks west, toward some mountains and stuff.
 And the ocean! (Right?) Some big tankers and probably a cruise ship or two hanging out.

Loved the purple chair in our room, especially how it mached my luggage!
After getting settled and showered, Billy and I headed toward the waterfront to walk around and look for a place for dinner. The city really is absolutely gorgeous.
 This was the area for the tours in river planes, or whatever they are called. The ones that take off from and land in the water? I would have loved a tour, but not loved spending $100 a person on one. (You following our travel trend? We don't spend $100+ on things... haha.) It was fun to watch them land, though.

 We then headed toward an area of town called Gastown, where we found the Steamworks Brewery. Naturally, if there is beer, we must stop. The restaurant was huge, and we ended up in their downstairs lounge area.
 After perusing the menu, we decided to get drinks and a small snack here, and opted for dinner elsewhere. Vancouver has so much great food, how can you waste an entire dinner on one place? :) I had the stout, Billy had the red ale, which tasted like a pale ale. He wasn't very impressed with the beer or the server, but Billy IS a beer snob, after all.
 All "glammed" up!

Tricky lighting - and did you see all my tourist maps and brochures? :)
And my cutie husband!

Some random building downtown, reminded me of the SoHotel, where we stayed in NY!
 Below (yeah, I know it's dark) is the Steam Clock. Funny story - later in our stay, we saw a magnet of the Steam Clock, as a famous Vancouver landmark. We're like - what Steam Clock? But we really had seen it all along. People don't make as big a deal of it at nightime, though. And it didn't chime for us. Good story, huh!
 Browsing in a tourist shop (we did have some people to thank, like Jackie, who was taking care of our pup (and maybe feeding him chocolate... haha. that's another good story, but for another time!).
 After walking around the darling cobblestones of Gastown, we settled on Indian food for dinner. Wow it was delicious. If we were local, that would be our new Indian spot. We shared a dinner thing, which came with pappadum, naan, butter chicken, lamb something or other, rice, and dessert.
 Here's the dessert - there's an official name, but they're basically donut holes soaked in sweet syrup. YUM.
That ended our first day in beautiful Canada. We slowly (with full tummies!) walked back to our hotel and crashed early. But don't worry - Days 2 and 3 were also filled with fun. Coming up next... the wedding!

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