Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vancouver, BC

Despite travelling over a thousand miles, our journey north had not yet reached its pinnacle. Last year, the big loop we made in our travels went as far north and east as South Dakota before turning back to the west. This year, we'd leave the country, struggling for words to describe our jobs and where we lived to an impatient border security official who seemed a teensy bit confused when we said we were visiting Vancouver just to visit Vancouver.

"Who are you visiting in Vancouver?" she asked.

"No one. We're just going to visit Vancouver and see the city" I replied, a little worried that I might say something idiotic and have to answer more questions in an even more intimidating setting.

After a bit of brow-furrowing, she returned our passports and welcomed us to Canada, our minor bit of anxiety turning into excitement and then back to anxiety as we realized the speed signs used kilometers per hour, not miles per hour. The Prius, unlike many other cars, doesn't have an analog speedometer with both mph and kph, but just digital numbers on their own. After a bit of fidgeting with the controls, Erinn switched it to kph and we were back to being excited.


As with Seattle, our visit to Vancouver was much too short to do anything but skim the surface. We made the most of it by eating some bangers and mash at The Irish Heather, wandering around for miles inside beautiful Stanley Park, and trying some unique sushi at The Eatery.

The Irish Heather is a very cool pub on the edge of Gastown that has super tasty British/Irish food and specializes in good whiskey. My flank steak was delicious, but Erinn's bangers and mash was so good we still talk about it. I definitely recommend a stroll around Gastown, a quick hello to Gassy Jack, and some bangers and mash at The Irish Heather.

Gassy Jack
We started our second day with Stanley Park, the 1,000 acre park which sits right next to downtown Vancouver and which you have to drive through to pass over the Lionsgate Bridge to get to North Vancouver. It's a massive park to simply have sitting on such a prime piece of real estate, but it's wonderful that they've kept it like that. It's a beautiful park with cool trails all throughout it. We walked up and down it and went to the Vancouver Aquarium, also inside Stanley Park.

Other highlights from Vancouver were the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Granville Island, which is this tiny little island south of downtown Vancouver and sits, almost hidden, underneath the Granville St. Bridge. It's really this whole market of stuff, with a public market full of food, nice restaurants, a park, a brewery, wine tasting, a comedy club, art studios, and probably lots of other stuff we missed and yet it's all on this small, hidden island tucked away under a bridge.

Well, after a couple of days in beautiful Vancouver, we went back to America. There were a few things I wish we'd been able to do. I wish we'd gone up to Whistler, just to say we'd done it. I wish I'd gotten some french fries and gravy. And I wish we'd been able to stay a couple nights in Victoria.

Guess we'll just have to go north again!

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