Published: October 10th 2008October 10th 2008
Hello again - thought I better get you up to date with our Vancouver stay before I move on in Ontario again!!
Thanks for all the comments - nice to hear from you all. And Bob well done for painting the house and making apple crumble - Michael would be proud of you.
Anne and Rosslyn - I hear you are in touch now and will be able to meet up in NZ - great stuff this internet for travelling and making new friends.
WORLD NEWS - I am trying to avoid the news at the moment but couldn't help find out that Icesave bank has gone to the wall with some of my savings!!! Am reassured that Gordon Brown says I will get my money back - fingers crossed....will keep voting New Labour if I do.
And so to Vancouver - the girls had arranged for us to have 2 rooms in the Westin Bayshore - it is a beautiful hotel overlooking the marinas at Coal Harbour and right next to Stanley Park. Lovely rooms ( I think they managed an upgrade) and I had a bed so huge I had to climb up onto it and I could have slept across the top of it. Very grand lobby with lots of comfy chairs and sofas and views out into gardens with ponds and streams - and I even spied a heron in one of the ponds.
Weather was good the first couple of days but then the Vancouver mist and rain set in - but we were ready for that and it didnt stop our sightseeing - sometimes we split up and did our own things - I did the art gallery - nice exhibition of Canadian Women paintings - also the Dr Sun Yat Sen Chinese gardens were lovely and peacful and an oasis right in the city...I turned up there at just the right time to join a tour and the guide was very informative - how they built the rooms and garden and the meanings attached to everything in Chinese culture...finished up with chinese tea.
Vnacouver harbour front is lovely with walks and gardens and glass skyscrapers everywhere. I found one old ( well old for Canada) building -Marine Building - I think it was - on my walkabout...I noticed the Art Deco door and so I went in and there was the most stunning artdeco lobby , the floor, ceiling , lifts glass windows - all in the style - since being in Napier NZ last year ( when I was at Jocelyn and Mac's) which was rebuilt after an earthquake in Art deco style - I really notice it everywhere I come across it now. I hope no-one knocks that building down it is a treasure.
One of the down sides we saw to Vancouver was there were lots of homeless people on the streets - that was rather a shock - dont think we have ever seen so many in any western city.
Checking out the tourist guide we took a taxi to a Chinese resto that was supposed to be great - The Pink Pearl. Well the food was okay but had a good laugh because there was so much food loaded onto the plates that we were trying to hide it by shovelling it off onto tea plates and it still looked like loads - and Tracie got into a fit of laughing when the chinese waiter was explaining that something had "peanuts" in - his pronunciation was such that she rolled her eyes and didnt dare look at us - and I leave it to your imagination to decipher what she thought he said. Well the whole night we couldnt stop laughing....and I think there was more food on the plates as we left than when we startThe other resto we found right beside the hotel overlooking the water were rather more up-market and stylish and served GREAT food. WE had fantastic seafood at LIFT and on our last night at THE CRIME LAB we manged to eat very good food out on covered deck in the rain under the heaters with blankets round us.
Rain stopped play when we were going to hire bikes and ride round Stanley Park - so instead we took a ride in a horse drawn wagon - it was very good with a nice commentary and they thanked us for taking the trip as it enabled these big cart horses to carry on working otherwise they would be for the knackers yard.
During 2 days we had got the BigBus but have to say that this company here was absolute rubbish. Didnt keep to schedule, waited ages , some people couldnt then get on bus and when they complained they had been waiting 45 mins the driver was damn rude . Then at one point about 3pm - I was going to get off and explore the Gastown area - the driver announce he was stopping for 1/2 hr , the other bus had broken down and he would be the last bus so we better stay on or lose our seats!!!! I will probable write a letter of compliant in true Michael style once I get home.
And so on Saturday we took the taxi to the airport and we had to say our goodbyes - me to the domestic terminal and they girls to the International. We had had such a great time - it was all I wanted it to be and much more. Tracie had one last attempt to steal my neck pillow for the long flight home but I managed to get away with letting her have my eye mask. And I had to be brave they said and no crying. My flight to Hamilton Ontario was via Edmonton - flew with West jet and it was very good all the way. Bev and Peter met me at the airport and it was like old times again even though we had met now for about 12 years.
To be continued - adventures in Ontario next episode.
Bye for now - Love Lynne xx