First rainy day since the day after I arrived out west. It’s not raining hard, just a light rain, at times just a heavy mist. Breakfast comes with the room but there’s nothing cooked. Still, not a bad cold buffet though including hard boiled eggs, pastries, yogurt and the usual cereal, toast, etc. The best bus downtown from here is 98B B-line in case anyone needs to know but to get to the stop I have to walk a couple of blocks. It's a handy bus, though, just a half hour straight through to downtown with only a few stops along the way. The route goes along the south end of Granville Street which was an interesting ride.
One stretch was residential and most of the homes either had a lot of trees or very high evergreen hedges along the street edge of the properties for privacy and nose cutting. The last few blocks before the business section (called South Granville Rise) looked to have some very large and posh homes behind the foliage. The section called the Rise is on a gentle hill and there’s actually a nice view straight over to downtown with the mountains looming in the distance. There looked to be quite a few good shops too, keeping that in mind for the next visit.
Across False Creek on a bridge to the downtown peninsula. There is a lot of construction on the waterfront, condominiums mainly. You wouldn’t think there would be any land left on which to build but even through the city blocks I can see new buildings going up.
Off the bus at about 9:45 but the stores don’t seem to open until 10 so. . . Starbucks it is. After I left there, I hunted down the Pacific Center with the intention of walking through to the Vancouver Center, both below street level malls. There were the usual franchise shops and a few nice shops featuring west coast arts and gifts. I saw a free standing kiosk called Just a Second that sold little clocks for 10 dollars, all in many, many different shapes and forms. It was a tough choice between one set into a British style phone booth and a 35 mm. camera but the camera won out. (they only take cash though, no credit cards so keep that in mind)
Time for Robson Street, the Rodeo Drive of Vancouver. Or so I had planned. Only I did get momentarily distracted by the lovely Vancouver library which is built in a round shape with a tall building next to it that echoes it’s curve. There’s also Granville Street which is probably more fun than Robson as it has far funkier shops. Lots of second hand music and video shops as well. Robson is more upscale but a good place to window shop and there are plenty of restaurants. I spent much money in the MAC cosmetic store and I had to find the MAC in the Bay later to pick up an eyeliner colour that the one on Robson was out of. Not sure what I’m going to do with all these shopping bags for the flight tomorrow! I will see how much of it I can put in my canvas tote and maybe I might check in my roller carry on. That way I can probably get away with carrying a large shopping bag as well as the tote and my purse on board. I'm flying business class and there's usually a bit more leeway there.
Lunch was good. I was attracted to a restaurant called Milestones that had a full sized Harley in the front window. Apparently it's a chain restaurant with locations in B.C., Alberta and Ontario but it seemed a cut above some of those types of places. There’s a restaurant and bar and I sat in the bar and had a tasty lunch of chicken strips with a sweet red chili sauce and a Caesar salad with roasted garlic on top. The ale was an Irish style brew from a Granville island brewery called Palomino. Looked like they had an excellent brunch menu as well.
After lunch, a bit more browsing and walking down and back up West Georgia street but that was mainly all office buildings. I did see what I think might be a heritage house though I don’t know if it was open to the public. Came back past the other side of the Art Gallery but it was closed today and there I saw the Bay so I checked that it was the one I needed for the MAC store. It was. Out the other side, I realized I had come back full circle to the bus stop where I had got off this morning. A few things to do yet. Picked up a top in Pennington’s and walked toward the 7/11, planning to get milk to make tea in the hotel room but I spied an internet café. Cheap too! It only cost $2.00 including tax for about 45 minutes. Got all caught up while I got warm and somewhat dry. Sad, I know, as I am on the flight home tomorrow!
Got the milk and hopped on the bus. Don’t think the driver was having a good day because I could hear him being cranky with quite a few that got on. Back through South Granville Rise. I managed to get off at the right stop though was a little disoriented. I could see a familiar hotel that I had passed on the way there this morning and got on the right road back from there. Glad to get back too as I’m a sorry, soggy sight. The tea, made in the small coffee maker in the room, tastes a bit like coffee but it’s hot. I managed to get all my purchases in my canvas bag and I can carry the Lush shopping bag separately.
The Corrie get together at the pub in the Abercorn was fun too. Leanne did a great job of organizing and we were 13 in numbers in total. I knew about half of them, I guess though had only actually met in person 2. One of the men there was a dead ringer for Michael Caine I thought. The pub, called Bobby G’s (after Greyfriar Bobby) was very British looking in style and décor with carpeted floors, some tables and also some high backed armchairs and a dark wood bar. Leanne had organized a quiz and there was a gift exchange. One of the gifts had a lot of paper wrapping it and in the unwrapping, the paper caught fire on the candle on the table so we had a little flurry of excitement until the waitress threw a wet cloth over it. Nobody wanted to waste good beer after all! The party broke up about 10:30. I’ve got to be up to catch the 6:53 airport shuttle so I wasn’t long for my bed tonight once I had everything packed.
Caught the shuttle, got checked in and went through security. For the first time I set it off. Don’t know what did it but the hand held scanner bleeped at my bra hooks and rings and watches. Also I had to unpack a couple of things in the bag that they couldn’t identify on the x-ray. One was the little camera clock, a very solid metal.
Off to the Maple Leaf lounge. The view across the runways to the mountains rising above some high cloud was a sight to behold. Unfortunately I didn’t think ahead and had rewound my film though it wasn’t quite finished and packed my last new film in the checked bag. (pre-digital days!) Had a bagel and tea in the lounge in case they didn’t serve breakfast on the plane. Which they did do so I was pretty full. Business class serves a great breakfast with fresh fruit and juice, an apple crepe with potatoes and onions.
As we approach Ottawa, there are big cloud-mountains pulled up out of the spun cotton sea. We descend past the fluffy peaks and submerge into the white-gray depths, the plane now surrounded by opaque walls that soon turn gray, blocking out the sunlight. Terra firma isn’t evident until we’ve almost landed, only a couple hundred feet above ground. It’s been raining in Ottawa and the tarmac is wet, reflecting the lights yards out onto the runway. The plane stopped in Ottawa but I didn’t get off the plane though most people did. I just stretched my legs and read my book. Landed in an equally rainy Halifax on time.