Diane in Vancouver Feb 8-12 2008

I had a chance to go out to Vancouver to visit my sister a few weeks ago. We rode around the city on the bus and took in the sights… and food that Van had to offer. The weather was fine, with not too many rainy periods and even a few hours of blue sky! Carrie has gotten lucky with a really nice little townhouse with good landlords and roommates who call her to find out where she is if she isn’t home on time, which is really nice of them. I also got to meet Trio, who is a very pretty grey striped cat. We spent the mornings sleeping or reading and making porridge for breakfast – I discovered that the girls have quite a large collection of books that appeal to me between them, which they very kindly shared.

We did the most important things first – a walk on the beach and a trip to the cupcake store downtown by the harbour where they have the international fireworks competitions. Those little cupcakes are expensive, but very fun with all the different flavours they have. Carrie was also adamant that she wanted to take me to try some fancy hot chocolate at a place which is conveniently located right beside the cupcake shop. Care had some creamy milk chocolate, and I had dark “mexican” hot chocolate with some spicy cayenne or other pepper in it – very tasty!

Carrie took me to the site where she was a movie extra for a few days - she was ten feet from Keanu Reeves and some other girl. It was a pretty non-descript lot - I wonder how it was chosen.

On Friday night we all went down to Granville Island to watch some Theatresports. The improv was some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The actors were experienced and totally on fire, and we all appreciated a chance to laugh. My favorite skit was built around a squeaky spot that one of the actors had found in the floor of the stage. It reminded me how much fun I have at improv nights – I’ll have to try and make it out again soon! Afterward, we went to a tapas place by the entrance to Granville Island called The Cat’s Meow for their sweet potato fries. I had some crab cakes that were really good too.

The next day Care and I went back again for the market. I really love it there, even though it’s crowded beyond my liking. I like to see vendors selling directly to their customers, and there are so many fresh and exciting products to be had. Carrie and I munched on some turkey sausage and rosemary bread with herbed butter and strolled from shop to shop. We visited a dive shop, a stationary store, a store that sold natural dyeing supplies…

I felt I had to show Carrie a restaurant that Morgan and I had found in the summer called Memphis Blues. There’s a couple of them in Vancouver, but the only one I’ve been to is on East Broadway. The “Memphis Feast” only comes to about $30 or $35 and you get a year’s supply of meat with bbq sauce and cornbread. Morgan’s skillet cornbread is much better, I think, but I love the pulled pork. Two times I’ve been, and two times I’ve left with a considerably large doggie bag. Ah, meat.

Carrie’s roomy lent us her car, a cute little Honda called “Josh”, to do a grocery shop on Sunday morning, and I got some split green peas and sausage so we could boil up a mess o’ comfort food. You could stand a spoon up in it – a real big spoon!

Well, there was even more to do – we tried on potential bridesmaids’ dresses and found a style Carrie liked and played with hairstyles for me. It’s been a while since I had my hair in curlers. We made some tasty cookies and Care opened birthday presents from home. Carrie’s roommate drove us out to Deep Cove and we walked around on the dock and ate some sushi in a warm little place nearby. Mmm, west coast sushi!

Eventually, it was time for Carrie to get to rehearsal and me to head back to the airport. Unfortunately, I never made it to a runthrough of Wedding of the Year, but I did have plenty of time to admire the artwork displayed in the Van International. The stone carving is lovely, and the whalebone work is actually pretty imaginative. I couldn’t do it, that’s for sure.

Anyway, it’s business as usual for me again, but I have enjoyed my excursions to the coast the last little while. That makes 3 Vancouver trips for me in the last 12 months.