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Och, Vancouver

Monday mid-day black_bird_777 and I went up to Vancouver for a two night stay in a posh boutique hotel down toward Coal Harbour as part of my birthday escape weekend, even though it wasn't my birthday weekend -- it was the only time she could go. It was kind of nice not being on a weekend, actually. Far fewer people to negotiate around on Robson and Granville when we were shopping, the restaurants weren't as crowded, and I don't know if that's why the hotel was so quiet, but man, that was the quietest place I've ever stayed.

My big excitement and one of the things that sold me on the place was the huge soaking tubs in the rooms. I went to Lush before I went and stocked up on bath bombs and melts and bubble bars and planned to soak the weekend away, something that people with usable tubs probably think is crazy, but when you don't have one, you know. I actually cried when we found out that the only two double rooms they have don't have the tubs. It's really my only complaint with the place, but it was a big one. I was so excited about having access to a soaking tub. The floor to ceiling windows and fantastic view and hunky naked guy across the way didn't make up for the tubs, but the beds were great and the bathroom had marble floors with radiant heat. After traipsing around in the pouring rain all day, that radiant heat on the tootsies was fantastic (though a tub would have been better).

We ate at a wonderful Belgian restaurant called Chambar, which had fantastic mussels (a staple of Belgian cuisine), and some of the loveliest plating I've ever seen. The second night we ate at this awful place everyone gives raves to, a casual brewpub style place called Steamworks that's actual just a rustic version of Gordon Biersch (I guess I expected and hoped for some kind of steampunky look and feel). If, like blackbird, I'd had beer, I might have enjoyed it more, but I got bad cocktails and the burger was utterly tasteless and we had smoke from the kitchen in our faces all night. We walked way back up on Robson to the gelato place to at least have some good dessert.

The bad part of the weekend, besides the rain, was that I had to work -- the magazine I usually proof was very late, and crashed into a rush proof I had for a book series, which needed to be done before I left for Vancouver. So I had to take the magazine pdfs with me, and this was a huge issue, it turned out, about 24 more pages than usual, so it took forever and my neck and shoulders were killing me by the time I finished. Not quite the holiday I planned.

Driving back was a white knuckle experience for a large part of the time -- we were in torrential rain all the way down to Mt. Vernon, and stopped at one point outside Bellingham when it looked like we finally might have blue sky, but it was the world's slowest Denny's, so by the time we got our food, approximately five long years later, the rain was back and stayed heavy.

Kitties cared not one whit that I was away. Maybe they'll care when I'm gone for a week to DC after Christmas! My pal Keith called me to finalize the booking, so it does look like I'll get to go east at the holidays. I'll probably miss the unveiling of Yuletide, in fact, because I'm taking a redeye Christmas eve. I will keep trying to remind myself that it's a free ticket when I'm stuck in the airport missing my plane change or my luggage goes elsewhere. I've never been to the east coast when it wasn't hot, so I'm really struggling with what to pack.

Today I went to the dog park with blackbird and her big girl, who I think kind of looks like she could be a scary dog but who is the sweetest old thing around. It really is hard to be unhappy at the dog park. Puppies and their soft little bellies, every kind of dog imaginable running around and being happy and chasing balls and tails and each other, paddling around in the lake... it's just so cute. Nice way to end the week. Cold, though, but sunny, and I think the first time I've had to wear sunglasses for months and months.

So, outside the hotel I discovered this incredible steampunk style orca submarine sculpture, which was sadly uncredited as far as I could see. It was really awesome! I apologize for the water spots, but it was utterly pouring when I took these and trying to juggle the camera, huge umbrella, and bag was more than I could handle.







Comments

( 16 thought bubbles — Draw a thought bubble )
talitha78
Nov. 28th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!!!
gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
deejay
Nov. 28th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
Hippie bird dye 2 ewe! \o/
gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! (hugs)
dorinda
Nov. 28th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! ♥ I'm glad you had some good times in Vancoober! I'm totally there with you on the bathtub thing...I miss the large/comfy/ergonomic/super-comfy tub in my old apartment sooooooo muuuuuuuuuuch.
gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Yeah, the bathtub thing is pathetic, but man, when you don't have a usable one, it becomes SUCH A BIG DEAL. Also, Lush products taunt you with their lovely smelliness and you can't use them!
klia
Nov. 28th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! I'm so glad you made it up to Vancouver, even if your tub went missing.

gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Seriously, who cries over a tub? But it was a nice time anyway, despite that and working most of the time. It's hard to be unhappy there.
klia
Nov. 29th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
If I'd arrived with a bunch of Lush goodies, I would've been pretty crushed, too.

I miss Vancouver. I really need to go back one of these days.
trepkos
Nov. 28th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
I have a tub, but I still never book a hotel that doesn't have one.
Sorry you didn't get yours.
gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! It's weird how something that mundane can make such a big deal in your holiday. ;-)
keiko_kirin
Nov. 29th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
Oh noes about the tub! :( But I'm glad you went to Vancouver, and that steampunk orca sculpture is wonderful! Happy Birthday! May there be bathtubs in your future (in DC, perhaps?).
gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
I should definitely ask Keith about his tub situation. ;-)

I wish I could have that orca for my own. I don't think I've ever seen an outdoor art installation that I wanted that badly for my own appreciation. It was so amazing, and I would love to look at it all the time in my backyard. I wonder how much it would cost to hire some hoodlums to steal it...
(Anonymous)
Nov. 29th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
thank you for the mini tour of vancouver. and happy bday. I was thinking of you while we were stove shopping today (don;t ask why.....my tortured brain logic).
morgandawn
Nov. 29th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
oops that was me, not logged in
gwyn_r
Nov. 29th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yet somehow I knew it was you! I did some looking around and some searching while I was up there to see about things I normally don't pay much attention to -- so I think I'm armed with even more info for you guys when you do go up there. There's a lot of new hotels and places to eat what with the Olympics coming, and I think some of the new transportation options will also be really helpful for you.
( 16 thought bubbles — Draw a thought bubble )

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