North AmericaScubaSightseeing

Thursday, July 30, 2009 – Vancouver

Thursday, July 30, 2009 – Vancouver

Still a record heat wave in Vancouver. And unfortunately the air conditioner in our hotel didn’t work,so we slept without sheets or blankets.

Granville Island

We had breakfast at a creperie and then walked to catch a bus to Granville Island. The bus was not only un-air-conditioned (Vancouver doesn’t usually need air conditioning), but the money collector was broken so the bus driver announced, “Your lucky day ladies – it’s free!” On Granville we met Dave, Peter, and Robin and shopped through the markets and boutiques. I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but we never stopped in Ketchikan or Juneau as I thought we would so I had no souvenirs to show for it. And so I shopped a little for myself, buying a charm of the Inuit Inukshuk, which is their symbol of balance of unselfishness, and also some pretty cards to frame for my wall.

The group of us decided to buy our lunch from the market and have picnic outside, despite the heat. Anat was in charge of fruit, Robin for bread and olives, Dave for meat, Shannon for chocolate, and me for (of course) cheese.



Picnic Table


Robin decided to head back to meet Peter, so Anat, Shannon and I kidnapped Dave and made him shop in the oppressive 33.4 Celsius heat. A jeweler I met (Michael Dean – love his stuff) told me, “We’re not used to this kind of humidity. It’s not uncommon that we get this hot but there’s always a cool breeze off the ocean. We had a blizzard a few years ago, and we’re not used to snow either. So for days we had to stay home because there weren’t any snowplows.” Tell me again why I live on the east coast?

Michael Dean works his magic

Granville Island

Lynn Canyon

There are two suspension bridges to see in the Vancouver area: one is easily accessible, full of tourist shops, and costs $28. The other is a little more difficult to get to, completely free of shops, and free. Guess which one we went to? The Lynn Canyon Bridge was a bus/ferry/bus away from us at Granville but we went anyway. We took Bus #50 to the Seabus ferry to Bus #228 in Northern Vancouver – through a neighborhood that we would have thought was the wrong stop if there weren’t a sign that said, “Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, 1KM”. The bridge certainly wasn’t empty but the crowd was mostly young local kids who obviously had a serious social scene going on at the west end of the falls.

Take us to the tourist attraction!

Shannon, Dave, and Anat (and 20 million other people)

Dave on the phone with NYC: “What do you mean ‘Swine Flu’?!?!”

Anat gets some downtime

Shannon takes a break from photography

Laughing at who knows what

Much less crowded later in the eveing

We spent some time hanging on the rocks and dangling our feet in the cold water, but soon after we started to get hungry and knew we’d need to start the trek back to mainland Vancouver for dinner. Unfortunately we missed the closer Bus #229 so we hiked the 1KM to the #228 where – three minutes from the stop – we saw the 228 cruise by our stop. So we sat on the curb and waited 20 hot minutes for the next bus.

Dinner in Gaslight District – Black Frog

After our bus to the sea bus we walked out of the terminal and turned into the Gaslamp district. This is touted to be “touristy” but I thought it was pretty and we go there just as the Steam Clock went off.

Steam Clock

View through the steam clock

Nearby was a cute little bar/restaurant called the Black Frog with food that pleased all of us. We started with edemame and I had fish n chips. Again. Just because I can. But there’s going to be a major weight-loss effort once I get back to NYC. Just not now.

Anat, Shannon, and Dave


Sunset over Vancouver

Gaslight District, Vancouver

While we were at dinner we talked about how much we liked Vancouver and what specifically we’d noticed:

  • People say “thank you” to the bus drivers
  • Bus drivers actually help you get where you’re going
  • The guy who stopped to help four confused tourists who were perplexed by the Seabus ticket validation machine (yeah, that was us)
  • Strangers say “Bless you” when you sneeze
  • Even the crazies are nice

And Shannon and I have dubbed Anat as “Mindy 2.0” because

  • She likes wine
  • She gets cold easily
  • She layers
  • She likes to read
  • She makes us laugh