There were also some hardcore attempts at pimping me the glories of Starbucks, but they don’t have much there I like – though the hot chocolate was tasty. The tea, however, was much better back at home base.
The three hour drive to Vancouver wasn’t bad, even with the border checkpoint and the sudden turns with very little advanced signage.
After rallying in [redacted]’s room, a troop of us went down to start enjoying the organizational fiasco that was this convention. We went down about half an hour after registration was due to open only to find that the huge line hadn’t started being processed and that they were having everyone who wanted to get into the convention line up together, whether they had already registered the night before, had pre-registered online, or were registering that day – all in one line. YAY!
So we made our first foray into the food court in the mall attached to the hotel – and thus began my attempt to eat *everything* in Vancouver because the food was cheap and tasty! MMmmmm!
I went to a singapore joint and had sour long beans and spicy tofu. By the time we had finished eating, the line which had been deep into the food court had vanished – sadly, we soon found that they had just found a different path around the hotel to wind the line instead of having processed everyone who had been waiting.
…and then taking [redacted]’s son off on a quest for food (esp. red bean buns) which ended up at a noodle place that was only mostly acceptable.
…Ummmm… and that was pretty much it for the night (until the dessert thing at 10:30), so I took the opportunity to explore the city and make sure I’d be able to find the theatre the next morning. I boarded by the SkyTrain two blocks from the hotel (metrotown station) and went toward the city to the end of the line (Waterfront station) only to discover that my fare would include a trip to North Vancouver on the SeaBus. Now it had been rainy for the first two days we were there, (record-breaking amounts of rain), but that evening the sky cleared and there was a beautiful sunset – and then I got to cross the water at night with all the city lights reflecting in the water. If you’ve ever traveled with me, you probably know that something like this is my favorite way to first see a city: at night and near water. (I think things like the London Eye are just about the best thing ever to do fresh from the plane with an edge of jet lag and nothing but peaceful beautiful city for the entire ride.)
I wandered around London Quay. I walked uphill (upmountain?) through a residential area for a while before giving up on getting far from the water and shifting east a few blocks to walk down a more commercial street. I stopped by a friendly liquor store that had very little in the way of scotch and passed a couple nice restaurants that were out of the league of the cheap, tasty food I knew I could find. I passed by one of the restaurants that I am pretty sure I read about on Joseph Mallozzi’s blog, but I can’t find it after a quick look. I’ll (maybe) post the name later because the menu I grabbed is still packed (it was just a paper one for take out, so quit thinking I’m a thief).
Asked around the bus drivers for the location of the theatre – found out it was on the central Vancouver side of the water and that I could find the right street by the Tim Hortons. But it was getting late, I hadn’t had dinner, and there was a dessert party to go to, so I just took the SkyTrain home instead of exploring for the right street.
No worries – I was up early enough the next day that I left well ahead of everyone else, so I took the opportunity to weave about the streets a bit and do some touristing on the way to the theatre.
I found that I do not like Tim Hortons, and I am wondering whether that is a moral failing on my part. I tried the old fashioned glazed (a cake donut) and the honey dipped (a yeast donut), and both were too sweet. The honey dipped was almost like a Krispy Kreme but over the line as far as sweetness goes. Even the tea tasted a bit stale and uninteresting. Just as well, because ditching the tea meant that I was free to try Blenz‘s Royal Tea Latte, which was Assam and rose petals steeped dark and then flavored with a couple squirts of vanilla syrup before being topped off with foamed milk just like a latte. MMMMmmmmm! I considered buying a canister, but then I realised that it wouldn’t be anything like the stuff they were making from ingredients at the store (and one small canister was 13 CAD).
…Ummmm… *ducks head* I skipped one of the panels to have lunch. MMmmm – buns and water dumpings from this place with handmade noodles – so good! The bubble yea place had fresh papaya, so they make me a tea with papaya and coconut milk and no tapioca. If I had known you could get bubble tea without tapioca bubbles, I’d have been drinking it long before now.
…Right, so, end of convention. And now it was time to hunt for my misplaced knitting. I started off by going back to the theater with the screening and leaving a description and my contact information there – no luck. And then the only other places I had to look were at the hotel (or in the rental car of the people I don’t know), so I set off west on Davie Street toward the area that the guidebook one of my roommates had brought said was the gay area of town. And, oh man, was it! *delighted* There was a jeans and underwear store called Priape, and many other delightful things. I stopped by an indian restaurant (not Indian Bistro, but a few blocks west) because the manager, Jerry, saw me pondering the menu and was very eager to invite me in. He seated me by the window so that I could better watch the “parade” of people going by. This lovely, candle-lit restaurant would be a perfect date restaurant (as confirmed by the sexy couple at the next table) except for the manager stopping by to tell hilarious stories that were both charming and terrifying: about how he was queen bee of the restaurant and had to fire one of the older waiters who did not respect that when he first came to manage the restaurant, how they were short staffed tonight because the other waitress had a hot date and was “itching to twitch” that night, and how back when he had first come to Vancouver in 1974 and had been smoking a joint with a lovely young fellow (both hiding under a windbreaker) he had been jumped by the cops and arrested – and wasn’t he lucky they chose one of the rare times he wasn’t there giving head – and that his case went to the supreme court (of Canada?) because he had just been smoking when he’d been harassed for his homosexuality. And the food was tasty – I had lamb vindaloo (actually spicy) and lots of fresh hot bread (with free refills on naan). And then I slid out just in time to catch the bus to go back to the SkyTrain – no waiting. 🙂