Got back from Vancouver, B.C. yesterday, after a very fun trip with algeh
(Linnea). We visited my
e2 friends Rowan
, and Josh
, staying with Rowan and Aaron two nights, and one night at Josh's place with two lovely futons instead of a funny air mattress and a very short sofa. On the way up to Vancouver on Thursday, we visited greatblondelf
(Sean) and his girlfriend Siobhan in Seattle. We went out to dinner at a mongolian grill sort of place and then went to rent a movie. Ended up taking the recommendation of a couple of strangers and rented Twin Falls Idaho, a very strange and much more depressing movie than we were hoping for. Also, popcorn. Yum.
Next morning, onwards to Vancouver! Very easy time crossing the border. They didn't even ask us what we were doing in Canada, only how long we were staying. We had to wait in line for about 10 minutes, which is not bad at all. We arrived at Rowan and Achan's house.
After that, the order of events gets a bit fuzzy, but I know that we did do the following: We went to Chinatown and ate at the Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant, with plenty of
simulated meat that scared Linnea. Rowan picked up some buns in Chinatown for later sampling and reviewing for a magazine article he was to write. We went to The Mall that Shoppers Forgot (think the Galleria, but bigger) and rotated rounds of DDR. Rowan did all he could to kill us--you'd never imagine a 6'4" Canadian flannel-wearing Rasputin could dance so well. Off to Gastown, the pseudoeuropean tourist district, for food that didn't scare Linnea and tourist crap—we got Sean an "I like Canadian boys" t-shirt, oh oh amusing (we're helping him get gayer). I sought what I considered to be the ideal solution to my light warmth sheath crisis--a black hoodie with a Canadian flag silkscreened on the back (and no words!), but such was not found.
Went and visited Josh one evening, and after some chatting and sushi dinner decided it was time to play Port Starboard. When I was the Captain, we ended up way out in Coquitlam, some 40 or 50km away from where we started, on a scary horror movie rural road named Quarry Road. We also passed a couple of "psycho wards" (in Josh's words) along the way. All told, a very interesting night, and a very late one—we were out until about 04:00.
We went to Costco and got mass quantities of Kinder Eggs (36 of them for each of us). I really wish we had those things in the States. I'm definitely going to Canada and importing them for my children if I ever have children in this country.
It rained a lot.
Vancouver streets are very difficult to drive on in the rain. They are pretty much flat and don't drain very well, so they're covered in water and the lines are almost impossible to see.
The visit was generally unplanned, chaotic, spontaneous, and very busy, which was much much fun, but I fear I ran Linnea a little ragged. And, as is to be expected, we had a lot of trouble finding food we could agree on.
I ate Poutine, twice. Once at a fancy Belgian Fry place, another at McDonald's (yow! first time I've been there since... probably since I was in elementary school).
We went 5-pin bowling with a bunch of Tabnet people, all dressed as superheros or supervillains. I wore a brownie sash and a tiara, and, being a supervillian, was The Unhappy Camper. 5-pin bowling was an interesting experience: little balls with no holes, three balls on each frame instead of two. Magically enough, I got the highest score of all, and we supervillains rather trounced the heroes.
After bowling, went to a make-your-own clothing place, where you pick a stock blank shirt, sweater, pair of underwear, &c. to have things silkscreened on from a selection of options. Most of the available decals had to do with 80s pop culture or punk/goth bands and were of no interest to me, but I was able to assemble my Ideal Warmth Sheath of Protection Against Cold +2, and and boom! with a Bonus Medallion, in the form of a little circle with a cat sticking its tongue out and the word "blah" on the front of the shirt. Poke the button once and I stick my tongue out. Careful of poking it twice.
Visited Sean and Siobhan again on the way down, where we delivered present of the shirt and some Kinder Eggs, and headed on south.
The drive both directions was pretty rainy. At points we had to slow down to 50 or 55 in a 70 zone because of the weather. Leaving Seattle on the way back, it was rush hour, and I proposed that we take surface streets instead of 5 at least to the city limits. This turned out to be a very good idea—in all the raininess, there had been a bunch of accidents involving some 25 cars on Interstate 5 south of Seattle which closed all lanes. It had reopened by the time we got there, and we got through pretty quickly, as the carpool lane generally moved pretty smoothly.
I think that's a pretty good summary of the trip.
Wow, they were just using Kraftwerk as bumper music on NPR.