August 10th, 2004
Bow, WA to Vancouver, BC Canada
Missed the breakfast at Skagit's buffet, so we're waiting for lunch. Bryan turned $20 into $90, so he's down only $9.50, but I gave him a $20 to stop playing his money and let me keep the winnings. The machine won my $20. So I'm down $13.25.
Driving through customs was uneventful, which I think is fine. Our borderguard acted as though we were a nuisance. He was probably the most unhappy employee I've seen in a while. Any weapons, how much money etc. Of course the man is sitting in a box on a hot day watching cars go by and getting a good daily dose of carbon monoxide. I suppose that can ruin anybody's day...
The Opus is kinda hard to find, and parking is even harder to find. Had to have their valet park the car in the underground hotel garage.
Opus has 4 styles of rooms depending on the color. I chose Blue. Soothing and sophisticated, contemporary.
Red was my 2nd option. Modern and minimalistic. I hear green is ecclectic and funky. I think they use the term "artistic." Yellow is "Tony" and traditional. Taupe is dramatic and daring.
Wandering Vancouver with no clue where we are going is frustrating. We did go to the library. Absolutely awesome architecture. Sadly, being tired, means poor Bryan has to deal with me being cranky and slow. Its harder for me to breathe here. I think I got spoiled in the redwoods/little cities.
We wandered thru the centre mall. It looks like someone took Vallco and Eastridge and made them into 1 mall. 1 floor underground, 1 at street level and 1 above.
Dinner at Marriot hotel's "Showcase". Salad and asparagus for me, steak for him. They cut the potatoes into rectangular "logs" and put 4 of them together in Lincoln log fashion as the platform to present the steak. Nice prestentation... (I seem to be getting a lot of fruit and veggies on this trip. Esp. Berries and asparagus.)
Speaking of berries. Our waiter brought us a plate of chocolate covered strawberries to congratulate is on our wedding! (The waiter's name tag said Emerson or Edmunston or such.) It was a really nice suprise. He also helped us find a few places to go check out since we are on a tight schedule. He recommended Robson St.
Apparently all the food places were on Robson St. Walking down the streets we've seen several pan-handlers. One just walked up and asked for a dollar. One was a clean cut looking college aged boy who was just sitting down and setting up a "homeless" sign and a cup. Clean clothes, clean, pale skin, crew cut. Go fig.
The last memorabl one was a boy about 14-15 sitting and shouting out "buy me some food" as if he were at a ren faire...
Getting back, finally, to our room, the staff had come and turned down our bedding. Chocolates on the pillows and all that. But getting a card with tomorrows weather forecast(in both F and C!) was a real classy touch!
Nice tub. Its extra deep. It might be a bit longer too. And there's actuall water pressure!!!
Speaking of water. Its been nice to find that so far only the Valencia had soft water. So I suppose there's something to be said for small hotels and B&B's.
We got up too late for breakfast at the casino buffet, so we waited around a little while for the lunch buffet to start.
While we were waiting, I played some more video poker and was doing very well. I kept going up and up until Kryis told me I needed to stop.
Lunch buffet was okay. Nothing to write home about.
Drive up to Canada was interesting. The borderguard was probably the most unhappy person on Earth as we drove through. But I suppose asking the same questions over and over again in a tin can could get boring.
Vancouver is an interesting city. Very eclectic. Seems to have European, North American, and Asian influences. Has a lot of the feel of San Fransisco as well. Some of the architecture I did not care for, but some of it was great.
The hotel was a little hard to find. No big sign or anything, but once we got there it was nice. A smaller hotel with a very modern feel. We were in a "blue" room which has a very freaky feature. The bathroom has a window in one wall, with curtains and blinds to block view of the inside from the outside... except the person not in the bathroom gets to control the blinds. Guess you can be too bashful around other people in this hotel.
I liked the room, and the hotel, although I was constanly having problems getting the card key to let me operate the elevator.
After we checked out the room for a while, we left to go get some Canadian currency and then walk around the city.
I knew of some places that I really wanted to check out based on stuff I had read in some of the tourist books from the hotel room. As we were walking, we were looking for someplace to eat... and we were not really finding any. We seemed to be going down all the streets that only had fast food or scary looking places to eat.
We eventually found our way to the Vancouver Library, which I must say is the most beautiful library I have ever seen in my life. Granted... I have not been in very many libraries.
Afterwards we continuedwalking around. Wound up in a "Centre" apparantly the Canadian word for "Mall." Not too terribly interesting food wise... the architecture was fairly ugly and most of the shops were the same as you get find in a mall in the bay area.
We eventually made our way to the Marriot hotel and decided that the restaurant there was acceptable (it was actually much more than than acceptable) Good food and they gave us a complimentary dessert because we were on our honeymoon. Nice.
Kryis was pretty tired and whiny by this point so we limped our way back to the Hotel and to bed.