Saturday, 16 January 2010

More Visitors

On Thursday the 7th Pam and Kev arrived from London. They were tired and I was working so we took it easy on them. On the 8th Anna, Alex and Webb all arrived from NZ. Anna and Alex had a very brief stopover on their way back to London. Webb was joining us for a week 'on his way to Mexico' (???). Rach was able to go out to the airport and pick up Webb and grab a quick coffee with Anna and Alex before they had to catch their next flight.

On the 9th the weekend finally arrived so I was able to spend some quality time with our visitors. Rach was on night shifts so I put on my tour guide hat and went for a walk around Stanley Park trying to find all the Canadian nature I could. I think I did pretty well, found a squirrel and raccoon and I think I saw an eagle but everyone else seemed to miss it.

When Rach woke up we headed back to our apartment - after a mojito at English Bay. It was also time for Pam and Kev to get ready for the wedding they were over for.

Webb, Andre, Nerissa, Rach and I went out to catch another Vancouver sight... The Cambie. They claim to have the cheapest beer in town and I think they might be right. Also being near Vancouver's downtown east side it attracts an interesting crowd, this night was no different. We ended up having boat races with some European tourists (can't remember any more than that sorry). It was a fun night out, and from experience very typical for a night at the Cambie.

For some reason we weren't feeling 100% on Sunday. Pam had arranged a birthday present for Kev downtown so they were up early for that, we slept in a little. When we eventually dragged ourselves out of bed we decided to make the most of the cheap transit on Sundays and take Pam and Webb over to North Vancouver on the seabus. While we were there we found a nice lunch at Burgoo - great feel good food for a typical winter day. We then picked up Kev and completed the tour by exploring a bit of Gastown and an evening stroll home around False Creek before Pam and Kev had to race off for dinner.

It was an early start on Monday, we caught the early morning greyhound up to Whistler. The weather didn't exactly cooperate and kept most of the scenery out of sight - this wasn't the end of the world as a few people were struggling to stay awake anyway. After we checked into our accommodation we decided the best way to make the most of this weather was to grab something to eat, grab some beer and sit in the spa for a few drinks - we were so right.
Rach and I had a small surprise organized for the evening. All of us had got engaged in the last 6 months so we arranged a nice dinner out for us all to celebrate. Its just a shame that Niki couldn't be there too. We had a nice bottle of bubbly and some real good Alaskan King Crab - it was such a nice night.

Tuesday was Rach's birthday so we had to have a bit of adventure. We headed to the Whistler tube park, the same place Rach and I went at Christmas. We were a bit confused to start with because the signs at the base of the mountain said that the park wasn't open. Luckily Rach went inside and asked, it was open and the sign meant that it was nice and quiet for us.

When we were tired of climbing up and down the mountain we caught the bus back to Vancouver and went out for dinner. We ended up at our local favourite, The Templeton. Typical North American diner food in classic diner style.

Wednesday was another miserable wet day so we found something inside to do - explore the museum. I had to work so I was secretly glad they weren't doing anything too exciting. When the weather cleared up a little they had a wander around Granville Island and false creek again. For dinner we headed to a great restaurant right on the water in Coal Harbour called Carderos. They have great food, great drink and an amazing view.

Thursday was a quiet day for us. Pam and Kev headed down to Seattle and Webb caught his flight down to Mexico - I went to work. It was so great seeing Webb again, he's one of those friends that no matter how long its been, we pick up as though it was only yesterday that we saw each other.

On Friday Rach had a nice walk to enjoy the sun that had finally arrived then later Rach and I headed to the movies to watch Avatar (average story but great effects in 3D) while Pam and Kev were coming back from Seattle.

Saturday was the day Pam and Kev headed home. We said goodbye to them early as they had another day planned with other firends in Vancouver. We then headed down to Yaletown for a nice brunch in the sun before a games night with Emily.

It was a crazy busy week with all our visitors but it was so much fun and exactly what we needed. You're welcome back anytime!

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Years

We were a little disappointed to discover that New Years is a bit of a non event in Vancouver - no fireworks, no concerts.  Most people here seem to pay $50+ to go into clubs all night, we weren't so keen on this plan.  We decided to to find a nice restaurant to celebrate the end of 2009 and join people in Granville Street to see 2010 in.

We started our evening at Al Porto Ristorante in Gastown.  Here we had a nice Italian dinner and a few drinks.  The place was very busy, everywhere we pretty much booked out being new years eve.

It was a rainy miserable night so when we finished dinner we weren't sure whether to head up to Granville Street or find somewhere dry to wait till closer to midnight.  There were already a few people gathering in Granville street at 10pm so we decided to wander around taking it in.  The whether got worse before it got better and we were both cold and tired.  Fortunately there were people dancing around with drums providing entertainment and a little bit of warmth.  It was also fun watching the police 'manage' a few people that had started the night a little early.

The major flaw with having an unofficial countdown in the middle of Vancouver is that the clock doesn't have a second hand.  This made the countdown rather disorganized.  There were at least 3 different countdowns separated by several minutes as people noticed their watches.  The one around us must've been about right, the clock hand moved to midnight at about the right time.

We were both pretty tired after a long day after a snog and making a mess of Auld Lang Syne we headed home to bed.