Vancouver, Where Dreams Come True-ver (Part 2)

See here fer Part 1!

Day 3 started off with yet another stop to a local coffee shop, W.E. Coffee (for “West End,” the name of the neighborhood we stayed at in Vancouver).  Oen of my co-workers said she had an iced Americano here which was really good, and I’m a sucker for a good latte, so I tried this bad boy on for size:

Beautiful latte foam artwork, though the drink itself was kinda average–and at $5.00 Canadian (that’s two two-nies and a loonie), not really worth it.  I’d much rather get a medium latte from the Rival Bros. truck, and its dreamy, tattoo-sleeve barista has no bearing on my enjoyment of their product. Nope, none at all.

These actually exist!

Tami wants to rent one of these CanaDream RVs.

Otherwise, I just realized that I didn’t take a lot of photos on this day, probably because I was running back and forth across town to check into my second-of-third (not to be confused with Seven of Nine) hotel rooms on this trip.  Here’s my pretty view of downtown from my second hotel:

That night, we went to an izakaya, which was super good. The entire staff would shout out some nonsensical greeting every time somebody came in.

Like the Korean place from a few nights before, this place pretty dark inside, so pics were a little tough.

Kingyo’s “Famous Invincible & Undefeated” Tan Tan Noodles. Much different than PF Chang’s Dan Dan Noodles (um, the fact they actually had flavor).
This was a special fusion pizza. My fave dish of the night!

Unbeknownst to my co-workers (and myself, until I found out the hard way), my second hotel was like 30 minutes away from downtown by public transportation, which only ran sporadically after dinner (Guess I’m walking the two miles back to the hotel!)

Of course, since it’s Canada, nobody’s out to shiv you and steal your wallet at 10:00PM.  It was so weird to me–people were rolling their babies around in strollers that late at night on, like, a Wednesday. WEIRD.

The next day was the last full day for my co-workers.  Emily and I decided to rent bikes and ride along the sea wall (I would actually make it all the way around this time…!)

A recreation of a bow of a ship. This is supposed to symbolize Canada’s important trade relationship with Asia.

Ack!  So pretty!

Our group was scheduled to do an afternoon food tour through historic Gastown (the original town that Vancouver grew out of), so Em and I hiked over to the other side of downtown.

Now, on their website, Vancouver Food Tours runs this nice little video featuring their tour, including the fact that it’s in HISTORIC GASTOWN, near a STEAM CLOCK, run via the underground STEAM PIPES!! Wow! The meeting place for the tour is at a Starbucks, and of course, I assumed since they focus so much on this freaking clock…

…that means the meeting place is at the Starbucks right next to the clock, right?

Well, no.  So we’re standing at the Starbucks until about two or three minutes before the tour is supposed to start, and we’ve become a little concerned that neither our guide or anybody else who’s supposed to go on this tour has shown up either.  Thankfully, Rachael is able to pull up the confirmation e-mail on her phone (which none of us apparently felt the need to actually read), which says that we’re actually supposed to meet at a different Starbucks.  Sheesh!

By the time we get to that Starbucks, the tour group has already left, so I had to do the unthinkable: actually make a roaming phone call to contact the company and find out where the heck we were supposed to be.  That phone call probably cost me $12!

So after running back and forth around Gastown, we finally catch up with our tour.  Now, it only cost $30/per person, which should’ve already been a hint at its general quality–another, that the tour stopped at 10 different places over the period of two hours.  Being that spread out means you’re not getting a really immersive experience in any one place, which was a little unfortunate. That, and our tour guide was sorta…terrible.  He was supposed to be “Gassy Jack,” the founder of Gastown (who apparently talked a lot, not that he ate lots of burritos).  Unfortunately, he rarely stayed in character or illuminated us on any of the places we visited, or taught us anything about Gastown itself!  After Disney World, I just assume everybody is going to immerse themselves in their role.

I think we’ve all been spoiled by the City Food Tours in Philly, which is an amazing, very educational experience with very engaging tour guides (I’ve been on two–they are great!).  This was none of those things, though it was interesting seeing parts of the city we may not’ve seen otherwise.

Lobster Mac n’ Cheese from Rogue
Crab cake for babies from Water St. Cafe
Carolina-style pulled pork from Peckinpah’s, which was the best part of the entire tour

At the tail-end of the tour, as we’re dragging a little from running around and being generally tired after three days of conferencing, one of the staff at Peckinpah’s casually mentions a gourmet doughnut place just around the corner.  I immediately notice that Kelly, who works at Federal Donuts on the side, has perked up.  Mmm, gourmet doughnuts.

This place was, yep, BANGIN’.  Tons of super-fun flavors (you can check some of them out on Facebook), including the two (you know, because how can you turn down spending $3 on a doughnut?) I got, the Bourbon Bacon and the S’mores:

Really, probably the best donuts I’ve ever had (though the Indian Cinnamon at Federal Donuts is pretty solid.)

Now, full disclosure: I was inexplicably more-than-a-bit homesick during this trip.  I’ve come to realize that I just don’t like travelling without Lance; it’s something about not having your significant other by your side that makes you feel like you’re not really experiencing things the way you should.  That may be over-dependence, but I call it “splitting the check.”

Later that evening, when I’d eventually settled into the Westin Wall Centre (third hotel, bangin’ bathrooms)…

I saw this cute little photo Lance posted on Instagram (@lancegriffith):

Aww, my little pup monster is so cute!  This was my first time away from Ripley for more than a long weekend, and distance definitely made my heart grow fonder.  What a little Muppet!

At this point, though I loved Vancouver, I kinda wanted to go home, and I was ridiculously jealous of my co-workers who were leaving the next morning. I had another two days left, entirely by myself.  How was I going to make it through until I could see my pup and Miss Regaltons and Lance again?

To be concluded… 

One thought on “Vancouver, Where Dreams Come True-ver (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Vancouver, Where Dreams Come True-ver (Part 3) « LEG+JCB

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