Saturday 15th December
Doyle must still be on Denver time, because he got us up at 5:45am this morning, after crawling out of his tent in the middle of the night and ending up in our bed.
We left our room around 7:30am and picked up our McDonald’s breakfast vouchers. After all these years of never eating more than a sundae from McDonald’s, I find it amusing that I’m going to be ending up eating it 6 days in a row (we also had a sundae from McDonald’s in Denver). Hopefully it won’t affect my health too much.
We then walked all around to try and find a supermarket open, but nothing opened until 9am, so we went back to our motel so I could feed Doyle. He was still hungry, of course. Then he fell asleep, so we stayed there until he woke up. Then there was more walking around to find somewhere that’d sell us bus tickets. In the end we just went to Subway to get lunch and change for the bus.
So we caught the bus to downtown Vancouver around 12pm, and went on a short walk into a mall where we found a post office to post the car keys back to the US, and found somewhere to buy some discounted bus tickets. Then we went to Tim Horton’s so I could get some of that good hot chocolate, and Jeremy got some Tim Bits. Then we went on to look at Canada Place. They have a special Christmas display on right now that we got to see in the convention centre, and we also took Doyle to a storytime session in Santa’s Workshop, which he loved. Especially all the jingly, jangle bells. We could see the Lion’s Gate Bridge pretty clearly from Canada Place, but I’m not sure it was particularly visible in the photos I tried to take.
At the moment we’re in a kind of rainy season in Vancouver. It’s not as bad as the rain we got stuck in in Brazil, though. Only a few drips here and there we’ve had to walk in yet, which is good, since we don’t have an umbrella any more.
When we left Canada Place, we accidentally went on Hastings St, a street that Rachel from the plane told me to avoid. First I was asked to buy a card from a deaf person (I did, because I felt more inclined since she was disabled), and then while I stopped to take a photo, we were stopped by a homeless guy. Jeremy was a little busy with Doyle, but planned on giving the guy some loose change. Until he basically demanded we give him $25 for some reason or another. I wasn’t really paying attention because I was outraged he asked for so much, and started feeling scared for Doyle’s sake. So then we just said no, and tried to go down the street, and he began chasing us until I screamed at him that we could barely afford to look after our own son. Now that might not be completely true, but we still don’t know where Jeremy will be at job wise when he finishes his thesis, so who knows how long our money will have to last us? If he hadn’t been so greedy, he would’ve gotten something.
So we left Hastings St quick smart, and basically just wandered through the city and some shopping malls for the rest of the afternoon. Then we went to Burger King for dinner, which included poutine. At Burger King! It amused me greatly, but I actually quite liked the dish. Yum.
Then after a little more wandering, we ended up in Starbucks because Doyle needed a nappy change. Jeremy tried the gingerbread latte (which was the most disguised coffee I’ve ever tasted, but I could still taste the coffee) and I had orange & cream flavoured soda. It was really nice.
Then we caught a different bus route back to our motel. And here’s where I explain how cool Vancouver’s public transport system is. Some of their buses, to be more eco-friendly, are electric powered. Like trams, with wires overhead. It’s a little funny, especially when they stop at a traffic light and you can’t hear the engine running, but I quite like it. And the schedules and routes seem pretty good, too. It’s always good to find a city with a good public transport system.
Sunday 16th December
Doyle got us up early again this morning. And frustrated Jeremy because he ended up in our bed again. I suppose I should try and be more persistent tonight. McDonald’s for breakfast again, though not for Doyle. We did buy him some better food yesterday.
We headed out sometime after 8am and caught the bus to Stanley Park, which had been highly recommended by Rachel from our flight. We stayed until after 2pm, and it really is a beautiful park. We saw some squirrels, black and grey, and some Canadian natives’ totem poles. There was also a statue in the sea called “girl in a wet suit,” who was meant to be sitting on a rock, but the water level was so high you couldn’t see any of the rock and it just amused me.
There weren’t too many places to eat at the park, so we ended up having lunch at a reasonably fancy fish restaurant, and spent more than $50 for the pleasure. But that was partly because I wanted to try the “Vancouver Sling” cocktail. It mostly tasted like orange juice, but was meant to be a mixture of that, pineapple juice, blue curacao and vodka.
After Stanley Park, we took our bus back as far as the World of Science so Jeremy could take a photo of the Omnimax dome (I think the place is probably like the Scitech/Omni combination we had back home in Perth). Then we took the skytrain/light rail system back to the closest stop from our motel. We got back before 4pm, but we had some things we were happy to get on with, and didn’t have any specific plans for what else to do while in town.
Anyway, I think we deserve a little more time to just be settled when Jeremy can work on his thesis and I can relax a bit. We’ve been pretty much on the go for the last 8 weeks, after all! We even finally managed to watch another episode of one of the TV shows we brought with us on DVD. That’s two episodes watched out of however many discs we brought!
Monday 17th December
Hurrah, Doyle stayed in bed until 5am. I don’t know how many times I had to get up for him, though.
I think I’m definitely getting tired of this whole travelling thing now, and I’m looking forward to going home soon. We leave Vancouver tomorrow, and we only have Tokyo to go. So we didn’t do a great deal today.
So what we did do was head out around 10am or so and caught the bus to downtown. Doyle was tired by now, and due for a nap, so he was a bit fussy on the bus. This meant I encountered another rude person who presumed I didn’t know how to look after my own child, and put me in a bad mood for the rest of the morning. Doyle was fussing whether I paid attention to him or not; what else was I supposed to do? Luckily Doyle fell asleep not long after this man couldn’t keep his mouth shut. But when we tried to exit the bus, the doors closed on the sides of Doyle’s stroller and woke him up.
So then walked to Yalestown because I had read it was interesting. After walking through the area, though, I’d have to disagree. But maybe we weren’t going through the more interesting parts.
Then we went down to the shore and a nice little park, before heading over the Granville Bridge to Granville Island. Granville was pretty interesting – very arty, lots of art shops to go in and have a look around. There was also a Kids Market, which was pretty neat, and a Public Market that was a bit like Fremantle or Station Street Markets back home. We had a “New York” Cheesecake there, because Jeremy had read that Vancouver is famous for them.
Then we headed back over the bridge and caught the bus back to our motel, where we caught up on some things, then had Indian takeout for dinner.
Something I forgot to mention when I wrote about our time in Denver was that, at the time, I felt as though they were trying to pretend they were England. I took a photo of the top of a building that looked like a castle, and then there were also a couple of rocks that looked like they were trying to create their own Stonehenge but ran out of stones.