Thursday September 5
After breakfast at our hotel, we bought tickets for a hop on/hop off bus, and walked a short distance to their stop. We rode the bus to Granville Island, where we had another short walk to Bridges restaurant for lunch. Dad was intent on having all the seafood he could get, so he often had either salmon or fish and chips.
After lunch, the Pittmans hung out at the restaurant, while the other four of us wandered around Granville Island. We found shops, farmers market stalls, a distillery, postcards, a glassblower, a paper shop, and lots of other fun places.
Back at the hotel, we enjoyed a dinner of antipasto and snacks. We had bought some cheeses and interesting salamis at a charcuterie shop on the island. I bought a gin- and green olive-infused salami. It was good, but I can’t say the olive flavor really came through. We added some other snacks and crackers, and I ordered a small pizza that David and Lee went and picked up. It was a good day, and a fun way to see a part of Vancouver.
Friday September 6
We returned to the hop on/hop off bus tour. The Pittmans decided to stay on the bus for the whole circuit, before returning to the hotel for lunch and to relax. The four of us got off in Stanley Park, where we walked around, saw the totem poles, and had a wonderful lunch at the Stanley Park Tea House. Then we had to head back to the hotel, because Lee’s parents were due into town that afternoon. They were joining us on the cruise, departing the next day. The first bus that came by was full, and we couldn’t get on. So we called a taxi to take us back to the hotel.
We learned a lot about Vancouver from the bus drivers. The movie industry is quite large there. Last year there were about 36,000 jobs available in the movie industry. And about 3500 of those jobs were not filled. (Sidenote: if you work in show business and can’t get a job in LA, consider Vancouver!)
There are some high-rises on the waterfront, with condos, very expensive, and the buildings only have a 10% occupancy rate. Many were bought as “safe houses or bolt holes,” by people from other countries, and are sitting vacant. Local people opened stores and businesses on the ground floors of these buildings, but due to the low occupancy rate, ended up going bankrupt and out of business.
Back at the hotel, Dave and Lee took the rental car to return to the airport, preparing to meet Lee’s parents. They had arranged for a shuttle to drive the four of them, plus the luggage, to the hotel. Meanwhile, the other Karie and I were on a mission of our own. We rode a couple of taxis and did some walking, in a quest for some supplies Karie needed. Unfortunately, Dave and Lee and Lee’s parents somehow missed each other at the airport, and his parents ended up taking a taxi to the hotel while David and Lee waited at the airport. By the time everyone figured out where everyone was, it was late enough that we decided to split up for dinner. Lee and Karie taxied to the Gastown area where they went to the Black Frog Pub, which looked fabulous. The Pittmans and we went to a local pub, which I won’t tag, because it was pretty lame. The food wasn’t great, the service was even less great, and it did not have Guinness.
Then we went back to the hotel and to bed, to prepare for embarking on our Alaska cruise tomorrow!
Thank you for reading!