Saturday, July 25, 2015

Vancouver - July 13 - 21

Our week in Vancouver was wonderful – so busy, in fact that I could not keep up with the blog – so much to see and do!  And, of course, the weather was excellent – warm and sunny – perfect to be out and about and hang out in the cockpit.  The only downside was the starlings – who also thought it was great to be out and about – especially when there were so many ripe blackberries to pluck.  They delighted on eating their fill, then congregating on our spreaders to gossip and expel purple poop all over our boat!  Oh for a slingshot, an air pistol, a water bomber – I went from personal affront to stoic acceptance over the days and it wasn’t until we reached Victoria that we were able to finally clean it all off.  Note:  “30 Seconds” takes blackberry poop stains out instantly.  It doesn’t work well on the pits – that requires water – did I mention we are on water shortages with all this dry weather?

While in Vancouver, we were able to connect with good friends and delighted in catching up with their news and enjoying their company.  


Linda, Judy and Nora

We also spent a good deal of time on our bicycles.  Vancouver has come a long way in making the city a great place to ride.  

Vancouver Cycling Routes
On our first day we rode a circuit from the Yacht Club along English Bay, through the Lagoon Park, to the Convention Centre, then back around the outside of Stanley Park, and under the Lion’s Gate Bridge.  On another day, we headed to Kitsilano, Jericho Beach all the way along the shore to UBC, then back through the centre of the city on quiet back streets designated for bicycles.  Each time we went out, we took the long way around False Creek. 

Downtown Vancouver Cycling Routes
The Burrard Street Bridge now has two designated bike lanes for crossing with easy access to and from the streets below. 

One of two designated cycling lane on the Burrard Street Bridge

 On yet another day, we rode to the downtown core to have brunch at one of our favourite restaurants, Scuzzi's and felt secure in designated bike lanes with curbs on busy core, downtown streets.  
An example of how bicycle routes have been incorporated into city streets

We felt the entire city was safely accessible on our bikes and, over the course of our stay, we were able to use them for recreation, to go shopping, to go to the pub, a restaurant or a show.  Everywhere we went there were designated bicycle stands, many secured. 

Doug at Scuzzi's - their famous Eggs Benedict

We bicycled to two Shakespearean plays at Bard on the Beach.

Bard on the Beach - Kitsilano
 Love’s Labour's Lost was set in Chicago during the 1920’s prohibition period.  The dialogue was Shakespearean, but at any given moment an actor would break out in a Jazz standard from the era – such as Ain’t Misbehavin’, 5 foot 2, Eyes of Blue, etc.  It was perfectly delightful and worked amazingly well.

You get the idea
Bard on the Beach has two stages, and we watched this play in the smaller of the two.  As we walked in, one of the actors, dressed as a flapper, handed us a glass of pink “champagne”.  Other actors walked around in character, dressed as gangsters and flozzies,  asking us “how ya doin’?” in smoozy accents.  During the play, the actors would come into the audience and invite a viewer to dance, or talk to them as if they were actually part of the play.  It was a charming, intimate performance.

Love's Labor's Lost
The second play we saw was Comedy of Errors – this time performed on the larger, main stage, but by the same troupe of actors as was in Love’s Labour's Lost

Comedy of Errors
This play was done in “Steam Punk” – a weird and wacky futuristic Victorian Industrial setting with lots of machinery, strange and provocative costumes, and an insane plot line involving two sets of twins. 
Set for Comedy of Errors

A person cannot go to Vancouver without visiting Granville Island and, for us, it was a short dinghy ride away. 
Arial View of Granville Market - I parked the dinghy at the docks in the forground
Wonderful produce - but expensive!
 In the summertime it is absolutely crammed with tourists, but that didn’t prevent us from finding a little distillery that produces gin, vodka and whiskey.

We went in for a tasting and liked their Endeavour Gin so much we bought a bottle.  Liberty Distillery describes it as “...a compelling London dry gin made with 10 savoury botanicals on a solid juniper base”.  Wonderful.


Endeavor wins

Another great find at the market was Oyama Sausage Company – an amazing charcuterie  loaded with countless varieties of sausages, pates, smoked meats and cheeses, pickles, meat filled pastries, etc.  
Pate samplings at Oyama

 It took me forever to make up my mind as I wanted to buy a little bit of everything.  In the end I indulged in a sampling of duck/truffle pate, a venison/cranberry pate, blueberry/bison sausage, lamb/cumin sausage, a British pot pie and some special cured ham – what a feast!  Here is their website if you want to know more:

Needless to say, a week passed very quickly, but it was time to move on.  On Tuesday, July 21, we departed the False Creek Yacht Club for Victoria.

Goodbye Vancouver - Burrard Street Bridge in background

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