how i spent my summer vacation…

so aaron and i, at this point, have been on a few trips together.  we’ve been to prague, and to philly/NYC.  we have never been able to take a summer vacation, mostly due to the increased expense and aaron’s teaching schedule.  this trip was originally supposed to be to the oregon coast (my hands-down favorite vacation spot).  however, even though we were booking 9 months in advance, we weren’t able to find any place in oregon OR on the washington coast.  after hitting up vancouver for the night when i dragged him to see U2, we thought we should come back some time.  so we did.

we stayed at a “suite hotel”, part of the RCI resort system (thanks mom!).  the rosedale on robson was nice, although aaron cursed the kitchen on a nightly basis.  we were one block from library square, and about three blocks from yaletown.  two blocks away was the grocery store, which was extra convenient when aaron decided he wanted to cook the potatoes in olive oil instead of the butter we’d bought.

our first full day was sunny and warm.  we decided to take advantage of it and bike through stanley park.  the bike trip is pretty easy, mostly flat, and it took a little over an hour.  we hadn’t done a very good job of planning, though, and we were starving by the time we took the bikes back.

the point before second beach

lionsgate bridge

the view from brockton point

once we got back to the hotel, we were done for the night.  we stayed in, i read, aaron watched robot chicken, man vs. food, and futurerama, among other things.  this would be a pattern for us; once we got back to cook dinner, we were too worn out from walking everywhere to go back out.

day two was the vancouver art gallery for the modern women exhibit.  on loan from the musee d’orsay in paris, almost 100 paintings from the like of degaus, renoir, and toulous-letrec were on display.  i did take a few pictures of the outside of the VAG, but i used my pentax, and i haven’t yet developed the film.  the vancouver art gallery was about five blocks up and two blocks over from the hotel; we backtracked for lunch and walked about five blocks west of the hotel to the yaletown brewery.  OMG food, pretty good beer, and an interesting neighborhood.

dinner that night was in chinatown.

vancouver’s chinatown neighborhood was small, dirty, and downright depressing.  this may have partly been because we didn’t walk over there until about 6:30pm, but still.  i’ve got a very finite vision of what a chinatown should look like (i.e. san francisco’s) and this didn’t even come close to measuring up.  the food was also not all that great, but a good bargain: soup, appetizer, and an entree for $8.99.  plus we had leftovers for lunch the following day.

day three, we hopped on the skytrain for queen elizabeth park and the bloedel conservatory.  the conservatory is pretty neat; it’s a glass dome that houses tons of different tropical and subtropical plants, plus there are about 50 different species of birds flying around.  most of the big birds (like the parrots) consented to having their pictures taken.

we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the park itself after the conservatory, but it did have a pretty view of the city.

we spent the afternoon at granville island.  aaron was mighty impressed by the brewery.

i was mighty impressed by the bakery case.

our last day, we’d thought about going to the aquarium before we had to head to the train station.  turns out the aquarium would have cost $60 for the two of us.  we opted for the olympic village instead, which was remarkable for only one thing; these bigass bird sculptures.

the village was pretty lame.  there’s not much to see, and none of the events were held there.  really, it’s just a bunch of dormitory housing.  vancouver has these public maps posted outside each of the skytrain stops, which were not all that helpful.  we ended up walking in a giant circle because we headed in the wrong direction, and ended up going through charleson park and along false creek.  you could see downtown vancouver across the inlet.

vancouver is a sprawling city, and it’s a very modern city.  i think the oldest buildings we saw were maybe 50 years old.  lots of condo and apartment towers along the waterfront, and the highrise office buildings were, surprisingly, not all that tall.

we stopped for lunch at this place about two blocks up the street from the hotel.  aaron didn’t want to try it, at first, until we smelled it.  THEN he was all for it.  it smelled delicious, and tasted just as good.

japanese style hotdogs!

we killed time in a blenz coffee shop, canada’s answer to starbucks.  they make the best hot chocolate ever.  belgian dark chocolate, smooth, creamy, but not too thick.  it was awesome.

i think we may have walked the length of downtown vancouver and back during our short trip, just because of the amount of misdirection we followed.  still, pretty relaxing, and far less expensive than most vacations.

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