Our Vancouver vacation was so very....

Old Dec 27th, 2022, 05:57 AM
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Our Vancouver vacation was so very....

We planned a pre-Christmas and very long weekend vacation to Vancouver as a replacement for Quebec City. I had to work a conference in San Diego just before our planned trip. When I started looking at flights from San Diego to Quebec City it would take 2 days to get there for me, so we decided to make it a trip to VanCity. We knew that they don't get much snow but we could get to Grouse Mountain or Whistler for snow if we wanted. So, Vancouver, here we come.Thursday, December 15

Arrival into VC was easy and immigration automated – no line for passport or customs and an Uber into the city – Wedgewood Hotel and Spa on Hornby. It is a Relais and Chateaux property. Mr Starbucks arrived a few hours earlier (I came from San Diego from a conference) but struggling with a cold and painful ears that never popped on the plane.

The hotel is small and has kind of an old world look to it. We had a two-room suite with a nice balcony overlooking Robson Square. The amenities are all L’Occitane. There is a minibar in the room that has room to put a few drinks of your own inside – great for my diet coke. The hotel brings in some cookies and water at turndown and also provided a gift of chocolates in the room. The staff is very helpful and friendly (we would be reminded how important this is later in the trip). There is a beautiful Christmas tree and fireplace in the lobby. Hot apple cider is also available at no charge and it is delicious.

The hotel also had carolers in the lobby during lunch on a few days. The hotel restaurant and bar is very nice, also with a fireplace. It is decorated in dark red velvet, black marble and dark woods – which look great with the Christmas décor. It stays busy for lunch, cocktails, afternoon tea and casual dinners all day! It’s popular with legal professionals who work across the street and locals who live nearby, even at breakfast. The find dining restaurant is Bacchus and the food is quite good. It is almost always fully booked.

The Wedgewood is very convenient to shopping of all kinds. The Vancouver City Centre Skytrain station is close by but even a walk to the Waterfront is quick from the hotel. There are also plenty of great restaurants within walking distance, including Joe Forte Seafood and Chop House (our fav local spot).

Maybe the hotel could refurb the interior corridors as they seem a bit dark and dated. The rooms could probably use a bit of a facelift but that is getting a little picky as they are nice and honestly, I am sure a small hotel like this was hurt by the pandemic. Regardless, we would stay here again.

Our first afternoon we wandered around to get familiar with our surroundings. I had been to Vancouver once several years ago but don't really know the city. As we walked, we saw a restaurant that I remembered from the previous trip. I would never have remembered the name but as we walked past, I recognized it instantly (Joe Forte’s). It was packed but we decided to stop in and see if we can get a seat at the bar. We ended up getting a table and had our first terrific meal. I had Halibut and Mr Starbucks had the seafood trio (cod, prawns and something else) plus he added scallops. Both our meals were excellent. I didn’t think to take any photos. In the smal area we covered that day, we saw lost of Christmas lights and decor. We were both tired but I had a mulled wine at our hotel before I turned in. He was not feeling well and not adjusted to Pacific Time yet and he went straight to bed (I was in San Diego for a few days before arriving in Vancouver). Great mulled wine and my first of the season….very Christmasy!

So, first Vancouver is so very Christmasy!

The Wedgewood Hotel lobby and Christmas tree
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Old Dec 27th, 2022, 07:32 AM
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So very WHAT??? Lots of foreshadowing here - I'm hooked.
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Old Dec 27th, 2022, 11:17 AM
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There will be more!
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 04:03 AM
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Friday, December 16

We did not have many definite plans for the trip but we did have tickets to Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights that day at dusk. I slept in a bit and caught the back of Mr. Starbucks slipping out the door very early and I am quite sure on his way to find a local coffee spot. I got up and starting getting ready. Unfortunately, Vancouver isn’t an early city (or at least not in our general area) and Mr. Starbucks couldn’t find any place that was open before 8am. Fortunately, the hotel restaurant opens at 7am. Our favorite is breakfast when we are on vacation. The bar side of the restaurant with the fireplace is where it’s served. It's very cozy and a great setting. I loved the hot chocolate and the very Paris worthy pain au chocolat (fresh and still warm)! Very happy with the menu election, the food and the very friendly, welcoming servers and excellent service. Great place to relax and make plans for the day.

We decided to head to Granville Island to check out the shops, market and food options there. As always, food is at the forefront of our trips. The hotel suggested we catch a ferry (really just a tiny little water taxi) at Yaletown to get to Granville Island. Yaletown looks very up and coming with shops and restaurants and we’d like to explore the area more next time we are here. No sun at all so the view on the water wasn’t ideal that day. We quickly got a ferry with False Creek Ferry. In fact, we were the only passengers and there was a little contest between False Creek Ferry and Aquabus on who was gonna get there first to claim us.

Granville Island is a great place to explore. The food market has everything you could want and such variety of food for onsite meals. Chinese, Japanese, German, Thai, French, Mexican, pizza, sandwiches, burgers…everything you could ask for and it all looked great. We got Mr Starbucks a green juice to try to help him get over that nasty cold and I got a hot apple ginger cider (very good). There are all kinds of shops, galleries, artisans, etc...to visit. We did a little window shopping and roaming. There's a lot there to explore. We ended up sitting outside for lunch (with heaters and a blanket) for fish and chips at Vancouver Fish Company. I got another mulled wine, he got a local draft beer. The food was excellent…London good fish & chips! There were so any good looking food options, I could go there everyday. The island seemed to get more crowded/busy as the day went on and we started to see more people and vehicles after our lunch.

We headed back to the Wedgewood by False Creek Ferries to clean up and bundle up for Canyon Lights.

We took the free shuttle bus to Capilano from Canada Place. Great way to get there and it was nice to view the scenery on the way. It's just a short ride from downtown-another thing we liked about Vancouver. There are so many different "worlds" so close to downtown.

We were not sure what to expect at Canyon Lights but we were impressed. Really beautiful and really festive. I can’t imagine how they put up all those lights but it’s so fun (especially the tree topper section). It was also my first time on a suspension bridge (I got a kick out of the looks on a lot of people's faces while on the bridge --it's a strange feeling when it moves). I had hoped we’d be there early enough to see the canyon a bit better and I’d like to go back in daylight hours someday. We stuck around for a snack and a mulled wine outside by the fire with a great view of the lights. The kids there were all very happy and I can see why. I would have lost my mind at a place like this when I was a kid. It was very cold but a great night out. My pictures don't really do it justice. After taking the bus back to Canada Place, we popped into a Cactus Club Cafe for a casual dinner (packed but we got a table pretty quickly). I had fish tacos (excellent) and he had Rigatoni Bolognese. One thing we noted in Vancouver is that the menus (in most places) not only have a good number of vegetarian and plant based options but also a variety of cuisine styles that are surprisingly done well. (We often notice in our area that the more international cuisines or styles represented on a menu there are few that are done well).

On Burrard Street, I took photos of downtown Vancouver dressed up for Christmas on the way back to the hotel. We had a great day on our first full day in Vancouver.

For today, Vancouver is so very exceptional.

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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 04:51 AM
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Canyon Lights photos














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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 03:17 PM
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Isn't Canyon Lights wonderful?

Great storytelling, denisea! I have a feeling I know where your story is going... eek! Can't wait to read the rest.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 03:27 PM
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We loved Canyon Lights so much—so glad we went. More to come…
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Old Dec 29th, 2022, 05:28 AM
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Saturday, December 17

Saturday was just gonna be a day to run around Vancouver. At one point we thought about hitting Grouse Mountain but eventually decided to see a bit of the city on foot. It was very cold in Vancouver while we were there. Saturday was so cold, somewhere between breezy and windy and very drizzly.

Interesting that Vancouver usually gets little snow and the temps are usually not quite so cold but this year was gonna be different. About 2 weeks before we visited Vancouver got snow that created traffic chaos and I followed that a bit on Instagram. We were hearing that snow was in the forecast that night...apparently the weather was not going to be the usual December weather in VanCity. But, for us, ok...we get little snow in Atlanta and we knew we'd see snow in Whistler--we'd have that Christmas winter wonderland moment on this trip!

First, our leisurely brekkie at the Wedgewood. Despite the dreary weather, we took a big umbrella from the hotel and an Uber to Stanley Park. I am sure it would have been prettier in sunlight but Stanley Park is gorgeous. We visited the Totem poles first, the lighthouse, the Lost Lagoon (my favorite), Second Beach and English Beach. We caught a glimpse of Lion's Gate Bridge while we were walking along the coast. Great walk even in the drizzle. It was cold but there were people out and about, so we weren't alone in Stanley Park. I can't believe some of the runners that had shorts on for their run in the park.

We had to chuckle as we saw the outline of a Christmas tree of lights in Lost Lagoon. My husband had commented on there being a Christmas tree in the middle of nowhere for no reason on our return from Canyon Lights the night before ---and there it was. Lost Lagoon was my favorite - very misty, scenic and I'd love to see those huge rhododendrons in the park in bloom.

After a stop at Starbucks for something warm, we took an Uber to Waterfront to catch the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay/Shipyards. Ubers were a little hard to get here. Where Ubers used to be fairly easy to catch and maybe you'd wait 2-3 minutes for this trip we routinely waited 10-15 minutes. It seemed like a lot of drivers were declining the trips and only a few were accepting trips. Almost every Uber we took was one with a driver completing a trip before picking us up. Not a gripe, just another sign that things are different post pandemic and in the economy we are currently in.

Very quick trip across the harbor on the SeaBus and there are lots of great spots for lunch. There was a little skating rink outside the restaurant we chose (Joey). Lunch was a spicy seared salmon sushi for him and a grilled TexMex chicken salad for me. Our server treated us to a dessert that were little cinnamon sugar donuts (like beignets). All of our food at Joey was delicious. We sat outside (heater, blanket) and were treated to the sun peaking out a little bit giving us a better view of the city from across the water. SeaBus ferried us back to the city and we went back to the hotel to relax before dinner.

A random observation I’ll throw in here…lots of weed on the street in Vancouver. It’s legal and it seems to be everywhere. It made us chuckle and we often felt like we’d get a contact high as we walked through some clouds of smoke. For Christmas, you kinda want the scent of roasted chestnuts on street rather than skunk!

The rest wasn’t as restful as we would have liked. Because the hotel overlooks Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery next door, there were a number of protests and petitioners in the area while we were there. Saturday afternoon was a full-on protest and march. Not a relaxing time in the room as it was LOUD (at least 1000 people, drums, bullhorns, etc…) and we got the protesters as they marched down Howe and again on Hornby. I know it had something to with Iran and I assume with anti-hijab protests but I could never figure out exactly what it was about for sure. I just wanted to get out of the room and away from the noise.

We didn’t have any reservations for dining while in Vancouver. We decided to go back to Joe Forte Seafood and Chop House and take a chance on the bar again. We were seated upstairs at an outdoor bar on the rooftop that was completely covered and well heated. We also hit happy hour and got some drinks, fish tacos and oysters at a great price. All of it was so good. Vancouver has great food and the seafood does not disappoint. We met a couple from Canada and enjoyed talking to them – especially since they were from the Banff area and we want to visit there at some point.

I had the steelhead trout for dinner and he had the pork chop—OMG – so good. Ordinarily, a pork chop wouldn’t be that appealing but the one at Joe Forte is wonderful (and so was the trout). I also enjoyed the British Columbia Pentage Pinot Gris I discovered at Joe Forte on our first visit. I’ll also say that Joe Forte is beautifully decorated for Christmas as are the shopping areas around Burrard, Robson, and Thurlow streets.

We visited ArcTeryx on the way home (mecca for Mr Starbucks). We were getting up early on Sunday to go to Whistler, so it wasn’t a late night and we already ate enough for 10 people (and it was all worth it).
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Old Dec 29th, 2022, 06:10 AM
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Vancouver Saturday Dec 17

Some photos of Vancouver

Joe Forte Christmas decor

More decor at Joe Forte

Joe Forte

Shipyard fire pit

Shipyard Christmas tree

Shipyard ice rink

Ice rink

Stanley Park totem poles

Stanley park

Totem poles

Vancouver skyline

VanCity decor

Christmas in VanCity

Christmas lights

Vancouver lights

Vancouver skyline

Vancouver skylines

Street decoration
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Old Dec 29th, 2022, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by denisea
We loved Canyon Lights so much—so glad we went. More to come…
I lived within walking distance growing up. These lights are new though! Nice pics

And FYI Joeys and Cactus Club are owned by the same people (they acquired CC earlier this year)

Last edited by Elizabeth_S; Dec 29th, 2022 at 08:32 AM.
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Old Dec 30th, 2022, 04:54 AM
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Sunday, December 18

We got snow Saturday into Sunday. We were already expecting a scenic drive up to Whistler but snow made it even better. Again….it was COLD. We booked a bus through Epic Rides and met the bus at the Burrard SkyTrain station and headed up. Beautiful scenery and I listened to Christmas music on the way. I was so lucky to catch glimpse of a bald eagle at the top of a tree on the way up and I love the huge fir trees, especially when they are covered with snow.

Not gonna lie, when we stepped off the bus in Whistler, it was bitter cold and the wind exacerbated the cold. We left so early there was no time for food and Vancouver doesn’t open early (not even Tim Horton’s was open before we left). We stepped quickly into an info center that had a Tim Hortons and restroom. I put my ski pants on and chatted with a local man for a bit while I inhaled a pre=breakfast donut.

We searched for a breakfast spot in the village that wasn’t packed and it did not exist. So, we headed to the Westin hotel and had a nice breakfast there and overpaid for it, I'm sure. We went to Whistler not to go skiing but to go dog sledding. It was my belated birthday present and I have always wanted to do it. I decided even though the outfit had blankets, I'd pick up some hot hands in the Westin gift shop...couldn't hurt.

The company picked us up at the Hilton in Whistler Village and took us out to the sledding area. As soon as you get to the site, you hear the dogs. They are fired up and it’s loud with 30 or 40 dogs barking and howling. It’s also hilarious to hear just how loud it truly is! We got a briefing in a little yurt that they had set up.The dogs are rescued from difficult situations (often other sledders who mistreat them) and get acclimated and trained to work on a sled team. They do get to experience being in homes, as well. When they are past their prime for sledding they are adopted into homes or they retire at the training site and free to roam and play but no longer pull a sled.

We were lucky to be on the first sled out and they have a young lady who takes photos and video of you as you take off. It’s so fun when you get going. The dogs are quite spirited and they are ready to go. All that snow and fir trees...very "marshmallow world in the winter". The dogs do get rest during the run – I think we stopped three times for the dogs to rest. We stopped for a longer rest and for photos with a gorgeous view. Also, you get to ride on the runner with the driver which is a blast. It’s chilly (ok, cold!) but not bad and so fun you don’t notice the cold. It’s beautiful to ride in all that snow and in a forest of fir trees (although we did pass a cell phone tower that I just erased from my memory of beautiful scenery....progress).

At one rest stop a few of the “top dogs” are allowed off the lead and they love the attention. They dogs have their own personalities, but they do like attention. They do switch up which dogs are paired up and also the lead dogs. It’s an interesting thing to watch the drivers with the dogs and learn about their process. I loved the dogs and remember thinking our Shelties (all gone now) barked a lot...compared to sled dogs they were quiet mice.

We finished up and gave the dogs a treat and some extra pats & love before saying goodbye; the dogs get warm chicken broth and a snack before they go out with another group. The people get hot apple cider and cookies. We had a great time and the scenery was beautiful. The quiet on there is amazing (when the doggos are quiet). It was a great day outside and we loved meeting the dogs…highly recommend!

Back at Whistler Village, we were on the hunt for a very late lunch and so was everyone else. Because it was so cold, no one was seating their outdoor areas but we totally got lucky at one of the pubs and caught a table just as a couple was leaving. It’s an interesting thing being the old people in a bar full of twenty and thirty year olds partying their @**es off (Jager bombs anyone)? Meanwhile, in the 50 year old’s section, I was getting a mulled wine and he got a beer. A sammie with poutine and pizza was our lunch/dinner. We took some photos of the Christmas lights and caught an earlier bus back into Vancouver (very luck on that). It was a long day but a fun one.

Photos to follow.


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Old Dec 30th, 2022, 06:06 AM
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"OK" she thinks with trepidation, "so far so good".


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Old Dec 30th, 2022, 09:34 AM
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Love the adventure so far! Whistler can get a LOT of snow and Christmas is peak season, so super busy. But it sounds dreamy! I've been dog sleeding once (in Manitoba a decade ago), and you brought back memories of how noisy but enthusiastic the pack of dogs on the grounds can be.

As an aside, each time I hear your story of trying to find breakfast super early, I keep wishing I would have been able to intercept and tell you to go to Breka Bakery Cafe. They're open 24 hours, with multiple locations downtown (including one a short walk from your hotel on Robson), with gorgeous baked goods and desserts (artisan bread, cakes and cakes by the slice, perfect croissants, really tasty donuts, cream puffs, mousse, etc.), excellent coffee (their coffee is sourced from a local coffee roaster), and sandwiches, including a ham cheese croissant breakfast sandwich that I often get. It's strangely affordable for Vancouver. At lunch sometimes I'll buy a sandwich and donut, and after tax and tip it's still under $10, which is practically impossible these days, and the quality is superior to Starbucks or Tim Horton's. I still don't quite understand how they can do it. The food and coffee is really on par with those high end indie coffee shops but the prices are more like Tim Horton's. Anyway, there's a local secret for your next visit, unless.... unless you're still here?

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Old Dec 30th, 2022, 10:06 AM
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To add to Sunday, I ran around taking new photos of Vancouvers Christmas decor as we waited for Epic Rides and so you'll see some new photos but with a dusting of snow!

Also, Vancouver is so very fun.

love for the sled doggo

driver with sled dog

our team

sledding scenery

snowy firs


sled scenes


sled dog

sled doggy

sled team dog

sled dog


loading up the lead dogs


Winter Wonderland

sled team

team dogs

sled team

sled team

last pair

Vancouver - with snow

now with snow

snowy VanCity

snowy lights
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Old Dec 30th, 2022, 10:09 AM
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Whistler lights - I had hoped to take more photos but since got an earlier bus - we were leaving right then.

Westin Christmas tree

Fir in the Village

Whistler village

Whistler

More lights

Whistler view - amazing (this was a dog rest stop)

Christmas lights

Blue Christmas
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Old Dec 30th, 2022, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BC_Robyn
Love the adventure so far! Whistler can get a LOT of snow and Christmas is peak season, so super busy. But it sounds dreamy! I've been dog sleeding once (in Manitoba a decade ago), and you brought back memories of how noisy but enthusiastic the pack of dogs on the grounds can be.

As an aside, each time I hear your story of trying to find breakfast super early, I keep wishing I would have been able to intercept and tell you to go to Breka Bakery Cafe. They're open 24 hours, with multiple locations downtown (including one a short walk from your hotel on Robson), with gorgeous baked goods and desserts (artisan bread, cakes and cakes by the slice, perfect croissants, really tasty donuts, cream puffs, mousse, etc.), excellent coffee (their coffee is sourced from a local coffee roaster), and sandwiches, including a ham cheese croissant breakfast sandwich that I often get. It's strangely affordable for Vancouver. At lunch sometimes I'll buy a sandwich and donut, and after tax and tip it's still under $10, which is practically impossible these days, and the quality is superior to Starbucks or Tim Horton's. I still don't quite understand how they can do it. The food and coffee is really on par with those high end indie coffee shops but the prices are more like Tim Horton's. Anyway, there's a local secret for your next visit, unless.... unless you're still here?
Don't get me wrong, we loved the hotel for breakfast but knowing about Brekka woulda been good. I know Chaz woulda loved the coffee and I do remember seeing a few of them close to the hotel when we were out and about. So for the next visit, now we know....there is always a new tip for the next trip. It's funny how once you get on the ground, you don't always keep researching what's around you. There was also a place right down the street that I think was open 24 hours hours...maybe Faubourg or another French name there were 2 French places in a row. A lot of finding what you want is fully dependent on which way you turn when you are wandering! I didn't find this place until late in the game!
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Old Dec 31st, 2022, 03:55 AM
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Monday, December 19

Monday was our last day (or we thought it was). We didn’t have plans. We decided against going up to Grouse. We wanted to go to the Chinese gardens thinking they might be pretty in the snow. They were closed and we were told the area had gotten a little rough post pandemic. We went to Gastown to wander around. It was still bitter cold and we went a little a too early but it is a pretty area with some lovely older buildings, coffee shops, restaurants and retail shops. Unfortunately, there are many homeless in the area. Like so many cities, post pandemic, there are many out of work and struggling and Vancouver is no different. Sad to see and especially heartbreaking in the bitter cold. We visited the waterfront and decided to get a cab back to Granville Island. We missed so many great options the first day. But first, we got a gingerbread donut at Lee’s (tough decision as all the donuts looked terrific). Very light for a cake donut and tasty but needed more ginger--no match for the gingerbread donut at Donut Plant in NYC. After a little wandering around, we were ready for lunch. I got a ham and cheese crepe; Chaz went with tiny pierogis & sour cream and knockwurst. All of it was delicious. Great place for lunch and variety and we could have gone there every day!

We decided to go to the Christmas market (we thought about that for lunch but we were downtown an hour before the market opens). We did a few laps and enjoyed a gluwein while we strolled around. There is a great deck for photos and to watch the seaplanes. We bought some spiced and candied nuts and gingerbread cookies to share with the staff at the Wedgewood. I am sure it’s even more festive at night and there are tons of spots to take those Instagram photos. I did notice that several people we chatted with while there were not happy about having to pay for entry (comparing to European markets that don’t charge but we didn’t care – I’m sure it’s an operation to set up one of these things). I regretted taking my hand out of my gloves to take photos---very hard to warm them again once they got cold. And it was cold!

After checking out the market, we headed back up Burrard to the hotel. Not sure why he was there but we spotted Jon Cena on the street and later saw many social media posts of him around town (where is Ryan Reynolds when you need him?).

We planned to have dinner at Bacchus in our hotel that night. So, we took some time to clean up, get dressed and pack for the trip home. I studied the train map to know where to go. We decided to ask the hotel to ship our bags as with the snow and bitter cold, the airport was looking a little shaky and I didn’t want to deal with hauling the big bags in the snow and having to check them. I wanted us to have maximum flexibility in case of flight cancellations. More snow in VanCity (where significant snowfall isn't that common in December) was expected. I had a nagging feeling that we might not be getting out if that expected snow actually came as our flight was early in the day.

We started with some drinks in the cozy but buzzing hotel bar. I enjoyed Blue Mountain Brut from British Columbia (I think I enjoyed too many of them, honestly). I think he got a Rye Old Fashioned. Dinner was excellent small filet & beef short ribs for me and duck for him with shared brussels sprouts and we split a sticky toffee pudding (good but not quite London good).

We finished packing and hit the hay before our early train out to YVR.

For today, Vancouver is so very cold.
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Old Dec 31st, 2022, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by denisea
Monday, December 19
For today, Vancouver is so very cold.
Yes they got their fair share of the white stuff this year.

Great trip report! So much to love in and near that city.

Every time I'm in Vancouver I try to make it to Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House. I love the environment and food. It was named after Joe Fortes who was originally from Barbados and served as Vancouver's unofficial volunteer lifeguard. He's credited with saving over 29 people from drowning. In 1900, Vancouver appointed him the city's first official lifeguard. Joe Fortes was loved by Vancouver's children who taught them how to swim and a hero to the many people whose lives he saved. He died in 1922 and his funeral procession was one of the largest in Vancouver's history attended by both ordinary citizens and the city's elite.

In 1926, a memorial fountain was built in his honour which bears the inscription: Little Children Loved Him. In 1976, the Vancouver Public Library opened the Joe Fortes Branch in the West End and in 1985 the Joe Fortes and Chop House restaurant opened and was named in his honour.

In 1986, Vancouver's centennial year, the Vancouver Historical Society named Joe Fortes, "Citizen of the Century" and in 2013, Canada Post released a postage stamp of Joe Fortes on February 1st celebrating Black History Month. Joe Fortes was truly a Vancouver legend.


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Old Dec 31st, 2022, 10:52 AM
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Wow…wonderful info about Joe Forte! Thanks for sharing it.
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Old Jan 1st, 2023, 05:23 AM
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Tuesday, December 20

The hostage crisis began early. Lots of snow overnight and the temperatures were frigid! We woke up to find our flight cancelled but at least we knew it was cancelled early. Delta rebooked us for Wednesday AM and we would fly to Palm Springs where I was booked on a direct flight to ATL. He was not so lucky and got booked to Salt Lake and then to ATL. I checked for any other flights and there just wasn’t anything else. OK. Not ideal but nothing to be done.

I found out later that Vancouver had their snowiest December 20 in 84 years.

We had breakfast while we waited for word on the room situation (eggs bene for him, blueberry pancakes for me). The staff slowly trickled in but at least there were staff in the restaurant (lucky for us). The doorman Kirby walked to the hotel from Stanley Park and was hard at work shoveling the sidewalk.

Next – we worked with the hotel to extend our stay another night. So many employees had trouble getting into work so it was quite a while before we found we could stay but would need to change rooms. We took our bags down and the hotel delivered them to our new room. Simultaneously, we were working with the hotel to ship our bags home as they were too large to take on board but would slow us down if we were able to go standby for other flights and/or our flight was cancelled again. We’d go with just a few things in our backpack to get us home.

All good. We were trying to think of it as an "extended vacation" and while Mr Starbucks wasn’t too thrilled at his flights to Atlanta, we decided to make the best of it. I thought I could still get to the grocery store when I got in Wednesday night and still make Christmas happen. We enlisted our next-door neighbor to retrieve our shipment of king crab that would be delivered while we were enroute (and I was re-thinking my decision not to have the crab legs delivered before we left but they are huge and take up freezer room…now I was just hoping they wouldn’t end up rotting on our front porch).

After we resettled, we ran to a nearby pharmacy for a few things and the wandered around checking out the snow (beautiful but inconvenient). We eventually ended up back at Joe Forte's for a late lunch (fish & chips for me; fish tacos for him). The food there is so good and while it isn’t cheap, you know the food will be excellent and they have a great selection. We planned an early night as we needed to get up early to get out to YVR for our rebooked flights. He went to bed early in anticipation of a very long travel day ending with a red eye from SLC to ATL. I popped down to the bar for a glass of champs and to read for a while before turning in.

Vancouver is so very snowy.


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