Since there isn’t really much else going on right now (I’m serious – I’m in a random apartment in Cupertino with weird-looking furniture that isn’t mine, searching craigslist all day), I thought I’d take this opportunity to chat a little about a trip I made recently, to Vancouver.
Of course, this was another one of those conference trips, so there wasn’t quite as much sightseeing, but I think you’ll get the gist of the city’s awesomeness with a few of these pictures.
The conference location was probably my favorite of all the conferences I’ve been to. The Vancouver Convention Center was really impressive, and right on the Harbor! Can’t complain about that. Ok, well, you can, if you’re inside most of the day anyway… but we managed to sneak out for some fun.
Vancouver houses a few tasty breweries, and we found time to visit a couple of them, Granville Island Brewery (above beer shot) and Steamworks Brewery. Granville had a lovely sampling, so we all took advantage of that and made our way through a few of their brewskies. We also managed to locate some green beer on St Patty’s Day, which wasn’t all that hard, except for the lines to get into bars were ginormous. I felt for a second like I was in college, standing in line at ‘da club’. But wait, I had on too much clothing, and too little makeup.
Also, the food wasn’t anything to be upset about either. We found a tiny spot in Gastown (one of the trendier neighborhoods, or so we were told) called Judas Goat. Ironically, you really don’t see a lot of cooking there per se, as most dishes are either cold preparations or dishes made sous vide or through a toaster-style contraption. I’m not sure where our meatballs came from, but those were worthy of a second order. Definitely a fun spot and great for a small group.
I also located a good banh mi shop, which is where I was stuffing my face when I was called with my job offer (classy!), and Hazel and I found a noodle shop downtown that was also a good escape from conference talk. We had high hopes of going somewhere really cool on our last night, but we couldn’t get reservations in time (hello lackluster cell plans outside the USofA!) and we ended up at a cute Italian resto called Al Porto right on the edge of Gastown. Their specialty pizza, the arrabbiata, was interesting and a welcomed surprise – lamb sausage and fried egg on top, complete with banana peppers – yum!
Granville Island was a nice afternoon adventure, although I probably would have preferred a bike through Stanley Park, were it not for the sporadic rain that Vancouver seems to be famous for (well, and Seattle). But, Stanley Park probably didn’t have caramel apples and blocks o’ fudge either, now that I think about it. I guess it was win-win either way, eh?
Speaking of which, those Canadians really do use the word ‘eh’ often, but not quite as often as I would have hoped. One of our cabbies, nice ol’ guy, said it a few times and I chuckled inside every time I heard it, but aside from that I can’t really comment on any ‘frequent eh-ers”.
And finally, if you want to increase your chances of being a movie or TV show extra, go to Vancouver. We saw, no lie, three different things being filmed: The Fringe, Smallville (I even found Watchtower, although no one around me had any clue what that was…), and part 4 of a movie I can’t remember, and didn’t realize there were 3 other parts already. It’s too bad Supernatural wasn’t filming there at the time. Well, maybe it’s for the best. Lord knows I don’t need to wind up in a Canadian prison for stalking Dean Winchester.