p0tat0es: (Default)
Ahhh...so I'm back in Seattle, back at work. Ex-fucking-citing. Vancouver was a hoot. Here's a rundown of what we did:

· Left Bellingham at about 11:30 or so. Smooth sailing till we got to the border. We stopped at the duty-free store and bought tax-exempt cigarettes and changed our money from boring American green to vibrant Canadian hues. When it came time to cross the border, they started playing 20 questions with us, which led to us making a little pit stop in the immigration office, where the questions continued. They checked us out, made sure we weren't felons on the lam or anything, and then let us go. Aaaack.

· Once across the longest undefended border in the world, we made good time up into Vancouver. Check in wasn't until 3:00, but they had our room ready early, so we were rapidly whisked into our abode for the weekend. We unpacked all of our shiz and left to get food. We walked down Robson St. and ended up eating at Red Robin (which was a TGI Friday's last time we were up there). It was either that or Hooters, for none of the other restaurants around there looked too interesting at the moment. Plus we wanted to start drinking.

. A random observation: it's tight pants season in Vancouver.

· After eating, we did some window-shopping, and then some real shopping. We went to some mall they had downtown and we bought three pairs of shoes between us. (I got 1 pair). Then we headed back to the hotel for a brief respite. By this time it was time to recommence drinking. We had to wait for a while to get a table outside at the Cactus Club (I think Vancouver is like California - no smokin' indoors, anywhere.) We sat, and ate, and drank, and didn't even feel it. Back to the hotel, and then to Earl's On Top - nothing like Earl's on the Ave in Seattle. This Earl was much nicer. I had a rum & coke and three shots of Johnnie Walker Red Label (generally the available whisk(e)y selection in Canada sucks; hence I was drinking this, a blended Scotch. Eeek.) Anna had 4 vodka sours. The moral of the story? Thanks to the overwhelming use of measured pours, each drink we had was about half as strong as what we're used to. Most bartenders in the Emerald City don't use shot glasses to figure out how much booze yr getting.

· We left Earl's to walk the one block back to our hotel, where we quickly fell asleep in the big ass king size bed. I want one now.

· Saturday: Woke up around…I don't know what time we woke up. We were going to try to go see the Vancouver Memorial Police Museum, as we wanted to do the last time we were up, but discovered that in the winter, it's not open on weekends. So scratch that.

· Stopped at one of the two Starbucks that are kitty-corner from each other. It hurt my ears to hear them call out the drinks: Ameri-KANE-oh, Gran (rhymes with "man") DAY lahTAY, etc.

· Got on the SkyTrain to go to Science World (that big golf ball looking thing that they built for Expo '86). The SkyTrain fucking ROCKS. It costs the same as the bus, it's clean, and it's fast. Seattle has no fucking excuse to not have one of these things. But I digress...

· SCIENCE WORLD: I think this attraction is a little past its prime. Many of the displays were sorta run down looking. And there was very little supervision by either parents or staff. There were young'uns running rampant everywhere. We watched an Imax film about the sun. It was tres groovy.

· Took the SkyTrain back downtown. Got some bomb-ass pasta at Da Pasta Joint (yes, it was "Da", not "The", and yes, it was "bomb-ass"). Began drinking there.

· Fearing that we wouldn't get sufficiently toasty that night, we needed a little insurance. So after dinner, we went to the liquor store. I bought this cute little bottle of Black Bush for something like $3.50 U.S. Anna ended up not getting anything.

· Went back to the hotel, where Anna took a nap, and I drank half the bottle of Black Bush and watched the Thin Lizzy Behind The Music. At about 8:30, I woke her up; we got ready, and went out to...
· The Alibi Room. Yep, the same folks who opened the one at the Pike Place Market have ventured into Canada. The Vancouver Alibi Room is a lot more spacious, but thematically similar (dark, wrought-iron racks, a library of movie scripts, etc.) This was the mother lode here: they had Maker's Mark! This was the only place we went to the entire weekend that had it. So I had three or four of them on the rocks. They measured the shots, but we developed a rapport with the bartender, so he was a little more liberal with his pour. And another thing that excited me: the bathrooms were called "bathrooms" and not "washrooms". Don't ask why this was so exciting. It just was. We hung out there for a while, and then had to go wait for our cab outside. We ended up talking with this guy from Ontario about prohibitive smoking laws. He was nice. We were dunk. The cab took forever to get there. Oh yeah - here's another difference between the U.S. and Canada: the cab dispatchers and drivers are actually nice. Imagine that.

· Back to the hotel. Got into bed, watched Saturday Night Live, and passed the fuck out.

· Sunday: Woke up at 8:30. I watched some Punjabi Public Access channel and part of some English children's movie dubbed into French. We finally got ready and checked out at 11:00. Had breakfast at the hotel. We then took an hour to go off on our own. Anna bought clothes. I went to the Virgin Megastore and found almost nothing there that I couldn't get in the States. Notable exceptions: Bjork's "Gling-glo" CD that is nearly impossible to find nowadays, and an …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead video single from England. Outside of that, not anything too special. There were lots and lots of local (meaning Seattle-area) bands in the racks there (Death Cab, Sleater-Kinney, 764-Hero, etc). All the "explicit lyrics" labels were in English and French. Woo.
· We stopped at Safeway to pick up some stuff for Anna's mom and then left for home. We managed to totally miss the Duty Free Store (and thusly cheap liquor) on the way back. Oh well. No problems getting back through the border.

· Went back to Anna's parents' house and had dinner. Then back to Seattle.

So there you have it. And the entire time, not once did I hear anyone say "eh?" !
p0tat0es: (Default)
I can't wait to go to Vancouver. I miss those wacky Canadians and their cute little accents. They're overwhelmingly polite. Unless you start thowing around terms like "Canuck" and "frog" which many Americans are wont to do after consuming several bottles of Molson. Budweiser and Miller are imports. Old Golds are gold because even our shitty cigarettes are better than their normal ones. And the money is different colors. Those freaking Loonys - someone panhandles you, you reach into your pocket and feel some change, so you toss it at him. Problem is those are dollar coins yr tossing, dumbass. I miss packages measured using the Metric system. I don't really know how much I'm getting, so I don't care. And they're not bathrooms or restrooms - they're "washrooms", eh? I miss the duty-free store, where I can get monster bottles of Jameson for the same price as I'd pay for a fifth here. I'm also planning on getting a bottle of Moskayava (sp?). It's made by the Stolichnaya company I think. It's made with grass. And the bottle is cool. But I've never seen it in the US.

I just hope that the weather holds out. It was beautiful when Anna & I went there last year. I'm hoping for the same this year. I could do without the 2 hour wait at the border coming home though.

March 2015



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