Technically, I’m writing this the next day. When I tried to boot up the laptop yesterday – immediate BSOD. Got it through recovery and didn’t have time to deal with it any further. Long-suffering husband has been very patient this week, but even he has his limits. I’ve been on the laptop when he’s working out and then getting ready for the day, or when he’s been in the gym in the afternoon. This trip was meant to spend some quality time together after all, and I don’t want to remind him of the 3+ hours he’s home before I get there Monday-Friday. Even trying to get this done today has been a b*&!h. Outlook is failing to send. As one kind person commented on this blog, it isn't Vista, it's Witless.
We had another long day in Port yesterday. We had arranged seats on the Hop-on, Hop-off Trolley that loops around Vancouver’s major points of interest. There is more we would have liked to have seen, but I can’t take as much as I used to. I was pretty exhausted coming into this, and with trying to keep up with what we had pre-arranged, getting some work done outside of the computer issues and 8:30 dinner seating (meaning we’re not in bed before midnight – can’t go to sleep on a full stomach), I’m getting a little less sleep than I was at home. We’re at sea tomorrow, so I will be sleeping in. I have managed to sneak in two naps since we set sail, but that’s not quite enough. But, I digress.
There were some pretty cool things to see around downtown. They’re getting ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The tour guide was less than thrilled with the construction – and costs. Stanley Park was quite lovely, but we wanted to spend some time on Granville Island, in Chinatown and then Gastown. Maybe next time.
Our stop on Granville Island allowed me to find some Olympic pins for my on-going Winter Olympic pin collection. I purchased a couple in Salt Lake, but other than that, the bulk of my acquisitions have been via eBay. I love eBay – but not so much now. I’ve gotten better – more discriminating – have less time for such things (No. 1 reason). We walked around and saw some interesting things. It used to be called Industrial Island, the City’s source of building materials and such. There are still some industrial businesses, such as a cement company and a foundry, but it’s now the home of the city’s farmer’s market, similar to Pike’s in Seattle, and Emily Carr Art Institute. There are also breweries. By now, you had to know this was coming.
Granville Island Brewing Company is located in the heart of the district. Unfortunately, there wasn’t room on the tour for us, but we enjoyed some tasters and ran into a brother and sister that were on our Ale Trail excursion the other day. After have our refreshments, we got back on the bus and headed over to Chinatown.
Vancouver’s Chinatown is very different from San Francisco’s, though I think it is bigger in actually land mass. The streets are wider, the businesses have larger spaces and there simply aren’t as many people. There were a number of markets that sold herbs, vegetables and traditional Chinese ingredients. From this aspect, it was really different. It reminded me a little of Oakland’s Chinatown, as far as the fresh food are concerned. We stopped at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden and enjoyed the peaceful surroundings.
Hopping back on the Trolley, we headed over to Gastown and Steamworks Brewery. Very cool place. We’re used to asking for a flight of taster’s and typically this means 4-6 small glasses of beer. The glasses are usually between 2 to 3 ounces. Steamworks gave us 8 glasses and they were probably 3 oz. each. Holy intoxication, Batman. We decided to have some appetizers here, since we hadn’t had any food since early in the morning, so we ordered Tandoori Chicken Skewers, Mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and snow crab, and Beer Soup. All of it was wonderful! We need to start checking out microbrews around the SF Bay Area and see if we can find a place as cool as this one. In the basement, they had pool tables and the bar had to at least 30 ft. long. Beautiful dark woods and a view of the Harbor. Excellent.
We were just a couple of blocks away from the Cruise Terminal at that point, so we headed back. Once we got on board, Kevin headed off to the gym and I slept for a while. I was done.
We had a comedian for the evenings’ entertainment, and we had to see him before dinner. He was on Home Improvement as an occasional character. His name was Jim Labriola and he was pretty funny. Off to dinner and then off to bed, because we arrive in Victoria at 7am and we leave again at 2pm – not a whole lotta time.
I’ll check in with today’s entry later. I have to get ready for our last formal night of the cruise. I hadn't planned on spending two hours downloading email and re-entering a blog entry.