We slept in on day 2 thanks to our travel arrangement from the previous day having worn us out. The evening prior we had acquired some basics at the Safeway 2 blocks away, so that when we did rise, late in the morning, it was light fare as we headed to the northern tip of Vancouver’s West End, the area adjacent to Stanley Park.
Much like San Francisco’s Presidio district, Stanley Park is a park at the end of a peninsula, with a highway running through it that leads to a bridge from one land-body to another. In Vancouver’s case, this bridge would be the 99 that feeds into the Twin Lions Bridge that heads across to North Vancouver.
We found a bike place that rented bikes and we began our tour around the park’s 5-perimeter. There was a veloway as well as a pedestrian walkway. For the non-tourist, I’m sure the miles of paved smooth travel make for a great workout. We, however, found ourselves stopping regularly to take pictures of the magestic harbour or the splendid grounds.
In contrary to Thursday, Friday was a beautiful day with a pristine blue sky and a pleasant sunshine. One could tell this was the time of year that the Vancouverites lived for as everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the sun in some way or another: children at water fountains, perambulators, and frisbees were all seen en masse. After we finished our bike ride, we returned the bikes and continued alongside Coral harbour towards Canada Place, whence the many cruise ships depart.
We ambled, chatted, and enjoyed a scenic bench-sitting more than once as we headed in a south-eastern direction. Ultimately we decided to cut back towards the apartment as our invitor, Patrick, had invited us to dinner at 6 p.m.
On the way we passed by a Caffe Artigiano, whose latte’s had been praised to us by our suite’s proprietor. We stopped in and gulped back a few waters, some splendid warm drinks, and tasty pastries. We continued across the throngs of people on Robson street as we headed back home.
After a shower and a clean-up we had but a very short walk to Tanpopo, an all-you-can-eat sushi place. Owing to Lauren’s inability to eat seafood, we stopped at the safeway so that Lauren could pre-eat, before dinner.
Now I love the sushi, but given Lauren’s fish allergy, and the fact that I live practically landlocked, sushi is for me very, very rare. Thus at dinner with Patrick, his wife, their lovely daughter, Patrick’s sister, and fellow out-of-town guest, Scott, I assassinated as much sushi as I could get my hands on. It was a delicious delicacy.
Afterwards, Patrick’s sister invited us to meet up with her, her friend Kathy ( who has a hilarious story about driving golf carts ), Scott, and her other friend Jennifer. We met up at the Yale Hotel who was presenting a band they knew of.
The operation was definitely geared to musical appreciation, as our visit coincided with Vancouver’s JazzFest. The band was doing a bunch of funky covers and Lauren and I took this opportunity to slow down our East-Coast swing and test a few moves on the dance floor.
Afterwards we headed back to the suite as we knew we were going to have an early morning headed towards Grouse Mountain for a day of festivities and activities.