Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vancouver, BC: You only have a first time once.......

Today was an amazing day!!!
After having journeyed four hours by tour bus from Tacoma, Washington, including the dreaded border crossing into Canada, we arrived this morning to cotton candy-like cloudy skies, pine tree blanketed mountains, the crisp clear air and voluminous skyscrapers that ARE Vancouver. This visit to Vancouver is my first. Unfortunately, my thrill and excitement was stunted by the need to gain a few more hours of sleep.
Upon setting foot into my hotel room and being wowed by the unobstructed harbor view outside the sliding french doors, I immediately knew this was my kind of town. It was easy to imagine the energy of the city and what it had to offer, and all I had seen was a glimpse of the birds eye view from my room.
Feeling the need to make the most of my one, full day off, but not having a real plan, I chose to take a city tour. My choice was the "hop-on, hop-off" bus tour. This gave me an advantage to come and go as I pleased, allowing for extended time at selected sites along the way. Once at my pick up location and then on the bus, I decided my plan of action,...first stop, the Vancouver Art Museum. I lucked up on two wonderful exhibits, the first one being, mural sized paintings by African-American artist Kerry James Marshall, and the featured exhibit, The Modern Woman: Drawings by Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and other master artists from the D'Orsay, Paris. I walked away excited and inspired. Gaining culture and knowledge is always a great start to the day.
Keeping to my schedule, I hopped back on the bus making my way through Vancouvers' more popular neighborhoods, while stopping in Yaletown for a bite to eat. Being Sunday, the streets were less busy than usual which I appreciated. Collecting myself, I continued on the bus passing through, Chinatown, Gastown, English Bay, Second Beach, Granville Island and Stanley Park to name a few. I have been thoroughly impressed by the beauty and warmth of the city and vow to come back.
It is now 6pm and my day is coming to a close. The bus pulls curbside for me to exit and in the short distance is the perfect pitstop, a small and charming Vietnemese restaurant called Chau. I perch myself at the intimate bar and kick back, chowing down on rice paper spring rolls of mint with prawns and thai basil with smoked cod. Yum. To wash it down I opt for a refreshing lychee mojito,.....two, to be exact. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Before returning to the hotel I did a bit of window shopping along Robson Street and casually strolled along the marina to take in the sunset views.
If only everyday could be like this.... Ahhhhh!

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