Vancouver is excellent. I was quite tired of work by the end of last week, and I think the fancy times up here with Brian this weekend, plus the work-related medium-fancy times of the conference the next couple days will be a perfect little break.
Lots of walking around and eating out with Brian. A very disjointed drive up Saturday (stops for UPS, coffee, gas, bagels, lunch with Caitie, waiting at the boarder), then we explored a little, then had excellent tasty dinner + drinks at some bistro between on the cusp of the sketchy neighborhood.
Sunday: breakfast of perfectly almost-over-toasted French toast, then a shoe-buying expedition, then the newly-remodeled aquarium and a drive through the park.
It was chilly, but stayed dry until we found the craft commune of Granville Island -- drizzly is not good for tourism. We forced ourselves to walk through the little village of arts and nicknacks until early dinner. Excellent bread and Canadian peach cider, good crab cake to start, but some kind of weird bits in one of my scallops that I may never get over. If this city has ruined scallops for me, I firmly take back my "Vancouver is excellent."
Today, Pookie left at 8ish, so I got ready for a big day of no plans. Realized I left accidentally sent my umbrella home in the car, so went out and bought a new (and better) one at some drug store. Certainly, in Canada I've heard more sales rep and cashier people with clear recently-immigrated accents than I've ever heard ever in the states.
Tried shopping, but nothing peaked my interest until ... Zara. What a mecca! Everything beautiful! How have I spent years shopping and never seen this place? Everything gorgeous but reasonably priced, trendy but not cheapo, good quality, decent fit. Had to visit the fitting room twice to try everything on. And, wonderfully, went out today thinking of a trench coat, and came back with a perfect one. Love a belted waist and a big collar. Somehow, though, managed moderation and only bought three things: that coat, dark work pants, and a little black casual dress. Has bows at the waist. Possibly I'll be drawn back in for some shoes before I leave -- there were some amazing ones, if only they have my size ...
The Vancouver Art Gallery coat check lady was one of the rudest service people I've ever encountered, and we barely spoke. I can only guess she was jealous of my fabulous hair. The building is lovely -- very nice to see how a piece of classical architecture fits seamlessly in a very modern-architecture city. Some video installation, some tree stuff, much pictorialism that I looked through diligently without being moved. Was worth $15 because I had nothing better to do and it could be considered a donation toward Art.
Finally it was time for some work-related mingling. Flatironed my hair, then went cashless to the foyer on the third floor, where I clinged to the first group of approachable ladies I saw, until I heard the bar was accepting debit cards. Got me a G+T, then clumped with UW advisers till someone suggested we head to the hotel bar. Had another couple rounds and talked about college-related stuff there till someone suggested we go to bed. Now here I am. Typing way past my bedtime.