Tuesday, December 30, 2014

English Bay

We haven't stayed at the Sylvia Hotel since our last fireworks trip in 2008, but it's still a favorite hangout in Vancouver. After Lynn Canyon, we headed back into the city and camped out for an hour and half in the bar with some appetizers and a beer, reading, and enjoying the wonderful sun break over English Bay.

A few years ago, I ran into Cheryl Wheeler's song about the Sylvia Hotel. It's not exactly a happy song, but any song about a place we've come to know well can't exactly be sad.

Lynn Canyon

Fueled up on waffles, we drove around Stanley Park. The rain kept us in the car except for my brief exploration of Third Beach, but by the time we looped through downtown and then back through the Park and over the bridge, the rain had ended.

We drove over to North Vancouver and found our way through suburbia to Lynn Canyon, a smaller, less touristy version of Capilano. The suspension bridge over the creek disappears into the forest at each end.  The trail down to the lower falls was nicely improved with steps and boardwalks, so we barely got our feet muddy, despite the conditions.

This is a neat spot. It's easy to forget that there are homes nearby and that a large city lies just a few kilometers to the south.


We often talk about getting away to Vancouver for a weekend, but the two of us haven't done this since before D was born. For years, the three of us came up regularly for a weekend in early August, organized around the fireworks, but that routine ended in 2008.  It's not like we haven't visited many other times, but this was the first real weekend in a long time.

It was a cool, gray, damp couple of days (except for two sunny hours on Saturday afternoon). Most of the visit revolved around food - surprise! - but we also explored a little both by car and by foot.

We had a good deal on a room in a downtown hotel, overlooking the Hotel Vancouver and Burrard. We had dinner at Banana Leaf (Asian) on Robson and Absinthe (French) on Commercial Drive. We had breakfast at Cafe Medina (waffles) on Richards and Fortune City Seafood (Dim Sum) on Renfrew.  We visited Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park, Jericho Beach, Lynn Canyon, and English Bay (the last couple may get their own posts). And we wandered around MEC and Chapters (and bought nothing at either).

Thursday, December 04, 2014


For the 24th year in a row, we hosted Thanksgiving in Wallingford. Pretty much the same cast of characters showed up - although every year is a little different. A and B find us too loud and boisterous and have chosen to celebrate in a less draining setting. Some of the others must alternate between us and their own families and don't show up every year. But 12 seemed like a good number - enough to fill the place up, but not so many as to overwhelm the kitchen crew. Fortunately, everyone contributes food, so the workload isn't too bad. And the last three years or so, we've actually had one of those new-fangled dishwasher things.

I would like to note that most of this year's pictures were taken by M. She took more photos, better photos, and more photos of the food.

This year the crowd was split pretty sharply in the evening. We normally try not to let football dominate Thanksgiving, but with the Seahawks playing the 49ers, there was little choice, although a few of the more civilized members of our group (mainly female, I noticed) opted to play their own games instead. Funny, they were making more noise than those of us watching the football game! The Seahawks won 19-3, by the way.