We remember False Creek from Expo back in 1986. Since then, much of the surrounding area has been transformed, although a few big vacant parcels still remain. Creekside is the new development that began with the 2010 Olympic Village, at the southeast corner of the now-tamed estuary.
I like the shoreline along here and have mentioned it elsewhere, but the development itself left us uninspired -- and listening to the spiel at the Presentation Center didn't change that. Not that we we had any real interest to start with.
There's an Earnest Ice Cream on 2nd, which was good in a Molly Moon's sort of way. Interesting flavors and good ingredients, but expensive. Based on limited experience, I would suggest that the best ice cream in Vancouver is still gelato (several options), but probably important to keep checking out more places!
West Vancouver stretches along the shore west of the Lion's Gate Bridge and the Capilano River. It also creeps up the mountainside from the water, eventually stopping against a wall of forest. The main highway - the one that goes up to Horseshoe Bay, Howe Sound, and Whistler - contours the hillside and bypasses the community. Marine Drive, on the other hand, winds closer to the shoreline, from the bridge, past the mall, through the business districts of Ambleside and Dundarave, then on through wealthy shoreside neighborhoods and Lighthouse Park.
We drove out to Dundarave, where we walked down to the beach and around the neighborhood, then headed west so I could check out Stearman Beach. Then it was back to Stanley Park and the city.
We stayed at the Metropolitan, just like last year. Despite the last minute decision to go, we found a good rate for Saturday and Sunday night. And, of course, it's Canadian money, so it goes a bit farther.
Not surprisingly, food sort of narrated our trip. Four Winds Brewery in Delta, with friends, for lunch on Saturday. Scoozie's for dinner. And the Canada Line to Yaletown so I could try liquid nitrogen-enabled instant ice cream (overrated). Then Cafe Medina the next morning. Earnest Ice Cream later. Maenam in Kitsilano for dinner. And then Forage on Robson on Monday morning. Coffee at 49th Parallel and Donuts at Cartem's on Main Street on the way out of town.
Most of our exploration was on Sunday. It was too chilly to ride bikes (at least for us) in Stanley Park, although the weather was nice (especially compared to the rain we got on this trip last year). We drove around the park - with a detour across the Lion's Gate to West Vancouver in the middle - stopping here and there to walk. When I lingered too long at the beach, M retreated to her book.
Some days at work are just beautiful. Four of us spent a very cold Tuesday visiting several sites north of Bellingham. The wind was bringing bitter air down the Fraser Valley, which pretty much just aims at northern Whatcom County (just as the river itself did, back during the waning stages of the last ice age). It wasn't North Dakota cold, or Sugarloaf cold, but definitely chilly by western Washington standards.
The first shot is across the north end of Bellingham Bay, most are from Cherry Point, and the last is from the tip of Semiahmoo Spit, a long stone's throw from Canada.
It's been a cold week, at least by Seattle standards. And several days of weather in the 20s is all it takes for the lakes to begin to respond. It's been a while since I've seen Green Lake with this much ice on it (although I still recall the whole lake safely frozen over in 1983 and/or 1984, when I first arrived in this neighborhood).
The ice was pretty thick here at the south end so it probably wasn't too crazy for folks to be walking on it. At least those who had some idea of what to they were doing. But some of the people checking it out were treating it the way that some people tromp around in the snow for the first time. I'm not sure they had any clue of the consequences of getting it wrong!