We left Calgary on Monday, November 1 for Vancouver! We arrived around 11:30 am to some cloudy weather, but we can't complain as it had been raining cats and dogs that morning!
Our mission: to find our way to Jen's apartment, AKA Hotel Teng. After taking a bus in the wrong direction (which we realized after talking to a friendly crazy woman) we finally arrived at our destination. Jen was in class at the time we arrived and her sister and roomate, Flora, was at work, so sneakily, Jen devised a plan to hide a house key and fob in a carved pumpkin outside the side door of her apartment. Worried that some punk kid would smash the pumpkin, Jen even checked on the pumpkin between her classes!
We walked up to the apartment and walked around to the side door to find the secret pumpkin, still intact! Jesse felt like a secret agent, glancing around in both directions before carefully opening the lid to find the key and a note inside a plastic bag (and in case you are wondering, no, the pumpkin did not self-destruct!)
Inside Hotel Teng, Jen left us a cute welcome note! It included instructions on how to make ourselves at home - which we totally did, as soon Jesse was plugged into the wireless internet and Jacq laid down on the couch for a quick snooze!
A few minutes later, Flora, came home as lucky for us, she got the afternoon off and she was our amazing tour guide for the afternoon! Jesse, Jacq and Flora headed off to Granville Island for lunch. With so many options to choose from, we decided to share clam chowder pot pie soup and some perogies and borsht! We had just enough room to have pumpkin macaroons for dessert!
We checked out a few shops, including an interesting broom shop (yes, broom shop! For any Harry Potter fans, there’s also a section of “racing brooms”)
Then Jen came to meet up with us! We headed to the Granville Island Bewery to sample a few beers!
Beer tasting at Granville Island Brewery
We then decided to take a walk around the sea wall through Olympic village, through Chinatown, and Gastown and one sketchy area that we walked through quickly!
Vancouver city sky
Now famished, we jumped in a cab towards the hotel that Jen and Andy were staying at, so that we could meet up with them for dinner. We decided on Don Guacamoles... mmm Mexican food! Soon we headed back to hotel Teng’s , with our dessert (cheap Halloween candy!)
The next morning we slept in and woke up to find that Flora had printed out a map with directions to Stanley Park and bike rental places for us! Jesse made breakfast (eggs, bacon and toast!) and soon we were off to Stanley Park. We were supposed to meet Jen and Andy there for 2 pm, but didn’t get there until about 2:30 pm. On this trip we decided not to take cell phones – which now makes us wonder – how the heck do people plan things without cell phones! Needleless to say, we missed each other completely, but we still all had a great time walking around the park and then renting bicycles and cycling around the park. Here are a few highlights!
Jesse at Stanley Park
Jacq at Stanley Park
After our bike tour, we met up with Larry for coffee, which he probably needed more than us, after working a 30 hour shift on his med school rotation!) Then we all headed back to Hotel Teng and made plans for dinner that night – sushi of course! The crew (Jesse, Jacq, Jen, Flora, Larry & Dianna and Jen & Andy) went to Zipang and it was delicious! After dinner, we decided to head to Earls for dessert, which really turned into drinks for most of us – and specifically the “Bro-llini” (the manly version of the bellini, as it was 2 oz and came in a scotch glass rather than a fruity martini!) This was also the time, where Jesse showed everyone the piece of his tooth or filling which broke off (it was a weakened tooth, which had a filling for a number of years, which also happened to have a piece break off months earlier when we went to Panama for a week).
When we got back to Jen’s place, we had a couple of laptops googgling dentist’s offices that might take Jesse early the next morning to fix the tooth before our flight out the next day. We had a list of options and a game plan, in which Jesse had to get up at 7 am and start calling those that were open. After calling several offices, he finally found one that would take him at 10:30 am. We hoped that it would take an hour or less, so that we’d still be able to get to the airport on time. Thankfully, it was quick and we were out of there around 11:30 am and we arrived at the airport just after 12 for our 2:20 pm flight to Hong Kong (13 hours), where we’d take another flight getting us to Sydney, Australia (9 hours)!
We had an amazing time in Vancouver! Thanks again Jen and Flora for our stay at the "Hotel Teng!"
Hotel Teng owners and amazing tour operators!
More pictures can be found in our Photo Gallery!