Explore: Vancouver

 Job and Lona ran to catch the bus and Isaac was busy working on some homework for the two classes he was taking at the college.  Everyone had something to do and a place to go except for John and I.  Well, we did have some place to go: Vancouver.  John's hours are changing at work so we are going to be losing our Fridays together sans enfants (without kids). We needed to take advantage of every Friday left before the hours change.  I grabbed my camera gear, John printed out a map with coffee shops, breweries, and cafes that sounded delicious in between wandering the city. One place I wanted to see was the classical Chinese garden called Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden.  A portion of it is open to the public but there is another portion, private that you can pay for a tour.  We both thought it was fantastic! On the way to the city, it was just dumping rain but it seemed as soon as we reached the garden, we were able to put away our umbrella and explore. The sun was warming the boards so that steam from the rain shower was rising in the air. The Koi were rising to the surface of the murky water and drops collected on the berries and leaves were just about to lose their grip on the plants. As we walked and wandered our way around the garden, a gentle perfume rose from one of the plants, jasmine I think. There was a stark contrast in sounds once inside the gardens and it felt like I had stepped into another country rather than Canada. As the clouds disappeared the high rises from the city came into view and was such a contrast to the quiet solitude of the garden. Then there was a parade of kids, beating drums and calling out the monsters in anticipation of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey.  The lanterns swayed in the breeze and gave it a festive air.  A gal came around asking if I wanted tea and of course I did. Each window, doorway and hall framed elements both inside and outside of the public and private garden. The details carved in the wood trellises had stories to tell and wisdom to impart. I could imagine a morning in the garden during the summer, sitting there enjoying the sun, while the world rushes by outside the walls.  And then we too went outside the walls and joined the rest of the world rushing by. We had no agenda except to find a brewery and have a snack.  John had circled one in particular called Postmark Brewery.  We wandered and wandered, past beautiful old buildings, homeless shelters and graffiti.  At one point I looked around thinking we should be there when I spied large silver tanks in the windows of a non-descript white building.  We had arrived. Once inside, again I felt like I was in another world.  At 2:00 in the afternoon, the place was hopping with young 30 somethings have business meetings and late lunches. I would say that it was swanky.  We each had a sampler which looks like a lot but in the end, it's about 1 glass each. We talked ourselves in to eating a mushroom bacon feta something something pizzetta.  It was delicious and the atmosphere was incredible. We looked at the giant beams, the fireplace, the couch that was calling John's name, had there been less people I think he would have taken a nap.  Which at that point meant we needed to move again.  Onto Crab Park, the waitress recommended it.  It was next to one of the ports that sported 11 giant cranes which held our attention as they moved large containers around. And then we (really me) suggested that instead of doubling back, we could according to the map just keep walking west along the road until one certain street that would get us to Hasting street where we parked our car.  Yep, it led us to the garage and basement floor of the ferry terminal, train terminal and helicopter flights.  We had to go into a parking garage to find our way up and out onto one of the main streets.  By this time I needed a coffee and a nap.  I wanted a pastry but the cute pastry shops were quite a ways away and I had already exceeded 14K steps, to tired to track that down. We ended at Waves coffee which was good but just like Starbucks.  Another time we will need to explore the coffee houses of Vancouver.

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