It took a visitor from Europe to point out how insanely close I live to Canada. Less than a six-hour drive gets me to Vancouver, the city you may have heard of if you’ve seen any of those Best Places to Live or Most Beautiful, Wonderful, Whateverful Cities on the Planet lists. And everything you’ve heard is true. They give you three wishes when you cross the border and the sidewalks are made of candy and all the beds are giant animatronic teddy bears that hold you close and rock you to sleep, lulling you with their gruffy song of lull.
Even though it was cloudy most of the time (pretty much exactly how I left Portland), we still managed to have a glorious couple of days. That photo up there is me taking photos of mossy rocks, with the color manipulated so it could serve as a Verve album cover.
Not so glorious was how we spent each morning, at the Whole Foods cafe, because our hotel charged something like $20 for a day of wifi. What year is this? And the Starbucks up there didn’t have it either. I was beginning to question the whole Best Place to Live thing, but an honest cup of coffee and two varieties of vegan muffin (carrot maple!), decent lighting, and free wifi and plug-in made it all better. And not for nothin’, but I love Kati’s little netbook.
Our first stop was Granville Island Public Market. It reeked of tourist trap, but it served its purpose: lunch. Yes, I bought a pretty stone bear necklace, but we also hooked ourselves up with the makings of a lovely picnic. Check these out.
And here’s what we ended up with. Gooseberries (still a little on the way-too-tart side), rosemary baguette, green olive baguette, hummus, and a sun-dried tomato & olive spread. I’m working on a recipe to replicate this because I haven’t found one around these parts. I mean, come on, look at this!
The highlight of the trip was the only thing we had written down, UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, where we immediately became members because we’ll be back but soon. Tom took the photo and it’s now our desktop image. If you click on it you’ll get a bigger version. Holy crap, the magic that can happen with a camera. After just a few hours in the museum (we got a late start) we were dizzy. Kati and I both ended up a bit weepy—it’s a powerful collection, absolutely a must-see if you can manage it.
Both nights we ended up at The Foundation Lounge, which we just happened to walk by and get sucked into while trying to find another place we saw on Happy Cow. It’s vegetarian, but almost everything can be vegan. The photos aren’t awesome so I’ll just give you a little peek:
I got the OPPP, “our peanut pesto pasta, onion, brokly & tofu. twisted pasta.” Kati got the Rogue Grain, “army of veg in coco-chili-lime sauce. served on quinoa & spinach.” And Tom went with the Final Option, “crazy veg curry off the heezee. served on rice.” We all friggin’ loved our food. Oddly enough, mine had pears in it too, which I though would be weird but it was not. It was perfect. Kati’s plate also had a ton of chickpeas and black beans. And Tom uttered the most surprising of words: “I think with the garlic and the heat I actually like cauliflower.” (Insert angels singing here.) I was the only one who failed to clean her plate. When we went back the next night (the light was even crappier so no photos for you!), I got the same thing and tried to finish, making myself feel super sick for the next few hours. If you’re there, stop by. The atmosphere is chill, the waitstaff is just the right degree of pretentious for the first five minutes, and the food is great.