Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Sunday before Christmas

On Sunday we were meant to meet Eleanor and co at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at a bit before 1:30 for Pirates of Penzance. Due to a lot of stuffing around Matthew and I didn't leave the house with plenty of time to spare, and despite being forewarned of this eventuality, the Annual Santa Parade slowed our progress into town.

This, like the chaos butterfly, resulted in us being a mere 10 minutes too late for the curtain, so we were rejected from the theatre and told to come back in an hour. If there was any time for a sadface emoticon, it was now.

Making the best of it, if not necessarily keeping a stiff upper lip, we sallied next door to the Vancouver (German) Christmas Market at Queen Elizabeth Square. The outdoor part of the market was composed of rows of little wooden portables with peaked roofs and verandas. Each mini-house was a stall selling mostly German-inspired foods (waffles, sausages, spatzle, gluhwein, etc), but also wooden tree ornaments, maple candies, Polish ceramics and of course commemorative beer steins.

I was in a dreadfully unfestive and uncommemorative mood (poor Matthew!) so we didn't take any pictures.

The rain held off for most of the 45 minutes we killed there. After we refueled with waffles and sausage soup, we headed back into the theatre just in time to meet the ladies at intermission. The ladies being: Elly (and bf Bryerton), Carolyn, Aunty Lorraine, Gramma, Emily, Sophie and Shannon! (Not a gender-balanced family, this one).

The second half of the show was good fun and just as we remembered. There were surtitles which is funny because it's in English but also helpful because opera is hard to understand in any language. The set was spectacularly pretty, sort of Tintern Abbey-esque with lots of romantic ruination for the pirates and the police to hide in and around comically.

After the show we hopped the skytrain to Richmond, and when we got there we realised we were half an hour early. So naturally we hopped off at the River Rock Casino, which doesn't require any outdoor adventuring to access from the skytrain station. How Convenient!

It was as empty as an airport after hours. And I really mean that, because between the station and the casino lobby is a long desolate corridor with advertising screens and a travelator. You read right, a travelator. A little bit of Vegas in our own backyard! Who knew?

We ordered a glass of  excessively sweet wine each and cooled our heels for the remaining minutes, then travelated back to the skytrain. (Just kidding, we didn't really use the travelator.)

Ok I know this is a stupid picture. But it was exciting to ride at the front of the skytrain! There's no driver! It's like being on a fair ride but without the terror for your life!
Matthew's work Christmas party was at an airport hotel so we actually went to YVR to get an airport shuttle there. The party had an 'ugly sweater' theme, which we failed to interpret as a 'Chistmas ugly sweater' theme. There were some true beauties, including several light-up jobs and one quite revealing muscle-top (ie. man singlet) on an employee of 25 years. There was a charity drive and the most amazing prize givaway I have ever witnessed. It was like wheel of fortune. There was a digital camera, an oven, and a tablet, among others. The next day, Matthew told me that I said the words 'corporate waste' about eleventy billion times during the evening.

On every table were 6-inch tall gingerbread men decorated with the company's monogram. Since not everyone loves gingerbread, Matthew and I were not too proud to stockpile for the forthcoming week's desserts.
Matthew combating corporate waste by Saving The Gingerbread.
There was also a photobooth where Matthew and I snapped ourselves groping like teens (too much info?).

The food was pretty impressive, with roast turkey, pork, chicken and a million salads. I personally was most impressed by the generous cheese platters at dessert. (Which fellow guests generally eschewed in favour of the 12 cakes! More for me!) We sat with some guys from Matthew's team and their lovely WAGs. Fun time had by all.

We taxi'd homeward and napped for a solid 12. Matthew had the day off on Monday and we lounged and wrote Christmas cards until our evening adventures... (coming soon)

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