Tuesday: East Van, Commercial Drive, French Food
Sadly Matthew had to work, but we hitched a ride with him at 7am to Hillcrest (swimming pool complex), and while I hit the gym, Helen did a lap of Queen Elizabeth Park in the glorious morning sunshine. We rendezvoused poolside at 8am and admired the view of the mountains through the floor-to-ceiling windows, from our position in the spa. It was very civilised. We then got a chai latte, ran into our friend Martina on the bus home, and got properly ready for a Nice Day Out.
My mum (also in town currently) came over and all three of us ladies piled in the rent-a-car (and got thoroughly lost on the way) to Trout Lake, in East Vancouver. We walked a lap, admired the view (the mountains look radically different from East Van than they do from our place on the West side of town).
Mum, Helen and I then went to Commercial Drive for a spot of Greek lunch and window shopping. It was a new experience for all of us, since Mum had not been to Commercial Drive since like 1970, and I had never been North of about 4th Ave. It was amazingly full of cafes, restaurants, and the best vintage shop EVER. There was a giant scarf bin, and we just stood around it for a quarter of an hour, picking up the scarves, laughing at their ugliness, cooing at their loveliness, and trying them on. I came away with two pink floral numbers, and Mum with three others. Helen, sensible woman, refrained.
It was about 4ish by the time we got into Gastown. We wandered the cobbled streets in the dappled sunshine with the flower baskets hanging around us.
|The Fluevog shop is a bit of an institution|
|De riguere tourist shot in front of Steam Clock|
We squeezed in a latte before driving home to meet Matthew. Then all four of us walked down to 7th Ave to Salade de fruits, a cute and tiny restaurant in the French language/cultural learning centre. It was AMAZING. And surprisingly economical, for French food. My mum was very generously treating us to dinner. Thank you mum!
Wednesday: Robson Street, Seasons in the Park
Again, Matthew was at work, so Helen and I leisurely breakfasted, then set out for downtown. We didn't really have a game plan, but the buses were late, so we started our adventure with a windy walk across the Granville Street Bridge. It was hot, sunscreeny weather. We made it to the centre of town and had quiche on the Art Gallery terrace. We then proceeded to Sephora, where we bought EVERYTHING *so poor now* and thence to Robson Street for more of the same: shopping shopping shopping shopping.
We paused in the middle of the afternoon for a cup of coffee so strong it put hairs on our chests, and a macaron.
In the evening Matthew, Helen and I went up to Seasons in the Park at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park (also known as Little Mountain) and watched the sun set over the city from the terrace. It was perfect.
The next morning , Helen hopped on a plane back to Melbourne, after a whole year of travel, study, friendship and excitement. Thank you, Helen, for a wonderful week of exploring Vancouver in the early summer. Vancouver was at its very prettiest, and I hope you had a good time. We really enjoyed having you stay, and after your amazing year of world travels, we hope you are welcomed back into Melbourne life. We will miss you.
(Photo credits: half Helen, half my mum)