This long weekend (thanks, civic holiday!) has been so epic that, like last time, I'm going to split it up over a couple of posts. Fair warning...
On Thursday afternoon, I knocked off early and met one of our besties from Melbourne, Jane, at the airport. It was excellent and heart-warming to see someone from home, and we feel like we picked up right where we left off when we saw her in February.
Matthew met us and we drove home from the airport past the McMansions of Shaughnessy. This is funny, because in the car, Jane told us about her recent trip to Mulholland Drive, LA. Obviously, we had to display a competitive edge.
We got home, and after the longest stretch of sunny weather Vancouver has EVER SEEN, the storm clouds gathered. We drove over to Main St and had dinner at East is East, and then we went to the best ice cream shop in the world, just before the sky got really black. We didn't take any photos because we were too enthralled and ice-cream-motivated. We test-tasted wasabi, lavender, dill and lucuma flavours. Lucuma is not actually a weird flavour, it's just that we'd never heard of it. It's a Peruvian fruit. I can't remember what we actually decided on. We did not test taste garlic, curry, or corn flavours. Some things you just don't need to experience to know.
We then retired home to bed, because Matthew and I are living a healthy lifestyle now. Jane's long weekend in Vancouver was shaping up to be a relaxing and clean-living one, in true Vancouver style.
On Friday morning, Matthew dropped Jane and me at Hillcrest and we sauna'd and steamed for an hour before heading into downtown Vancouver. I very sadly had to put Jane on a bus to the Vancouver Aquarium while I skytrain'd back to work for the afternoon. Things got done, and then we rendezvoused on the home front. It was bloody pouring bloody rain all day. Thanks, Vancouver. Way to make a good impression. Jane very kindly looked upon the silver lining, since she had been in Dallas, TX for the last week in 107 degree fahrenheit temperatures. Also, ain't nothing more authentically Vancouver than a long solid day o' rain.
Matthew came home and we carefully (read: a bit obsessively) considered dinner options. We settled on French (which we flat out could not afford when we lived in Melbourne, but which is, happily, most affordable in Vancouver), and hit up Salade des Fruits on 7th Avenue. It was pretty heavenly, and in a team spirit, we all ordered fish. We also left room for tout les desserts.
We then headed over the Granville Bridge to The Moose on Nelson Street. The Moose came with a recommendation from Jane's friend who used to live in Vancouver. It used to be a tapas bar called The Loose Moose. Now it is an ear splitting rock pub. We met our good friends Scotty and Bill from Portland (featured this time last year on the blog, when we roadtripped to their 'hood for a weekend of Australian-infested fun). And we tried to exchange a year's worth of news over drinks, we really did, but we literally could not hear a thing over the 80s hair metal. So we gulped down our drinks and walked up the neon glory that is Granville Street after 10pm, and settled into a quiet pub like the pack of old farts we really are. ...And then we really got caught up.
Here's the awesome connection. Are you ready? Okay: Matthew and I met Scott in 2009(?) while he was an exchange student in Melbourne, at a house party hosted by Jane, which was Vegas-themed. Then, when Matthew and I were married in Vegas in 2011 (at which Jane was a guest), Scott and Bill were holidaying there at the same time. We were reacquainted with Scott and introduced to Bill on our wedding day, walking around the Strip in our finery. Then, because they're cool, we met up with them again in Portland last year. Serendipity! We have always lived in different countries, but somehow we're destined to be friends!
Anyway, cheers to transcontinental friendships. See you for more tales of adventures (and some photos, I promise) tomorrow...