Friday, July 05, 2013

West Coast Vacation - Vancouver Day 3

There was a good chance of rain in the forecast on our third day in Vancouver, so we decided to plan some indoor activities.  We got up early and made our way over to the Vancouver Aquarium.  I had expected it to be busy, but by the time we got there, right around the time it opened, there were lineups to get in.  We kind of cringed when we saw three or four school buses dropping off kids.  We got our tickets and headed in.

Overall, the aquarium was neat.  Being from the prairies, I had never seen a lot of the fish and sea creatures that they had on display.  I think my favorite displays were the jelly fish.  They were just so neat, kind of mesmerizing to watch.  The belugas were also cool.  I would have enjoyed watching one of the shows, but our parking expired before they started, and I am sure, with all the kids there, we would have not gotten a seat without going and sitting an hour before the start time.

(The first video is obviously some jellyfish.  They had a black light on them and they glowed.  They were so neat!  And the second is the beluga whale.  It liked to make the same lap over and over again.  Such interesting creatures! Note the screaming children in both videos, ugh!)

When we finished up at the aquarium, we were feeling a little headachy and overwhelmed by all the screaming children.  We decided to head over to the Aberdeen Centre in Richmond.  It is a mall that Jay had stumbled upon in his research of things to do in Vancouver.  It is an Asian mall, with mainly Asian stores and all of the food court restaurants are Asian as well.  We didn't have any trouble getting there.  We decided to have some lunch when we got there.  I was quite overwhelmed by all the choices and wasn't sure what we wanted.  We finally settled on something that resembled the Chinese food that we have had before.  We ordered some beef satay and Singapore noodles.  The satay wasn't spectacular, but the noodles were better than any I have had in Saskatoon.  Also the portions were HUGE!  We could have easily shared one dish, and it came to a grand total of $15 for both dishes.  So by the time we were done, we were stuffed.

  (Sitting in front of the fountain, moments before it started it's show.  Thankfully I moved before it started or I am sure I would have gotten wet!)

After lunch we wandered the mall.  Unfortunately it wasn't quite as interesting as we were hoping.  It just seemed like a typical mall, with clothing, electronics, toys, dollar store, etc, but none of the stores were names we had ever heard of.  We made our laps then found the fountain that we had read about.  Every hour they have a fountain in the mall that does a 'show' set to music.  I am not sure how long it goes on, but after about 10 minutes we decided we had seen enough and left.

I have to say, it was interesting being in the minority as a caucasian person.  I think Jay, being white and in a wheelchair felt really unique.  I didn't feel like anyone really cared that we were there, but it was an unusual feeling for us to be a minority, even for just a little while.  It was a pretty busy mall, and I probably saw about 4 or 5 other white people.  Just an interesting observation.  

I think getting back to Vancouver from Richmond was the only time when we really ran into problems with traffic.  There are two main bridges that take traffic across the river from Richmond into Vancouver.  We decided to go to a coffee shop after the mall, and so headed toward the bridge that would take us closer to our destination.  As we got closer there was a lot of traffic backed up, then we finally saw that there was a police officer rerouting traffic around the exits so you couldn't get on the bridge.  So we had to loop around and find our way back to the other bridge.  A friend had mentioned to us an AM radio station that gave traffic reports in the Vancouver area, so we turned it on to find out that there had been an accident on the bridge and that it was closed.  We finally made our way to the other bridge and once we were across we were able to find our way to the coffee shop, Matchstick Coffee.

I had asked a friend of ours, who is a bit of a coffee expert, if he knew of any good coffee shops in Vancouver and/or Seattle.  He gave us a few options and we settled on trying Matchstick because it was not in the heart of downtown and was not too far out of our path of travel.  It was a quiet little place amongst the busyness of the city and was a nice place to sit down and relax with a nice latte and a croissant (Jay had a scone).  Since we had eaten so much Chinese food at lunch, we called this supper and after we were done, we headed back to our hotel to relax for the evening.

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