Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend- Vancouver Style

We had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving weekend with Laura and Rosemary. They patiently put up with us for a very long time. It was a very fun time.  We are very thankful to have such great friends.  Laura, knowing my insatiatble desire to experience the 'real Vancouver', filled our days with Vancouver-istic events and suggestions. Literally. We went to 'Legendary Noodle' where noodles are 'legendary'. What else can you say about that? In my search to eat all things Vancouver we also met Adrienne and her boyfriend, Isaac, at what is 'sushi institution' on 'the Drive.' (Commercial Drive is the street Laura lives off of, lined with great restaurants, coffee pubs, entertaining weirdos and shops.) And, to what Laura assures me would make us the envy of all people who watched the Olympic coverage closely, we went for 'Japadog.'  In case you haven't heard about them (I hadn't either) Japadog serves hot dogs with a Japanese twist. All the rage during the Olympics. For example, your dog comes topped with Terryaki sauce and shreds of seaweed, or raddish and beets and the 'shaked fries' with a sprinkling of wacky flavours 'shaked' for you in a brown paper bag. All served by a bubbly Japanese kid who smiles ear to ear the whole time you are ordering and then giggles when you pay. Fantastic.  Oh, and we had a traditional-like Thanksgiving dinner on Laura & Rosemary's balcony too!

We did manage to extend our experiences past our stomachs, however surprising. First, we rented The White Ribbon, a film by Michael Haneke. Then we went to see Norma, an opera by Vincenzo Bellini with our friend Emily in the title role. She was so fantastic that you could barely take your eyes away from her when she was onstage. Her voice was amazing. We also went to the Vancouver International Film Festival, the chic people that we are, and saw the incredibly funny Mike Leigh film, Another Year.  We wandered through the thrift shops on Main St, explored Granville Island and the market and spent our last day wandering around the Kitsilano neighbourhood and then eating lunch at a well known vegetarian restaurant called 'the Naam.'

Laura and Rosemary, enlightened Vancouverites they are, let us in on many of the City's quirks, for example: the Free Corner, where people share stuff for free, the back door loading of the 99 bus and why no one goes to Burnaby. Most importantly, however, was the lesson on 'How to Spot a Hipster.' Why? Because poking fun at hipsters is an acceptable and important Vancouver pass-time. Big glasses, maybe colourful and plastic, plaid shirt, perhaps a toque, tight jeans... and there's your Hipster. Are you having fun yet?

We had a fantastic time in BC. Thanks mostly to all the people we got to see and spend time with. We are so lucky to have such amazing friends and family in our life. If we didn't say it before, we really do appreciate everyone making time to see us, letting us sleep over and feeding us. Thank you!

Parting Thoughts:
Since we are flying through the US on our way to Auckland we have to go in a separate US bound terminal. The US has Pre-Clearance in Canadian Airports which means you are processed by Customs and Immigration before you even leave Canada. Or so I thought. They scare me, so I made sure we had plenty of time. We manage our way through airport security and find ourselves at the whim of the Vancouver Airport Guy who is making sure everyone has their US Declaration Cards filled out properly as not to irritate the US Border Patrol. Smart idea. Obviously aptly trained the Vancouver Airport Guy notices that we have 2 apples in our hands. How could he not, these apples are gorgeous.
Vancouver Airport Guy: You have apples! You can't bring apples into the US! No apples! (No soup for you!)
Me: I wasn't going to bring the apples into the US, Sir. I am going to eat the apples in the tranquility of Gate 83 of the Vancouver International Airport, (British Colombia, Canada.)
Vancouver Airport Guy: No, once you go through US Customs you are in the US.
Me: (Eyeing Vancouver Airport man suspiciously) So, that part of the airport is the United States of America? Its not just a designated area where passengers whom have been pre-cleared by US Authorities wait to board their flight?
Vancouver Airport Guy: No, it is the USA.
This makes me upset. If this is true, this is a very bad idea, Canada. But, what do I know. Either way, Vancouver Airport man threatens that if I don't clearly declare my apples I will be fined $300. I have already been fined $300 this week (angry fist at Budget) so, I scratch out my check mark and declare that I do, in fact, have 2 beautiful apples that I am importing to the US, aka: Gate 83 of the Vancouver International Airport.
Then, I hang my head and shuffle to the US Border Patrol Officer waiting to be scolded. So this is what it is like from the other side. Shockingly, the US Officer is not overly concerned about my apples. Apparently the potential contamination cooties of my apples to the apple orchard growing in the United States' newest land claim: YVR Gate 83 was not high priority. Phew, because these are hand chosen rediscovered Heritage Ambrosia apples from the Okanagan, or something equally as important sounding. Known for their deliciousness, these apples. Just a final note to anyone wishing to travel to Vancouver Airport, USA: The Tim Hortons there only takes Canadian money.


karly said...

Soo excited to see another post i check everyday after work n before bed!! im a postoholic !! hehe sounds like you guys are having a good time! be safe and i love you guys lots .. keep the great posts comin! cant wait to hear!

Mom and Dad Mooney said...

Great to hear from you. Sounds like you found the bargains, plus experienced some cultural venus in Vancouver. Miss you lots

Anonymous said...

those damn customs


why does no one go to burnaby? oh and a note to laura, we make fun of hipster in t.o. too, so you see we’re not soo different… I wanna play!


wow, didn't know my name would come out in bold like that, cool - i feel important!