part 9 — finally: speechless in vancouver

The ferry from Victoria can hardly dock for wind and rain and other wonders. It’s been eleven days of damp, but we’re not complaining. Not in god’s country. Not in the land of the lotus. We’re from Ontario. Mountains make us not care about rain.

Our latest B&B headquarters—O Canada House—is in downtown Vancouver where we notice a distinct lack of mountains, but we do have a private patio and the happy vibe continues, so despite the dripping ivy, we pour ourselves a glass of wine and sit outside in boots and rain hats under the eaves where, appropriately, I decide to make a small watercolour painting.

We do laundry on Davie Street and I write poetry at breakfast while looking out at a neighbouring window propped open with books. I find myself in a discussion about the use of zip code versus postal code and what I see as a rampant disregard for the letter ‘u’ in words such as favourite and colour and am told, in merry laughing tones:  does it really matter, seeing as how at the heart of things we’re all Americans anyway… at which point my ears become hot and many impolite words cross my mind. Some of them containing the letter ‘u’.

We duck into a restaurant out of the rain and are served a cup of hot chai without even asking for it. We stay for dinner.

At the art gallery there is a Chagall exhibit. My favourite piece is from the illustrations for Dead Souls, ‘The Table Loaded with Food’, which shows whole animals on platters.

One morning, while Peter is doing something else, I join a bus tour with several hundred other people more intent on chatting to one another than listening to the guide. I make notes on what I catch through the din. Vancouver City Hall was purposely built on a hill so that the mayor could look ‘down’ on citizens…

It is in a bookshop at the Bloedel Conservatory that I discover Douglas Coupland’s City of Glass, and then lunch in the tea room under a glass roof in the rain.

On Granville Island we recognize a busker from the Distillery District in Toronto. He cannot say the same for us.

Also on Granville Island, we fall in love with a coffee table, recycled from an old wheel mold from the 1940’s, and in a mad moment, buy it, and arrange for shipment to Ontario. [One of our best purchases ever.]

More than once: calamari at The Sandbar, on the roof patio, by the fireplace, overlooking the water. Then home via paddle boat cab and a short walk.

Toward the end of our Vancouver stay, laryngitis strikes; I’m convinced this is due to not eating enough garlic during our travels. The weather never occurs to me (mountain ‘happy’ effect is very strong). I walk to the Chinese market and buy chicken soup. A day or so later, I’m fine.  But Peter, ever considerate, and after two solid weeks together, much of it spent driving, suggests I not take any chances, that resting my voice a little longer wouldn’t hurt…

And that, as they say, is that.

[C’est fini. See ya, BC, it’s been a super yummy slice…]

4 thoughts on “part 9 — finally: speechless in vancouver

  1. I was raised in Ontario and have lived in Nanaimo 4 years; I enjoyed reading your travelogue, and I really hope you come back when it’s not raining. Gabriola Island, for example, is simply paradise on a summer’s day.

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