Luckily, Foresight Compelled Me To Make A Dentist Appointment For November 21st

Canada's Bounty

Before you say anything about that large pile of candy up there, please know that it's going to last us a few months. We brought it back from Vancouver last weekend and locked it up straight away in the most inaccessible cupboard in our kitchen, so far allowing ourselves only one bag of Maltesers, which we consumed during The Great Friday Night DVR Catch-Up, wherein which we watched all of Thursday night's pre-recorded TV and ordered in from a new Thai place around the corner. (Is your life this exciting? Please say your life is this exciting.)

We had a very precise itinerary in Vancouver, one that---I kid you not---was written out to the hour. I mean, actually physically written out to the hour, on a piece of hotel notepaper from the desk in the room, with only a very brief margin for unexpected restroom stops. I found myself saying things like "crap, we're supposed to be at the cupcake shop in twenty minutes---we're behind schedule" and "hey, pick it up a little, we can still make up some lost time." Poor Sean, I think he felt a little like he was on vacation with a drill sergeant. Note to self: next time, remember the whistle.

Despite the fact that we had less than 48 hours in Vancouver, we still managed to see pretty much all of the city's highlights---and eat at all of them, too---and to those of you who gave us recommendations and suggestions, thank you so incredibly much. I wrote them all down---every single one from every single comment and email---and managed to incorporate at least 75% of them into our itinerary. Thanks also to Kristin, who answered a very panicked email from me entitled "Vancouver Coat Emergency!" within several minutes of receiving it---which also happened to be just several hours before our plane took off. This is the problem, you see, with a) having several coats, all of which are appropriate for slightly different versions of cold, and b) not trusting Weather.com in the first place, as a result of living somewhere like San Francisco, where you can take off and put on the same sweater about fourteen times just in the space of walking ten blocks to work. Let me save you the stress and the fretting and tell you that if you are going to Vancouver in November, just bring the very, very warmest coat you have.

To those of you who might be interested, we managed to explore Robson Street, the UBC campus, the Museum of Anthropology Chinatown, Gastown (plus a really sketchy neighborhood between them, which actually made me sort of tenderly homesick for our hood in San Francisco, since a crack whore followed us for three blocks, asking if we wanted any "rocks"), Granville Island, Kitsilano, a very small corner of Yaletown, Denman Street, and the entire perimeter of Stanley Park (plus a slice of the interior, which we hiked through since part of the seawall was closed.) We ate at The Templeton, the Irish Heather, Caffe Artigiano, and the market on Granville Island, and all were truly fabulous. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your suggestions, without which we would have been truly lost. I knew there had to be a good reason for starting a website two years ago, and that reason was this: so that I would never again have to frequent a tourist trap and eat sub-par rubbery cuisine.

Verdict: Canada is lovely, and Canadians even more so. When our plane was delayed on the way back to San Francisco, I thought the poor gate agent was going to offer to drive us over the border herself, so truly apologetic was she about something entirely out of her control. I'd always heard that Canadians were extremely nice, and I certainly wasn't let down on our trip. Still, if I had constant unfettered access to Cadburys Chocolate Fingers at all hours of the clock, I'd probably be unstoppably cheerful and friendly as well. I mean, however weak the American dollar, you figure it's got to be cheaper than therapy.

1
Adele
Nov 12, 2007

And did you dabble with a double double?

2
Kelly
Nov 12, 2007

I just wanted to say that your tartan wellies are the coolest.things.ever and also, here in NZ we wear those poppies to remember war veterans on Anzac Day, which is on April 25.

3
jkrunning
Nov 12, 2007

If you can resist all of that chocolate than you are a better person than me.

4
Heidi
Nov 12, 2007

Love your recap of your trip....I used to live in Vancouver and I do believe you captured the essence well....that 'sketchy' area you walked between China town and Gastown is lovingly known as 'East Hastings', its thee most sad area in Vancouver, I used to live on Commercial Drive and had to drive across E. Hastings most days, and its hard to do it all the time, the sadness to me is overwhelming. The faces so blank, the eyes empty....souls all but disappeared..... happy to hear you had an awesome time while in Van, its a unique place...I am spending Christmas there this year and am soooo excited!!

5
Sarah Marie
Nov 12, 2007

I am so glad you got to see all of those things in Vancouver! What did you think of all of the totem poles at the museum? Fantastic, no?

6
missbeegail
Nov 12, 2007

So glad you had fun. I lived vicariously through your photos.

7
e.
Nov 12, 2007

Yes, my life is that exciting, funny you should ask... Friday night found the Boy and myself ordering Thai and catching up on three weeks worth of Grey's Anatomy..

8
Wacky Mommy
Nov 12, 2007

Excellent!

9
Diane
Nov 12, 2007

So glad that you had such a good time in my country and that we treated you well. The Cadbury's does go a long way to keeping us all happy!

10
superblondgirl
Nov 12, 2007

It's like Halloween for grown-ups!! It sounds like a great (if regimented) weekend trip.

11
Willow
Nov 12, 2007

Agree 100% Canadians are fabulously wonderful.... read I am half Canadian....!
So glad my Vancouver sweats lead you in the right direction!

12
Kristin
Nov 12, 2007

Why, oh why, does the U.S. not carry Cadbury??? It's only like the best thing about the UK, Canada and Australia. Your picture makes me want to move back to Scotland. Funny, though, I'm about 10 pounds lighter now than I was living there...coincidence?

13
Chris
Nov 12, 2007

Mmmm...Smarties. I miss Smarties.

When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last? [old Smarties ad]

14
Shawnte
Nov 12, 2007

Now I want to go to Vancouver!

P.S. There is a shop down the block here that sells all of the above candy, and we usually keep the McVitie's in stock in the office. My will always crumbles to the siren call of those little chocolate-coated McVitie's digestives....mmmmmmmm.

15
Elleana
Nov 12, 2007

Oh, that Cadbury Flake up there is making me drool. Literally. I haven't had one of those since I left England in 1994 - and I miss them so!

16
Starrfishgirl
Nov 12, 2007

Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip-- but seriously, you didn't bring any Coffee Crisps home? Are you crazy?

17
emily
Nov 12, 2007

Aww, Cadbury is the BEST. Their chocolate is so smooth and creamy. It is such a travesty that their products only show up in America around Easter.

18
DM
Nov 12, 2007

On my 3rd trip to Canada last year, we hit Ontario. The Canadians are awesome, even when making fun of me (such as my conversation with the desk clerk - Me: Electricity? DC: Yeah, we have it. Me: No, I mean, do I need an adaptor? DC: Man snort that manages to sum up "I am laughing hysterically at you" & "Stupid American.")

The chocolate, however, was odd. There was a Kit Kat with peanut butter but I swear that the French description said aracnids. I'm not sure I want chocolate covered spiders, thanks.

19
Nicole
Nov 12, 2007

I can give you a list of places in SF that sell British Cadbury's. You can absolutely find them here.

20
Nicole
Nov 12, 2007

Here's where you can get all your British Cadbury needs in SF: BRITISH AMERICAN IMPORTS
726 15th Street (off Potrero Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 863 3300
Fax: (415) 863 1495
Email: baimp@earthlink.net
Mr Patrick Alexander
Web: www.britshoppe.com

21
Nothing But Bonfires
Nov 12, 2007

Thanks, Nicole, that's great. There's also a place called You Say Tomato on California (and Larkin?), which I frequent in moments of homesickness. And I occasionally make a trip to World Market in North Beach.

22
piglette33
Nov 12, 2007

DM, but would you be interested in chocolate covered peanut butter? cause arachides means peanuts in French..I wouldn't be too fond of chocolate covered spiders either, now that you mentioned it...

23
kat
Nov 13, 2007

wow, we spent like 5 days in Vancouver for our honeymoon and I still think you managed to do more than we did (though we did still have fun!) And why oh why didn't I think to buy candy while I was there?!?! That's just genius!

24
theotherbear
Nov 15, 2007

Sounds like a great trip. And I am glad I am not the only person to plan out holidays to the minute. I am not very good at just going with the flow!

25
Carroll
Nov 15, 2007

I have squinted, I have peered, I have tried and tried to catch a glimpse of so much as a single Coffee Crunch bar in that stash. But no. Could it be you were unable to restrain yourselves and ate them all before they made it home? Stale or not, I am going to have to make a pilgrimage to my local World Market after all this. I'll tell them they owe you a commission!

26
Whitney(Frequent Lurker)
Nov 15, 2007

Yay vancouver! I'm glad you had a good time. I'm also glad you got to go to the templeton! My favourite little place.

(Sounds like you were on East Hastings. Hopefully it wasn't too scary...eek)

Awesome looking candy haul too. I think I'd better head out for some more winegums soon. Mmm.