Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | August 3, 2017

Back in BC: Entry #3

I had a pretty great day today, though my health isn’t entirely stellar yet.  (Here’s hoping a good rest tonight and the continued course of antibiotics will keep things on the up and up.) Robyn and I started the day by taking advantage of the complimentary breakfast included in our room rate, before I navigated us to the Skytrain to get to the Vancouver Art Gallery. I’m very proud of myself for my excellent navigational skills this trip – Vancouver is certainly an easy city to get around. Robyn and I bought day passes, which get you on any Skytrain or bus in any number of zones, so at $10 it was a great deal.


A winter scene painted by Monet. I don’t miss the snow, but this felt a bit like home, so…

We successfully made it to the terribly-acronymed Gallery, and got to start out in the Monet exhibit, visiting Vancouver from July until October. I had seen some of his work in Paris when I was there with my dad in 2005, and again in Boston more recently, and it was lovely to look at and to learn more about Monet and Impressionism.  I wonder, too, what Monet and his contemporaries would have thought of digital cameras, where we are able to capture the changing lights and moments in instants, the way he looked to capture impressions of with paint.  There were also several of his Water Lilies paintings, as he liked to capture those in his garden in Givenchy.

DSC_3624There were a few neat exhibits that Robyn and I checked out, from some images of Vancouver to videos of performance art addressing the missing and murdered Indigenous women (particularly those who were likely victims of Robert Pickton).  We did skip some of the modern art, as Robyn was feeling like she wanted to look at paintings and I really am not big on modern art. Wires sticking out of weird photos with noises playing is just not my jam.  So we finished out our time in the gallery with the Emily Carr exhibit, like every good Canadian probably should.  I loved how you could really see her voice emerge as the gallery features a progression of paintings. Lots of trees and none of the ones with the totem poles I think I’ve seen elsewhere, though.

After the gallery, we grabbed a snack at Cafe Artigiano, where I remembered we could get Spanish Lattes from a trip I’d taken ages ago.  Spanish Lattes are made with condensed milk and they were just as tasty as I remembered. I wish I knew who recommended them to me – someone I met in a course once, I think.  We also had savoury pastries.  I had a croissant filled with brie and topped with asparagus, while Robyn had a roasted tomato and olive danish.

After that, we used our day passes to get ourselves to Stanley Park, where we walked to the Vancouver Aquarium.  We found an express kiosk and were able to get our tickets there and bypass the line, which was awesome. It cost adults $39 in admission, so not cheap, but it was awesome and totally worth it.  Especially since I got to see my beloved jellyfish (two different tanks of them!), and we got to pet sting rays (I adore sting rays and their soft wet skin!) and see sea lions and basically just have a marvellous time.


A rose by any other name might smell as good as this pink perfection.

After the aquarium adventure, Robyn and I stopped in the rose garden in Stanley Park, to literally stop and smell the roses, before we hopped on the bus back to the Waterfront Station.  We found a sushi place nearby for dinner thanks to Robyn’s handy apps. The place was called Kita no Danbury and I highly, highly recommend.  The food is delicious and the prices more than reasonable. I started with Goma-Ae, a boiled spinach salad with peanut sauce on top plus sesame seeds, while Robyn had the edamame.  We totally didn’t need the starters though, because it turns out the platter we both ordered, the Mori DX, had so much delicious food in it, we really didn’t need any more.  It started with miso soup, then was followed by a selection of sashimi plus this cool roll with rice, veggies, and meat in it (I wish I could remember), and then a second plate of different sushi rolls, including some with different kinds of roe and one that was eel in some sort of divine teriyaki.

After that, we took the Skytrain back to the Metropolis at Metrotown stop, so we could pick up a few things at Shopper’s Drug Mart (like sunscreen!) before back to the hotel. Robyn was going to grab a jacket and head back into Vancouver to catch the firework competition show that was going on, while I was going to stay behind to swim and then do laundry.  My swim was short because there were a ton of kids playing Mac and Cheese (like Marco Polo, essentially) and I can only get splashed and knocked into so many times before it was time to leave them to their fun and go finish my laundry.

Sadly, Robyn didn’t make the fireworks – after four buses passed her, among a crowd waiting to catch the next one, she made the call that she would have an impossible time getting back if she made it out, so returned, disappointed that common sense had to trump whimsy. We’ll just have to make up for it tomorrow. I’m a little nervous, as I’ll be picking up my rental and then driving us to the ferry, then on through Victoria to Nanaimo (because that’s the ferry we WERE able to book), but I’m going to have to just suck it up and be brave. I’ve driven in Edmonton and Calgary and I have my GPS. I’ll just need to keep calm and carry on, and know that cool stuff awaits me tomorrow.

Until then!



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