Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Vancouver - a photo-heavy post

Yeah, yeah...it took me forever to finally post this. Life gets in the way of a lot of things, but it's all good.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I must have a tome of War and Peace proportions here. Hope your connection is fast because there are a lot of photos to load!

In June, we took a trip to visit my folks and sister in Vancouver, per usual. My mom had been ill for a while and this was a trip mainly to see her. As it turns out, she's has recovered from her near-death experience pretty well and was perky, quirky, and, best of all, willing to cook.

So I begin my Vancouver post with, what else?, food. When we arrived, Mom was at dialysis, but she had made one of my favorites: salty pork and thousand year old egg congee. See the gelatin-y brown mess that is stinky egg manna?Mom also picked up a couple of starfruit, which no longer has a *wow* factor due to being over-circulated in North America. Still tasty though.
One of the best things about Vancouver is the wacky Asian foods there. We try to hit T&T, an Asian grocery store, at least once while we're in Van. Yum...cow stomach, anyone?
A grocery store with tankfuls of live fish...now, why doesn't our local Kroger carry these things?

My sister (not me for a change) craved this, so we bought a big, honking jar of it and pretty much polished it off in less than 2 weeks.
After eating, and eating, and eating, and...you know...we took some walks and hikes. This is Minnekata Provincial Park:
And look! They have bears at the park. We always hike loudly in B.C.
No visit to Vancouver would be complete without one slug photo.
This is my old elementary school (ecole, en francais) that I'm still not fond of after all these years. I did grades 6 and 7 there. My poor sister was warped for grades 2 to 7. They were doing renovations to make it more earthquake-proof.
Walked by a comic book store downtown, and thought of all my geeky FB friends.
The Vancouver Art Gallery...I'd not been in it since a pre-dh date.
We finally broke down and got a whole durian.

You know, it really isn't bad tasting, but you have to plug up your nose to eat it. It's like a sweeter, and stinkier, version of pawpaw.
And it has giant pits.
This is the building where they had the speed skating event of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Right next to it is a new development going in. It will be modern and amazing and many of the nicer apartment/condos were going for a cool $1M and up.There were a lot of funky sculptures around town by Chinese artists. This is the tai-chi cut-out sculpture.
But back to the important things, like chocolate. Stopped by a really cool store called Chocolate Arts where they have a giant chocolate dinosaur in the window.
Bought a box of very pricey, but very tasty chocolates from them. According to my sister, they use Valrhona chocolates. Excellent!
Because we watched the recent winter Olympics with the boys, we thought a trip to Whistler with them might be a fun thing to do to see where they did the skiing and bob-sledding events. Click on the photo below to see the sign in English and a Native American language called "Squamish".
Stopped at Porteau Cove Provincial Park; the scenery is fantastic:

A view of the Stawamus Chief as we head toward Squamish:
At Shannon Falls Provincial park:
Another view of the Chief from within the Park:

Finally at Whistler:

What's a girl to do when she can't get her hands on an elephant ear? Buy a beaver tail! (That's dh's hand for size comparison.)
Black Tusk on the way back to Vancouver from Whistler:

Then, just a whole series of pretty snow-covered mountain photos...partly for Tom in response to his Norway photos. :)

Oh, and a corresponding sign, on the way back to Vancouver (click to enlarge)...
We always head to Spanish Banks, close to my alma mater, UBC.

My kids love jellyfish, so Mom tries to order it for them when we go out to eat.
Gratuitous Stanley Park shot...
Had dinner at The Teahouse at Stanley Park. It was The Teahouse for years and years, briefly changed ownership and name to Sequoia Grill, but now it's back to The Teahouse. Never let it be said that people aren't sticklers for tradition.
This was my truly incredible meal of sablefish at The Teahouse.
Ds#1 took a pic of his equally amazing meal there too. It was a smoked salmon flatbread.
Evert visit to Vancouver we take a hike at Lynn Headwaters. This is a steep area that one has to rappel down:
Lots of tall conifers...
There's an open area where we usually head back:
Some lichen covered rocks...
Funky mushrooms:
The guys usually take a bike ride from Steveston. They rode all the way to the skating oval in Richmond.
An cormorant sunning itself by the waterfront:
Ds#2 imitating bizarre statues at Coal Harbour:
Lunch at one of our favorite sushi places, Tsunami Sushi. The boys (all of us, really) like the floating boats that the selections come on.
My sister eating mini cupcakes by the waterfront:
More waterfront photos:

This was the Olympic "bonfire"...

A green roof:

Saw the biggest-*ssed cruise ship at the harbor; it was like 4 city blocks long!

Since I started this post with food, it's only fitting that I should end it with food. My mom likes to get these pastries - they're filled with bbq pork and taste so good fresh out of the (toaster) oven:
I hope this was a lot less painful to look at than it was to put together. ;)

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams