As I walked home from work yesterday, I encountered my friend’s husband, J, on what appeared to be a joyful run with their family dog, Lola. As I neared them, I realized Lola was not on a leash, and once we were within yelling distance, J expressed to me that he was fairly displeased with the behaviour of their family pet. So, he was not taking her for a walk (or jaunty run). Rather, Lola had escaped and was in the process of leading J on a merry chase around the neighbourhood.
“Well, good luck!” I called out, and continued my brisk walk home.
I’d walked maybe half a block when I realized that I should have HELPED J catch Lola. Ugh. DUH, Erin!
I called Andrew and asked him to come get me so that, together, we could help J catch Lola. But by the time Andrew arrived, we noticed J successfully leading Lola back home. So, I was no help at all.
What does this have to do with Vancouver?
Well, I’m a self-absorbed asshole. Even when I don’t mean to be. Mostly my intention is to lend space and privacy to people. Probably because I value these things fairly highly myself. But also, yeah, the asshole thing. That’s also me. (So sorry J & A…!)
So anyway, like any self-respecting asshole, as you can see, we (yes, I’m now lumping Andrew in with me in this description) spend much of our time and resources on our own personal enjoyment. And what do we enjoy doing? Checking out different cities together, just as flat-out tourists. Kind of like extended dates. Minneapolis, Chicago, Toronto, Calgary, and yes, even Regina have all made the cut.
When I flew home from Slovenia last summer, I claimed my checked luggage in Toronto and re-checked it with WestJet for the final leg of my journey home. No sooner had I stepped off the plane in Winnipeg, and I was being paged. Turns out my checked suitcase had not arrived in Winnipeg. Instead, it had embarked on a fabulous new adventure and was now in Gander, Newfoundland. I would LOVE to visit Gander! Do you know how expensive it is to get to Gander from Winnipeg? And my suitcase got to go for FREE! Wow! BUT. I was NOT pleased. And so, I obtained 150 WestJet dollars for my trouble.
We had to use this extra $150 before it expired… and so Andrew found a pair of cheap flights to Vancouver for mid-April. So last week we were there for two nights, Monday through Wednesday. Super-quick trip. So where does the “asshole” part come in? Well… I know a lot of people out there. And I contacted none of them. Zero. Why? Well, it’s kind of like me telling J “good luck catching Lola!” as I walked away with no thought of helping. My first compulsion is always just to leave people alone. Everyone’s busy, and it’d be awkward to contact someone and screw up their mid-week schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved for these things to happen: coffee with Joey, a hug from Jennel (and all my other family that lives there), a chance to see Tillie on her home turf, beers with Craig (and a chance to meet his girlfriend). And if any of them would come this way, I’d LOVE to see them. But… I didn’t want to be invasive..?
Also, this was a date with Andrew! Time to play tourist!
Here’s some of the stuff we saw and did and ate in just two short days:
We also checked out Gastown, Alibi Room, Brassneck, 33 Acres, Yaletown Brewery, Hastings Street (this last item was not intentional, btw) and… we stayed at Buchan Hotel on Haro Street. They call it a European-style hotel, and I’d say that’s fairly accurate, though it’s a little roomier than most European hotels I’ve stayed in. I really liked it. I don’t require anything flashy, just clean and nice and well-situated. Buchan Hotel is indeed all that. 🙂
I do have to say, though… trying to get to the airport from Buchan Hotel on April 20th proved to be a bit of a tricky endeavour.
Yes. So. 4/20 in downtown Vancouver on a very sunny day is a sight to behold… many streets are blocked, every inch is congested with relaxed happy humans, and as this part of the city is on a peninsula, there weren’t that many options for actually getting out of there. Our cab driver was quite capable, however, and took every back street he could find, and I just felt happy and amused. But yes… hordes of tokers were the very last thing we saw in Vancouver. It just felt right. 🙂
Au revoir! We shall return. (And I’ll probably still be an asshole… though I’ll try not to be. If you’re reading this and you live there and you know me and you’re like, “What the fuck, Erin? You were here and said NOTHING?” let me know, and I will message you the next time we’re in town. I basically just have to know that I’m not being invasive.)