Monday, 19 December 2016

The Road Trip North - Day 19. West Vancouver, BC

It didn’t stop snowing all night, so Michael starts his day by removing this fresh dumping from the long drive; but no sooner than he gets to the bottom does the city drive past, clearing the road, to push a load of ice back up the drive. Michael has earned his breakfast of toast and peanut butter and jelly (jam). Luna has energy to burn, so Andy prepares to take her out into the snow and Ann drives us to MEC, an outdoors-type store so we can finally look for some warmer clothes, although it seems considerably milder today. I leave with a fleece and some chocolate.

We get dropped off back at the Lonsdale Quay Market, where we catch the SeaBus across the harbour to Vancouver. First down to Gastown for a look round some tacky tourist shops and a peek at the famous steam clock which we catch chiming the quarter hour. A quick look at Gassy Jack’s statue and then into the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch. A childhood favourite of Michael’s, we share his usual order of Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese a la Homer, which he has long hoped might inspire him to be a better writer.

Back through the slushy snow and ice to the downtown area and a surreal trip down memory lane for Michael, as he called this city home for a number of years. I am enjoying being in Vancouver, I guess it feels much more British and therefore much more familiar than Los Angeles ever did. Back onto the SeaBus and then we see the bus we were hoping would take us home pull away without us. It’s a short wait for the next one, so we pass the time with a quick lap round the market. Once on the bus it is full to bursting and standing room only, the air damp from all the evaporating snow. Its a bit of an erratic ride, especially when the driver misses a turn and has to be redirected by the passengers in the know.

We slip and slide our way up the drive as the car in the next house fails to get up theirs, skidding on the compact snow at the bottom. Andy, Ann, Luna and the cats welcome us home warmly, and we gather round the fire with a whisky for Michael and port for me and some festive red and black tortilla chips and salsa. Andy frustrated that the fire he has built isn’t catching well, he tackles it with ‘chemical warfare’ and eventually the logs are roaring as Michael plays his favourite songs over the Sonos system. Beautiful home made bread and leek and potato soup for supper and tales of times gone by.