Friday, October 31, 2014
GCA II: Lord Stanley & Lord Kenji
Warning: Photo-intensive post ahead!
On the first morning in the Westin Bayshore, I finally took a good look at the room (was too tired the night before). Not only did they have a Starbucks (they have a crazy Starbie culture) coffee machine in the room, the TV channels also had py per view gay and straight porn. And the view of the harbour was fantastic. On one side was the luxury glass and steel condominiums, on the other the yachts and the sea. Lovely to hear the seagulls in the morning.
We had one free day before KH commenced his induction course, so we went to the nearest attraction which was Stanley Park. There was no free breakfast with the room, so we ate at Blue Tree Cafe which was also the closest option. Nothing to shout about, but it was cheap and fast. On our first morning we had a good trial run with the selfie stick that Moonlight Piggy suggested we bring. Coal Harbour provided much photo opportunities with its boats, yachts and seagulls. The Seawall was also beautiful, providing kilometre after kilometre of scenic coasts. It's divided into two paths, where the pedestrians are separated from the 'wheeled', i.e. cyclists and roller-bladers. Walkers have no direction constraints, but those on wheels have to adhere to the counter-clockwise direction to avoid collisions. Caught some major rays on that day walking to Beaver Lake (no beavers or pussies spotted) and back. Benches are located along most of the seawall and many people 'adopt' the benches. Adopted benches are easily recognized by personalized plaques on it normally containing witty anecdotes and dedications.
Rested in the hotel for a couple of hours waiting for KH's ex, Kenji. Yes, I spent quality time with my predecessor. It was his off day, so he could bring us out to lunch. He gave us many food choices, but we ended up with Japanese, something that Vancouver has no shortage of. Kenji and his significant other, Ashton brought us to Miku, a famous fusion Japanese joint in town. It was situated near Canada Place and our table had an amazing view of the sea. Those two could really eat. They ordered a lot, a lot of food. A great way to experience Miku's Aburi style sushi that's basically flame-seared. In my opinion, the stranges item was the Aburi Chirashi Tart that was like a huge tower of pressed rice layered with spicy tuna, avocado and other assorted seafood. So stuffed and Kenji's sweet tooth motivated him to order three large desserts. My favourite was the Cherry Cassis Slice for its sourness! LOL. Perfect after so much carbs. They were amazing hosts and insisted on footing the bill. And from my observation, Kenji and Ashton were great together. Sugar and spice and everything nice. Too cute-sy to imagine as they would chatter with each other in anime voices!
Ashton had a dentist's appointment, so he left after lunch. Kenji stayed back to bring us jalan-jalan around Canada Place (with its Five Sails and touristy Canadian Trail) and Vancouver Convention Centre with its huge raindrop sculpture (The Drop by Inges Idee). Around the area was Vancouver Harbour, a perfect place to watch the seaplanes! Kenji had to leave for a wedding dinner, so we had dinner by ourselves at Kintaro, a ramen joint on Robson. The cold led us to look for ssomething hot and soupy, so ramen was the perfect choice. Unfortunately, we had to queue. I went with the miso Ramen while KH tried the cheese ramen. Imagine grated cheese and a big slice of cheese in your noodles. KH couldn't accept it, but surprisingly I had a better liking to it. Overall, not bad but the interior was like Hell's Kitchen. Steamy! That steamy feeling continued right up till bedtime! Guess that ramen was digested faster than usual. :D.