In my last post I mentioned the three check-in bags I needed for my last teaching trip. Here's a photo, and it shows why I love staying in hotels when I teach. Hotels have elevators and they usually have luggage carts so that all bags can be moved in one trip. Some hotels even have someone on staff to help with luggage. Staying in someone's home is always more difficult. There are often stairs to negotiate, and often the person billeting me should not be carrying my heavy bags!! I've come home with major shoulder issues from doing it myself. Aside from that, I also find some quiet time to myself essential to keep fresh for the job. When you travel as much as I do, there is a certain comfort in staying, once again, at a Best Western Hotel. I always know there is going to be a microwave and fridge. That is really helping me stay on my healthier eating plan. If I'm tired at the end of the day, I can get in my pajamas and loaf around in my bed if I want to.
The day I left my hotel in Surrey, the magnolias were in bloom in the driveway, and look at the colour of the sky!
As I headed toward Vancouver, I noticed more clouds moving in. I was on a search for cherry blossoms. I did find them all over the place, but did not find any sights like the ones in the tourist brochures. Everyone had recommended I go to Arbutus Street. I did, but there were few cherry blossoms. I think the many days of rain had taken them down. Here are some I photographed in downtown Vancouver.
We had full all-out rain on one of my days. I stayed at the Best Western downtown, right near English Bay (just like last summer). This was the view from my room. I spent a fair bit of time hanging out with my friends Jean and Neera during my time there.
Vancouver is a Foodie's paradise. They have fantastic coffee shops and roasteries. Fun to sample them and watch people.
I visited the place where the snobbiest of the coffee snobs hang out, Revolver Coffee. I really would like to try their four-shot espresso sampler, but I am afraid that with that much caffeine I will have a massive panic attack!
Pure Bread is, hands down, my favorite bakery anywhere. The sheer variety of goods is overwhelming and the quality outstanding. The buckwheat sour cheery scones are to die for, as is the flourless chocolate cake.
Mink Chocolate serves drinking chocolate just like the European cafes. Yum
We went for pretty good Spanish tapas. This is Paella cooked in squid ink.
There's a really healthy, crunchy-granola feel to some parts of Vancouver, and it is easy to find healthy food there.
One rainy morning my friend Jean taught me how to knit. My grandmother taught me 45 years ago, but I haven't done it since. It is hard, much harder than crochet. We'll see where my knitting career goes!
Back home in Ottawa, things are looking up. Spring arrived this past weekend and the crocuses are in full bloom. We even set up the patio furniture.