First impressions of Vancouver

I’ll be up front about this – I think I LOVE Vancouver. We arrived yesterday morning, and I have had so much fun already!

First of all, I was struck at the compostion of the city. I expected the racial mix to be like that of San Francisco since most of what I had heard about Vancouver before I arrived made the cities sound much like one another. Vancouver is actually really white. There are a fair number of Asian people, but on our first day we saw only one hispanic guy and two black guys. I was totally shocked at how diverse this place isn’t.

The next thing that occurred to me is that it’s very quiet here. I keep thinking that at home, there are street musicians and people yelling and others driving by with loud music blaring out of their cars. Here, there is none of that. I don’t think I’ve yet seen a single car bouncing with the force of the bass from the stereo. Keep in mind that I spent a Saturday night here and didn’t come across that sort of thing. People here are very quiet and polite. I don’t even see as many people using cell-phones while they walk.

As for what I love about the city, well that’s a lot. I love the food. We went to a restaurant called Un-wined for our first dinner. It was amazing! They served tapas (small plates), and they were all outstanding. We went to a chain diner for brunch on Saturday, and I noticed that the portions were not as big as at home, and the food was much less greasy. This morning we went to the best place ever – the Cat’s Meow Lounge and Eatery.  Everything was cat themed! The bathrooms were called “Kitty Cats” and “Tom Cats.” Too funny!

Last night we just roamed near our hotel and did whatever came up. We ran across a comedy show at the Tom Lee Music Hall Theatre, so we went in. First of all, Carisa and Ryan, you’re going to love what we saw in the building:

I believe the show we saw was really right up Carisa’a alley. It was a community theater group doing sketch comedy. They were awesome! One guy did a bird impression that was impressive and hilarious – you had to be there. I’ll have Michael recreate it (as best he can) when we get home. They made Disney songs into Snoop-Dog style remakes (the Aladdin one was particularly funny – they mentioned picking up ho’s on the magic carpet…). There was the “rule of threes” repeating skit regarding roomates, carpooling and situations with girls going out dancing. There were 3 personality types – irritable, weird, and the glue. They explored how these types acted together and in sub-groups. It ended with them not knowing the words to O Canada – they reverted to The Star Spangled Banner.

I love the shops on Granville Island. So far I went to a silk weaving place and I saw a yarn shop that isn’t open on Sundays. There were other non-fiber places, mostly local art things. We also went to the Public Market. Really cool! I saw a really cute pet store. I didn’t go in yet, but I will on another day.

There were other things that caught my eye:

A guy in a kilt (just like Scottish Country Dance class)!

The white crossing dude really looks like he has somewhere to be!

One of the sidewalks has leaves pressed into it. How neat!

One of the only things I’m not thrilled with so far is that it is colder here. Not freezing, but I do need my San Francisco winter coat all the time. I also don’t really like how much like home this place is. I mean, all the chain stores are here. They are Canada-ed up a bit I guess. I saw a Denny’s where they replaced the apostrophe in the name with a maple leaf.

So for now, so far so good. I have good internet access at the hotel, so I will update as often as I can.

One last note: I received a call from Leo’s new foster mom yesterday. Apparently he is vomiting and has projectile diarrhea. I’m going to call her again tonight to see how he is. I hope he’s better.

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