Monday, September 10, 2012

Van BC, Days 5 & 6

In the northwest corner of Vancouver, there is a peninsula known as Stanley Park.  That was our destination on Day 5.  It required a train ride downtown followed by a bus transfer out to the park.  Once we disembarked, it took us a little while to orient ourselves.  Along the way, we looked across the inlet to see a port area dominated by lemon yellow piles of some natural resource...

It is a good bet that this was sulfur, although I don't know from where.  Nonetheless, it was a bright backdrop to a gray day and the mossy green autumn of the locale.  Once we consulted a map and found out "We Are Here"...

...we picked our path from a myriad of choices and headed west through the forested areas of the park.

Ladybug borrowed my highly visible bicycling jacket and thus outshined the Gorton fisherman while traversing these wide trails through verdant woods.

Now and again, there were vestiges of the old growth that likely covered this island at one time.  The western red cedar in the picture above towered over us and centered our eyes on the oncoming autumn colors displayed by these wonderful vine maples.  After a couple of kilometers of walking the width of the peninsula, we emerged on the English Bay side to the west.

Our destination, the Tea House restaurant, awaited us.  We were, fortunately, seated in the glass encased "sun" room which afforded us a view of the surrounding land and sea.

I was "crushing her head."

A look above our table revealed the greenery which added to our experience.  We started with tea and a cheese plate.  The cheeses were marvelous, but the relish plate was so impressive for Ladybug that she asked about it and has reproduced it fairly well a couple of times since.  It consisted of sauteed red onions and balsamic vinegar (with another thing or two I can't remember but she sure does).  In any case, a variant is now part of our repertoire.

After our hike, we were a bit peckish.  Ladybug ordered Spaghetti Bolognese with thyme and I ordered the Linguine Vongole with clams and prosciutto.  They were fabulous (though expensive and worth it).  For dessert, Ladybug ordered the a chocolate cake.  Want to see how lovely?  Here you go:

After such a delight, she was quite pleased.

Ladybug poses with a southwestern view of West Vancouver behind her.

Meanwhile, I stand in front of Lover's Trail.  We walked very sexily through there. :D

We passed by some inner wetlands on our way back to the bus stop.  My knee and foot were complaining by the end, but I loaded up on Advil and made it through okay.  We made our way back to the hotel, had an uneventful dinner there and retired for the day.

On our final day, we didn't have a lot of time.  Nonetheless, a trip back to the De Dutch was definitely in order.  On this day, we both ordered savory dishes with our pannekoek as displayed below.

On our way back to pack, we were warned about the dangers of people levitating above bicycles.

At the airport, Ladybug posed at a display of the First People of the area (possibly Haida...the memory fails) with the raven.

After getting a testy prescreening by an authority-mad US customs agent (chill pill, dude), we made our way to our flight.  This also happened when I came back from Japan nearly 20 years earlier.  Apparently our countrymen are trained to be unnecessarily rude and authoritarian.  Considering our tradition of openness and freedom, it is really an embarrassment.  I wouldn't mind seeing their handbook rewritten by someone with a brain.

Before long, we were on our way home, weary but happy at an eventful and fun trip.  I suspect we will do it again some day soon.

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