Chat with Deb—Vancouver in the Springtime!

Did you know it rains every day in Vancouver, BC in the spring?

Previously, on Deb and Jack’s Alaska vacation:

DEB: (opening the curtains of our hotel room after we rolled out of bed) Oh, Jackster, come look at this view!

Our first morning in Vancouver, BC, seen from our hotel window. Clouds on the mountains, ships in the harbor. Er, harbour, sorry. (photo by author)

We had slept in a little that morning, having gotten into our room rather late. Fortunately we had our sleep stuff and toiletries for the night, plus fresh underwear for the next day, since our main luggage was not due to arrive until the morning (according to Air Canada) or late, maybe very late in the day (according to the head bellhop, who had been doing this for several years).

And we had our rain jackets, because we’d read up about Vancouver weather and knew that this time of year it rained practically every day. Just like Seattle, WA, which is just across the border. So we planned to get breakfast, don our water-proof apparel, and slosh around Vancouver.

DEB: Honey! There’s a ship coming in!

ME: It’s a port, Debster, there are always— OH! You mean there’s a ship coming in HERE!

A cruise ship coming into port, right next to our hotel. As in, if our room windows had opened, I could have thrown a rock and hit it, and I half expected to see the bow jutting into the lobby when we went down. This was not our ship, ours would not pull in for another two days. (photo by author)

We had been told by friends who had taken a similar cruise that the hotel was so close to the embarkation terminal that it was practically across the street. This turned out to be incorrect; the ships actually docked AT THE SAME BUILDING. Canada Place is huge, with shops, restaurants, convention space, and space for embarkation/debarkation of at least four cruise ships.

DEB: We have GOT to go check that out!

ME: After breakfast. Right? I mean, they’re just pulling in, they won’t be leaving any time soon.

DEB: Um… sure.

Cruise ship tied up at Canada Place. The part of the building in the upper left corner? That’s our hotel. Note that there’s room for at least one other cruise ship, and there’s identical docking available on the other side. (photo by author)

We eat breakfast and check out Canada Place.

ME: This place is… very big.

DEB: And look at the sky! Isn’t it beautiful!

Deb and me, wandering around Canada Place and the Port of Vancouver. Note the dark menacing rain clouds that are absolutely nowhere to be found. (selfie by author)
Canadian humour. Note the dozing goose in the upper right background of the geese photo. (photo by author)
Deb and Vancouver Harbour. Our rain jackets were great windbreakers, which was good, because the breeze could be a little brisk at times. Otherwise, happy puffy clouds, no rain! (photo by author)

DEB: Okay, what IS that noise?

We would hear loud roaring sounds, kind of like… something making a loud roar. At first I thought it was a ship’s whistle, but the noise would continue for many minutes, then gradually die off. We went around to the far side of Canada Place to investigate.

Seaplanes. And a seaplane terminal. That thing that looks like a gas station with a Chevron sign stuck in the middle of the harbour (right side of photo, just above float plane as it taxis) is, indeed, a gas station. Handles boats and planes, we were told. Located in the water because a previous one caught fire, and the results were not good. (photo by author)

ME: Oh. Seaplanes. Makes sense.

Seaplanes handle a lot of coastal traffic, plus inland traffic if there is a lake handy. Easier than finding or making clear, flat land in a mountain range. Sometimes two or three would take off or land within minutes of each other, but the harbour was big enough to handle the “traffic jam” with no fuss, and surface traffic such as the ferries between Vancouver and North Vancouver went on oblivious.

Three departing seaplanes and one departing cruise ship (not ours), looking toward North Vancouver. Note BIG mountains north of the city. (photo by author)
Canadian humour, part 2. (photo by author)

DEB: Can we just walk along the shoreline? It’s such a pretty day!

ME: A pretty day for a pretty lady, Debster!

One side for bikes, scooters, and rollerbladers; the other side for pedestrians. Nicely done, Vancouver! And people paid attention, because: #canada. (photo by author)

DEB: They do boat tours of the harbour!

ME: We’re going!

Our tour boat, the Constitution. Yup, it’s an actual paddlewheeler. (photo by author)

The sky started to cloud up and the air got chilly once the tour boat got underway, so we spent most of the tour inside. There were some actual rain drops! Perfectly timed so that we didn’t care.

View of the city of Vancouver from the harbour. Note the cruise ship tied up, left middle of photo. (photo by author)

And the rain was over by the time we finished the tour and debarked. Somebody up there really liked us!

DEB: Back to the hotel and look for a place for supper?

We wandered in no particular direction from the hotel and found the Lion’s Pub. They had a menu posted.

ME: They have poutine!

DEB: Oh good! (pause) Which is?

ME: I have no idea. I know it’s some sort of Canada dish. (I ask Siri.) It’s French fries, cheese curds, and beef gravy. Want to try?

The pub is busy, but not crowded. This is the first time we’ve been in a busy indoor place since the airports (where we were masked the whole time) so there’s a certain trepidation, but the tables are not jammed together and ventilation feels good. We get a table off to the side and order.

The Lion’s Pub has TVs all over everywhere, which are showing (1) men’s hockey; (2) women’s hockey; (3) curling; (4) golf. Our order arrives.

Poutine. It’s a Canada thing. I had to ask Siri. The menu for Lion’s Pub said it was a specialty; got THAT right! (photos by author)

ME: Okay, so this is poutine. Do we eat it with fingers or forks?

DEB: It’s covered with gravy, I’m using a fork. (digs in) This is pretty good!

ME: Fries, cheese, gravy. Why don’t we have this in the States? Fried food, dairy fat, heavy beef gravy — this could have been invented in south central Pennsylvania!

We walk around the neighborhood to walk off our dinner, then head back to our room.

ME: It’s only about 8:30, but the sun still hasn’t set. Feels early.

DEB: And what do you notice that’s missing from our room?

ME: Ah! Our luggage that should have been here this morning!

We check with the bellhop’s desk. Nope, no luggage. We ask them to call us when it gets in… which it does, about an hour later.

DEB: Okay! We have luggage, we have fresh clothes for tomorrow, we are good for our second day in Vancouver!

ME: (looking at phone) And the weather forecast for tomorrow is rain. Well, we won’t get lucky twice.

DEB: We’ll find something to do inside, honey, no worries.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.