Category Archives: Vancouver

Alaskan Cruise

After waking up in the morning, we checked out of the house we had been staying in, and jumped on the bus to head downtown.

We walked to Canada Place, which is where the cruises board from. Luckily, unlike a lot of cruise terminals, the Vancouver cruise terminal is right in the centre of town!!  We went through Security with all our luggage.  Ivan and I weren’t sure the two big suitcases would fit, but both did.  Ivan was being asked if we were Entertainers since we were some of the youngest on board. That and the fact that he was wearing his clown makeup, and I was wearing my yogi the bear costume, so its understandable there was a misunderstanding.

Okay that’s a joke, but Ivan did get pulled aside for ‘secondary screening’ by immigration, even though he had a green card (and it was the first time using it). No surprise though – Ivan always seems to have trouble at immigration.

Except for that little hiccup, It didn’t take very long to board the Celebrity Millennium ship…which is unusual as sometimes it can take quite a while to board cruise ships.

We headed straight for the buffet and went to the pasta station where we got some nice salmon pasta made fresh for us. We also got a bunch of food from the rest of the buffet (hey its free food all week long, so you gotta get your money’s worth haven’t ya?)

We went down to our room and then walked around the ship.  We found the AquaSpa Café which has healthy food.  Ivan was annoyed that we didn’t go here for lunch.  I was stuffed, so I just got a blueberry tart.  Ivan got smoked mackerel and fresh grilled tuna with asparagus. He was already stuffed before he got there but claimed that ‘you can never say no to some free grilled tuna’.

We went to the room to relax before the mandatory Emergency & Lifeboat Drill at 3:30 pm.  I find the drill boring and a waste of time since we’ve done a few cruises.  Basically, they tell you how to put on your life jacket and that you have to meet at that place in case of an emergency. We just sat there and read our books, the cruise-pros that we are!!

After the drill, we sat in the hot jacuzzi while reading our books.  Lil Dave laid on a lounge chair.

We all went back to the room to watch the ship sail away from Vancouver. 


The scenery was lovely with the buildings of Vancouver, a green bridge and lots of trees.

Ivan went to check out the sushi and Indian food and he ate some of it.  Again he was really stuffed before he got there, but claimed that ‘you never say no to some free sushi or Indian food either’. He said it was okay but not up to Carnival (our favourite cruise line) standards.

Later on, we walked to the theater to see the welcome show Celebrity Showtime.  There was a flamenco guitarist who was alright – I wish there was a flamenco dancing to go along with the music. We also saw a wonderful a capella quartet called North by  Northwest.  They did a great medley of Beach Boys songs.  The naturalist Dirk Younkerman gave a talk about what we would be seeing during our Alaskan cruise.  The last act was the Celebrity Production Singers and Dancers where they showcased their three upcoming shows.  The singers and dancers sounded great and I’m looking forward to the disco and Broadway shows.

The cruise director told us North by Northwest would be performing at Michael’s Club at 8 pm – so we went there after the show.  The quartet did 3 songs.  Those guys are talented and they’ve only been together one month.  It’s amazing how they sing so well without music.

It was time for dinner.  Lil Dave decided to hit the buffet to get lots of bananas and make a few of his own customized banana dishes (basically, just adding bananas to dishes!)  Ivan and I went to eat at the Metropolitan Restaurant.  Two couples were already sat at the table.  One was an American couple from Los Angeles and a couple from Malta.  I remember the American lady’s name is Teresa, but I don’t remember her boyfriend’s name.  The Malta couples names which were Miriam and Dave.  Dave really looks like Collin Ferrell.  Both of the couples were very chatty and friendly.  Ivan had a mushroom soup while I beets and feta.  The salads were really small and were pretty bland. 


I got the haddock for my main course while Ivan got the vegetable korma.  Ivan and I were both worried that we might get a table filled with boring, old people.  It was good that we got some nice people to sit with.  Ivan shared his knowledge about the cruise ship (like 24 hour room service and the healthy café) which everybody liked.   Usually we change our tables after the first night if we don’t like the people sat at our table (or we get a vibe that they don’t like us – which HAS happened also). However, on this occasion we may actually keep our table mates as they are not bad at all.

Ivan and I shared apple pie a la mode and a banana and berry crepe for desert.  The apple pie was delicious!  We didn’t feel so stuffed even after 4 courses – Ivan says they portions aren’t that big compared to Carnival. 

We went back to the room.  Ivan thought it would be a good idea to sleep early so we could get used to waking up early – we will be waking up early this week for shore excursions.


Rogue Tour

On June 14, 2012, Ivan and I woke up at noon.  I guess we were so tired from all the walking we did yesterday.  Ivan and I took showers and got dressed to head out.Ivan, Lil Dave and I got the bus towards downtown.  We were lucky that the weather was sunny today.

We walked to the Starbucks at Canada Place for the Gastown food tour.  Our guide gave us a headset.  The group consisted of Ivan, me, an Irish couple and one monkey. 


Our guide was Gassy Jack – the guy who Gas Town is named after.

We started off our tour at Rogue where we had a good lobster mac n’ cheese.


The group stopped at 8 different places for food or drinks (or both!).  At Steamworks, we had a Oatmeal stout which was similar to a Guinness. 


The Irish girl said it was good, but not as strong as a Guinness.  Gassy Jack suggested taking a big gulp and swirling the beer in your mouth before swallowing.  I seemed to taste the beer more that way.

We stopped at Tres Organic for a tasty chocoholic cheesecake.  It good that we did the free tour since we sounded smart when Gassy Jack different things about ancouver like knowing that Vancouver doesn’t have a freeway.  Each time Ivan and I answered something right, Jack would give us a maple candy. 

The tour stopped by Fluevog store which isn’t a building but between two buildings which can be taken down in 48 hours.  John Fluevog shoes are worn by a lot of celebrities like Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Another stop was Peckinpah which serves Carolina BBQ.  I tried the pulled pork (going off my pescetarian diet!) and it was nice and juicy.  Ivan got collared greens.

Our group stopped at Apres-Midi which is a teahouse that has over 80 loose-leaf teas.  We got to try their cold Fruit Symphony tea with a tasty chocolate and apple cookie.  I liked that the shop had many tins that people can open and smell the many variety of teas.  I liked the Caramel Crème and the Masala Chai teas.

The tour ended Maple Square next to the statue of Gassy Jack which makes him look Asian not English.  It was a great tour of food and Vancouver history.  Ivan thought we should had tried more Canadian cuisine.  But, Vancouver is a mix of ethnicities which has brought lots of different cuisines here – so I don’t think they really have Canadian cuisine.

Later on, we walked to Rogue to meet up with my cousin , her husband and their daughter.  They were late, so we sat down at the table.  Rogue is a cool trendy restaurant inside the Waterfront Station. 

My cousin Karen, her husband Roi and their daughter Krystle arrived.  Ivan and I ordered spicy edamame, sushi bomb and tomato basil soup.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza.

We talked about life, Vancouver and our honeymoon. 


The sushi bomb was good – There’s a tube in the sushi and you get to inject the soy sauce into the sushi.


We had a good time at dinner catching up with family.


Granville and Gas Town

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 10 am on June 13, 2012.  Ivan and I took showers and got ready.  We walked a block away and caught the bus that was going downtown.

It was another rainy day (apparently a trend in Vancouver), but colder than yesterday.  We walked to Vancouver Art Gallery to meet for the free tour run by Tour Guys.  Our guide was a woman named Jessica.  The tour stopped at many places like Sinclair Centre, Waterfront Station, Granville and Gas Town. 


Granville Street was known for lots of neon signs during the 1940’s and 1950’s – they’re trying to bring the neon signs back to the street.  Gas Town was named after a guy named Gassy Jack.  Jessica asked how we thought Gassy Jack got his name.  I thought it was because he farted a lot, but it turned out that he liked to talk a lot (gassy).  The group stopped by the cool Steam Clock which isn’t actually powered by steam. 


Our last stop was Blood Alley – So named not because of any murders or butchers or anything to do with blood-but purely because the planning officials thought it sounded cool!  The tour was good and very informative.  I would have enjoyed it better if the weather was better – also, the pictures would have looked better with a blue sky!!

Ivan and I were really hungry.  We decided to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Lil Dave got a banana ziti.  Ivan and I shared mussels, seafood spaghetti and a tomato and basil flatbread.  The food was cheap and tasty….impressive considering we were in the heart of tourist Vancouver!

We walked around Granville.  I found a cool antique shop called Salmagundi West.  In their downstairs area, there’s a chest of drawers filled with cool little things like the smallest tarot cards, mustaches, sunglasses, puzzles and flip books.

Ivan thought we should check out Granville Island.  Our tour guide talked about it and Ivan looked it up online and it’s a nice place to walk around.

We took the aquabus to Granville Island.  We walked around Public Market checking out the stalls of fruits, cheese and jewelry. 


I saw cherries stacked up in pyramids.  I told Ivan they were just asking to get knocked down.  I was really tempted to knock them down!

We walked around the island checking out the shops.

We checked out a toy store that had a special entrance just for me!


Ivan and I were getting tired from walking around.  Ivan thought we should walk across the bridge to get back to the downtown area.  The dumb thing is though, you have to walk all the way to the end of the bridge to get on it. 

We exited Granville Island and took a detour to Go Fish to grab a snack.  Ivan read that the salmon chowder is really good.  Go Fish had run out of soup, which was actually a curry soup since the soup changes daily.  Ivan and I shared a good tuna sandwich.  Lil Dave was disappointed that the menu didn’t include any banana dishes – but I told him it was a seafood place….he said he understood, but was still disappointed.

We started walking to the end of the bridge and started walking towards downtown.  We were back on Granville Street and I noticed The Morrissey Pub.  Morrissey is my favorite singer.  I took a picture of the pub.  Ivan thought we should go and get a beer.  We sat at the bar. 


I figured the pub was just named after somebody with the last name Morrissey, but I noticed on the menu that there was a picture of Morrissey on it.  On the back of the menu, there was a Smiths (the band Morrissey was in) song “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” on it.  Ivan and I shared a nice Apricot beer.  I wonder if Morrissey has visited this pub.  I doubt he would like that The Morrissey burger has meat in it (he’s vegetarian).

It was time to head back, so we got on the bus. 

Ivan and I chilled for awhile using the internet while watching tv.

We walked to El Barrio for dinner.  Thank goodness that this restaurant is open until 11 pm since everything else nearby closes at 9:30 pm or earlier.  There was a jazz band playing. 

Ivan and I ordered guacamole, tortilla soup and a salmon burger.  Ivan thought the jazz sounded experimental.  Later, he thought they were just warming up since it was just a guy drumming and some weird noises. I thought we were being invaded by aliens.  One of the band members came over to see if we wanted to give a donation for the music.  Ivan said No right away.  I was thinking of asking Is this music?  It was just a horrible racket.  Definitely the worst music I’ve heard.  Ivan figured out that the band members were improvising but not in one key. The food was delicious, too bad the music wasn’t good at all.

We walked back to the house.  I worked on the blog and Ivan used the internet.


Chocolate Rain (Day 1 of Honeymoon #1)

On June 12, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I had to wake up extra early for our flight. The taxi company called and woke us up at 4 am to make sure we still needed a taxi at 4:40 am.  I was so tired since Ivan and I only got about 2 hours sleep.  The taxi arrived early at 4:20 am.  Ivan and I got ready, grabbed our luggage and headed out the door. 

Today, we’d be headed to Vancouver via a stopover in Salt Lake City.  Ivan got a seat assigned to him for both flights, but I didn’t get one for the first flight.  Ivan thought I would get upgraded since there was no seats available…(turns out he was right! – I got an upgrade later to premium economy!)

It was time to head to Security.  It was so disorganized.  It took awhile.  I was waiting in line for the x-ray machine and it smelled really badly of feet.  Gross!  The smell was waking me up. It was like getting slapped around the face with a wet smelly sock!

Ivan usually gets his backpack searched since he usually forgets to take out liquids.  His bag was searched thoroughly.  The woman really searched it even opening up his first aid kit.  The man who flagged his bag got confused because he saw lots of rectangles on the x-ray machine.  It turned out to be a pack of playing cards….false alarm….luckily, they didn’t see the Samurai sword Ivan and hidden in between the cards!

Our flight left Las Vegas at 6:30 am headed to Salt Lake City.  Ivan and I sat far from each other. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t fall asleep – so I just relaxed while my eyes were closed.  We landed a few minutes before 9 am.

At the airport, Ivan and I each got a tasty veggie panini.  Lil Dave ate a banana and peanut butter sandwich. 

Ivan and I got two seats together for our flight to Vancouver . However they were in the back row which doesn’t give much leg room, and so this idiot in front of Ivan kept on complaining that Ivans knees were pushing into the back of his chair when Ivan didn’t really have anywhere else to put them.

Once we landed we were going to get the skytrain to the place we were staying, but then decided we couldn’t be bothered, and hey we are on our honeymoon, so we got a taxi instead. The taxi dropped us off at the AIRBNB house we were staying at and we were met by the hosts sister who showed us around the house and introduced us to the cute doggy and catty.

We went out to get a quick lunch at a place called Red Wagon, and then on our way back stopped at Schokolade where we got a great pomegranate and chai spice chocolate…Very tasty I can assure you!


After getting back to the house and using the internet for a bit, the tiredness caught up on us so we both drifted off, to the sound of the continuous rainfall outside (apparently vancouver is nicknamed raincouver and we are not about to disagree on that fact!)

After waking up we figured it was a bit late and wet to go into downtown Vancouver, so instead walked to a local restaurant called El Barrio instead and had some shrimp linguine and salmon there, along with a drink called a ‘Caesar’ which apparently has this stuff called Clamato in it, which is literally clams and tomatoes together, and made for an interesting combination. 


It reminded us of a Bloody Mary drink.

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