Sunday morning saw us attempt to go to the Original Pancake House for some waffles, but despite our awesome parking luck, the hour-plus wait thwarted us, so we ate at Denny's instead. Despite our late start, we were then off to Vancouver, BC! The drive up was nice and uneventful, but again the weather was not great. The Canadian border guards were (understandably) a little suspicious of us just going up for the day, when it was already about 3:30pm, so we got lots of questions, but they were fairly polite about them. The kinda-cute male guard asked about the Bear Pride sticker on my car, so I got to explain that, which was neat and odd all at once. I guess they bought it, because we were allowed in.
The radar said when we got to the city, the rain would break, and it was right. A quick top-down drive through downtown, and we were at Stanley Park for some geocaching.
Our first cache was close by, near a pedestrian bridge. We found the coordinates alright, and our location matched the clue, but we just could not find the cache. Undeterred, we headed off to the second set of coordinates. After lots of walking, and some confusion over what the GPS was telling us, it turned out that that cache appeared to be in the middle of the bay. So, yeah. We eventually figured that it was on the island that connects to Stanley Park, but it (the island) was closed that day. Strike two.
Our third set of coordinates was a bit of a walk, but over mostly flat and very pretty terrain. There were some gorgeous bits of the park that I don't think I would have seen otherwise; must do some serious exploring on another trip. The cache was hidden in an enormous hollow log surrounded by some trees; Cicely found it, we took a look through the items, and she signed the logbook. A nice stroll back to the car, and we headed around the park to the next set of coordinates.
The GPS said we were very close, just driving on the road, but there was no parking anywhere near it after we'd passed it, so we had to go almost all the way around again, and park before the glade that contained the cache. It took some work, but we narrowed the hiding place to this one group of huge, decaying trees that seemed a great location to put a cache. After looking for a good bit of time, Cicely had stopped looking, but I was on a mission. Eventually, I did find it, and played "hot-cold" with Cicely so she could uncover it too. Yay! Again, we took a look through, left a note, and headed back to the car.
On the way out of the park, we stopped to take some pictures for dpfesh
; once again, I am the king of improvised tripods, using one of those binocular dealys to rest the camera on for a group shot.
There was one more location I'd written down, on the little sliver of the park in the southwest corner near English Bay. Parking was not to be had, so I waited while Cicely tried to find it. She came back to the car, and invited me to try, but I couldn't locate it either. According to the clue, we were both in the right place, but it just stayed hidden. So our final record was 2 for 5.
I consulted my Fodor's guide for a dinner spot, and selected a nice-sounding Italian place in the Gastown district. Which turned out to be closed on Sundays. Oops. Still, we wandered around (that place is gorgeous at night) and quickly found a promising-looking place called Chill Winston. Wow: they had quite the menu. Between us, we ordered: tomato avocado salad (good), caribou carpaccio (very good), butter poached pancetta potatoes (good), crab cakes (very good), and venison medallions in blackberry jus (amazing!). The most hilarious moment of the evening was way too complicated to explain, but basically Cicely *actually asked* the waitress for "tomato aioli"; I about fell over laughing. Maybe you had to be there. Oh, man. But it was some very good food, and we were both satisfied.
On the way back, the US border guard interrogation was much shorter, but still much ruder than the Canadian one. The rest of the trip home was again uneventful and pleasant, save for the fact that the duty-free store was closed, darnit.
We did get back home safely, and Cicely packed up for her return trip the next morning. An awesome visit, and we both had a great time. Three days was not nearly enough time, but it's all that could be done. There's always next time.