Arrival to Canada being a bit freaky!

Trip Start May 09, 2008
Trip End May 27, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Mainstay Hotel in Pittsburgh was very nice. It was like a suite with a stove, refrigerator and cupboards with glasses in them. Well our flight was delayed leaving Pittsburgh, while on the plane, so we literally walked fast from our landing in Houston and boarded our next flight to Vancouver right away! Some older man our our 1st flight wanted to know if we were "saved" and gave us "Jesus loves you Big" cards. On the 2nd flight to Vancouver, the man sitting beside me saw my Vancouver map and gave us advice on where and where not to go, regarding places to see and restaurants (telling us to try halibut). He was very informative, so we did take his advice. Upon arrival at Vancouver around 12:20p, the Princess rep did not meet us like he/her was supposed to, so we found a different rep which wasn't ours. She put us on a cab and gave the driver a voucher, since we had paid for all transfers already. On our way to the hotel, we passed Chinese people protesting to keep Tibet free. When we arrived at the hotel, the cab driver tried to get us to pay the $30 fee. Bernie stood her ground and told him he had a voucher and he wasn't happy but let us go.

After checking in, we were very hungry since we had only snacks on the 2 flights. It was overcast and rain showers and about 55degrees but it didn't matter since we were on a food search. We were looking for JOE FORTES SEAFOOD & CHOP HOUSE (the restaurant the nice guy on the plane told us to try) when this guy approached us asking if we were Americans. Then said he would take us to Fortes. After talking to us and taking us to the front of the building, Then he said"Now I showed you Fortes, now I need a favor! I need $4.50 for the bus, my money, passport and laptop were stolen from a coffee shop in Vancouver." He did not look like a laptop person. We told him we had no money on us and were going to pay with credit cards. Thank goodness he turned and walked away. Were we attracting the freaks or what!!! We did eat at Joe Fortes and couldn't understand why we had to order off the brunch menu and it was 3pm! The reason being that the dinner menu wasn't ready. I got breaded halibut with chips (fries) and about a scoop of cole slaw. It was good but very expensive. We also had to listen to a man singing "Shook me All Night Long" acoustic. It was quite dreadful, actually! lol When our waiter, Matt found out we were hockey fans and said he used to play hockey with Penguins player, JORDAN STAAL. How cool was that. After eating, we wanted to inquire the CHOCOLATE BUFFET at our hotel which is very popular and the only reservation left was at 9pm. That was fine since we had eaten and were going to sightsee anyways. This is served only on Thurs-Saturdays starting at 6pm. I had read about it on line (actually on Virtual Tourist) and this was something we had to do. lol

It was misty out in the 50's F with rain off & on. We then walked to GASTOWN and saw the steam clock and a couple different bars/restaurants with one being called CANNABIS HEADQUARTERS! Oh my! We could smell it coming out of there too. I had to take pictures which I will post when I get back. We walked to the HARBOR LOOKOUT TOWER which I had wanted to do since seeing it on a Vancouver tour booklet. The elevator was facing the street and was glass so you could see outside. It was a 360 degree around view. Pictures had to be taken through the glass since nothing was open air. It had great views of the city, dome, harbor and the wooded area of Stanley Park. It was still foggy out and the mountain couldn't be seen well but still very nice. Around 8 we headed back for the "Chocolate Ecstasy" It was set up with one long table that had a selection of chocolate mouse, chocolate banana cake, dark chocolate cupcakes, chocolate peanut butter wafer things, assorted fruits, white chocolate, a dipping fountain with strawberries, honeydew & pineapples and even a CREPE station! I think I had all the above except for the white chocolate! It was very good and I got my crepe drenched with raspberry sauce! We enjoyed our sinful plates while listening to "YMCA" being played on the piano! The buffet was very good and it better have been for the price we paid! Needless to say I slept well that night!
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