Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vancouver 2016 Day 3: Rain-biking the Seawall and Granville Island Market

Vancouver 2016 Day 3: Rain-biking the Seawall and Granville Island Market

After a huge almost 28,000 steps yesterday (!) though Kits and around Vancouver, it was time to relax... right? Nope. :) I got up early and rented a bike from the hotel for free (yay!), put on my raincoat, hat, gloves and warm stuff and headed out to bike the Vancouver Seawall. Time's-a-wastin', so you gotta get up and get goin'.

Of course, the rain started almost immediately as expected, but continued getting harder and harder as I continued biking. There was never a thought of "turning back" (what, am I crazy?!) -- the goal was to bike the Seawall come hell or high water (high water more likely on a day like this, ha). It was super fun, despite getting ABSOLUTELY drenched, but I still totally enjoyed it. Though, I think I completely BOOKED IT on the Seawall portion of the ride as this part was completely uncovered by trees so I was getting extra-soaked and wind-swept there -- finishing the seawall in 20 or 30 min, but then I continued Biking for a while until it started absolutely pouring. After all of this I was drenched and ready for a hot tea!

Here it is, my crazy ride in all its majesty!

Yay! I'm crazy!

Great view back on the city

This was a really nice portion of the ride, just catching the end of the Fall colours

A few other crazy tourists biked past me as well. Everyone seemed to be British -- so we exchanged amusing quips about the weather -- "A tad damp out today"! :)
Biked all the way down to George Wainborn park (I thought this was David Lam park, but that was a little further), before turning back and biking through the city to get back to my hotel.

Time to dry off.
If the weather was not insane, I would have biked the whole seawall all the way to Kits and then back, but I was pretty soaked through by the end of this, so it was time to head home.

After a good shower and packup and dryoff of all my things, I was back to a non-frozen temperature and ready to head to my new hotel for the week. But first, another quick touristy thing! There is a famous Art Deco building near my current hotel and so I went to check it out. Sadly it's only open during the week, but the design was super cool so I wanted to see it before moving to my new hotel across the city.

This new hotel is called the OPUS Hotel and is in the Yaletown district. I took a (you guessed it!) Car2Go there with my baggage, and parked it right out front of the hotel. What an awesome service (though, a little tough to get a big suitcase in the passenger seat!)

OPUS has a pretty crazy epic "car service" for anyone staying there. If available, they will drive you to a destination within the main downtown area for free... in a friggin' Jaguar XJ!!!! That was SICK!!!!!!!!!!!! Even more amazing was my driver (!) was a super awesome dude from Bulgaria, I believe he said. He was so funny and as excited to be in the car as I was. He said that ANY time a hotel guests asks to go somewhere, he always volunteers to be the driver because... seriously?!?! This car was super sweet. After drenching myself all morning and stuffing myself in a Car2Go afterwards, this was quite an upgrade. He not only dropped me off on Granville Island at the market, but also gave me a bit of a tour of it from the car, pointing out his favourite spots and recommending a few things. What an awesome dude.

So with that, I started a wander of the "Ferry Building" of Vancouver, the Granville Island Public Market. As you all know, this is exactly where I always want to be :)

"My" Jaguar XJ! Riding in style!
Fresh Fish

World's Biggest Apple!!!!!!!!!! This was also insanely crunchy and good like the ones we had a month or so earlier in Portland.

Lots of awesome varieties of food here

After much wandering, I got some awesome Bison salami and a Turkey stick, a passionfruit (maracuya?!), a chicken noodle soup from a place called the "Stock Market" (ha) and an AMAZING Rosemary Sea Salt bagel that was still warm when I bought it. An older lady sat down with me to share the table and told me all about her activities for the day -- she said she was there with a puppet/marionette show, helping them out with a kids charity event they were doing. They were also offering marionette-making classes and then doing a puppet show. Very cool and a nice chat as we both had some soup to warm up from the cold.
This was absolutely necessary.
After a great time eating at the market and wandering, I headed over to the "Kids Market" to see the toy store lots of people had mentioned. It was pretty cool, but the best part was the "Kids Entrance" -- a smaller door for kids to go through. The Toy Store also proclaimed that it was for "Kids and Silly Adults", which seemed fitting.

A cool print store near the market that I loved and had hilarious stuff. I LOVE that "I woke up like this" hat. Incredible.
These people really 'get' me
And, of course, you gotta take the kids entrance
A wild Meowth appeared!
After a totally awesome time at the market, I rented another 1-way Car2Go and drove myself back to the new hotel. What an awesome thing that is. Before heading back I went passed the Granville Island Brewing but it was quite a long line (and I was planning to drive back) so I just got a couple of the weirdest options they had to take home and try later.

For dinner, just a quick sushi down the road at a random spot -- it was about $8 and a total hole-in-the-wall spot, nothing fancy, but definitely the best $8 sushi ever. I had heard from many folks, "Don't just go to the fancy sushi places like Miku, the cheap ones are amazing too". That was a pretty big win too.

A great couple of weekend days, followed by a wind down and prep for the week at the office starting the next morning with some Elderflower I picked up at the local supermarket.

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