Sunday, July 13, 2008

On our way

Welcome to the Zanin blog of our Vancounver Island holiday!
Saturday, July 12, 2008

VANCOUVER — Even though we’ve done all kinds of traveling, it still seems amazing that you can wake up in Ottawa and go to bed the same day on the other side of the country. We’re in rather a dreamy state by the end of it, though, I have to say.
We jumped out of bed just before six and did a thousand last-minute things before locking the door and climbing into the cab. Then we lolled about in the airport departure lounge for an age, comforted at least that our early arrival improved the chances that our luggage would get on the plane and arrive at our destination when we did.
Then we mashed ourselves into our teeny-tiny plane seats and, over the next five hours, had all our bodily moisture sucked out of us, and our eardrums flexed and unflexed countless times. Val decided to view a movie on a screen the size of a picture postcard, and winced when the loud parts blasted him through the earphones, because if the volume wasn’t pumped up, he wouldn’t catch the quieter dialogue over the hissing of the air system! I don’t think movies are worth watching under those circumstances. So I slept instead.
We were treated to some magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains toward the end of the flight. It was a perfectly clear day most of the way, and it was amazing to see those majestic peaks, dusted with snow, and carved out with rivers and green lakes. The city of Vancouver was a welcome and beautiful sight as well as we came down to earth again.
It didn’t take long for me to finally feel normal again, instead of like a dried up husk (despite having consumed a full bottle of water plus two glasses of juice in flight). We connected with the hotel shuttle, settled into our room and went out to find lunch nearby. Cravings, as the restaurant was called, dished up a nice halibut soup followed by frittata for Val and a delicious salad for me with red grapefruit sections, mesclun leaves and a generous sprinkling of cashews and pine nuts, topped with a raspberry vinaigrette. Yum.
Both of us were ready for a rest by this time, so we indulged in an afternoon nap that helped recalibrate our internal clocks somewhat. We went for a stroll in the neighbourhood around the hotel — a rather non-descript residential quarter with low-rise apartment buildings.
For dinner, Johan joined us at the hotel and we took the shuttle to The Boathouse, a seafood restaurant they recommended, and enjoyed a delicious dinner of halibut (Val and me) and salmon (Johan), complete with fresh warm sourdough bread, wine and desserts all around. (Mine was free, compliments of the hotel!). Val had sourdough bread pudding, Johan chose the mocha ice cream pie, and I savoured white and dark chocolate mousse cake.
As we sat and chatted, I realized I was pretty tired. After all, it was around midnight Ottawa time. Our travels were catching up with us! It was great to catch up with my brother (who is looking well and happy), but the hotel bed was looking more and more inviting.

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