I'm glad "blogging regularly" wasn't one of my resolutions, because I would be failing that one miserably. Someday, I may get back to blogging more regularly (or at least frequently)--someday. I hope, anyway! I haven't finished my HK posts yet (oh, didn't this happen last time too? Yes, I think it did.) but lest I get too far behind, I'm just gonna go ahead and talk about Vancouver before too much more time passes. I just went for a short trip this time, mostly because I wanted to be there for Py's birthday. And I arrived to glorious sun and warmth! Woohoo, sun and warmth! So we made a beeline for the UBC Botanical Garden; above is my favorite explanatory sign from their Physic Garden. Welcome home husband, though ever so drunk! At least he'll also be free from corns!
Although before we got there, we stopped and had brunch at a place in Kitsilano, whose name I can no longer remember. Um, it was a pub, though? This is Py's southwest eggs benedict....
And my fish and chips. This was merely okay, with the batter being a bit too heavy and greasy. What I WAS tickled by was the paper lining the plate--it was one of those wax sheets that's printed to look like newspaper, except this one had all kinds of weird fish recipes, including one for Cheesy Pollock Loaf, which I really regret not taking a photo of. It involved lots of mayo and pollock mixed together and stuffed into a hollowed out bread loaf.
This picture doesn't do a good job of showing it, but that bee in the middle of this picture was ENORMOUS. Even its legs were at least twice the width of normal bees. Not sure if this was a different species or if the obesity epidemic has reached the bee world.
And this cute and normal-sized ladybug paid Py's finger a brief visit.
On another day, we went to Stanley Park and saw this gang of goslings. I had to laugh, because everyone who walked by stopped to take a picture. We've become such a picture-taking culture! I was all for having a seat in the grass and hanging out and watching them some more, but it turns out that where there are geese, there is a lot of goose poop. So we kept going.
We also saw two awesome shows--Santigold, who was awesome and had an incredible team of dancers, and the decidedly more downtempo and relaxed Cass Mccombs. Sorry, that's as good a picture as I can summon up of Cass McCombs--it was in a small, very dark venue. But it was awesome (and so was the Santigold show). I can't knock Vancouver's music scene!
As usual, we did a lot of good eating! And as usual, i did not take nearly as many pictures as I should have. I'm really starting to consider whether I should get a smaller camera so that I don't lug the dSLR around all the time....because then I could have shown you the enormous mango shaved ice (enormous and delicious) that we had one day at lunch at a Taiwanese beef noodle soup place. Instead, you just get a picture of these (also delicious) chicken wings from Peckinpah in Gastown. This was followed by very credible barbecue.
To celebrate Py's birthday, we made dinner reservations at Yew Restaurant, in the Four Seasons Hotel downtown. Another occasion where I really regretted not bringing the camera (Py seemed pleasantly surprised, heh) because we had some really great food there, and the restaurant just had a really great ambiance. (I was less pleased with the seating, which was kind of saggy, so I was practically at chin level with the table.) We started with a shared raw platter, which had some of the best oysters I've had in ages, and then I had bouillabaisse. Mmm, soupy seafood deliciousness. Oh--I must give a special shoutout to the biscuits we were served. Those biscuits were awesome. I would not be surprised if they involved lard. So you might be asking, "Well if you went to this fancy pants restaurant and didn't bring your camera, what gives with the bowl of fruit?"
We were too full for dessert at Yew, so I made birthday pie at home! Those limes are actually calamansis, which, in case you can't tell from the bowl, are tiny. And my recipe called for 1/2 a cup of juice. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of these tiny bastards to make 1/2 a cup of juice. But it was worth it--calamansis have a sharp tartness that's different from limes (almost orangey, which makes sense because they are actually related to oranges). And the crust! Can't go wrong with digestive biscuits and butter, that's what I say.
And how did we belatedly celebrate my birthday? Of course--trip to the aquarium! Yay! Check it out, this otter is totally shooting lasers out of his nose. Okay, I've rambled on enough--I will stop now. But there are more aquarium and flower pictures in my Vancouver set over on Flickr, if you are so inclined!