Friday, June 13, 2008

Vancouver: Too Lazy for PIcs

Well, my pictures of Vancouver are not that exciting and I don't feel like fooling with the dig cam right now. But don't worry, I'll provide some pretty pics soon enough.

The nice thing about paying a lot of money for a cruise is that they really do believe in service. No, really, they do. Nowadays everything is do-it-yourself and lots of mechanical voices asking if you absolutely must talk to a live person (as a side note, on some voice recognition systems, if you start cursing loudly, sometimes they will connect you to a living human being to whom you can curse in person. I never knew that robots could be so sensitive). But anyway, I step off the plane in Vancouver (uneventful flight. Watched 27 Dresses which was awful but took my mind off the hours of flying. I never spoke to my seatmate although we were squeezed in together because we are not small people. Then one small child, who was really good most of the flight, had to pull my hair when I was up getting something out of the overhead bin. The mother was very apologetic and she had been great about walking the child up and down the aisles. I said it was no problem. Who wouldn't want to pull my hair? The child must have thought a long-haired puppy had come on board all of sudden). But back to cruise service -- I step off the plane and there are three cruise representatives. I'm marked off their list. They wait while I smoke and then get my luggage. Then one puts me in a cab (and pays for it -- well, we had paid for it ahead of time) and then presto, I'm in a fancy hotel, just south of Stanley Park.

I wait hours and hours for my family to show up. I wish I had gone to the Vancouver Art Gallery so I could see the Krazy exhibit while I was waiting which I had to rush through the next morning.

Our hotel had a fabulous view of the harbor and I watched floatplanes take off and land. The really cool thing about the room was that you could slide open the windows on one wall so you got a kinda deck feeling. Plus there was a fainting couch where one could loll and watch the world out the window. There is not nearly enough lolling going on in one's life.

Fam finally showed up and I was happy to see them (hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving) and even though all four of us were going to be crammed in this one room, my mother thought it was funny that I said "I haven't slept well in six months. What's one more night?"). My mother has a twisted sense of humor.

Our first meal did not bode well for things to come. I took them to a place next door which I thought was "safe" but everything in the menu looked weird to them. "What's tarragon?" and "Can't I get shrimp instead of prawns?" My mother scared my niece by telling her the difference between shrimp and prawns was that prawns had their heads and the little eyes look at you from the plate, asking for mercy. I do have to admit that the food was rather bland and not up to snuff but I was already getting irritated with my American tourist family.

The next day, we decided to walk down the shopping district and at the end I would go to the museum which was only a mile away. The world, however, looks different when one is pushing a wheelchair and gentle slopes become death marches. Although the weather was cool, we were all sweating like proverbial pigs when we finally made it to the street we were looking for. The flaring tempers also did not bode well for our trip. But that's our style. Lots of angry words then food. Then the world is okay.

I finally abandoned them and went to the museum. And no, I did not just suddenly let go of my sister while going up the hill. I sped through the exhibit which I will save for a future post (or publication because I have some very strong opinions about it). Then we met for lunch and then took a guided tour of Vancouver.

My southern family was cheered by the fact that Canada had supported the South during the Civil War because they wanted all those nice raw goods picked by slaves. A little embarrassing for all involved during the tour. Okay, my family is not that bad. It was just an interesting fact and since none of them have blogs, I am free to paint them in much any light I want.

Finally that evening we went to a good and crowded fish restaurant and I had both a martini and a glass of wine. I felt good. Mom was supportive of this mood because I think she secretly thought that if she had liked alcohol, this would have been a much more pleasant trip for her.

Next blog: getting on the boat

PS: I cut my hair yesterday. Not extreme but pretty extreme. And there's no one to see it yet!!! (or those who have seen it have not commented which is distressing)

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