A Travellerspoint blog

Day 2, June 26, 2008... Vancouver

Hop On/Off Day

78 °F

Ordered room service breakfast so that we could watch the World Cup showdown between the US and Germany. From all appearances, Germany went easy on the US but we left the room happy...knowing there would be al least one and probably only one more game. Vancouver is such a diverse city that the World Cup is a huge deal everywhere. As is our custom in a new city, I had pre-purchased tickets to the hop on/off trolley and, after breakfast, we hoofed it to a stop a few blocks from the hotel. It was a beautiful warm sunny day...shorts weather. We set off on a three hour tour of the city...hitting all the highlights , from Stanley (named after Lord Stanley of Stanley Cup fame) Park to the Aquarium. We eventually got off at the Aquarium stop and the Aquarium was a real treat. In addition to being a major tourist attraction for Vancouver, the aquarium is a centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation. Officially Canada's first public Aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium has become the largest in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The Vancouver Aquarium was the first aquarium in the world to capture and display an orca. Other whales and dolphins on display included belugas, narwhals and dolphins. The belugas (white whales) are beautiful and graceful and hopefully there will be some pictures on here soon. Part of the hotel package we got through Luxury Link was that a bottle of wine was supposed to be in our room on arrival. Le Soleil apparently did not get that message. So I reminded the young man at the front desk and soon we were provided with a nice bottle of Okanagan Valley Cab plus a cheese plate and a letter of sincere apology. I had made dinner reservations at Le Cigale, a locals French bistro with a deal through Travelzoo. Turned out to be a good choice. I had french onion soup and steak frites and Margaret had Moule Frites and an Apricot torte with ice cream for desert...yet another bbirthday celebation. Back to the hotel for our first game of doms...a W in my column!

Posted by stevencavalli07 11:56 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

Day 1, June 25, 2014

Off to Vancouver

sunny 72 °F

After all the planning, our flight was delayed for two hours...so we did not arrive in Vancouver until 5:30. Flew business class on one of United's regionalal air jets...looked brand new...with 6 business class seats...no meal in business class these days...just a "snack box"...whatever. Most importantly, despite the warnings and protestations of the flight attendant as we were taxiing for takeoff, I had to keep my phone on because Timmy was two outs away from a no no...and the third out was recorded literally as the front wheels of the plane lifted off the tarmac!! Half hour cab ride to the hotel was $50. As we began our descent into the Vancouver airport, we struck up a convesation with a woman who was sitting across fom us. She was born in Vancouver but has lived in Berkeley since the 60s. Turns out she knew Micki and Bill Turner and a couple other folks and Margaret was convinced her husband is the head of the Wright...but we didn't exchange names. Staying at Hotel Le Soleil in downtown Vancouver, a very nice boutique luxury hotel which I booked through a pretty good deal on Luxury Link...only, as it turns out, the hotel didn't know it. When we arrived at the hotel, Natasha behind the desk, was very pleasant and welcomed us to a nice suite wth a queen bed...except that the LL package provided for an Executive King Suite...she was happy to oblige once I showed her the proof. The rooms are very nice, two 50 inch HD flat screen TVs. We had dinner reservations at 7:30 but pushed them back to 8. We were able to walk about 8 blocks to the Black & Blue Steakhouse, a fairly new eatery...very upscale. When I made the reservation I was warned that rooftop seating was first come first served. It was a beautiful, balmy night, so I wanted to investigate the rooftop...which was buzzing with attractive 20 and 30 somethings...of course we fit right in. We asked for a table and were informed that the rooftop was an entirely different restaurant with a different kitchen. We ordered a cocktail and waited and were finally seated. What I didn't realize was that it also had a completely different menu...without the steak Diane I was craving when I made the reser.... there is a picture I will get on here. No worries, they were able to procure the Steak Diane fom the downstairs restaurant and it was excellent, although no flambe. Margaret started with six oysters...wonderful she says and had a seafood brochette with prawns and lobster tails barbequed over a mesquite grill. I had a burrata/heirloom tomato salad as a starter which was wondeful. When I made the reser on Open Table I noted that it was a birthday celebration, so dessert was an incredible buttercake with homemade gelato and a candle. Somewhere there is a picture I will try to get on here. Returned to the hotel and had to get rested for a 9am showdown between the US and Germany.

Posted by stevencavalli07 18:05 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

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