April 16th
Vancouver, British Columbia

I slept better than I have in a long time.  I had no tour or plans today.  I literally wallowed in bed until 11:15.  It wasn’t easy considering the number of announcements that they made this morning.  Capt. Glenn came on at 8:10 to let us know that the ship had been cleared; & we were free to go ashore. He shared his optimism that the morning rain would go away; & that the sun would come out (somewhere).  His thought for the day....”It’s the job that’s never started that takes the longest time to finish.”

Shortly afterward, that annoying buzz of sea plane engines started.  The strip of water right under my verandah was the ‘runway’; & there was a steady stream of them taking off & landing all throughout the day. To add insult to injury there were the announcements before, during & after the crew lifeboat drill at 10.  But I managed to doze in between all these interruptions.

I put on a robe & sweater & went out back at 11:30 to check out the scenery & take some photos.  There were lots of grey clouds; but the rain had stopped.  It felt very damp & cool.  I amused myself by watching these 2 guys dangling from ropes washing windows on the high rise next door.

I dressed; & went to the dining room for lunch at 12:30.  I had a very pretty & equally delicious appetizer of oven baked crabmeat stuffed mushrooms with lemon chive hollandaise sauce.

My main course was the Captain’s favorite seafood salad, which was mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus tossed with thousand island dressing & topped with grilled scallops & prawns.  It was to die for!

I made reservations in the dining room for my group dinner tomorrow night. I picked up a capp. to bring back home while I worked on the computer. Celeste called when she got back; & asked me to come down to her cabin & see all her purchases.  She hit the mother lode of shoes from the Mephisto store.  Bill stayed ashore so he could watch the N.Y Rangers hockey game at a sports bar on the pier.

By late afternoon the sun came out; & it felt much warmer.  She & I went down to the Bistro for some tea.  We sat & chatted with Pat & Che until 5:45. Celeste & I talked about eating dinner together. But we couldn’t quite decide or agree on when & where to go.  So, we decided we’d each do our own thing.

I went back home & continued to edit photos.  I’d go out on the aft deck every hour or so to take more photos as the evening light changed. The pedestrian traffic around Canada Place had picked up.  Everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine; & admiring our beautiful ship.  It was about this time that I began to kick myself for not at least getting off the ship & walking around the immediate area.  All the buildings looked so interesting. There were planter boxes overflowing with colorful spring flowers & spewing fountains.  The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel was across the street; & the Canada Place Convention Center on either side of us.  Honestly, I think I had just about run out of steam.

I sat out there until after it got dark, listening to the flags flap in the wind. When it got dark enough, the ‘sails’ atop Canada Place are illuminated with colored lights.  They must be on timers; because they changed at certain intervals.  Sometimes it was just different colored flood lights on each ‘sail’. Then a series of patterns or images were projected on them.  For some strange reason, I found this highly entertaining.

Then I began to notice things about the surrounding buildings that you cannot see in the daytime.  For instance the west side of the convention center (which was on our port side) had this humongous illuminated globe spinning above the escalators at the entrance.

There was an understreet walkway that connects the east & west exhibition halls.  At night it is all light up; & you can see that the long wall is a gallery. There is a ‘bent’ metal tower type structure out on the street that emits blue neon light at night.  I later learned that it was cauldron from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Liz came outside to get me when she brought dinner about 8:45.  I started with a crispy phyllo ‘cigar’ stuffed appetizer with mint flavored feta cheese & yogurt cucumber dipping sauce.  It was good; but a little too minty.

I followed this with an appetizer portion of orecchiette pasta with crab meat, broccoli, plum tomatoes & fresh basil.  Very, very good.

My entree was a half order of wiener schnitzel with cranberry sauce, garnished with a pretty (yet disgusting) anchovy rosette.  Flavor was excellent; but I could have used either more cranberry sauce or some other sauce to make it less dry.  I’m sure had I been eating in the dining room this would have been a non issue.

Rather than sitting at the computer; I knew I should at least start the packing process.  I had asked Lizzie to bring up my suitcases out of their hiding place this afternoon.  I got a nice start; but wanted to go back out on deck for sailaway.  There was still a good bit of foot traffic on the pier when we pulled away a few minutes before midnight.  It was so windy & cold on the water.  The skyline was beautifully lit; & I stayed out there until it was just a tiny speck on the horizon.

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