Tag Archives: Vancouver

Checking in

Writing a post at my brother-in-law’s toasty apartment in the Granville area of Vancouver.  He’s off to get some sushi and noodles for supper.  This morning and afternoon we whipped over the Coquihalla in no time (driving the Speed Limit +12–the No Ticket Speed Limit–helped).  The Coquihalla is not as much of a white-knuckler as I remember it being.  I remember my parents and I drove it one time one summer when it was still a toll highway.  It seemed like a big deal at the time.  Afterwards, Dad bought a bumper sticker that read “I drove the Coquihalla”. 

Unfortunately, the bridge that connects the west-bound Trans-Canada highway to Vancouver was closed for several hours due to a fatal accident involving a motorcycle.  We moved along at a snail’s pace and were eventually re-routed to another bridge from downtown Surrey.  Just rounding the corner before going down the hill approaching the bridge, we heard on the radio that the bridge on the Trans-Canada had re-opened.  Figures.  We would have been better off to visit our friends in Langley and wait out the traffic jam.  As it was, it took us almost as long to drive from Surrey to our current location in Vancouver (maybe 30kms) as it did to drive from Kamloops to Surrey (about 300kms).

But we did fine and the kids were great.  Madeline was hyper, Olivia was sitting in a runny poop-filled diaper and Luke had to pee.  But we made it.

Backing up: a night in Kamloops (all of us asleep by 9:30 local time) and an hour in the pool with the kids.

Prior to that, two nights with Dixie’s relatives in Calgary.  Went to the zoo sans Dixie, who stayed at home sleeping to fight off a cold.  Impressed by the elephants (they’re always impressive) and the grizzly bears.  We may have been there at the wrong time (most of the afternoon), because many of the animals appeared to be resting and out of sight.  Oh well.  Still: elephants and grizzly bears!

Oh, and the night before that with friends at The Field.  Quiet.  Relaxing.  Could’ve spent a week there, easily.  Without the kids.  Of course.

Tomorrow we plan on visiting the Vancouver Aquarium and spending some time in Stanley Park.  The following day it’s off to Tofino for a couple of nights.  I’m very much looking forward to it.


Had a great weekend in Surrey, BC for the annual general meeting of the ECCC.  It was a chance to get away from the kids (first time for more than 1 night in six years); it was a chance to visit with friends and get to know new acquaintances a little better.  I also attended a “ministerial” for the first time–there’s a great bunch of pastors in this conference.  The Covenant church really does feel like home.

And we had beautiful sunny weather the whole time, which was a shock not just for the visitors to the area.

I won’t get into the boring (to you) details of the weekend.  Of note, however, was Sunday’s trip into Vancouver.  We wandered down to Granville Island with Dixie’s brother.  Granville Island is a former industrial area of the city revitalized as a trendy/artsy-fartsy/old-school public market area.  A person could have quite a full, relaxing day out there.  Start out in the morning in a coffee shop with the paper; wander along the water and have a light lunch somewhere; wander some more–maybe through the market–and have a solid dinner before calling it a day.  It’s now officially one of my life goals: spend a full, easy day on Granville Island.

That’s not what’s of note, however.  We were undecided about where to eat for supper.  We were actually seated at Bridges on Granville Island, but after perusing the nearly blank menu decided to go elsewhere.  A peruse and dash, if you will.  The next plan was to drive into the downtown area for some Thai food, but on our walk back, Dixie’s brother spotted a Sushi restaurant he’s wanted to try for a long time, but could never get into: Shabusen Japanese Yakiniku House (the one on south Granville, just a couple of blocks from Dixie’s brother’s apartment).

I was reluctant at first–I was hungry after all that walking, so raw fish and wasabi–unappealing at the best of times– didn’t seem like the thing we should be trying out.  As it turns out, Dixie and I both loved it.  We went with the all-you-can-eat menu so that we could try a bit of everything.  Dixie’s brother did the ordering, since he knows his way around a Japanese menu.

Dixie and I in front of some of our food:


In front of Dixie is a plate of various seafood wrapped around some rice (“Nigiri sushi”). On the left: shrimp (“Ebi”–cooked); back right: tuna (raw); front right: salmon (raw).  On my plate is a scallop cone: a dried seaweed cone filled with raw chopped  scallops and rice.  

The large white cup in front of me is green tea; the small white cup with the blue graphic is warm sake.  

On the grill: lamb chops and chicken breast.  The meat on the grill was a mistake.  According to Dixie’s brother it’s a Korean custom, but we found it a bit annoying to have to pay attention to the cooking meat.  Much of the lamb ended up burned to a crisp.

Also eaten: deep fried avocado (“Maki”); spring rolls; chicken karrage (deep fried chicken wings); deep fried yams, carrots, zuchinni and squash (“Tempura”); Yakisoba (noodles); pork gyoza (dumplings); miso soup (soy soup); edamame (soy beans).

My judgment: delicious!  

I would never have guessed, as I generally don’t care much for fish.  I would take raw tuna or salmon over the cooked equivalent any day.  The raw tuna was my favourite, followed by the raw salmon.  The meat melts on your mouth.  

The warm sake was also delicious–it’s a rice wine, but I found it reminiscent of ouzo, though not as sweet.  I think Dixie’s brother described the taste as “wine and soap”, but it was very good.

(More pictures of the trip may follow, but I make no guarantees.)