Ali's Basement

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My Life: Vancouver – The Arrival (Day 1)

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So, I took the SkyTrain from the airport to downtown. Their train system is pretty solid and got me within 2-3 blocks of our penthouse. I met up with two of my buddies at a pub nearby, Backpacker Bar & Lounge, and then we all walked to the penthouse to drop off my stuff and freshen up. I walked into the penthouse and I was blown away. It was a beautiful place with amazing 360 views of the city and awesome decor inside. Plenty of space for the 6 of us. I was still in awe and wanting to check out the place, but I didn’t want to miss out on the city either, so I quickly changed and we headed out to go exploring.

We started walking around, using a map we picked up at the airport to navigate around. The city of Vancouver reminded me a lot of NYC and Chicago, and like Chicago it was very clean and well maintained. Among the skyscrapers and buildings, it still had plenty of parks and greenery to compliment the massive mountains in the background. We visited the West Hastings area to check out some places then walked over to Gransville Ave, which turned out is a major restaurant and nightlife area, good luck I guess! It reminded me of Adams Morgan in D.C.. There were so many choices we couldn’t make our mind, we just wanted to sit outside because it was so sunny and nice out. We came across the Speakeasy on Gransville and decided to sit down for a drink and to plot our next move. My buddy made the right call because it was a great spot for people watching as we saw unique styles of dress, hilarious bums, and then a while later, 3 cute girls walked in and we sparked a conversation with them. The girls, 2 from Brazil and 1 from Mexico, had only been in town 2 weeks and were in town to learn English abroad during the summer. This worked out really well for us as we had a great time chatting with them and it was a good way to pass the time while we waited for two more friends to arrive. We took some pictures with our new friends, exchanged emails, and agreed to reconnect when we all got home. Plus, if we’re going to the World Cup in Brazil (2014), we’re going to need some tour guides, right?

Time passed by quickly and the groom-to-be (GTB) gave me a call to let me know he had arrive in the city. We had the two guys meet us on Gransville and from there we walked to the next neighborhood, Yaletown, which had great reviews online as being the best place to go downtown for the young and hip. There must be something with neighborhoods that end in ‘town’ because it reminded me a lot of Georgetown. We went to the one pub everyone recommended, The Yaletown Brew Pub. The pub had a fun and relaxed vibe, so once we grabbed the first round we posted up near the pool tables and signed up for the next game. The GTB and I ended up playing really well and ran the table for several games until we ran into a solid duo a few games later, but we held our own for quite a while. Even though we both hate losing, by that time we were both ready for a break and gave up our pool sticks willingly.  When the two of us joined the rest of the gang, we were welcomed by two cute girls that our friends had started talking to and we all ended up hanging out the entire night. One was a local teacher and the other was her cousin who was visiting from Manitoba, on the East Coast of Canada. The girls were a ton of fun as we shared drinks, goofed around, danced, and played games. Our last friend finally arrived around 1am, after 2 delayed flights. Now our squad was complete, the Herndon Boys were reunited! In order to help our buddy catch up, we kicked up a notch and danced to oldies in the pub, we had inspired everyone in our area and they were all  dancing after a while.

After the pub closed, the teacher took us to her school’s park where we played on swings, slides, a climbing contraption, and there was even a mini zipline. It sounds quite childish and lame, but it was a ton of fun, because it was simple and we shared a lot of laughs. We even had a contest of who could swing the highest and if possible, jump the further off the swings. Maybe 20 years ago I would have joined in, but I was not so brave anymore. Of course the most active and athletic out of all of us, the GTB, won both competitions. I was just happy that he didn’t get injured, otherwise his fiance would have killed us.

Afterwards, the ladies walked us to our car and we ended our night with some kebabs from a Gastown eatery. All and all, a pretty solid first day in Vancouver.


Written by Ali's Basement

July 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Posted in My Life

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