Granville Island

Dear Liza,

Auntie Bridgett by the water

Today was our first full day in Vancouver, and we saw just as much as we could see.

After we were all up and dressed, we walked down to the water. This part of Vancouver is several narrow peninsulas that jut out into the Pacific Ocean, so we walked TO THE OCEAN.

Our ride

We took a water taxi across the narrow inlet to Granville Island. About a hundred years ago, this was the shipyards of Vancouver, because fishing and shipping were the main industry here. Fishing is still big, but most of the shipyard buildings have been repurposed for Art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Such abundance!

The biggest building is used as the Granville Public Market. It has about fifty different businesses inside, from creperies ( where we got our breakfast) to ice creams shops, butcher shops, fruit and vegetable venders, and ceramics and other art shops. We wandered around with our eyes bugging out!

Root beer is goooood…

Outside, we wandered some more. Galleries with fine arts and others full of crafts kept our eyes busy.

The Giants

We chatted with a guide about the sand and gravel silos that have been painted by the same artists we saw in London years ago into a unique set of “Giants”. We admired woodworking, ceramics, paintings and embroidery. When our eyes were full but our tummies empty, we stopped at The Keg for lunch. Ahi tuna tacos and a Guinness for me and cider for Grandpa Nelson, along with half an hour off our feet, put us right again and we continued on.

Sisyphus in iron and stone

We found an artistic blacksmith shop, and enjoyed the work, but the smith wasn’t in. Then we saw these hands and a head out in the sun, with a coat of shallac drying on them.

What’s up?

We talked with the lady who was working on them and followed her back to the shop. Her name is Beth, and she works with wood artist Peter Kiss to make these wonderful characters.

Beth and Peter Kiss

We had walked around the whole island twice and seen so much, we were pooped. We caught another water taxi across the water and headed to our apartment for a rest. I will tell you about the evening tomorrow!


Grandma Judy

Friday Night Out

Dear Liza,

Ultra-cool chair at NEXT

After my long walk yesterday, I came home, read, and had a nap. About five, we all got spruced up to try a new place. Le Canard is advertised as a “Portland styled French Restaurant”, a more casual version of Le Pigeon, the high end French place next door, run by the same folks.

Portland style French Food

We eat early, so usually we have the quieter end of the evening. But what hit us as we walked in the door was the noise! Fifty conversations, along with glasses and dishes, made quite a din. We got a table, ordered wine, and enjoyed reading the short menu. Bridgett ordered scallops, I had risotto, and Grandpa Nelson, french fries. The food was good, although pretty small portions, and we tried to have a conversation, tossing around ideas for our next trip to Europe… but we couldn’t. We kept having to lean in, repeat ourselves, and even yell to make ourselves heard. Not a relaxing way to chat.

As soon as we finished, we paid our bill and headed out. The relatively quiet sidewalks of Burnside seemed relaxing, so we just walked along. There is a lot of new construction going on, so we kept having to cross the street to avoid scaffolding, but it was enjoyable, seeing things change.

We passed The Jupiter Hotel, where we three had stayed years ago for Auntie Bridgett’s first Comic Con here. A refurbished 1960s hotel, it has a funky charm. Now, just across the street, is NEXT, the new section of the Jupiter. It is brand new, modern, and beautifully furnished. We toured the lobby, went upstairs to a lounge, and checked out the patio, as well as the view of busy East Burnside.

Jupiter Hotel’s stylish offspring

Further along we found a pop=up art gallery, featuring the collage wonderful-ness of Andy Jenkins. I don’t  take pictures of art in galleries, because Auntie Bridgett says it is rude, but his work is on line if you search his name. I recommend it. He has an abstract way of putting dry cleaning receipts, traffic tickets, and stereo instructions together that is unique and delightful.

We ended the evening by stopping at Forty Licks, the ice cream parlour that used to be just blocks from our rental and we don’t go as often as we used to. Their ice creams are made from natural ingredients and are extraordinary. Coffee, Ginger molasses, and a blood orange milk shake accompanied us on the last of our walk.

By the time we got home, we had walked almost two miles, which means MY total for the day was five miles, counting my trip to Clinton and back.

Good thing, too, with all that luscious food…

Love, Grandma Judy