Monday, June 23, 2014

Vancouver B.C. Weekend

After a week away for business and pleasure, I return home to hopefully pick up the brushes again after first getting the household activities caught up.

The work week was spent at the home office in the Seattle area for both business and to attend a workshop.  In my usual routine, I would be driving back to Spokane Friday evening but not this week.  My wife flew over Thursday night and after a half day in the office on Friday, we loaded up and drove to Vancouver B.C. for the weekend.

Why a diversion to Vancouver?  Well, we had tickets to a concert Friday night at Rogers Arena.  Coincidentally, the B.C. Lions held their opening pre-season game at the same time on the same block.  Interesting mix of concert-goers and football fans.  The hot dog stand at Costco was doing a brisk business with a line of hungry grid-iron fans queueing up around the block.  
Vancouver waterfront
Vancouver is quite a beautiful city.  The weather was perfect in the mid-70s F and public transportation is fast and easy.  The last time I was in Vancouver was for the World's Fair in '86.  I don't recall much from that trip nearly 30 years' ago but I do recall the Canada Pavilion which remains today as a waterfront icon.  On Saturday two cruise ships were birthed on either side of the pavilion.
Canada Pavilion
View across harbor to North Vancouver
with float plane coming in for landing
View across harbor towards Vancouver and pavilion 
On the hobby front, Vancouver (or Richmond) maintains a well-stocked Bricks and Mortar hobby store in Imperial Hobbies.  The shop is housed in a strip mall but the quantity of inventory stuffed into that store is amazing.

Now, I have not stepped into an actual hobby store in years but is was good to be able to browse up and down the aisles.  I saw many items of interest especially some fine JR Miniatures buildings and piles of Hotz Mats but the prices gave me a bit of sticker shock.  Yikes!  That store is expensive!  The only purchase I came away with was the latest issue of WSS and it had a sticker price $2 higher than the MSRP.

Even with a drive time of about nine hours, I won't wait 30 years to return.  Next time, we plan to bring the bikes along so that we can ride around the city and take advantage of the expansive Stanley Park.  We saw many transit riders with bikes on both the trains and ferries.  Should be fun!

19 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun trip, apart from prices in the shop that is???

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    1. Fun trip, for sure! I was not in search of anything in particular so prices were mostly irrelevant. However, there had been some good sales on hand, I may have been in trouble...

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  2. Sounds like a great weekend. I came close to making it to Vancouver only once so far. Almost exactly 20 years ago while I was on temporary duty at Ft. Lewis. Four of us had a road trip planned over a long weekend, but the guy driving us up there in his van had a death in the family and the trip was canceled. Someday... :-)

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    1. Yes, very pleasant weekend. I hope you back it to Vancouver some day.

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  3. B.C. is a very lovely place. Last time I as there was for Trumpeter B.C. I've never been to Imperial Hobbies, but the owner, Francis, always gives away swag at conventions - even the one down here at Enfilade! in Olympia.

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    1. Lovely, indeed! When the weather is pleasant, both Seattle and Vancouver are beautiful cities. I don't frequent game cons much but I guess that might be a good excuse to go back to Vancouver!

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  4. Lovely waterfront! Now I want to know what concert you saw.

    You fellows on the ocean are quite spoiled. Somehow, I ended up about as far from the ocean as one could manage. Ah well.

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    1. Yes, Vancouver is a beautiful city. As you know, it was Buble...

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    2. Oh, and an 800+ mile roundtrip drive to Vancouver is not exactly an impulse event.

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  5. Looks like a beautiful city, Jon. Most likley to visit it on the way to a cruise along the Alaska coast... one of these years!

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    1. I hope you make it, Peter! I will tackle an Alaskan cruise later this summer.

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  6. Great to know you had a great time Jonathan!
    I agree Vancouver BC is a beautiful city been there a few times and always had a great time, Victoria is a beautiful city as well.. a little pricey though i.e. book stores,dinners,pubs etc.

    cheers,

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    1. Victoria is a beautiful city! For interest to us gamers, there is a fantastic little toy soldier museum near the Empress Hotel.

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  7. That looks like a beautiful city!

    Christopher

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    1. Beautiful, indeed, and easy to navigate around.

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  8. Sounds like a good way to recharge the batteries!

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    1. It was a very enjoyable diversion. Even better would have been no workweek away from home before!

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