I was telling someone about my trip to Canada the other day (waving to Stacey... hi Stacey!!!) and it made me think about this blog posting from back in July 2003. It always makes me smile when I read it...and I do go back and re-read it every now and then because it's such a fun memory and I'm glad I wrote about it right after it happened.
SO... without any more delay. A rerun blog entry... Happy Friday Everyone!!!!
............ July 2003 ..............
So...after the intro to the new blog junk is done...here is the scoopula what I've been up to.
Well...spent way too much time obsessing over my weblog, so I will begin it with a REALLY REALLY long entry, entitled...
I went all the way to Canada to see the Dixie Chicks!
That's right folks...flew all the way to Vancouver, BC Canada to see the chicks. Why might you ask??? Well, I will tell you! I know that my life is a train wreck ready at the click of a mouse for viewing, but this alas is no train wreck. It's a vacation entry! Sort of a Travel Log!
My best friend Denise and I decided we were going to see the Dixie Chicks. Since she's in Houston and I'm in Atlanta, one of us was going to have to fly to the concert. So...I couldn't go when it was in Houston because of something else I was doing. She couldn't go (or I couldn't...can't remember) when it was in Atlanta. We decided that if one of us was going to have to fly...we might as well both fly and make it a fun girl trip. So...off we went to check out the tour dates. Well...they weren't as exciting as they could have been. (no offense to anyone reading from any of these cities but they weren't for us) Ames, Iowa; Oklahoma City, OK; Greenville, SC.....places we just didn't think were vacation-condusive.
Our next choices were West Coast...all of them we'd both been to before...L.A., Portland, Seattle. I loved Seattle and so did Denise and we thought about Seattle or Portland until we saw....VANCOUVER! Yes! Denise had been there while going skiing, but I never had. I said "let's do it!" So we bought Dixie Chicks concert tickets to a concert in CANADA! We're totally laughing at ourselves at this point, but it was a fun idea. Then after Denise buys the tickets, we remember the exchange rate and hootie hoo! We got a discount because they were puchased in Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So...the travel date draws nearer. I find us a hotel in Vancouver by doing a search for "boutique hotels" in Vancouver. Find a gorgeous hotel (or it looks that way from the website) called the OPUS Hotel and make reservations. Denise makes our airline reservations and we wait till July...the trip time!
Some time in June I find this funny funny halmark card which says...
"This year for your birthday let's go bowling in Canada...so that someday we can say we went bowling in Canada"
On the plane on the way to Vancouver, I give Denise the card. It becomes my running joke for the whole trip. "Let's go to the dixie chicks in Canada so that some day we can say we went to the dixie chicks in canada" and on and on and on.
We go through immigration (behind the family of non-english speaking people who were in the line that DIDN'T need a translator). They asked us "why are you coming into Canada?" and we said "to see the Dixie Chicks concert!" Laughing at ourselves at how silly the notion was. Then Mr. Immigration says..."Did you see them? They just came through a little ahead of you?". Of course, we didn't see them...we only saw the woman who had made us get up out of our seats so that she could go to the bathroom 15 times on the flight there. From immigration, we make our way through the airport without me actually losing any digits, though a family of French Canadians did try to prevent that from happening by trying to run me down with their smart carts. Finally...we made it safely to our rental car place...got a gorgeous big car to hold our many shoes and took to the Canadian road! (with our strong american dollars in hand)
We get to Vancouver and go to lunch...very cute pizza restaurant in Gastown district of Vancouver (going to have to look up the name). Got lost at least once going there and had to go around 3 blocks to get back on track (the pedestrians and one way streets really messed us up)
Went to our hotel to check in. GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!! The Opus is such a gorgeous/funky/cool/spa-like hotel I can't even believe we were so lucky to pick it by only looking on line. And the bonus is...it's Canadian! (which in Sylvie-speak means it's like on sale!)
We veg out at the hotel for a while and then go to dinner on Robson street at this wonderful Italian restaurant called "Cin Cin" (pronounced Chin Chin). I can't even remember what we ate for dinner, but it was wonderful and the desert was even better! Did a little shopping on Robson street then headed back to the hotel to crash....and we got great deals because of course...we were spending Canadian!
Friday morning we got up and headed out for a day of shopping. We began at Starbucks across the street from the hotel. I was so psyched with my american dollar power that i purchased a gift card...figuring $50 in Canada would be $80 in the US!!! Well folks...gift cards don't work that way. Alas, they figure these things out ahead of time. Anyways...the coffee I got there was a discount, so whoopeee! Bargain starbucks! We got our coffee and hit the road!
Went to Gadsen Island which was way cool with little artists studios and galleries all over the place. We got lost at least 10 times trying to get there, because we kept taking wrong turns and getting back on this big bridge over and over and over. By the time we made it there...we were in a giggle fit just from the silliness of being lost so many times. We got a kick ass parking space, which in my universe means that you will find good shopping. Bad space...you will find nothing you like or can afford. Well, we got a good space and the shopping was great. I would love to go back and spend more time AND money there!
from there we went downtown to check out shopping there. Went to their mall which was a colossal disappointment. Should have stayed boutique-y, but took a risk and failed. :( Probably because we had a bad parking space!
Went back to the hotel and took a little nap before getting ready for dinner and the concert. We got ourselves looking very concert cute and went to dinner at the hotel restaurant...Elixir. Delicious meal! Our server asked us where we were going and we said "to the Dixie Chicks" and he said.....(dramatic music pause) "Oh did you see them?...they're staying here."
OMG!!!!!!!!!! The Dixie Chicks are staying at our hotel!!! There are only 90 something rooms in the hotel, so it's not like it's a huge hotel or anything...we could be staying down stairs from us...or just above.... They could have seen naked man too! The man across the street who Denise saw out the window while she was getting ready...walking around nude in his apartment. (it was like a Seinfeld moment) The Dixie Chicks could be calling him "naked man" also. They could be excited about spending american dollars at the same starbucks I was. Who knows?!!
So...we head out for the concert. We get there and wait through security and what not and head in to find our seats. As we're coming in...we hear Michelle Branch! We didn't know she was opening for them!! She was not listed as opening when we bought our tickets. So the way I see it...Dixie Chicks, and Michelle Branch, plus canadian dollars. It's two concerts for the price of one AND it's canadian...so that makes it basically FREE! We're jamming and psyched at Michelle Branch being there. As soon as there is a break between MB and the Chicks concert...Denise gets up to go buy a T-shirt. As she does, she says something to the 2 girls on the aisle who have to stand up to let her out.
They say to me after she's left..."hey, you're not from Canada are you?!!" Well, no...we're not. She asks where we're from. I tell her Atlanta. OMG! She just moved back to Vancouver from Atlanta last month! She was going to school there. So here we are at the Dixie Chicks in Canada sitting next to someone who is from Vancouver AND Atlanta. She thought it hilarious that we were there and begins to tell her friends who think it's funny too. Then I mention the silly card about going bowling in Canada. As soon as I say "let's go bowling in Canada for your birthday" she says "So we can say we went bowling in Canada!" She'd bought the same card for her friend! Bizarro!
So the concert was incredible! We head back to our hotel, write a note to the Chicks and leave it with the front desk thanking them for such a great concert. We find out later that the chicks had already checked out before the concert but the nice Opus hotel people faxed their office our note. Wasn't that nice?! It wasn't even a big deal. We just thought it would be funny to write a note since we were in the same small hotel and we'd come all the way to Canada for the concert.
Saturday we went to Victoria via ferry. It was a beautiful ferry ride. The island was beautiful! We went to an old mansion called Craigderoch (sp?) castle. As I walked around it, I was reminded of the PBS show Manor House. Denise hadn't watched it, but it was a lot more real to me after seeing today's people trying to manage/clean a huge house like that in the way that they did in that era. The house had a museum with all that historical stuff about the family. This family, however had juicy gossip in their past, so it was FUN to read about all their wayward daughters! One of them left her husband for Taluleh (sp?) Bankhead! (I have no clue if I spelled that anywhere remotely correctly) It was funny anyways that they had the gossipy stuff in their museum!
Shopping in Victoria was incredible and we barely scratched the surface of what there was to do on the island before we had to go back to the Ferry. On the ride home, I almost punched a French woman. I am NOT a violent person. However, sitting next to someone who says "zeees orrible americans" over and over was about to drive me mad! I controlled myself, but really wanted to let her have it. I didn't care about political views...just politeness. She had to know that there were lots of people from the US on the ferry. If you don't have anything nice to say...don't say anything at all...at least not NEXT to the people you're dissing! Tres rude!
We flew home EARLY on Sunday. On my flight home, there was a near air-rage incident between a Brazillian couple and our less than polite flight attendant. The people around me were all truly afraid that these people would come to blows with him. Very bizarre ending to my travels.
All that considered...It was a wonderful trip with a truly good friend. We laughed like 9th graders, ate like gourmets, stayed at a hipster hotel where the beautiful people of Vancouver hung out at night, drove like crazy tourists, and shopped like true American-dollar-toting girls!
I learned on my trip...
-that many Canadians see us as less than they are. Sort of in a snooty way. That was sad.
-that Victoria was Beautiful,
-that Vancouver was Beautiful,
- that the Opus Hotel is FABULOUS,
-that I like Parisians (the drink ironic...huh?),
-that it is easy to get run over in customs and immigration
-that the Chrysler 300M is a cool car with funky mirrors that move to make it easier to parallel park
-that my coffee order is different in Canada "Venti Half Sweet Mocha"
-that the Dixie Chicks stay at great hotels AND put on a great concert
-that the American dollar in Canada ROCKS!
-and that you can't buy a Starbucks gift card and benefit from the exchange rate when using it in the US.
And thus ends Sylvie's trip to Canada report. :)
today's coffee - Venti Mocha light on the Mocha (american order purchased with Canadian Starbucks card)