a beautiful british columbian new year

9.1.13

Otherwise known as what I did on my New Year's Vacation.

After a relatively quiet Christmas in Edmonton we (the gentleman and my sister Alessandra) took off to Vancouver to meet up with my brother Renato who was back in Canada for the holidays and my sister Francesca who had stayed on the island. After a brief reunion with my youngest brother Alberto in the Edmonton airport, we arrived in Vancouver and made the quick trip downtown via the extremely convenient Canada Line (which happened to be free that night because it was New Year's Eve).

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After checking in to our hotel we strolled over to Calabash Bistro on Carrall Street for our New Year's Eve Caribbean FĂȘte. The food was fantastic and the company excellent. In addition to our sibling crew, we also dined with resident Vancouverites Nuala and Corina, the cousins representing the Trinidadian and Italian sides (respectively) of the family.

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After we had indulged in our dinner of roti, doubles, crabcakes, saltfish, coconut dumplings and some tasty cocktails with ginger beer and Angostura bitters, we were handed a rum punch and sent downstairs to the dance floor. Contrary to typical Loro fashion we did not dominate the dance floor and instead were content to quietly people watch.

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New Year's Day we were all slow to get going. After a second Christmas gift exchange with my sisters we set out on the sunny streets to meet up with some family friends for brunch at Catch 122. Our attempts to dine there were thwarted (CLOSED!) and ultimately we ended up at Steamworks. Brunch proved to be a rather drawn out affair, so long that by the time we were finished the sun was starting to disappear. We walked to Renato's hotel in Coal Harbour, so we could see how the rich live (and apparently how they vacation given the swankiness of his hotel room) before heading up for a walk along Denman for our dinner at the Legendary Noodle House where we met up with yet another cousin. 

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Stuffed with noodles and dumplings we walked back through the foggy streets admiring the old apartment buildings close to Renato's hotel. We had big plans to make some New Year's cocktails at the hotel, but we were unable to find any liquor stores that were open. Night caps abandoned we wandered back to our hotel.

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We began the next day at the Vancouver Public Library, grabbing some coffee and croissants after the gentleman bonded with his new older sister (Catch me!).

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Alessandra hadn't been to Vancouver in twenty-something years so we felt it necessary to visit Granville Island. Coffees in hand we walked up to False Creek and hopped on an Aquabus. What started as window shopping at the various boutiques ended with me leaving with various woolen goodies and stationery treats. After fighting other tourists for a table by the food vendors, we managed to eat some lunch before heading on the Aquabus back to Yaletown to be one amongst the gentry.

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That night the gentleman and I met up with his college pal of-sorts for some dinner in Gastown and drinks at The Ascot. We did not order the $150 slap in the face that came with a bottle of champagne. Why bother when I can slap people for free?

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The next morning we wandered into Finch's Coffee and Tea shop across the street from our hotel, discovering it to be an absolute gem from both a photographic and culinary perspective.

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After breakfast we wandered through some of the shops in Gastown where Francesca and I stocked up on buttons for our respective knitting projects and I learned of high-end Murphy beds from Italy. We strolled briefly along the seawall before parting ways, one sibling departing by sea, two (three) of us by air and the last sibling choosing to hang around for a few more days.

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Au revoir Vancouver.

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