Despite some peanut butter bagels for breakfast at the airport in Toronto, by the time we got to Vancouver we were both ravenous. None of the snacks on the flight were vegan, although one of the attendants gave us an organic apple and orange from her own lunchbox as she felt sorry for us. Very impressive service Westjet!
We headed straight out to find some food, and we found it at The Foundation. As it turned out, it would be where we were meeting T's friend Jud later that day for dinner. The service wasn't terribly great, and while T's meal was ok, mine was not too good at all. The highlight of the meal was the piece of vegan sugar pie we got to take away.
We (mainly me) were still hungry afterwards, so we sidled over to Budgie's Burritos just a few minutes away. Their vegan burritos were amazingly fresh and tasty, and the staff very friendly. I still think about those burritos.......
We followed up lunch with a drive around the city. I found Hastings incredibly sad, with huge groups of homeless people sitting and standing around in the rain. Many were lining up for shelters to get a bed for the night. It really made me wonder what happens when it gets really cold in Vancouver. I continued to think about this as we checked into our hotel, the Moda, and felt increasingly guilty that we had somewhere safe, clean and warm to sleep for the night. I often feel like this when travelling, as does T, so we try and do something practical about it, like always packaging up any leftovers from a meal out and giving it to someone who needs it. I know however that this is a band aid type of response and is not going to change anything substantively for that person. We also make donations to charities, but does anyone do anything else when travelling (or at home for that matter)?
A few hours later, we headed out to meet Jud at The Foundation. T and Jud worked together at Sonic Boom in Toronto a few years back, so I had heard a lot about him. We had a great time over some good food and beers before heading over to see Wire play. When we arrived though, there was a sign on the door saying that the show had been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. It was a bit rough that they didn't at least have someone there to explain, rather than locking the doors, turning the lights off and a piece of paper in the window. There were many crushed Vancouverans hanging around outside, including a woman that Jud knew proclaiming that she had been looking forward to this night for over 6 months. I was disappointed too, but given that I had only known that we were going for about 2 days, I can only imagine how she (and others) felt. Still, we had fun drowning our sorrows at a crepe restaurant that serves cheap pitchers of beer.
The following day, T and I decided to take a day trip up to Whistler. It was a cold, rainy, foggy day, which seemed perfect for the drive up there. The scenery was quite spectacular, so I'll let the pictures do the talking:
We didn't get back to Vancouver until about 9 pm, so we headed over to Naam, a vegetarian restaurant in the Kitsilano district. The queue was out the door when we arrived, and we were so hungry and tired that we thought it would be quicker to wait than to find somewhere else. Unfortunately this meant that when we were finally seated, we were right next door to a very loud guitarist who was providing the music for the evening. I think it was our grumpy moods, but the food was not terribly good either. Still, we weren't defeated, and resolved to return for brunch the next day to see if we could turn things round.