Now where was I? After the conference ended on Sunday, jmb and her lovely husband picked me up at the hotel and took me ‘over the bridge’ to Vancouver, where even shrouded in mist and dark clouds it was lovely. We went to Granville Island which is so much like the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco it was eerie – right down to the weather. Jmb (as you would expect) is a tourist’s guide extraordinaire, down to describing the mountains that you can’t see through the mist, “Now normally you can see the mountains right over there (include expansive hand gestures).” After a tour through the fabulous market, which was wreathed, in the rich reds, golds, purples, and intense orange colors of fall with fruit, vegetables, and flower;, we walked outside to the edge of False Creek, which runs between Granville Island and the silver glittering glass towers of Vancouver proper. Jmb was so desperate to show Vancouver in its best light she suggested, “How about a ride in one of the water taxis?” Remember – winds, rain, and mist in some serious chilly, when her brilliant husband quietly suggested, “Looks like time for a cup of tea.”
Sitting in a lovely glass enclosure that overlooks the water and shows off the sparkle of Vancouver proper we had tea and scones because according to Mr. jmb, “Fruit (my lunch) does not count as lunch.” Part of my welcome to Surrey consisted of the news item of the day, which was the discovery of six (yes SIX) dead bodies in an apartment. And just to really make me feel all warm and fuzzy the night before I was to leave Canada – by air – there was an airplane that came off the Vancouver runway into a building.
We visited an art gallery that showcases Inuit art; the gallery was closed but I assure you that jmb did not let that stop her. After a succulent dinner of “hot vichyssoise” (jmb’s description of the “a steaming potato soup with leeks”), salmon, and wine I was drooping at the edges but so grateful for the opportunity to have an afternoon and evening with Mr. and Mrs. Jmb.
Canada was not done with me yet, both in a good and a bad way. Checking out of the hotel (Sheraton Guilford Hotel) the next morning I mentioned that one of my orders from room service had exceeded their “thirty minutes or you get it free” rule of the hotel. The young woman at the desk did not breathe again before saying; “I’ll take that right off your bill.” I really liked that hotel, and they knew how to make porridge. The taxi arrived to take me to the airport, not a gnome this time but another native of India; one who was having some serious lower intestinal tract disturbances resulting in the sneaky expelling of a series of stinky flatus that filled the back seat with the odor of vile pustulant rot. In his defense, he did at one point roll down his window trying to flush out the smell - causing a small gale through the back seat.
The flight from Vancouver to Salt Lake went without a hitch if you don’t count the fact we left almost an hour late and I had only 56 minutes scheduled to make my connection. I arrived at the line, out of breath, trailing my scarf, but before the gate closed. A four-hour flight – they offered us crackers. I love Royal Air Maroc… I wish it had flights inside the U.S.
Most memorable moment during the flight? This was when the pilot announced over the PA system that we were entering an area of very bad turbulence and he was turning on the seat belt sign: seconds later the flight attendant appears in the aisle to ask the chap sitting across the aisle, “Hot coffee sir?” You do the math…
I know, I know I am behind. I have about six days of stuff to tell you, and I have not forgotten jmb that I still owe you Part IV of “the dinner on the beach”, but we are running into a thousand words here and I don’t have an Internet connection tonight! Yikes! I am on it. Keep your computer tuned to this channel for updates. Meanwhile I am now safely, if tiredly, in MA, usa after the dental appointment this morning. Oh yes, a story there as well. I do not understand how some people have a problem with something to write about! Please give me another day to answer comments and come to visit. I should be back online tomorrow.