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An Unexpected Tour Guide

Reluctantly, I left the aquarium and made my way to the nearby bus stop. Walking up, I saw no signs, so I asked the young man standing there if he knew when the next bus would arrive. Immediately he removed his phone from his pocket, cheerfully telling me about a great app I could install on mine to give me the bus schedule. Explaining to him that I was a tourist for only two days, would he be so kind as to share what his app told him? At that moment, never for a minute, did I expect the two of us would spend the next three or so hours together, all while he was enthusiastically pointing out sights along the way to Granville Island.

Who, pray tell is this young man of whom I speak? Well, in our time together I learned quite a bit about him, and how it was that he had three hours to spend with a stranger. His name is Quentin, and before moving to Vancouver a year ago, he'd spent the last seven years as a diving instructor on a 200 foot yacht. Yep, you read that right, 200 feet! I don't know how much I should reveal, but I did learn that the crew, including his now girlfriend, (former chef on the boat), and all the others needed to maintain a vessel of that size, moved the boat around the world to the greatest diving places, including the Galapagos, French Polynesia, the Adriatic Coast, and of course, all of the Caribbean. Once moored, the owner would fly in with his family to dive. If you're thinking you might just want to rent the boat for a week, be prepared to cough up $350,000 for the privilege. Out of your price range? Me too!

While waiting for his work permit, he volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium, cleaning the pools for the seals and porpoise! As well, another day of the week he teaches children about sea life. So, from Stanley Park we took the bus, getting off somewhere I've forgotten, and he showed me around. I told him I write a blog, and had to have photographic proof of his kindness.
The bag you see on the ground is his dive equipment that he carted around like nothing! Anyway, he showed me some sights I'm certain I would never have seen, including the sculpture left in place that held the Olympic flame!
It was just lovely. This area is adjacent to their convention center, built for the Olympics as the broadcast center. The guard at the door nearly stopped him from showing me this gorgeous sight hanging from the ceiling.
There are a lot of ways people get around in Vancouver including sea planes parked adjacent to the center.
So, we are walking to the next bus stop and he asks if I eat ice cream. Sure, I say. Well, you can't come to Vancouver without eating the best in the city! So, we do just that. Salted Caramel if you're wondering.
A wall full of accolades that's for sure.
I did my best to purchase my own, but he was not to be dissuaded. Incredible, right? I seriously could not make this stuff up.

One thing about being a photographer is that generally it is best to be alone on walks. Or that's how I feel about it. I hate having to ask people to stop while I examine something, or want to run across the street for a better vantage point. As such, I would have liked to get a better shot of the Marine Building, now owned by the Guinness family, but it was not to be.
According to the link, it was once known for being the tallest building in the British Empire. Back on the bus again, it was about a twenty minute ride to Granville Island where Quentin was to pick up his car from the place his girlfriend works, teaching pastry at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.
If you can imagine he asked if I might wait a few minutes while he put that heavy bag in the car! Duh! I can do that.

The entrance looks like this, with a poster below that might bring a chuckle to a few of you.
Vancouver is known as a place with a lively arts scene, and loads of films are shot there. In fact, while we were at the condo, we could not use the roof deck, or lounge, because they were shooting scenes for a show called Continuum. As everyone knows I'm a big fan of street art, and love finding it wherever I go. Unfortunately, the powers that be in Vancouver are not fans, however, after scouring the internet I did find one thing that looked really cool. Well, Quentin took me right to it on Granville Island, and it looked just as great in person. Well, better really. Please note the concrete truck painted like a corn cob.
I was unable to get a good shot of another truck painted like a Converse tennis shoe! If you think I'm an enthusiastic person, Quentin puts me to shame. Everything is beautiful, including the labels on the gin and vodka bottles at the local distillery. Of course, before the diving gig, he was in marketing, so he has a special affinity for labels. I thought of my son Matt when I saw this place.
Speaking of Matt, Quentin is a year younger than Matt, and I told him to be sure and tell his Mom how kind he was to me. Eventually he looked at his watch, and said he would take his leave; he had to meet up with a fellow volunteer who worked inside the market.
Apparently they meet once a month to clean up the shoreline, under water no less. They are quite serious about recycling in Vancouver--note the three bins. Let's look around the area, shall we? Inside there are vendors of food of all types.
By now it was nearly 3; starving, I bought a little pasta salad at a place that also had a beautiful olive display.
Because of the time. and I was unsure when Bruce would be done. I did not spend as much time inside as I might have liked, but I did look around more outside. There are great views from every angle.
Because of the lovely weather people were outside basking in the sun.
I thought to myself, the buildings look as if they could be in Miami Beach.
Another time, that is if I go back, I would most definitely take advantage of the ferries! And there is what is called the Aquabus.
The bridge is the very one we drove over via bus.  Again, because my time was limited, my exposure to the many art galleries was, of necessity, from the street.
Making my way back to the condo, following my bus ride, I loved seeing all the area has to offer. I don't need to tell you how seeing this kind of stuff excites me!
Although I did not get to try it, Meat & Bread is highly regarded.
Here's a view of the condo building that I'm including,
the one shaped like a V. By this time, Bruce was still at work, and I was hankering for a glass of wine. Although there is a grocery store on the ground floor, they do not sell any alcohol. I opted to go to the bar located at the point of the V. While resting, I chatted with two young men sitting adjacent to me. When I told them I was from Florida, one of them asked me if I had ever been to the Keys. Why, yes I have. Turns out, he has been watching the great Netflix series, (we finished it last night), Bloodline, set in Islamorada. Although there is murder and mayhem, the scenery is gorgeous. He's now dying to go there himself!

Finally, Mr. Peck called it a day and we set off to the Earls location in Yaletown. We enjoyed a lovely meal there, and the walk, although about ten blocks, was good, with lovely sights to behold.
I found this article on the web about how Earls develops their menu, and the same attention to detail exists in the building department, that's for sure! In fact, Bruce was in Vancouver to review many plans and details for the one he will build in Orlando, beginning in September.

One thing I discovered is that it is great walking home after dinner; a good way to rid oneself of that over-full feeling! It was a beautiful night, and the building looked magical.
Are you worn out yet? I sure was! Day one in the books. What did I do on Thursday? Coming soon.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour made even better because of the kindness of strangers.

Gail

p.s. I was encouraged by several to put as many photos as I want, so I did!
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