It has been a looooooooong 48 hours. Let’s catch up, shall we?
I didn’t have much on my to-do list for Wednesday other than buying some last-minute snacks to take on the plane, so I wandered around Vancouver for a while. I ended up going to Lighthouse Park, which I hadn’t read up on until I went, but I was so glad I went. I got to spend some time chilling out in the dead quiet, got some exercise in, and even got to take in some great views. I wish I’d known about the place sooner, but I’m glad I made my way there eventually. It was like being on my very own desert island (but in Vancouver).
When I eventually broke myself away from the quiet (I was already dreading the airport, you see), I headed back into town for lunch at Number E Food. They’re known for local sandwiches and salads with all-natural ingredients. The reviews I read online said to try either the meatball sandwich or the spicy lemon rosemary chicken sandwich, so I asked the guy making it which he’d choose. He said the chicken, so chicken it was!
It was good, but I feel like the name was a little misleading – it wasn’t spicy in the slightest. Like, I think you could feed this sandwich to a baby (maybe chew it for them first? I don’t know anything about babies) and the kid would be fine. I liked the avocado on it, though, and the house-made tuscan bread was incredible. I washed it down with watermelon agua fresca, which was also tasty and refreshing.
After lunch, I went across town to revisit the Gastown area and to snag some ice cream. I went to a place called Soft Peaks, which sells organic soft serve.
I ordered a small Original Peak, which basically tastes like frozen milk with cornflakes at the bottom… very much like Cereal Milk at Milk Bar in NYC. While I sat and ate my ice cream, volunteers were along the street setting up for the Gastown Grand Prix bike race, which was slated to start at 5:30. It was cool to see them setting everything up; the atmosphere felt like a marathon.
My last scheduled stop was to a place called Finch’s Tea & Coffee House for a pear, blue brie, prosciutto, and walnut sandwich to take on the plane with me (it was as awesome as it sounds, btw). Right next door to Finch’s was the Jimi Hendrix & Bob Marley Shrine. I had a few minutes to spare, so I walked downstairs and was met by a group of aging hippies sitting in a circle in the side room. I can only speculate what they were doing in there… but they were nice people and told me to have a look around. It was certainly an interesting place…
I couldn’t stick around for long, though; it was after 5 and I still needed to walk back to the apartment, grab a quick shower, pack, and leave by 7 to get to the airport.
The Vancouver airport was actually quite nice – the security lines were practically nonexistent (at 8pm), and there was space for me to spread out. Fellow passengers were driving me a little crazy, so I left my gate and sprawled out by myself at a nearby gate. Here’s the one bad thing I’ll say about Vancouverites – many of them are plenty nice, but the one thing I noticed while I was there that they seem to use the word “Sorry” as an excuse to do whatever the heck they want. Like, they will pre-emptively say “Sorry” right before they bodyslam you on the street. It’s like Sorry is a license to them. The first couple times people Sorried me, I smirked and chuckled to myself. “How stereotypically Canadian,” I thought. But then I paid more attention and realized that no, they aren’t sorry at all; Sorry is the Vancouverite’s way of saying get the frick out of my way.
So yeah, I went off by myself at the airport. I couldn’t handle any more Sorries; I’d reached my quota for the day.
On the way to Atlanta, I caught a pretty cool thunderstorm out the window. I took video (it’s really only interesting to me), and grabbed a pic or two. It was kind of unreal to see it right beside me instead of way above me.
We arrived at ATL a little early, but if we’d been on-time, I would’ve missed my flight. SO MANY HOOPS TO JUMP THROUGH. It was awful – I’d say it was almost as bad as my O’Hare experience in October/November of last year when my mom and I came back from Mexico and I was briefly detained. Maybe worse, actually, but that could just be because it’s fresh in my mind. I was herded through two separate customs areas, and then I had to go through security again before being allowed to go to my connecting flight to PIT. A certain security agent got very personal and grabby, even though I went through the imaging machine…. and then I encountered workers who were in charge of letting people get through, who were just plain ole standing there not letting anyone through. It was fantastic. I normally give TSA agents all the credit in the world, and I try to be extra-polite to them, but there were some very not-nice people working in the ATL airport this morning.
Anyway, I made it back to Pittsburgh and thought I was going to die on the way home because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I don’t think I’ve ever been that afraid of closing my eyes before. But I made it home, and even grabbed an hour nap in the early afternoon. Volleyball was canceled, so I’ve had a chance to unpack and get my work station set up for tomorrow morning’s email deluge.
For those of you who are good with geography, you’ll see I went from the Pacific NW to the Dirty South, and back up to the North East all in the span of a few hours. No wonder I’m so darn tired.
I’m very happy to be back in my own bed, with my own car and my own food, but boy do I wish I could travel for a living. 🙂