Saturday, April 4, 2015

Vancouver in April

Judy and I are spending the weekend in Vancouver, taking a bit of time off and just enjoying the city. We came up on Thursday morning ahead of a meeting I had here at 1:00.  We had a nice lunch at an Italian restaurant in North Van, then I met from 1 to about 2:40.  Judy read her book in the car.  Then we checked in and walkded down to the water taxi station and visited the Grandville Island Farmer's Market.  We "provisioned" a few items we were to need, and then retired to the room.

Friday I needed to stick around in the room and get some emailing done, and then a conference call until just after noon.  Judy took a walk and re-acquainted herself with Robson Street and environs.  In the afternoon we walked the area together, eventually dining in a Japanese restaurant on Burrard, just off Robson.  It was very nice.

Today, Saturday, we set off walking towards the Burrard Inlet and Canada Place.  From our room on the 29th floor of the Sheraton Wall Center we look north, and could see a pair of container cranes working at the port, and we wanted to see it a bit closer up.  When we got there we saw that actually 4 canes were working, and a ship was being "worked" for both off loading and loading.  It was a but fun to see.  My customer's bulk material export termnial was across the water on the north shore, and I pointed it out to Judy.

Then we noticed crouds of people going towards one of the large expo venues in the area.  Many of them were in costume.  It turns out that today is part of something called Fan Expo Vancouver, where people dress up as their favorite movie characters and hang out together.  We saw people dressed as Star Wars characters, Hunger Games, Disney, Spider Man, Thor, Pricesses, Anime characters, Marvel comics characters, and all sorts of fun.  Many had homemade costumes, and some look purchased, but they all looked like they were there for the experience.  Special appearances by the likes of Brent Spiner (Commander Data, Star Trek), William Shatner, and many others.  The website says that as many as 125,000 people attend this craziness.

The weather was a bit cool, so Judy and I found a Starbucks across the street and just sat and watched the waves of people file in, commenting on the costumes and identifying those we could see.  Interestingly we didn't see many that we would say were from Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter.

There were lots of people weating what I would call Pikachu outfits, with white hats with little ear things on top and bluish t-shirts.  One of the key special guests was the creator of this mainstay of the Japanese anime genre, so I guess it makes sense.

We then wandered around some more, eventually lunching at a Pho restaurant, and making our way back to the room.  I can't get the NCAA basketball game on the TV here, and my iPad app won't play it either.  Damn.  The first game is over with Duke winning, and now Wisconsin plays Kentucky.  I can follow it fairly closely with the app, but I can't watch it.  Shit.

We have wine and cheese to have in the room tonight, along with some selected goodies.  Tomorrow we will check out and head back home.  It has been a relaxing weekend, and won't even count against my vacation time since I had to do so much work while I was here.

Joe and Nancy, there is another of these Fan Fest events the weekend that we will be travelling to Whistler in September.  Who will you dress up as???


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