Forays in Vancouver Pt. 3 – Deep Cove to Home

After a deep sleep, we awoke Friday morning aware that this would be our last full day in Vancouver. After seeing pictures and hearing the stories, we wanted to head to Deep Cove where it was fabled that you could hike and sit on large rocks and overlook the harbour.

We began our last morning in Gastown by walking to the train station. Along the way, we walked on the famous brick streets and the steam clock and stopped for breakfast in the Trees Organic coffeehouse. Here, we watched Vancouver slowly wake up as we sipped on our coffee and ate our quiche. The window seat we had afforded us a look at the pedestrians that ranged from starry-eyed tourists like ourselves to young students shopping early in the morning to businesspeople walking and talking on their cellphones. We planned our route for the day, especially since today we wouldn’t have any friends to show us the way.

After getting a juice from the train station (which helped with the mild hangover), we were on our way. After transferring to a bus and riding beside Koreans who were giggly and beautiful (aren’t all Koreans?), and after a short walk, we arrived at Deep Cove. We were along a strip of restaurants and shops that reeked of being touristy, but hey, when in Rome, right? Plus, we were tourists…

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The first tourist shoppe we found was called Sunnyside and had a minimalist tea/succulent/ceramic vibe. The large windows allowed for natural light to gently filter in onto the handmade cups and mugs and quaint and simple succulents. We decided to  come back later.

The harbor itself was beautiful. The fact that we had clear, blue skies as opposed to the traditional gray and moody aesthetics that normally adorns the Vancouver heavens didn’t hurt. People played with their dogs, paddled on stand up paddleboards, took selfies, sat on benches over looking the body of water, and just enjoyed the mild weather and pleasant setting. We walked along the shore, eventually into thicker brush where we followed a trail through thicker vegetation, coming to a small inlet into the water and a mini waterfall.

 

We had lunch at a little diner, where we tried our very first Poutine! It was good, but we felt bad because after we were seated, anyone trying to enter after was turned away due to the full setting. We had heard about poutine from several reliable sources, so it seemed that if we left Vancouver without trying it, well why did we even bother coming? It is essentially French Fries with melted cheese and gravy, and it was tasty and salty and satisfying. The way someone described it was like what biscuits and gravy is to Americans – nothing particularly life changing, but something that was so unique that it just had to be tried.

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Poutine on the Ritz

We left, after picking up a small succulent we named Sherry, and got lost and ended up heading north into the neighborhoods far above Vancouver before heading south back into town.

We picked up some last minute souvenirs for people back home (postcards, maple syrup goodies, and moose paraphernalia), and spent our last night in the Clough Club and packing up our humble hostel.

We woke up pre-dawn the next day and headed home. The trip back was marked by a surprising amount of sleep and the fact that we lost Sherry at the border. We tried to smuggle her across, but the American border patrol caught us and we had to leave her in Canada. It was rough.
I have to give a shout out to my friend Dari, who not only let us stay with her the first night of our trip, but made the roughly 3 hour round trip to pick us up on our way back.

We learned a few generalizations. First of all, even though Canadians are portrayed as overly friendly, in Vancouver the general disposition would better be described as ‘business-like.’ No one was ever rude, and in fact we met some positively nice people such as the bartenders who took shots with us or the bouncer who made dining suggestions, but generally people were professional.

We learned that you never have enough time in a new place; there will always be sights that you miss out on. We learned that Vancouver is a foodie city, a reputation well deserved by very casual eaters (who also happen to be college students whose idea of gourmet is Korean ramen), that we can successfully navigate through a city completely foreign to us (with some practice), and that old and new friends are the connections that make you glad to be a human. Travelling takes time and money, but a traveler is rewarded with payments of stories and memories.  Even though the day following we also spent sleeping a sloth-like amount of hours, the trip afforded us the chance to get out of the country, gaze out the window of buses and trains, eat chicken feet for brunch, visit an art museum meant for adults and a science museum meant for kids, see a shop that specifically sold brooms of all sizes, see old friends and laugh together about the idiosyncrasies of life, get lost, eat poutine, and spend time in coffeeshops. I can’t wait until the next time I can go back.
Hey travelers, until next time, never stop adventuring.

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