|itinerary < 29 May Oakland, SFO 31 May Vancouver >
Vancouver B.C. 30 May 2023
A Difficult Travel Day
Here's the short take: we survived.
Easy van ride to the International Terminal at SFO, then a walk to Untied, where we worked our way through a cattle call to a dour agent who checked us in with as few words as possible.
Then to TSA, the most dehumanizing, disorienting, unpleasant process devised by man. Everything out of your pockets (I lost my pet pen), hundreds of impatient, pissed off people and dozens of hassled disgruntled agents. (Can't take pictures.) Got run over by an impatient Japanese 'lady' whose outfit I had admired. Thoroughly yucky experience not ever to be duplicated.
Lunch from a place called Napa Farms that served all its over-priced but fresh and thoughtfully prepared food items in little plastic coffins. When we were finished, we were left with an admirable pile of trash.
The outstanding dish was a vegan Caesar Salad with something called 'seed parmesan.'
We were still early, but our gate was open and already pretty well populated.
Ever notice how the folks getting on a plane to X have X characteristics? Well, Vancouver is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Americas, and so were the folks waiting for the plane. We had an hour and a half to wait, and the people watching was great.
Lots of dehumanizing / employee eliminating tech 'for your security' and then, on time to the minute, we were pushing back. My general impression at this point is that if authority says the magic word 'security' we uhmurrcuns will put up with anything.
But finally we were on our way :
This is a south-to-north flight (of course) and so it reads backwards. Bear with me. (Bears with me comes later.)
On the way up: the east bay and beyond. Clear skies.
And then we flew right up the spine of the Cascades. I'm guessing: Lassen
Michael glued to the airplane window
Bonneville Dam (lower center) and the Columbia
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Adams? (in cloud)
And then we were on final approach to Vancouver International, hereinafter referred to as YVR.
Birch Bay and Blaine, Washington (the top of the US)
The Fraser at Westminster
Log rafts on the Fraser
About here's where Rochelle said, 'I didn't think Vancouver was this big.' Well, it wasn't, but it is now. Our first serious visit to Vancouver was for the World's Fair in 1986.
a bit of First Nations art above the Immigration Hall
And then we touched down at YVR, wrestled our carry-ons through Immigration – lots of shiny new technology, and nice multi-racial Canadian agents, and a relatively quick and humane process . . . and then the puzzle: how to get across Vancouver at rush hour to our digs clear up near Denham and Stanley Park. “You can take a train, walk 9 minutes, take another bus, walk 5 minutes. Or you can take a taxi.” Rochelle discovered that her Tracfone no longer works in BC – we're pretty sure it did last time we were here (2019).
A lovely Sikh taxista drove us across town, never losing his cool, and we worked our way (after a small meltdown on the hotel's front porch) through the entry to this completely unstaffed hotel (the Sonder) and into our lovely, simple room, where we enjoyed the nervous breakdown we had worked so hard for and so richly deserved. And a bath.
Then a short walk to Beeryani – compound of Beer and Biryani; I skipped the beer, because the Mango Lahsi was fabulous. Had their special Lamb Biryani, but I was so excited to eat it I didn't get a good picture. But here are the Papadums, Tamarind chutney, and Indian pickles. After, we had gelato.
After a difficult day, we're doing okay. Nothing doing tomorrow except maybe Poutine.
|updated 16 June 2023 Caspar Time
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