Out and About in Vancouver

It has been a while since we’ve spent any time in Vancouver. The last time we were here we had the trailer and found it difficult to make our way around, so chose to just pass through. This time we had a list of places that we wanted to visit.

We started with a ferry trip to Bowen Island. The tutor for the Ecole Chocolat course I took back in 2006 has a shop there, and the last time we visited she was away. There weren’t too many walk-on passengers on the ferry, but we ended up chatting with a retired prof from Carleton (Architecture and Industrial Design, which like Jeffrey’s program are ones that are in the School of Engineering but aren’t engineering) who had done his graduate work at Waterloo, and spend a number of years in China doing research. It gave us lots of things in common to talk about as we made our way from Horseshoe Bay to the Island. He and a number of retired profs from Simon Fraser were going over to hike. They invited us to join them, but we had chocolate on our minds!


After a 30 minute sail we arrived. A long line of cars was waiting to board the ferry back to the mainland as we walked up the steep incline to Artisan Square where Joanne has her shop, Cocoa West Chocolatier. We remembered that there was a shortcut up a back trail to the square and decided to take that. As we got about halfway up we noticed a deer munching on some tender shoots in someone’s back garden. Then as we rounded the municipal building we came eye-to-eye with another deer. After a bit of a stare-down and some loud shuffling our our feet on the gravel path, it slowly moved off the path and let us pass.


We each picked out a few items and sampled them on the little patio outside the shop (more about the chocolate in another post Chocolate Tasting – Vancouver – Cocoa West Chocolatier). A ginger cat decided that we looked like we might share what we had, so made herself at home on our table. Brad overheard someone say “Oh, it looks like the cat has found some new victims!” We didn’t share our chocolate, but she stayed with us until we went back in to buy a box of treats to take with us.


We clamoured back down the hill and arrived at the dock just as the next ferry was pulling in. It started to spit rain a little bit as we boarded, but not enough to keep us off the upper deck as we sailed out.


Back on the mainland we decided to drive along Marine Drive to see if we could find a local place to get a good lunch. We stopped in the Dundarave area and wandered up and back the short downtown until we found the Dundarave BakeHouse. We had a wonderful lunch … sandwiches with tender meat piled high on freshly baked multigrain bread. Turns out the bakery is one of the favourites of the actors (like Cobie Smulders) who find themselves in Vancouver for movie shoots. The servings were so big, we each ended up taking half of our meal home for supper.

From there we continued along the water until we got to the Lions Gate Bridge where we joined the backup of cars waiting to cross into downtown Vancouver. It wasn’t too long until we were driving along the beach strip toward UBC. We stopped a couple of times, first to wander down to the water, and later at our favourite spot to watch small tugboats towing logs into booms to ship down river.

From there we headed to our home away from home for the next few days and waited for the arrival of Brad’s sister and her husband.



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