It’s a three-parter, guys. Watch out!
Other title I was considering: “A young woman’s strange and erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.” But that’s taken.
As you might know, my job requires me to travel around Canada in the fall and spring. It’s all very exotic and I’m as classy and exuberant as Julia Roberts the entire time. In the spring, it’s a two-week stint to select Canadian cities, and this year they were Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg–the first week in Vancouver and the second week split between Calgary and Winnipeg.
Sidenote: I hope when I talk about the travelling I do I don’t come off as gloaty or privileged. I really count myself lucky because I wouldn’t be able to do this much travel if my work wasn’t paying for it (unless I had a sugar daddy. Which, if you know the title of my blog, you know I don’t have). I’m by no means a high roller, or a big shooter. In fact, to paraphrase something Mindy Kaling mentioned in her book, it’s usually the case that the people who are “on the road” are the ones the company doesn’t want at the home base, where things really matter. She was talking about “Hollywood execs” who would scout at comedy shows in other cities, but still, it could easily apply in this scenario. Just know that I’m not a big shot. I’m so fancy that I still wear dress pants that, from months of stretching them every time I put them on, have those little elastic fibers that look like hair peeking out from my crotch, for chrissakes (I finally caved and bought new ones on this trip when I realized I had forgotten to bring the special scissors I usually use to trim the fibers away, because normal scissors don’t cut it, pun intended).
This year’s trip to Vancouver was not as exciting as last year’s trip (as I shared in the vintage, Vancouver’s Just Not That Into Me. Vintage because it’s almost my one-year blogiversary!). There was no getting pulled over by police, no sketchy hotel locations, and no credit card fraud like last time, but this trip was just as memorable. Because it was last week. So I haven’t forgotten it yet.
WTF? It’s Spring?!
I left Ontario right as the temperature was plummeting after some teaser days. I call them ‘teaser days’ because these short-lived bursts of nice weather in March make us think spring is coming, when really, we have another month of winter to go. These teaser nice days always happen in March, where it suddenly goes from 0 degrees celsius to shorts-wearing weather for a couple of days, then SURPRISE! It gets cold again. Everyone is soooooooo shocked and angered (including myself), even though this happens EVERY YEAR in southwestern Ontario. Well, at least it has for the past 27 years that I’ve been around. Ok, I only started noticing it like 10 years ago because at the university, it’s when the students bust out their shorts for the first time since winter, and then look like idiots the next day because they’re still wearing shorts even though it’s snowing (check the weather before you leave your dorm room, brainiacs!). It’s the only reason I watch The Weather Network every morning–to be smug and appropriately dressed for the weather at all times.
So anyway, I flew to Vancouver from snowy Ontario and almost openly wept at the sight when I arrived.
Green grass! Green trees! Flowers! Holy shit! What is this place? I felt like I went through a vortex or something. This is seriously part of Canada on April 1st?
I had a grand ol’ time. When I wasn’t working, I was the typical tourist again. This time, I did a horse-drawn carriage ride around Stanley Park, checked out the panoramic views at the top of Harbour Centre, and visited Vancouver Aquarium.
I’d like to note a few interesting (well, interesting to me) things about these excursions. Before you yawn and say, “If I wanted to watch a slide show of a trip I didn’t go on, I’d visit my parents more often…” Don’t worry, it’s like four pictures. Relax, you jerk.
Horsing Around Stanley Park
I took this picture really quickly as it started raining at the beginning of the carriage ride through Stanley Park (if I took a little more time, the deteriorating gate wouldn’t be the focal point, and I’d get the horse’s whole head in the shot. Amateur hour). Neither of the horses names were Rusty, unfortunately. But, from the smell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were being fed Beef-a-reeno.
The only tourists in the carriage were a cute family from Australia, me, and a portly gentleman from Nashville dressed in an all black track suit, who kept sneaking the fact that he does a lot of video and photography into every comment he made. With a thick, Southern drawl: “As a person who does a lot of video and photography, I really appreciate the beauty of these trees.” He never disclosed his occupation. I’m going with something in porn.
Lessons in Geography
This is a view from the top of Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. It’s that building that looks like the CN Tower, or the Seattle Space Needle, or Calgary Tower, or every other tower with a round dome at the top in most major metropolitans. Geez, architects need some imagination. There were facts posted around the viewing area to explain what you are looking at. The blurb with this view said, “Often mistaken for Victoria or Seattle, the tall buildings in the distance is actually Burnaby’s business district.” Burnaby is pretty much Vancouver, a borough, basically. How freaking far do these people think they can see?!
Also, Burnaby is to the east and those cities are to the south, and not to mention ALONG THE OCEAN. Yes, I’m being a geography snob. But c’mon, Vancouver tourism! How is that a fun fact to boast?!
I wonder if to marine animals, humans are the ones in an aquarium?
Here is why this sea lion is sticking it’s tongue out at me:
I watched the sea lions for a long time at Vancouver Aquarium (a place I thought might be peaceful but was instead FULL of screaming kids–BIG MISTAKE and I’m NEVER going back, unless it’s with my own screaming kids because apparently kids dig this place). Just as I was walking away to check out the beluga whales, one of the sea lions made a hilarious, loud noise. It sounded like a huge, bellowing belch! Louder than that burping uncle of yours, seriously. People were squealing in delight because it was so surprising and strange! I thought it was hilarious and rushed back to get it on video. I pressed record on my phone and patiently waited for the sea lion to make the noise again. After a solid seven minutes of filming it swimming in circles, I gave up, stopped recording and started walking away. Sure enough, that’s when it decided to let it riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip. I rushed back and started recording again. This time for just five minutes. I wouldn’t be made a fool. But, of course, it gave me nothing. Then, when I gave up and turned off the camera, it decided to do it again just as I was walking away. That asshole was screwing with me.
While watching the beluga whales swim around, a hippy-dippy-looking mother with an annoyingly high-pitched voice started singing to her toddler. “Baaaaaby beluuuuga…Baaaaaby beluuuuga….” She looked at me and no joke, gestured for me to join in as she sang. Who does that?! Yes, like everyone else on this planet, I happen to know the words to Raffi’s biggest hit–but back off, crazy stranger lady! I smiled politely, though in my discomfort with the situation, I’m sure I actually looked like I was trying to hold in a painful shit or something. I just slowly turned on my heels and walked away. Later, I ran into the pair near the dolphins. She was saying to her baby, loudly, for everyone to hear, “…and how to do you say dolphin in Hawaiian?” Baby gurgles. “That’s right! You’re so smart!” Clap, clap, clap! You know the type. Barf.
Stay tuned for Part Two, which brings me to Calgary where I curse mother nature, have an epiphany at Forever 21, and make a fool of myself at the airport. Then, in Part Three, it’s off to Winnipeg where I unwittingly intimidate the hotel staff with my platinum status, am blown away by a futuristic Holiday Inn, and then blow away the Holiday Inn by accidentally letting a fart slip out in public on a sound-amplifying leather chair. (Hence the “plug” in the title. Because I needed one. In my butt. To stop the fart. I’m reaching.)
Who turned their head when they heard the sound? Find out next week! Same bat time! Same bat channel!