Blowing Off Steam In Vancouver

By Roberta Lasky

Our three-hour Amtrak Train ride from Seattle to Vancouver afforded us the opportunity to see the beautiful landscape along the way.

After checking into the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, we took a short walk over to Cactus Club Café on Davie Street in the Yaletown section of this charming city.  We had lunch al fresco on the outdoor terrace.

After a long day of sightseeing, we took a dip in our hotel’s pool. I chose this hotel in part because they had an indoor pool, which is always a terrific amenity in my opinion.





During dinner at Coast, we indulged in divine West Coast Oysters including Kusshi, Fat Bastard and Kumamoto varietals as well as a large sushi platter, which satisfied our seafood cravings. 


On our second day in Vancouver, we rented bicycles from Bayshore Bikes and rode around the 7 mile (11 km) Seawall in Stanley Park. This beautiful 400-hectare park is filled with monuments and landmarks, as well as the amazing display of First Nations totem poles at Brockton Point.

After our bike ride, we ventured into Poké Time (on Robson Street) for their signature bowls and burritos.  Poké shops are all the rage in Vancouver right now.

As we were souvenir shopping in the Gastown district, we noticed the famous Steam Clock located on Water Street. This two-ton clock starts it show of whistle blowing & steam-shooting every 15 minutes (maybe this is where the term “letting off some steam” is derived from).  A loud toot can be heard every hour on the hour as well.

We had dinner at Hawkworth (Five-time winner of Best Upscale Restaurant in Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Awards.) This restaurant is elegant and sublimely sophisticated with a relaxed atmosphere and outstanding service. We thoroughly enjoyed our The Dictator and Poperin Pear apertifs. For appetizers and entrees we had beet salad and halibut and tuna. We heard that the Fairmont Hotel had a wonderful lobby bar so we strolled our way over to The Lobby Lounge for after-dinner drinks and listened to the guitarist singing popular songs. We were in awe of the Fazioli piano as well as the spectacular 150’-long sculpture made by local origami master, Joseph Wu, hanging above our heads.

Have you ever wanted to walk across a suspension bridge? Well, here’s your chance to experience walking across one side of a river to the other. We felt like real-life weebels when the 450 foot long wire-cable footbridge wobbled. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is also 230 feet above the river. We walked around the park through the Treetops Adventure, tall Douglas-firs (evergreens) and Cliffwalk feeling like birds high up on their perches. This place takes being close to the clouds to a whole new level.

For our next adventure, we walked a mile down the road to the Capilano River Hatchery and learned about the life cycle of Coho and Steelhead Salmon.

We decided to take the six-minute ferry across to Granville Island. We perused the town which is filled with artisan shops, art galleries and a huge food market.  Here you can sample anything from pot pies, to Vietnamese summer rolls to fruit from around the world to huge lollipops and delicious baked goods/donuts.

We made a pit stop at Off The Tracks Espresso Bar & Bistro for a mid-afternoon caffeine refueling to perk us up for the rest of the evening.

We had time to kill before our dinner reservation, so we popped into Granville Island Brewery for a quick pre-dinner flight of beer.  Later, we sat in the upstairs dining room at the ever-popular The Sandbar for dinner.

We had two hours before we had to check-out of the hotel and pick-up our car from the rental agency (for the drive to Whistler), so we stopped into Pendulum Gallery (inside of the HSBC bank) to view the fantastic “Rockers” photography exhibit by photographer Bob Gruen.  And now we are off to Whistler……..



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