Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lawn Bowling and Currywurst

I have owned and operated 4 bed and breakfasts.  Each one had it's own theme, one was about world travel and exotic places, the other was olde worlde (picked that term up in England many years ago), the West End Guest House is about the Edwards family and early Vancouver.  Somewhere along the way I picked up a set of bowls - not cereal bowls but bowling bowls - yup that's what they are called.  Bowls not Balls.  Anyway, today was the first time I've ever Lawn Bowled...I didn't think to bring my bowls, so I used the bowls at the Granville Lawn Club on Fir and 15th Avenue.  I've known it for years but it took my SSAG group to properly introduce me.  We were met by Shirley a retired insurance broker - 40 years!  Makes my 23 years with the West End Guest House seem a little insignificant.  She went over the basics of the game and then introduced us to Pat who tutored us further, coached us further and applauded our efforts and improvements.  It was quite fun, I would definitely do it again and I know their members range from young to old so it isn't a game for old codgers like so many think.

It was a hot afternoon and the beer they had available went down well.  Only one beer and then back to two more Ends - it didn't necessarily improve things but we went from being behind at 5 to 7 to winning at 8 to 7.  Yay PECs.  Too Bad RRRs.  It is an inexpensive way to spend sometime with friends or colleagues - I noticed all the businesses that have their own tournaments.  I'm sure it would be good for morale.

What is also good for morale is good EATS.  After the Lawn Bowling we were pretty hungry but fortunately our SSAG captain arranged for us to go to Bestie in Chinatown.  Last October we were in Berlin on a tour being told at every turn about the Currywurst which Berlin is known for.  That was an expensive trip....to get all the way to Berlin but if you are in Vancouver and want to experience great - yummy - delish Berlin current cuisine go to Bestie at 105 W Pender Street.  My duck sausage with red cabbage pickle, potato and fennel salad for $12 was excellent.  I was driving so I had a lemonade which went down well since we were still pretty warm from having been outside in the sun all afternoon.  I finished off with a Gingerbread Cookie!  The two owners, Clinton and Dane have only been open a few months but are definitely a hit on the culinary scene.  They are open every day but Sunday and open for lunch, afternoon, dinner, afternoon dinner till 10 and 12 on weekends.  They even convert the table we were sitting at to a take out window!  That is clever.  I wonder how I could do something like that at the Guest House?  Probably not but that's okay.

The day was good all around AND on the way up the street in downtown Chinatown I found some bamboo blinds I have been looking for.  ACE!

Our group on the steps, just getting ready to have some fun....despite our talent!

It is a bit tricky....and we hadn't even started.

Bestie - 105 West Pender....tres cool chairs

Inside Bestie with Clinton in the stripped shirt.

Dane with my Duck Sausage...pretty yummy...I didn't have a thing to say till I was finished licking the plate!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yaletown Tour

 I am a supporter of Heritage Vancouver!  There, I've said it...I've come out of the closet.  Heritage Vancouver is actually an old pal of mine, we once almost got me involved in a heritage house in Mole Hill - that's part of the West End, a site saved by resident activists.  If it had taken I would be operating a B&B Museum and Tea Room!  Wouldn't that be fun?

I was invited by my friend Arlene - I call her Arlenela and she calls me Evanala, which pretty much means we are special people.  And you'd have to be special to be invited to a walking tour of Yaletown.  The tour started out in the old Round House, part of the Canadian Pacific Railyards in Yaletown, named after Yale, British Columbia - you know there is more to tell, but I'm not going to.  If you are interested contact Heritage Vancouver www.heritagevancouver.org/‎, they will have all the answers.  The Round House was where the locomotives were repaired - look for the photo of the three garage doors, the locomotives would be driven onto a piece of railway that would spin around and then the loco. would be off loaded and driven into the garage - repaired and then back to work.

Yaletown is a busy section of Vancouver and I didn't realize how much planning went into it.  I just thought it grew organically from warehouse and streets with rail lines to a community of over 10,000 people.  When I was a teenager my Mother used to drive through this area as a short cut to get to our apartment on Beach Avenue.  I remember a couple of saw mills, bumpy roads, closed roads and fierce looking workers not appreciating the invasion of the lime green Toyota Corolla stationwagen - with a hatch back!  Then a decade and a half later there were some clubs down in this area and then a few years later than that we had Expo 86 and the whole area seemed to come alive but as soon as it did it died again and was kind of sad place for about 8 or 10 years and then in the early 1990s the community we know as Yaletown popped up.

If you are interested in some pretty good eats like Cioppinos - famous Italian Seafood, or BlueWater Cafe, Minami - according to Arlene, the best Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, Opus Bar - stylin' drinks, Rodney's Oyster Bar - fun and noisy and fun....did I mention that?, Yaletown Brewing Company - we make beer in Vancouver!  Oh, there are more and more.  And there is nice shopping - check out www.yaletowninfo.com for lots more information - anything from clothes to Minis.

The tour was about 90 long and was $12.  They do tours of the West End, Gastown/Japan Town and various other places but mainly Heritage Vancouver is the force behind preserving the earlier years of Vancouver.  I'm proud to to be a supporter. And I'm so glad Arlene asked me out!

This is a safe in an old warehouse building now used for offices.

These groovy houses would have been built after the great fire in 1886 and before my house was built in 1906. Very Victorian wouldn't you say?

Not the best photo of either the boxy building below which has been around for 100 years or the highrise which is considerably newer, but this marks the Western border of Yaletown. The street is Hamilton.

Stopped by Chintz & Co to look at some fabric for a new room I am going to do in the fall. And there was a stack of cook books by Sylvia Main, the host and chef at Fairholme Manor in Victoria...planning a trip to Victoria and want great lodgings and perfection on a plate...check out www.fairholmemanor.com/