May 15th, 2005

I just went onto Starbucks’ website and found out how many there were from the hotel I am staying in. There are 131 Starbucks within a 20 mile radius of my hotel, that is totally insane. I am making my own little collection of starbucks photos that I will put up here at some time in the near future with a bit of luck.

I have not really had the opportunity to plug the laptop into the internet so that is the reason for a lack of updates apart from non-Canada related stuff. Well a lot has been happening, I’ve changed backpacker hostels and hotels almost everyday (just to keep things interesting), now I am in a hotel with internet access and a beautiful view out the window of Vancouver.

I went out with Keri to Kitsilano and we looked out at downtown from the beach there but for some reason decided not to bring my camera and as so don’t have a photograph of the beautiful view that you could see from there. We then had dinner at some place in Kits and then met her friends in the park – I felt like I was really getting into the Canadian life, rather than being a tourist and hanging out with other backpackers I am down with the true Canadian lifestyle, which rules (thanks Gurjinator for putting me in touch with the Vancouver scene). We then went up the Grouse Mountain as far as you could go at night, there was a great view back down into Van from here as well (where is the camera when you need it).

I went up the sky view building in downtown Vancouver and took a few pictures and then used the sticher tool to put them all together –

I then had a look at the famous steam clock in Gastown (which was located right next to one of those 131 Starbucks) –

I had a look around the Vancouver Art Gallery here because I thought they had some Picasso but apparently that does not arrive until September, so I will not be seeing that.

I then walked all the way over to Kitsilano where there’s a few surf shops, including one called Blue Crush which is obviously named after the film because most of the stuff in it was for girls –

There were a couple of surf shops but mostly catering for ski and snow as that is more popular here. I won’t be going to the ski resorts, the ski schools are closed and I don’t fancy trailing all the way to the top of a mountain with a snowboard that I don’t know how to use. That is surely going to result in injury…the good news is I’ve managed to book a room in a hostel in Tofino for Tuesday to Friday which is where I’ll be going surfing on Long Beach!! Providings its not 3x overhead and 2 degress centigrade! It is going to rule!!!

Anyway, back to Vancouver. I walked back from Kits over the Burrard Bridge and took a lovely Kenco Coffee style pictures of the mountains with a crow flying into the shot (that looks like I painted in with paint.exe) –

That night I went out with April and Keri to Yale Town which reminded me a lot of Shad Thames in London. We went to a Thai Place and had lettuce wrap, shrimp roles and Yellow Thai Curry which was beautiful, afterwards we went to a trendy bar in Yale Town where we met some of April’s friends, one of them was a spitting image of a younger Jimmy Chamberlin – again another night without the camera so no proof of that!

Here is a pictue of Yale Town in the day time –

The next day I caught the Sky Train to King George to meet Keri for a day out of Vancouver (about time, I think I know Downtown Vancouver better than the locals). She picked me up in the coolest car to cruise around in (although later we had to swap it for a not so cool Honda Accord) –

I have heard so many stories about Coney Baloney, the cat that I had to take some photos of it. Here is Coney Baloney in the garden with (his/her) special leash (because (he/she) is an indoor cat) –

We walked to the local town which is called Cloverdale, Keri dropped the bomb on the way there by telling me it was the town out of Smallville (the series about superman’s younger years). I really liked watching Smallville on E4 when I was in London, so this was the coolest thing ever!!! Here I am in Cloverdale/Smallville as happy as can be –

In the background of that shot you can see The Talon which is the Cinema that Lana Lang (Kritsin Kreuk) runs in Smallville. They were playing Sin City later that night and we decided to go!!! The main reason for walking into Cloverdale wasn’t because it was the home of Smallville but to visit Starbucks of course!!! Cloverdale is rodeo town, my parents have actually been to a rodeo here! Here is Keri outside of Starbucks in true rodeo cowgirl fashion –

After that we went to a few malls and then drove to the USA border which was pretty funny, I didn’t have my passport so we didn’t cross (I don’t want to go to the land of the unfree anyway) –

There is a club on the Canadian side just past the checkpoint which all the American kids who are 19-20 come to so they can drink as the drinking age is younger in Canada than USA. We then went to Whiterock and had ice cream. I had chocolate and peanut butter which was probably the most fattening ice cream in the world.

Here is a picture of a Mountain Range from the beach in Whiterock –

About half a k from the end of the pier in Whiterock and you are in the United States of America..crazy stuff. So afterwards we went back to The Clova (The Tallon in Smallville) to see Sin City, the film was pretty crazy, it is cartoon in style but with some pretty graphic killing scenes. It was funny because the people in the cinema all looked a little bit strange and in Smallville (the series) some of the people in the town have weird things wrong with them because of the kryptonite that fell from Supermans space ship as it crash landed over the town. Looking around the room it seemed that that the reality of Cloverdale and Smallville weren’t too far apart. Here I am inside ‘The Tallon’, again, as happy as can be –


In The Talon, no sign of Lana Lang though

That is it for now, preparing for a wave off on Vancouver Island…..