Sunday, May 12, 2013

Luxurious Vancouver Interlude: Birthday Celebration

We hadn't see George and Daphne for several years. For Richard's birthday celebration we decided at the last minute to go to Vancouver and visit them. We lucked out and happened upon the most glorious three days of weather - bright sunshine, 75 - 80 afternoon temperatures and at the precise moment when the rhododendrons and tulips were at their peak.
Birthday boy

The Wedgewood Hotel and spa was perfect. Excellent service, a comfortable suite, delicious continental breakfast served every morning.


Wedgewood: Breakfast room

 George and Daphne have a beautiful condominium home looking out on False Creek and within walking distance of everything: Stanley Park, galleries, shopping and theaters. Lucky dogs, they shop at the wonderful Granville market.

Park outside George and Daphne's home

G and D building
We took the ferry over there and George selected some lovely fresh oysters from the "Lobster Man". He shucked them himself on his patio. I watched in awe and trepidation remembering my bagel incident when I lost a bit of finger.....

Waiting for the Granville Island ferry: George with bag o'oysters

Eating freshly shucked oysters 


                                                                                  The flowers were glorious all over the city.          

Tulips everywhere    


We took a long walk through the VanDusen gardens which were glorious in the sunshine and in full bloom. The below unimaginative picture of George and Richard was taken to show the size and splendor of the rhododendron. There's a "rhododendron walk" in the garden, a path through 2 story high bushes, that was worth the trip to Vancouver. Richard and I went into the maze below and fortunately George, standing on the mound, was able to see Richards hat as we stumbled and groped our way around in it. He guided us out. I guess we're too old for mazes now.

Maze VanDusen park

George and Richard enjoyed remembering times past together while riding the cable car up to the Observatory restaurant:

We ate well....note the fiddle head ferns on the plate.

Halibut at the Observatory - top of Grouse Mountain

Observatory: Quince and pistachio semi-freddo

Observatory: Sour Cherry Brulee with rhubarb chutney, kirsch ice cream, nougat
And more eating.....

C restaurant on False Creek

C restaurant: Fresh pea soup, smoked salmon, creme fraiche
C restaurant: rhubarb soda, candied rhubarb, rhubarb tart

George lives within a medium walk of the Orpheum theatre where we went to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Masterworks performance on Richard's birthday and heard the Strauss work, The Merry Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel. A tone poem, it's a light hearted fun piece, performed with a full orchestra and includes the triangle: one ding, and the seldom heard ratchet, not one but two  percussionists on the ratchet. Even the percussionists were almost giggling when they stood up and whirled those things. I looked it up as I knew little of it - I guess because the example given in Wikipedia is for the very piece we heard! No wonder the percussionists were having fun. That was probably the one and only time during their musical careers that they'll get the chance to whirl one.

From Wikipedia: It is used in, for example, Richard Strauss's piece Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder. In the 18th and 19th centuries, British policemen used a similar device called a policeman's rattle to summon assistance. They also used the device during the Second World War, to warn of the presence of poison gas.

Daphne was away at a seminar for a couple of weeks but we did get a chance to see some of her lovely art quilts. One of her works in progress:
Daphne art quilt
And another beautiful quilt

1 comment:

  1. So much to comment on. It looks like a great trip. The food looks wonderful and ohhhh those flowers. I'm going to try painting that last flower photo. So interesting about the music and the ratchets. I want one! The quilts are beautiful. Vancouver looks great especially where your friend lives. I'm glad to see these pictures because we never shut up long enough to hear about your trip at lunch on Friday.