Since we last spoke, I spent five hours wandering around downtown in the rain with the Offspring Formerly Known as Resident, getting seizures from the excesses in Pacific Centre mall, learning how to do the umbrella-passers' greeting on the rain-soaked streets (one up/one down), getting shushed by book browsers in Chapters.
At least one of us was thoroughly chilled, weary and starving by the time we met Allison, Mel and Matthew in front of the pub on Granville and Robson, but a steaming bowl of Irish stew and a refreshing ale soon made that grumpy shopper fit company once again, and the rest of the night was golden. It seemed a little surreal to be sharing food and drink and entertainment with not one, not two, but three fabulous blog friends. It sure felt right.
The Commodore Ballroom is a a gorgeous venue, boasting elegant woodwork, a sweeping staircase, killer arch windows overlooking downtown Vancouver, with booth and tables and three bars. We managed to grab a table on the second level, nicely cozy to the stage with a perfectly unobstructed view.
Details of the Billy Bragg concert itself deserve more space than I can afford here, and will be forthcoming in the next couple of days. But it was a great night, spent with great friends.
After getting to sleep at an hour when one is more likely to be getting up for a middle of the night tinkle, both the OFKAR and I found that morning arrived brutally early.
But there was shopping to be done. In Burnaby, nonetheless. And there was Allison's museum to be toured even further afield from the rain-soaked streets of Vancouver. Suffice it to say that we set a new gold standard for targetted shopping, amassing an unprecedented amount of wardrobery in 1.5 hours.
The Maple Ridge Community Museum was a bit of a gem, I thought. The Haney house is a donated family home, quite beautifully appointed, on a lovely little spit of land, while the main museum building itself boats the most astounding and complete miniature train display you will ever see.
And the evening spent with Al in her lovely cozy little flat, munching on hearty black bean and corn quesadillas and homemade apple crisp while gossiping about the rest of you, felt so natural and comfortable, like we do that sort of thing every weekend, that it was hard to believe that we would soon giving each other a goodbye hug, which would have to tide us over for several months.
Tomorrow will be an even earlier morning, since my angel child is taking herself to morning classes. We'll be spending the rest of the day poking around some shops and sharing a meal or two before I will reluctantly return her to the clutches of the ivory tower.
But I will return.