Our final full day in Vancouver started with a leisurely breakfast and a “go” time to Granville Market of 945AM, our latest morning on the trip. We had already explored the overview of Granville Market as part of our Vancouver city tour on our first full day (blog here). We already briefly walked through the market previously, but now we had several hours to enjoy it at a more leisurely pace. We sampled some chocolate and some cheeses as our appetite grew, but we of course wanted to stay hungry for dim-sum afterwards (our final chance to try it in Vancouver).
After Granville Market itself which we thoroughly enjoyed, the second best part was just browsing the art galleries and shops on the outside, as well as the thrill of finding free, open WiFi at the Cats Socialhouse (which we also thought was a cat cafe, but wasn’t – turns out there’s one in Gastown though!). I bought a pair of chic blue plaid leather gloves from a boutique, and Brendan bought some First Nation orca whale magnets. While we didn’t find any art, we would spend the afternoon in Gastown continuing the search.
The harbor was lovely as well, with great views of the city, water, architecture, and sky.
The art near the marina blended the industrial aesthetic with nautical.
We also enjoyed the marina area where there were a bunch of houseboats and a dock, with a nice view across the water.
We thought we might take the water taxi across to Vancouver downtown to make it to dim-sum even earlier, but it turns out we used all of our time just browsing and enjoying Granville Market – so, we caught the 1230PM bus back with the whole group.
They dropped us at the hotel and it was a short 15 minute walk to Kirin, the dim-sum place we chose based on a recommendation from the guide as well as one of the folks we were with that knew the city. We have a bit of a kerfuffle with our hotel concierge – who we asked to make a reservation for us at 1PM before we headed out to Granville Market. She was supposed to email us to confirm, but she never did. So before heading over there we stopped back by the concierge desk to inquire about it and she said she tried once and couldn’t get through (so basically, she forgot). We asked her to call again as we headed over. This turned out to be a good move because there was a 45 minute wait when we got there. Somehow, the clout of the hotel got us to the front of the list, so we were seated in 15 minutes. Brendan was about to pass out from low blood sugar so the early seating saved the day.
The meal itself was amazing. The highlights for us were the soup dumplings (left bottom), the pork noodle soup (in the middle), and the bao buns (to the left top).
We ordered just the right amount of food and ironically this was the cheapest and best meal we had on the trip. After dim-sum, we decided to continue exploring the city to look for some art. We headed to Gastown on the recommendation of our guide who mentioned there was a nice First Nations store near the steam clock – a place called Hill’s Native Art,
We spent the next 2 hours browsing through piles of paintings and prints until we settled on this one – an orca numbered print that was fairly unique. They packed it up very nicely for us so that we could easily take it on the plane.
I struck out looking for the elusive orca painting (not a print) by an original artist forl less than $400. I found a few I really liked and was willing to pay around $200, but unfortunately that’s what the re-seller bought it from the artist for, and they were unwilling to negotiate. We also checked a few other galleries in the immediate vicinity but those were too high-end for what I was looking for.
I still really liked what we ended up with however.
We got back to the hotel with just enough time for the gym, a shower, and some primping time to get ready for the big formal gala with the C-level Travelport executives during the evening. I decided to wear my blue sparkly gown and Brendan wore a suit to match.
We enjoyed the evening even though we weren’t prepared for the executive assembly line welcoming us to the venue, which was a historic event center called The Permanent located only a few blocks from the Rosewood. We were able to catch up with a few of Travelport leaders casually over drinks prior to dinner, and the Star Awards organizing team placed one executive per table during dinner to continue the conversation.
It was a very well-done evening with a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner being served since it was actually the Monday of Thanksgiving in Canada. We enjoyed everything except for the apple soup (which was something like warm, unsweetened applesauce). The main course was turkey with some of the fixins and was delicious. We also enjoyed dining with a few other Star Award winners that we had not had a chance to meet yet. By the end of the trip, we probably talked to everyone save 2 people.
Another fabulous evening behind, all we had to do the next day was make it back to Denver at a leisurely pace (our flight wasn’t until 3PM). We finally got some morning relaxation time while we packed.
We were sad to leave Vancouver, and our last full day at Granville Market ended the trip on a high note (although every day seemed to just get better and better!). We could have used a few more says in this magnificent city.