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RSVP: Postscript

So, happy reunion at the finish line. Eventually, we gathered our wits sufficiently so as to get bicycles loaded on the return trucks, pick up luggage, and head over to the food trucks for more food. The falafels and fries really hit the spot, although as [personal profile] scrottie noted, nobody handed him a beer and that's a grave oversight that will never be repeated.

Then off to our AirBnB. While we worked on getting oriented so as to figure out our transit options, we found ourselves within range of a gaggle of Canadian police officers, who were all too willing to make a few suggestions on how to reach our accommodations. Note that we were still sorting out our various international options with our electronics devices, so navigation wasn't a simple matter of consulting the Oogley-Googley or other such nonsense. If I'd had a few extra wits about me, I might have spent more time on preliminary navigation matters, but no such luck.

Eventually, [personal profile] sytharin took charge of matters, and we found a subway station, got tickets, and hopped aboard. Apparently the SkyTrain is automagical - it was awesome to get to watch the tunnel out of the front of the vehicle. We switched trains, rode some more, walked a bit, and arrived at a perfectly lovely spot. After dropping luggage and bathing, [personal profile] slydevil, [personal profile] scrottie, and I worked to rectify the whole lack-of-beer situation by paying a visit to Saint Augustine's. That place was great, and all three of us tried out the delicious beer paddles so we could try as many different things as possible. So satisfying.

Things got interesting in the morning. I woke up at 6 am so I could search out some coffee for [personal profile] scrottie at the coffeeshop we'd passed, JJ Bean. While their lattes were better than slugging down some Folger's, I wasn't especially impressed with the overall 6 am culinary experience. As a result, I became keen to check out another place that [personal profile] slydevil had identified in the opposite direction, Continental Coffee. We agreed to rendezvous with my dad, L, and R at 8 am back at JJ Bean for the return trek to the buses back to Seattle.

Wires got crossed in there, somewhere, because when S and I walked back past JJ Bean, admittedly a couple minutes late, nobody was there. Okay, maybe we can catch them at the train station. We proceeded to the train station, bought our tickets, and entered the gate. Since I wasn't responsible for the prior day's navigation, I wasn't sure which of the two SkyTrains we needed to catch. Once again, we caught the attention of a gaggle of Canadian police who were just standing around. Upon learning where we wanted to go, they directed us to take the 99B bus instead and hop off at Broadway and C_________ instead, then flibber a jop and higglety-pigglety to Yale. After asking them to repeat the directions, I figured we could hop on the bus to Broadway and C______, get re-oriented and ask someone else for further directions, and be on our way, mindful of the time, which was growing short for any hope of reaching the buses by the 9 am departure.

It took a good 15 minutes for the 99B to show up, and when it did, a horde of people trundled on board along with us, so it took another good period of time before we were able to get settled in place and start to track street names.

Time passed, and we didn't see any street names that sounded like C________, so eventually S requested to look at the RSVP map. When he discovered that it was nearly useless, he pulled out his GPS. As soon as it got a fix, he showed it to me and we concluded we had greatly overshot Broadway and C____________. Yikes.

I consulted with the bus driver, who confirmed our problem and happily suggested an alternative bus. Sensing that we were rapidly running out of time, I asked about catching a cab instead. Fortunately, we were getting close to the University of British Columbia, and the driver said there were almost always taxis at the upcoming corner. (remember, we're in Canada and don't have smart-o-phone apps to hail sharing-economy vehicles) Great.

We hopped off the bus, made our way across, the street, and were able to instantly hail a cab. It took me a few minutes to communicate our destination to the driver. Eventually he punched the park name into his smart phone, looked at the address, did some mental computations, nodded his head, and we were on our way.

Then he called up a friend or something and proceeded to have what sounded like a nice chat in another foreign language while he made his way over to our destination. Meanwhile, his smartphone or some other device offered up a lot of directions via English Bossy Lady voice. I was still nervously on edge because of the time, and it didn't help when I noticed that the Bossy Lady kept telling us to turn left where we were turning right, et cetera. Eventually I concluded that the driver was completely ignoring the Bossy Lady because he knew where he was going, but the Bossy Lady was trying valiantly to direct us back to somewhere close to where we'd started.

Imagine the extent of my relief when we finally made it back to the edge of David Lam Park and spied a straggly line of cyclists standing along the sidewalk. It was 9:20 am and cyclists were still waiting for one last return bus to show up. The bus pulled up right as we emerged from the cab, and we quickly hopped on board. By that point, [personal profile] scrottie was craving fresh fruit, and there was a berry stand set up on the corner by the park. We learned that the driver would wait a few more minutes for any other desperate last-minute stragglers, so S ran over for some blueberries, which we quickly gobbled up.

All in all, we were only one bus behind [personal profile] sytharin, [personal profile] slydevil and my dad, and we even spotted them on their bus while we all waited to go through US Customs at the border. Paying that visit to Continental Coffee was a stupid decision, on my part, as was trying to follow the helpful Canandian police officers' bus directions. My adrenal glands and wallet paid the price, but hopefully it's the sort of mistake I'll never, ever repeat again.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Also, from all that I got to see, Vancouver seems like an awesome city, and I hope I get to visit it again someday soon.

This entry was originally posted at http://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1175259.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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