Ben and Nat were married last weekend in Vancouver in the best place I could imagine with the best weather one could ask for. I had a really good time and I met some really nice people. In the next few blog articles I am going to write about my trip.
Ben & Nat's Wedding Part I:
The Walk, Part I
My day started at 5:00am on Friday morning. Fortunately I have been getting up at 5:20 most mornings to go exercise with Debbie, but unfortunately I was too excited to sleep the night before and was awake until 4. I guess after an hour of sleep I hadn't had time to hit that good sleep and so I woke up feeling like I would have been better off just staying awake. Luckily the airport Tim Horton's supplied me with a healthy dose of coffee before I got on the plane where they served me another portion, then of course my connecting flight supplied me with even more. By the time I got to Vancouver I was wide awake and had peed four times.
When I got on the first plane there were all these people with their Tim Horton's coffee, and the flight attendant came by to gather them all up before take off. Keep in mind that Tim Horton's coffee is delicious and that caffeine is addictive, but yet these Tim Horton's People just handed their cups over no problem. The Blackberry People though... they refused to give them up! They needed to email to the very end! I was quite impressed with the way both the Blackberry People and the Flight Attendants would hold their ground as they stated their arguments. It was almost a stalemate but thankfully I think even the BP's realized their behaviour was just shy of psychosis and ended up backing down. By that time though I had heard the rule many times over: Blackberries can be used during the flight, but no electronic devices of any kind are allowed to be on during take off or landing. On the flight between Calgary and Vancouver a woman in my row didn't turn her Blackberry off until halfway through accelerating down the runway. A few minutes later when I was still able to clearly identify cars out the window, I looked at her to see she had turned it back on. I appreciate her willingness to interpret the rule in such a way that allowed her to believe that the 'take off' was limited to the instant the wheels left the ground.
I arrived in Vancouver at what I thought was 7:10, but I didn't realize at the time that the clock I was looking at wasn't ever set, so I really had no idea what time it was. I did know however, that I was going to make an adventure out of the trip, and the best way I could think of to accomplish that was to do some urban hiking.
I knew I had to go east then north and find SW Marine Drive. I asked some guy on the street which way east was, and I started walking in the direction he pointed. I didn't walk more than 2 minutes before I saw a 'No Pedestrians' sign. From where I was I saw about 6 pedestrians ignoring the sign though, so I followed them.
I was just going on faith that I really was going east. For all I know that guy didn't even speak English. Before leaving home I had googled the route and I memorized the streets I needed to find. I was hoping to find a street sign soon, but for the longest time the only signs around pointed to "Vancouver", "Victoria" and "Richmond". I found this to be annoying, but not distressing at all. I wasn't distressed until after 45 minutes of walking I saw a sign in front of me that said "Airport" and it pointed in the same direction I was heading in!
I ignored the Airport sign and kept on going in the direction of the Vancouver signs. The road I was on was just getting busier and busier as the morning progressed and I was getting quite frightened. I was walking along a bike lane that I am sure is well intentioned but was obviously added long after the road was planned out, so it is about exactly as wide as the standard width of mountain bike handlebars. The narrowness of my space and the number of big trucks roaring past me convinced me to find a safer route. I took an exit and before long I was on a narrower, busier road, with an even narrower bike lane. Within a few feet the road became an overpass and I realized I had no safe escape route. I really felt like I shouldn't be there. I didn't really know where I was going and I found myself over-exposed and under-protected in a very harsh and sterile no-mans land. I had a feeling that I was the only person who'd walked there in decades. I was lost and scared in a unknown dangerous place but I knew I wanted to keep going. For a second or two I started likening my situation to that of an early Canadian explorer, but then I looked at my feet and saw a pair of gotch and realized it was still 2006.
Ben & Nat's Wedding Part I:
The Walk, Part II