Monday, July 20, 2009

Canada, eh?

After a 2 1/2 hour flight, we arrived in Vancouver, Canada last Friday. Vancouver is very cosmopolitan city. But very touristy. And its a huge melting pot of different cultures such as Chinese, Korean, Indian, French, English, etc. We met my parents here, who had arrived a day earlier. Since we only had a few days, we decided to start the sight-seeing right away and took a "hop-on/hop-off" bus.

Our first stop was Granville Island to see the Public market. Here, we saw an array of fresh local produce, flowers, locally made artifacts and yummy foods. My mom's purpose for the trip was to buy some of these:

Lanzones and Rambutan, for my non-filipino friends. I haven't had these other than in the Philippines. Unfortunately, these fruits aren't locally grown in the U.S., other than in Hawaii. So whenever we get a chance to buy these, we buy them by the boat load. I, on the other hand, came for these as well:

Rugula. I know, I can find these here in the U.S. too. But these seem to taste differently from what I buy here from, say, Canter's, where I normally buy my rugulas. My mom first brought back some of these for me when she and my dad went to Canada a few years back. And since then, its one of the things I ask her to bring back for me. The filling and dough has a slight crunchy texture. My favorite filling is the chocolate/brown sugar walnut, which I haven't found here. So I bought 2 dozen to bring back with me.

After our stroll around the Granville marketplace, we went back on the bus and headed to Stanley park. We ended at our hotel at around 8 pm, hoping to be able to walk around the neighborhood of our hotel and try some of the local foods for dinner. We came to find out that almost everything closes at 5:00 pm. Needless to say, we ended up having McDonald's for dinner. It was one of the few places that was open. Oh well, maybe tomorrow!

The next day, we took a tour bus to Victoria on Vancouver Island. The drive out of Vancouver was a very scenic countryside. We reached the terminal for the ferry to Victoria at Tsawanssen. The Tsawanssen terminal had stalls of foods and different souveneirs that cater to the tourists that stop there. I decided to have some crepe with banana and nutella for a snack.

It wasn't too bad, but I've had better. The crepe wasn't freshly made. They make them in batches. What can you expect from the food court of a terminal?

Unfortunately, because our tour was timed, I wasn't able to venture out and try some of the local foods in Victoria. So we settled on hot dogs for lunch at Butchart gardens. Yeah, I know. What's a foodie like me doing eating hot dogs?!?! When you're hungry, you can practically eat anything.

It was our last day in Canada and I still hadn't really tasted anything native to Canada. But we had breakfast at our hotel and they had pancakes with warm, fresh maple syrup!

Yummy! It was a good way to end my trip. I bought a load of maple syrup with me to take back in my carry-on luggage. Unfortunately, I forgot the 100 ml rule of taking liquids on the plane. So airport security confiscated one of my 500 ml bottles of maple syrup. Lucky for me, there were still duty free shops to buy me another bottle. I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't able to bring back some maple syrup.

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