Vancouver, Day Five; or: Here, Fishy, Fishy. (17/3/15)

Despite being back from Canada for the past few days, catching up with friends, family and, most importantly, sleep, I fully intend to carry on with my accounts of what I did and saw whilst over in Vancouver.

So, with that in mind, gather close around the fire as I remember, possibly misremember, and enthral you with Day Five of my adventure in the wild western lands of Canada.

Our Tuesday seemed to revolve around one major theme: fish.

Allow me to extrapolate: Tuesday was the day we were visiting Vancouver’s Aquarium, found deep in the hear of Stanley Park. It was also the day we decided on eating Sushi for lunch; a fine partner, I’m sure you’ll agree, after wondering the halls of the Aquarium, remarking on all the beautiful fish and sea life we saw.

IMG_0122The Aquarium is a great attraction, and is well worth a visit if you should ever find yourself in Vancouver.

There’s no shortage of things to look at, leer at, and watch, whilst there. From the numerous tanks filled with beautiful fish, sharks, turtles, jellyfish (this place fucking LOVED jellyfish, displayed, as they were, in dimly, well lit, tubes that afforded them an almost etherial quality) to dolphin shows, beluga shows and even a 4D experience movie focusing on a prehistoric adventure that, taken from the Vancouver Aquarium website, is an:

“action-packed 4-D film will take you back 82 million years into prehistoric waters, home to colossal marine reptiles of the dinosaur age and some of the most intriguing creatures that ever lived on Earth.”

It was a pretty rad show, showcasing what life could have been like for prehistoric aquatic creatures. Or sea monsters, as they were described here, a term that they loved to use, much to the chagrin of some of the children in the audience.

The dolphin show was great fun, as dolphin shows tend to be, and the beluga show was equally as entertaining. Vancouver Aquarium did a great job of balancing entertainment through showmanship (showmammalship?) with a solid eco message, which acted as the backdrop to each of their shows. Conservation, recycling and aquatic awareness were all discussed, but not preached, during the demonstrations.

We were easily in the Aquarium for about 3 or so hours, longer than we anticipated to be, as we were having such a good time. The Sea Monster exhibit, filled with flayed fish, sharks, etc, to show off how they were (from brains to muscle and nervous systems) was really interesting as well, and featured a brief area focusing on old naval accounts of sea creatures; I wished that there was more of this, as I found the accounts in relation to the actual creatures they were describing to be really fascinating. Seeing the description, old naval drawing, and actual creature side by side was really intriguing in how accurate the sailors accounts were in comparison to the drawing of them.

The Aquarium was followed by a quick power walk through Stanley Park to the Totem Poles, one that was cut somewhat short after we then had to run for the Hop On/Hop Off bus, lest we wait for another hour for the next one. I guess I would just to have wait to use the bathroom. Stupid bus.

Lunch, as prefaced earlier, was sushi. It seems the majority of the Japanese restaurants in Vancouver offer 50% off during certain hours (Happy Hours), and this was something we definitely wanted to take advantage of. And we did.

We found Nemo, and then I’m pretty sure we ate him.

IMG_0141

Just a small sampling of the Sushi feast we had!

Our sushi lunch was also the first time Thea and I tried oysters, which were a pleasant surprise. Thea also tried chargrilled squid (sans its battered coating that makes it calamari) for the first time; the meatiness of the squid was captured wonderfully, the grilling sealing in the flavour and enhancing it.

Our night was capped off once more by supporting the Vancouver Canucks on to another 4-1 victory, this time over the Philadelphia Flyers. Now, I’ve not had the best experience of Philadelphia, as I’ve mentioned before, and so was super stoked to cheer the Canucks onto their decisive victory.

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The angle for this game was dramatically different compared to the Canucks/Maple Leafs game and, courtesy of StubHub, provided us a great look at the action on the ice. The only thing miring the enjoyment of this game was being sandwiched between a couple of assholes; one, a few rows ahead, who had clearly had a few too many beers and was unaware of the difference between ‘supportive’ and ‘obnoxious’. He would later be taken away by security, after someone made a complain about him through their anonymous texting service – a great idea, and one that I would have utilised myself for the loud mouth behind me. I found it fitting that the only person to try and stick up for ‘Obnoxious Drunk Guy’ was ‘Loud Mouthed Overly Enthused Guy’/.

LMOEG was clapping way too close to the back of my head, making each clap sound like Hulk’s Thunder Clap. His cat calls and needless repetition of “Oh, yeah, HAMMER him!” grated as the game continued, and I had no shame in calling him out (albeit, snidely) as the game played out. As he attempted to drunkenly defend his drunken brother, I remarked very loudly: “Birds of a feather!”

I’m guessing he heard that, as he started to finally keep himself in check, but not before calling a couple of guys on the ice “F*GGOTS.”

I couldn’t help but to imagine: What if you had saved up, scraped money together, in order to take your kid to the game. Not only that, but you’ve got near rink seats! That’s not the kind of thing you’d really want to expose them to and, even though this wasn’t the case for us, it still detracted from the game as a whole.

If I had service in Canada, or if I could have iMessage’d to complain, I would have done. His friends all seemed slightly embarrassed for him (both ODG and LMOEG), and rightly so.

Despite this however, it wasn’t enough to take away from the hockey as a whole. The atmosphere wasn’t quite the same as the first game, perhaps the needless aggression and drunken enthusiasm bothered me more than I thought, but I still had a great time, as did Thea. I’d still love to see the NHL get behind some sort of promotion that would extend it past its confines of North America. Having done a little research into English Ice Hockey, I found out about the league they have here, as well as the teams.

Somehow, I don’t think the London Raiders (not the only Raiders in the their slim league, by the way!) will have the same kind of draw as the Canucks and Rogers Arena.

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