The next morning, we were able to lounge about a little bit before we had to go drop our bikes off. We got some coffee and watched a little bad tv before we got ready to drop the bikes off. We arranged for a late check-out to allow ourselves time to have a nice breakfast then walk back to the hotel in a leisurely fashion. After two days of riding, even a mile of riding is about the last thing you want to do. But we survived and made it to the drop-off point without incident. It was weird to drop off the bikes and be on foot after having them as our primary mode of transport.
There was a Whole Foods nearby, which T wanted to see, so we stopped there first. Afterward, we passed a diner that I’d read good Yelp reviews about so we decided to give it a try for breakfast. It wasn’t terribly crowded and there was a sign to seat ourselves, so we did. We waited for a little while, watching the two waitresses doing various tasks. None of which included greeting us or bringing us menus. So, we waited some more. Still no acknowledgement. Or menus. One of the waitresses came over to windex the empty table next to us, ignoring us the whole time. I caught the eye of the other waitress, who was carrying menus, and smiled. Her expression didn’t change at all. By this point, it had been ten minutes that we’d been sitting in a nearly empty diner with no service. Finally, T asked the waitress nearest to us if we could have some menus. She stared at us blankly. At this point, I’d had enough and I started to gather my things, so T grabbed his and we walked out.
I lived in New York, so my benchmark for rude service is pretty bad, but this place blew all of that away. We really couldn’t believe what had happened or why they would act that way. But I’m glad we didn’t give them our money. We ended up at a Dutch place and I’m really glad we did. We ended up giving a business our money that actually wanted it. Plus, I got to have the most interesting breakfast. It was a huge pancake that had everything baked into it (ham, potatoes and whatnot) then you rolled it up and ate it in slices:
Then we walked back to the hotel in a nice leisurely fashion. The sun was starting to come out and it was turning out to be a beautiful day. After packing up and checking out of the hotel, we left our bags and headed out for our big adventure of the day, a swim at Kits Pool. I’d heard about this pool years ago and had always wanted to swim in it. It did not disappoint:
It’s 137 meters lengthwise (following the black line in the middle). They had a great system for swimming laps. That black lane in the middle is basically a passing lane and you swim with it to your left. There was plenty of space to swim and the water was super clear and lovely. My arms were tired from all of the riding but it was kind of the perfect recovery activity. I am very jealous of my Vancouver friends who get to swim in such a gorgeous place.
Afterward, I noticed this cool windmill driven mechanical swimmer. I loved it:
Afterward, we walked a few blocks up a hill to get some food for the train at another Whole Foods. (Big day for T, he got to see two different stores!) We went a little crazy, but got lots of good food for the train, plus some immediate snacks, including one of the juiciest peaches I’ve had in a while. Delicious.
Then it was a bus ride back to the hotel and time to head to the train station for the trip home. I think 80% of the train was RSVPers. I was glad we’d sprung for Business Class and had assigned seats. So, our check-in process was pretty smooth and before long we were on our way home.
The train had wi-fi, so I entertained myself on T’s iPad while he read his book. We ate our delicious Whole Foods dinner and relaxed. After we passed the border, we decided to check out the dining car and get a drink. (They’d been nice enough to give us some coupons, so our little half-bottle of wine was very reasonably priced.) We grabbed a table and enjoyed a nice Merlot:
There were a bunch of other cyclists around us telling various war stories about the ride. Before long, we joined the conversation and were having a lively time. So lively, in fact that one of the train employees had to tell us to keep it down. Twice. (Poor man had no idea what he was in for… ) A nice couple bought us some more wine and we had a really good time. Apparently, the real Party in RSVP is on the train ride home! But the ride sure flew by and we were in Seattle before we knew it. We were off the train quickly and early into the cab line and scored a cab pretty quickly.
We had such a great time in Vancouver and I definitely want to visit again. It would be nice to be able to visit folks that I know up there and have more than 12 hours to spend. It was a really great weekend and I’m very happy that we did it. I’d definitely do it again, especially knowing some of the things I know now.