Just back from a weekend in Vancouver, where I spent a little time with my sweet girl. Won't see her again until my ex-'s dad drops her off with me at the end of DragonCon
. ::sniff:: I like my adult time, but weeks on end without seeing her is tough.
Arrived in Vancouver late because of heinous traffic, road construction, multiple accidents, and a rain storm! A trip that usually takes 2.5 hours took 5 on Friday. Kate's dad dropped her off with me at my favorite Vancouver restaurant, Tojo's
, where we got a table on their outdoor balcony and enjoyed Tojo's Tuna, Tojo's Baked Oysters, Tuna Tataki, and the Golden Roll (among other things). Kate devoured some miso soup and an Avocado Roll (aka Tojo's Roll, no wasabi). Stopped at the nearby London Drugs
for some snacks (including two large bags of Spitz
brand sunflower seeds, which I can't find in the US) and drinks to take back to the hotel.
Saturday we rolled out of bed and straight downstairs to the White Spot
restaurant attached to our hotel. Slow service, typical White Spot food, but it was good enough (except for their coffee, which is really bad). Then off down Oak Street to meet up with MacBin
. We brought him some of his comp copies of books he's worked on recently, as well as a box of Legions of Hell to use for prizes for H.P. Lovecraft's Birthday Party
, and a big ol' check for more of his recent work for Green Ronin. He helped us get in touch with Vertigogirl
and Theo, as well as former Stamp's Landing cohort Evil Jeff. We confirmed that we'd show up for dinner at Vertigogirl's pad and got directions, then Kate got her wish and we went to Science World
for a few hours. While there we saw an OMNIMAX
presentation of a film called Whales
, and poked around some neat exhibits. (Having been to several science museums recently, I recognized several popular educational doodads from other museums and avoided those in favor of the exhibits that make Science World unique.)
Dinner with Kate and Theo was a nice break from the chaos of Science World, but I was severely overwhelmed from too much driving and flashing lights and crowds of people. We'd barely sat down to dinner when I had the worst attack of TMJ
I've had in years! I don't usually have TMJ symptoms that affect my ear, but this time I immediately felt like my ear canal was suddenly "stuffed up" almost like the sensation of pressure change when in a plane that's taking off. As of tonight I still can't bring my back teeth together when I close my mouth, can't apply enough pressure to chew anything firmer than a hotdog, and even that much pressure must be applied gingerly. It's the opposite of my usual TMJ symptom, which is that I can't open my mouth more than about an inch and can't bite down with enough force to even take a bite out of a sandwich, but it's affecting the same troublesome joint that has always caused me problems. I had very little to eat (one burrito and half a piece of cheesecake), even though it was quite tasty. Kate ate about 1/2 a tortilla and some cheese, and when I said she needed more growing food before she'd get any chocolate cheesecake, she reluctantly ate a bit more cheese and two Triscuits. Two bites into the cheesecake she was complaining about not feeling well. I sent her to the bathroom to wait and see if her stomach would settle, and she'd no sooner told me she didn't think she was going to throw up than she DID vomit her poor little guts out. Very sad.
Kate was heartbroken, she'd been so looking forward to seeing the Celebration of Lights
Grand Finale fireworks that night. I didn't have the heart to take her straight back to the hotel, especially when she wasn't feverish and didn't seem to have continuing problems with her stomach. I've noticed that sometimes when we travel, or when we've had a very busy and exciting day, Kate is sick that night, enough to vomit. I don't know what it is, but I've noticed the connection, so I suspected Kate wasn't "sick" in a contagious kind of way. Nonetheless, I was not going to take her down to the beach in the cold night air to stand with the masses of people (millions expected) watching the fireworks close-up. Instead, I agreed to park up on a hilltop park in my old neighborhood where I'd watched the Celebration of Lights the years we lived in Vancouver. You can see most of the fireworks, except for some of the particularly low ones, and though they're at a distance they're still pretty.
Took some Tylenol PM for my TMJ-aching jaw when we got back to the hotel, and slept hard until late this morning. TMJ was still acting up, but at least I was rested. Kate seemed fully recovered as well. We met the gang for dim sum at The Pink Pearl
in East Vancouver, and Evil Jeff brought his whole clan along with him, including his girlfriend and her two delightful girls, who hit it off with Kate very nicely. The dim sum was good as usual, though I had to pass on many of my favorites, like the squid and the Chinese broccoli, because there was no possible way I'd be able to chew them in my condition. However, my consolation prize of egg tarts and mango pudding was yummy!
After dim sum, Theo and Vertigogirl left us, and we joined Jeff and family and friends at their house for a few hours. The girls played together until we had to leave. I could have stayed later but had given MacBin a ride and needed to get him home for an appointment. Kate was having so much fun that she really fell apart about leaving, which is hasn't been her M.O. lately, so it took me by surprise. We coaxed her out of it fairly quickly, dropped MacBin off at his appointment, and then spent several pleasantly sunny hours on Granville Island enjoying the sights and smells (and some tastes!) of the market in particular.
After Granville Island closed up, Kate's dad agreed to meet us at the park near-ish his house where Kate had suggested we go to kill more time. After handing Kate back to her dad for the rest of the summer, I decided to go ahead and stop for dinner at another old favorite, Rasputin
(the Russian restaurant). Cabbage rolls to die for, the Best Potato Salad in the World, perogies, peroshki, some chicken and dumpling soup that was divine, even a pint of Czech lager that totally hit the spot. There were gigantic pieces of pastry and tiramisu visible on the dessert table, but I was stuffed with enough excellent Russian food that I couldn't possibly have eaten a bite of dessert. As it was, I feared I might not make it all the way home, between the food coma and the general fatigue. Stopped just across the border for gas and bought a sugarfree Red Bull
: tasted like cough-syrup-flavored soda, but no denying I felt peppy enough to drive home without stopping.
Tomorrow it's back to the grind, but at least I've fortified myself with some Kate suggles and potato salad.