Thanks to the miraculously good deals on hotels I've snagged through Hotwire (and a CDN to USD that's not quite as good as the glory days of $1.43 when I was living up there but it's way better than the conversion to the Euro or the Pound in recent memory) Chris and I have managed to enjoy a weekend at a luxury hotel in Vancouver about once a year the last couple of years. This year's steal of a deal was for the Sutton Place Hotel
; it was a massive improvement in every way over the New Yorker
hotel we stayed at two weeks ago at New York Comic Con and cheaper to boot. As we were to discover, Sutton Place was also the location of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sapphire Ball... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We arrived on Friday, dropped Kate with her dad, and checked in to our luxurious digs. We wandered out to find dinner, knowing that we were located right off Robson and so there would be wide possibilities for our late dinner. After considering sushi, and a Korean noodle joint, I spotted O'Doul's Restaurant and Wine Bar
(which turned out to be attached to another neat downtown hotel, the Listel Hotel). O'Doul's makes me think non-alchoholic beer, but this place was quite nice with a great menu and win pairings, plus live jazz. Perfect for a late dinner on a drizzly night. Restaurant write-up and photos to come.
Saturday we did an abrupt about face and headed over to Toren's Saturday Morning Cartoon Party
, where I added some Cap'n Crunch Choco Crunch to the table o' sugar cereals. We couldn't quite rouse ourselves to be there for opening ceremonies, and we heard the hotel hot tub calling our names before the day of cartoony goodness was over, but we did stay and watch the Harry Mudd episode of the Star Trek cartoon, a J. Michael Straczynski-penned episode of The REAL Ghost Busters, some Toby Danger, Bugs Bunny, the Voodoo Vampire episode of Superfriends (since when do vampires shoot rays out of their teeth?), Power Puff Girls, Ren & Stimpy (and a Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy singalong), Freakazoid, The Ripping Friends, and the excellent episode The Tick vs. Science
. Still, after all that good fun, we went back for some long soaking in the hotel whirlpool (while listening to a dad constantly nag his 10 year old daughter and friends to be quieter and stay on one side of the pool during their birthday party) and then off to have dinner at Nu
. Restaurant write-up and photos to come. It was at this point when we met several of the Kappa Kappa Gamma
girls and their frat boy dates, who piled into the elevator with us and then blocked us from leaving while they dithered about whether they were on the right floor or not. I had to suggest (from the back) "How about you let us out?" before they clued back into the reality that the entire world was not
actually revolving around their little sorority function. This was only the beginning of the night for Kappa Kappa Gamma.
After a fairly long day and a very long, late dinner, I was ready for bed when I hit my hotel again. Unfortunately, the Kappa Kappa Gamma girls and their rowdy dates were not ready to call it a night and kept spilling out very loudly into the hallway and lingering noisily outside my hotel room door. I poked my head out twice to ask them to please bring the party into their room and both times was waved off with assurances that "we're leaving!". After the noising talking turned to outright shouting, running up and down the hallway, and the sound of things breaking, I called the front desk who sent security around and I was finally able to fall asleep sometimes between 1:30am and 2:00am.
Of course, the Kappa Kappa Gamma girls had a pretty good idea of who called security. When I got up this morning to get coffee, the maid was in the hallway, anxious. It seems someone
had put the "Please Make Up Room" sign on my door in the middle of the night, presumably in the hope that I would be awoken early by maid service, I guess. The maid did not wake us so the prank didn't work out. When I gave the maid my theory on the situation, she then told me about how light fixtures and flower arrangements all up and down the hall had been broken as well. Classy.
Anyway, we reluctantly left the comforts of the Sutton Place and after an interminable wait to get our car back from the valet we headed out to join friends at Bo Kong
for some vegetarian dim sum. We'd been to Bo Kong on our last Vancouver get-away and I'd been dreaming of the sesame balls ever since. Again, restaurant write-up and photos to come.
We also stopped by our friend Darren's excellent new store, just a few blocks away from Bo Kong, called Strategies
Games and Hobbies. I took a bunch of pictures of the store and will give a fuller write-up of what Darren's got happening there in a separate entry. Suffice to say, I think he's got a great set-up and he's doing everything right and we wish him all sorts of success with it.
Now, a good night's sleep in my own bed.