Touring West Vancouver, Dinner with Greg

T-Minus 5 days

Today was supposed to be tourist day. It was supposed to be sunny and warm, with nice little chirping birds and happy people out enjoying the “last day of summer”. (School starts tomorrow.)

So naturally, it rained.

Out here in Maple Ridge, it teemed. I hoped that by the time I got to Howe Sound that either the rain had died out, or was reduced to spittle due to the mountains.

To a degree, I was right. But there was one thing I didn’t count on – traffic accidents that snarl up the Sea to Sky Highway. That pretty much ended my excursion to Britannia Mines and the West Coast Railway Association. Maybe the next trip out.

The whole highway thing was a little interesting. As I sat in my rented Chrysler Neon (which I can now confidently say is a poor excuse for a car), I thought about the problem. Whistler wants to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. That means a lot of people driving to and from Vancouver. As it stands, the Sea to Sky Highway (also known as Highway 99) can’t handle that traffic. And in winter conditions, the next Olympic demonstration sport will be the Traffic Accident Slalom. There’s a lot of problems that the BC government will need to solve before the games start.

I ended up in Horseshoe Bay. The only reason was to have Trolls’ fish and chips, which I remembered quite fondly. But it was an off day, a general slump in quality, or my memory of the fish was distorted. I was not impressed. And they appeared to have taken salmon off the menu. Salmon fish and chips was a delicacy I missed.

On the way back, I stopped into Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The wine shop I had once been to was still there. I bought a thank you for my gracious hosts for the time and place. Besides, it was a great excuse to go wine hunting – something I never get tired of.

I had dinner with Greg. It’s almost bizarre how well Greg and I get along considering how little we see of each other. We worked in the same department for a little over two years, but during those years we were more co-workers than friends. It wasn’t until I asked him for help when I moved to Calgary that things changed. Since then, he’s been a good, trusted friend.

Tonight, we had more time together than our last few meetings. This allowed for a nice long steak dinner at a local Joey Tomato’s, and time to catch up on all the things that had come up in our lives over the last year.

Greg’s always been an active person who strives to keep himself busy. If he’s not working, he’s rock climbing, working in the Hungarian community, or more recently, acting. Personally, I think Greg’s ideally suited to acting … for his looks, if nothing else. Hollywood stars should be jealous of him. Acting will let him extend himself past the algorithms he works with all day, and into a stronger right-brain skill set.

We saw a movie following dinner (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which I recommend highly to anyone who’s had or seen to too many nuptials in the last two years). We laughed. A lot. A part of me wishes we could have just sat down, shared drinks and talked all night. Greg and I can do that easily. But Greg had to work the next day, and I had to move to a hotel.

Tomorrow is my last “free” day before the real work begins. I can’t tell if I’m excited or terrified.