Dear Canada: I’ve arrived! And you’ve welcomed me with open arms.
First stop, the airport (naturally). The airport is almost SHOCKINGLY quiet. Everything is SO organized, clean and peaceful; no one is yelling or running and everyone is dressed like a sane human being (not like a homeless person). I whizzed through customs and was happily greeted by the man who arranges cabs. After exchanging pleasantries, I continued talking to my driver all the way to the hotel. He was very nice and was very shocked to learn how inexpensive it is to live in Houston/Texas (just as shocked as I was when he told me how expensive real estate is here). What can I say – I am my mother’s (a real estate business owner’s) child.
Upon arriving at The Sutton Place Hotel, my home for the next 5 days, two handsome young men met me at the cab door, opened it and offered to take my bags to my room. I let them. They also brought me ice, which was much appreciated. They were super smiley and friendly, and even refused my tip saying they were happy to serve me. The front desk woman and concierge both warmly greeted me and were beyond kind. After securing a restaurant recommendation and changing clothes, it was off to dinner (at 10 p.m. Central time).
I wanted something light and quick, as I was exhausted and wanted to get to my Skype date on time. A place called JOEY was recommended when I said I wanted a salad, so I made the short walk. BEST. SALAD. EVER. I got the Beach Salad, which was mixed greens, grilled chicken, strawberries, avocado, goat cheese, candied pecans, couscous and a light lemon poppy seed vinaigrette. DELISH. And my waitress was super friendly, beautiful and used the word Eh? within minutes. She’s my Canadian idol. Also, there was a family at the table next to me and the two daughters were approximately 6 and 10. They requested truffle oil for their french fries. How amazing is that?! When I was 6/10, I had NO FREAKING CLUE what truffle oil was (let’s be honest, I didn’t know until college). People here seem a lot more worldly/cultured. And I like it.
So far, Vancouver has left a great first impression. The weather is beyond gorgeous, I can see the snow capped mountains and the people are SUPER friendly. Not to mention they are not the slightest bit racist, ghetto, redneck or otherwise embarrassing – they seem to be genuinely awesome. Well played, Canada.