My trip to surprise Vince for his birthday left me surprised. He met me at the airport. Like so many breadcrumbs, I had scattered too many clues about and he had followed them all the way to Vancouver International and was there at 1am in the morning with a big fat French smile on his face.
Over the next few days we squeezed in trips to visit favourites: Stanley Park, where we found the promised chickadees missing from my last trip, and re-found the Jetsquirrel; Granville Island, for duck prosciutto at the Oyama Sausage Company, with the bonus of seeing Dungeoness crabs racing each other underwater under the very low, clear tide; and Whistler, new to me, and a place to which I am apparently allergic; the hives are still settling. The mountains, though, gorgeous. And the company unimprovable.
Above...the goods at Oyama, on Granville Island.
The Clairette de Die is something I've been looking for almost ever since I first clapped eyes on Vince's About page on his website. I found some at Union Square Wines and we had it with a floor picnic in his apartment. Never had a floor picnic? Try.
The wine was lovely - muscatty, not dry, not cloying...wish I had some now.
Robiola Due Latte smuggled from Wholefoods. As soon as I let it off its leash it roamed the apartment, checking things out. It couldn't escape, though.
OK, I'm going to say it again: One of the best things I have ever eaten. The duck prosciutto from Jan van der Lieck at Oyama. It is smoked, definitely. Fatty, silky, warm-tasting, smoky...
I visited Granville again on my own, while Vince was at work, catching the little bathtub ferry across the short stretch of tidal water, whose pilot was playing classical music. I returned on (in?) a different bathtub with a girl-pilot, holding my bunch of orchids and my brown paper-wrapped saucisson for the Frenchman, thinking that this mightn't be a bad place to call home.
The, ah...birthday sausage...