Vince's flowers waiting for me at his apartment - saffron arums, irises and roses. And as soon as we are conscious after my 1.40am arrival, post Sahadi's Danish Supreme espresso, we head for Granville Island to see what food is around:
Not pictured are the tiny organic strawberries from Martinez Farms: red, sweet, perfect - the best strawberries I have ever tasted. It's true.
Not possible to pass the charcuterie where the duck prosciutto lives. It is unrivalled.
Below: we didn't buy the pork cheeks, though on a day like today's - wet, grey, misty - a bean soup with these, cubed, would have been delicious. We were told that they are all fat, no meat, and cured in a Sardinian fashion. Note to selves: must visit Sardinia..
At the Granville Island Brewing Company, the local microbrewery, we had a post-shopping glass of the India Pale Ale and their house Hefeweissen. Very, very good.
And walked back home from the tiny bathtub ferry, past the sidewalk gardens in full bloom. After New York's harder streets, Vancouver's street gardens are pretty awesome.
Vince beside a massive (6'6" +) eremurus, growing on the seawall.
Below, Cerastium tomentosum (snow in summer) tumbling over a rock wall on Beach Avenue.
Later, a walk to Stanley Park to find some raccoons. First we found lawn-bowls greens, suddenly making Vancouver seem very English.
Just inside the park primroses, more English.
And yellow flag (Iris pseudoacorus) beside a pond.
And mallard duckling begging for food we did not have.
And wild raspberries...
..which I ate, of course.
And one bridge later, the first racoon.
Soon joined by about 6 more, feeding on fresh eggs that a family had brought to feed them.
They were terribly tame and clearly overfed, but so cute.
I had never seen this end of Stanley Park, a park which must rank as one of the most lovely spots on the urban earth. This part is cultivated, in strong contrast to the wild interior. The air was perfumed by the rhododendron flowers and humming with bees.
This one smelled especially good. Once one has seen what rhododendrons are supposed to look like it's very hard to contemplate gardening with them back East.
A sylvan view just before one enters the roads of the West End again. A hawthorn in bloom at the end.