Friday, July 10, 2009

Exhausted and wide awake

Since I got home from Seattle I've been having trouble sleeping. I guess it's jetlag, but does jetlag cause a person to wake up a lot during the night and consequently be really tired the next day and then not able to sleep that night either?
Part of the problem is that Jeff has started snoring recently. His response when I tell him to please roll over or whatever is "I wasn't snoring." Thankfully the new iPhone software comes with a great little voice recorder. I emailed a recording of his snores to him. He had no response. 

So my choices are sleeping pills, the sleep-inducing app, ear plugs, waiting until I'm so exhausted I pass out. I find that ear plugs hurt so those would not be a good option. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.  

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vancouver, an overview

Big City Cupcakes on Howe St. has made my second morning in a row. Yesterday we shared a chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream frosting. OH MY GOD. Today I had chocolate cheesecake with a blob of cheesecake creaminess inside and tart buttercream frosting on the top. OH MY GOD.

I call bullshit on the Vancouver Starbucks. If you are not clear on which sort of iced tea I want, please ask. I have never been automatically given sweetened tea before and I do not buy your story that it comes sweet unless you specify. 

Longboat Chocolate Porter (Phillips Brewing, Victoria, BC) is the absolutely perfect combination of beer and chocolate and can currently be found at The Alibi Room. Although I suspect they change up the taps fairly often. It's the only bar we found in Vancouver that has a whole page of local beers on tap. Most of the others only had the current three or so available from one brewer. 

Why in the world do we not have Japanese tapas in New York?? At Hapa Izakaya we had more wild salmon sashimi. OH MY GOD. And we got the B.C. sashimori selection which included the salmon, prawns and scallop sashimi. I have never eaten such a delicious scallop. We ARE ruined for sushi, I'm afraid. 

The toppings for the hot dogs (including veggie dogs) at Japadog included bonito flakes, wasabi mayo, radish, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce. I'm not saying those sorts of toppings were not tasty. They would just take some getting used to on a hot dog. 

There are gorgeous mountain views all around Vancouver and various little beaches around downtown. We saw an amazing sunset from one of the beaches last night at 10 p.m.

Anyway, back to the food. A roll we saw at two sushi places (and ate at one) that I have never seen at home and which is super delicious is the magma roll. The magma is a black sesame sauce drizzled on top of a regular roll. I don't remember what was inside. It might have been a California roll or something like that. The sauce is what stood out.

West coast Amtrak vs. East coast Amtrak
On the west coast one must line up an hour before departure time to get a seat assignment, even if you have already purchased your tickets online. If you arrive 20 mins. before the train departs you will still get a seat but the line will be long and your view will not be as scenic.  

The plus side is that people traveling together will be pretty much guaranteed seats together and there is no frantic searching for available seats. 

Available to eat on the west coast Amtrak: shrimp dumplings and wild Alaskan salmon. Everything else is pretty much the same. 

One surprising twist on the wine vs. beer issue is that the three types of microbrews available on the train are pictured and described. The wines are described as merely Merlot, Cabarnet and Sauvignon Blanc. When I asked the cafe employee what kind of wine he had he repeated back the three types listed on the board. As it turns out, the Cabernet is from Hahn Estates in CA and for $12 a split is a pretty good deal and rather tasty.