Monday, January 17, 2005

Vancouver Diary, Pt. V

December 29th - The Aberthau House

Gail and I have chosen two nice old houses in which to have our wedding and reception(s); the Tripp House in Scranton, and the Aberthau House in Vancouver. Gail describes them in detail here. Wednesday the 29th we went to visit the Aberthau House, being used as a community centre; when we went in there was some kind of a class or playgroup of little kids running around. The house is beautiful, an old Tudor mansion with rich, dark wood panelling and beautiful parquet floors. It will be a great venue for the West Coast reception.

After that we went to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. We had to do a rather abbreviated visit, as it was late in the day. Gail was intent on taking some photos, so we split up and I wandered off to look at whatever intrigued me. It's a beautiful museum, filled with art and cultural objects from around the world, and especially from the First Nations of British Columbia. One tall, striking gallery is filled with huge, ancient wooden totems and some latter-day art and carvings, and a central rotunda showcases a massive modern wood carving, "The Raven and the First Men" by sculptor Bill Reid. We stayed right up until the moment they were locking the doors.

Dinner was at another Japanese restaurant, Octopus' Garden. More new people to meet: Gail's cousin Tosca and husband Mike, and her friends Vicky and Mark. The company was great, but I was definitely the sushi tyro of the group; again, I didn't recognize half of what I was eating, but enjoyed nearly everything that came out. The sushi chef here was definitely skilled in the art of presentation, as well as taste - some of the rolls were nothing less than sculpture, dragons and other creatures. Most memorable was "Mr. Bean", which came out in the form of a comic green caterpillar (skinned with ultra-thin slices of avocado) perched on a glowing seashell.

I had a good day, but by this time I was beginning to suffer from what turned out to be a pretty serious case of bronchitis. I medicated with over-the-counter stuff and coped the best I could; I was determined to make to most of my short time in Vancouver (which I did) and leave the suffering for when I got home (which I did!)