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Vancouver trip report! Laura, Erin, Brian, Adam and I tried to plan a weekend trip to Vancouver for months but couldn't find a time slot where everyone was available. We just assumed that something would be going on for Memorial Day so we didn't even consider it. Luckily, we were all free and thus it had to be done.

Our first stop was Sequim as Erin just had to go back to the "petting zoo" that she visited with Jon previously. Turns out, it's called the Olympic Wild Game Farm and allows you to drive into the park with deer, bison and yak. They're so accustomed to people feeding them that they will swarm your car, like so and so:

By the end of this little adventure, the car windows were completely coated in yak slobber. The only sad portion of this little excursion was the "Wild" part of Wild Game Farm. They had lions, tigers and other wild cats in impossibly small cages in the middle of the park. None of them looked healthy and none even felt like standing up. Small-time operations simply should not be allowed to place animals in such poor conditions.

I cannot recall who brought it up, but somehow we started discussing Ponderosa and the fact that you got access to an all-you-can eat buffet AND a full meal, usually of steak, a baked potato and Texas toast. None of us had eaten there since we were a kid and all had fond memories. Of course, reality would probably state that the culinary experience would be less than memorable, but we still joked about it throughout the whole trip. Because of this, we ended up going to a buffet when we stopped in Bellingham for dinner. If you like grease, you'll love Izzy's!

The trip up to Vancouver was surprisingly easy; the Blaine border crossing helped as we pulled up and were only ten or so cars away from the checkpoint. We were all feeling a little ill from the greasesplosion of Izzy's, but pulled up to the hotel before 10 PM. A few showers and a complete change of clothes later, we descended upon the town for a little (a lot) of debauchery. With five people, getting a single taxi proved impossible. Instead of taking two, we tried walking. Half way there, we realized the error of our ways, grabbed two cabs, reconvened and observed how completely crazy the nightlife of Vancouver can be. There were at least eight clubs with a cover over $10 and a line that would have taken 30 minutes or more. Instead of going dancing as originally planned, we ended up at a smaller but still clean enough bar and went through three pitchers of beer. At this point, Erin was basically begging the group to go dancing and while I was up for it, the rest needed convincing. In the end, we conned Adam into joining us and danced until 3 AM or so. There were multiple bachelorette parties which always makes the club scene more interesting.

The next morning, we assembled the crew, had a little breakfast and headed out to the aquarium in Stanley Park. I didn't go in my previous visit to Vancouver but frankly, aquatic creatures just aren't my bag. After that, we walked through a sizable portion of the park and ended up at Granville Island for a little market shopping. We picked up breakfast for the next day and then washed up back at the hotel. Since my last epicurean experience at Chambar was so amazing, I dragged them all there for our nice dinner out. If you don't get a bottle of wine and entrees are only $25, how can five people spend $370? One word: beer. Belgian beer to be specific. After cocktails, we ordered beer after beer at roughly $10 a pop including some contained within interesting glasses:

I was privy to a Piraat, a 21 proof ale! I could feel it rewiring my brain. Though the group was tired and it was a Sunday, somehow Erin and I convinced everyone to hit the clubs. When we pulled up to the concentration of clubs, Adam was about to piss himself so we went into the first place possible. We lucked out. Even though we just left dinner, Brian and I ordered a pound of the hottest wings this place made, went through two more pitchers of beer and ran into one of the funniest guys I've met in awhile. Calling himself the Brown Boy and using such quaint phrases as "Save a horse, ride a Brown Boy", he didn't charge us for the second pitcher and then got us into the club across the street for free. Though called The Buffalo Club, the only Western aspect was the mechanical bull. Another couple of pitchers later, we were good to go until 3 AM again. Brian tried to ride the bull, but they shut it down while he was in line. Unfortunately, we also saw a mildly overweight girl ride the bull with her shirt and bra pulled up to her neck. Of course I got a picture but of course I deleted it the next day.

It wasn't until 11 AM that everyone arose from their beer-impaired slumber the next day. The Capilano Bridge was the last Vancouver destination and despite my timid warnings, we all dropped $27 CAD for the privilege of walking across a bridge and seeing a few exhibits. The suspension bridge freaked out Adam and Laura, making the payment that much more painful. The ride back was seemingly uneventful, mostly because I read most of an issue of the Economist and then slept the rest of the way.

A lovely little trip.