When one of my favorite bands Billy Talent announced a tour once again not going to my country of residence, I was disappointed. However, traveling to see them in Luxembourg when I lived in Brighton was so fun and one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to, so I figured I’d relive that gig and travel to see Billy Talent once again, making a weekend of it with Grant!
Well, this trip was a little doomed from the start. We booked a lovely, surprisingly affordable AirBnb that was a yacht parked in False Creek. Not a week before the trip, the host had sold the property and cancelled the booking, leaving us to find something more expensive and less unique more or less last minute. Landlords suck, the AirBnb cancellation sucked but at least we found an awesome hostel to stay in: Samesun right in downtown! I can’t recommend it enough, great location, lovely common spaces.
We took the bus up from Seattle (about three hours), dropped our stuff off at the hostel and walked around. Of course, it was raining cats and dogs but we tolerated it. Our first stop was Tim Horton’s where we got Timbits and ice capps to enjoy while we walked around Indigo bookstore. It had a decent selection of new books (I got an updated version of a Mike Berners Lee book, The Carbon Footprint of Everything) but quite a WASP-y atmosphere, selling healing crystals, overpriced kitchenware and… Pelotons? Not my favorite bookstore ever.
While walking around the waterfront, I got an e-mail with awful news: the Billy Talent show the next day had been cancelled as some tour members tested positive for COVID. I was upset, but nothing some bar-hopping and playoff hockey couldn’t fix. We walked to Gas Town and saw the steam clock before going to Steamworks Brewery (great local drinks and large place, I recommend going downstairs for a “younger” vibe), Lamplighter and Black Frog (a great local feel).
The next day started off at Capilano Suspension Bridge park, about a half hour bus north of the city. We walked the famous bridge to the other side of the gorge, took the short nature walk around the forest and traversed the treetops and the cliff walk. We had fun, but probably not a must-do in my opinion.
After having Japadog (it feels a bit racist to say, but that’s literally what the restaurant that serves Japanese-style hot dogs is called) and a nap at the hostel, we rented bikes to take around Stanley Park. It’s the biggest urban park in the world so we wanted to see as much as possible. We rode from the waterfront following the seawall for about 4 miles around the entirety of the park, it was such a lovely day. We even saw a huge cruise ship pass under the Lion’s Gate bridge. I was especially fond of the statue of the woman skinsuit diver.
To top off our day, we visited what was probably my favorite spot: Brown’s Crafthouse for great food and more playoff hockey.
For our last half day, we took a walking tour to Granville Island to see the great views of the city and taste the yummy food (we got Asian street food and a local nanaimo bar). I especially loved seeing the houses on the water and fantasize about affording them. To see even more of the waterfront, we took the waterbus back to the hostel before hopping on the bus back to Seattle.
Despite the road bumps, we had a great time and hope to visit BC again, perhaps to Victoria next time! Either way, I’ll be coming back when Billy Talent reschedules this show…