Wednesday 20 July 2011

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I Kissed a Girl (but I'm supposed to)

Got underway a little late today, as usual, but still managed to make it to the farm around mid-day.  Guess what?  The barn cats had new kittens!  This will not make my day go by faster.  Still when it comes to counting up life's little pleasures, dangling a piece of yarn for a newborn kitten has to rank pretty highly on that list. Even if it does make you late.  A short time was spent debating taking all four of the kittens with us, but logic prevailed (they don't have their passports yet) and we set off for downtown.

Tonight was the night I spent so long trying to find a decently priced hotel room for, with no luck.  Where did we end up?  Probably one of the nicest hotels in the city, the Fairmont Pacific Rim.  It just opened last year in time for the Olympics, and I can only imagine what it would have been like to be staying here for the games as it is right across the street from the Olympic Cauldron.  It's got a great location, the building is beautiful, and the Fairmont is known for top level service.  So would we be blown away?

Well yes, almost immediately upon arrival, when we noticed the self-park rates.  $42 per night is a lot, but I guess it's been a while since I've been downtown Vancouver on a weekday, so I'll just assume it's normal for the area.  Check-in was quick and easy, although I did laugh when the female check-in agent offered to carry one of my bags for me while she showed me the way to the elevator.  I appreciate the offer, but I can only imagine the mocking I would have gotten from my wife and kids had I given her one.

The room itself is very nice and modern, which is my style.  My kids were immediately on board when the first thing they discovered in the room was a plate of chocolates that had been left for us, which were amazingly good (Well, at least the one I got was, but judging by how fast the others disappeared, I'd say they were all equally delicious.).  The view isn't much to speak of, but let's be fair.  I only booked this room two days ago, and the hotel seems to be hosting a lot of people who are here for the RBC Canadian Open golf tournament.  The internet connection in this hotel may be better than my wired, high-speed connection at home, which is a nice change from the speeds we were suffering through in Orlando.  My kids were disappointed to find out that we only had one room, with only one TV (can you tell they don't pay for these things?), but that problem was solved when they discovered the second TV was built into the mirror in the bathroom.  This led to some rather strange seating arrangements while watching Disney Channel, but kept the natives at rest.

If I had a complaint, and it's a small one, it's that I can't figure out how to turn the lights on and off in the room.  Everything is wired up electronically, and the light pad has settings for "evening" and "relax", and the one at the door includes the electronic "Do Not Disturb" sign.  When you can look at the control, it's fairly simple to figure out what you're doing, but in the middle of the night when you're trying to not wake people, it's hard to tell which button you're pressing.  I might be turning on the bathroom light, or I might be signalling room service to bring up another plate of chocolates.  Actually if I can find that button, I've got it made.

The purpose of being in Vancouver tonight, was to go to the Katy Perry concert at Rogers Arena.  We were going hoping to get a show filled with hits and staging, and maybe a little edginess, that didn't leave us having to explain all sorts of things to our kids (I'm looking at you Lady Gaga) and that's exactly what we got.  Katy's show had something for each of my children.  At one point during the show she spoke about how she wished she was a nine year old in the crowd tonight, and my nine year old daughters face lit up.  My other daughter is very fashion oriented (I can always count on her to ask me after each show which outfit was my favorite, and I have to be very careful to not automatically say "the skimpiest one".) and there seemed to be an infinite number of costume changes, including eight in one song.  For the boy...well there were 13,000 people there, about 10,000 of which were girls, and about half of those were teenage girls.  You do the math.  It was a really fun show though, and in a huge stroke of good luck we were sitting behind a row of corporate guests who decided half way through that they preferred to be somewhere else, so our view was perfect.

So day one of the trip was a huge success.  Of course day ones usually are. The enthusiasm for vacation doesn't usually take much of a hit until after the first week. It's now the next morning and everybody is recovering from an exciting night out, still sleeping away soundly in their beds. Of course I've been trying to wake them for the last 20 minutes, but I can't figure out how to turn on these stupid lights.