Travel Date: Saturday, Apr 30th 2016

I arrived at the Vancouver Marriott Airport Hotel – which happens to be in Richmond instead of Vancouver. And I checked in, and decided to walk around the area.

I stopped by a local drug store/supermarket to pick up some water and a shaving razor, and I noticed the Kinder Surprise eggs which are banned from the US. They were one of my childhood favorites, and I miss them dearly.

Feeling hungry, I walked over to nearby a restaurant: Ceili’s Modern Irish Pub (Richmond, British Columbia).

Typical Irish Bar, except the bartender was of Indian descent, and spoke “North American English”. I got some lunch, and some beer, and headed back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, I decided to try out the Pinot Noir from the Okanagan Valley. I was curious how the wine tastes as compared to my favorite region where Pinot Noir are grown: Oregon. Credit to Lavon and Brian for their Oregon wine indoctrination.

I got a little extra from the bartender. The wine was amazing. I will have to compare them again with the Oregon Pinot Noir’s to taste the subtle difference.

Now it was time to pick up mom and my sister. Fortunately, the hotel had a free shuttle bus to pickups and drop offs to the airport

 

The bus passed by some scenic views of the city.

 

And finally the three of us are re-united after 18 years. Mom is gleaming. We have seen each other at different points in the last 18 years, but never all together. The last time we were all together was when I left Dubai to the United States for college. It is crazy, as I begin to think it has been that long.

For dinner, we decide to head over to the small town of Stevenston, which is a small historic fishing village at the edge of Richmond, British Columbia. We head over to the scenic Fisherman’s Wharf.

And decide to walk the length of the wharf while we wait for our reservations.

 

 

Mom and sis being goofy.

More family pics.

I love how calm the water is.

Views of the oncoming sunset.

 

 

 

Our table at the Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant is ready, and we head over.

Time to celebrate our reunion with some wine.

We order some amazing seafood to share.

 

 

And enjoy a delicious dinner together again the backdrop of an wonderful sunset.

We head back to the hotel and call it a night. Tomorrow, we get on a cruise ship bound for Alaska.
Reflections:
It was great to reconnect with mother and sister, and share the beauty of the village of Steveston together. The fisherman’s village has a great scenic view with an assortment of boats and colors. The weather was cool and peaceful. It definitely required a sweater.
I enjoyed talking to mom, connecting with her, and also teasing her with my sister. My sister playfully warned me about some of the ethnically Indian nuances that would come around with mom. She was right, and it was entertaining to re-experience. I had forgotten about them. Things about childhood, that we grow up with, and we get to re-experience at a different age – amusing.
One memorable moment of kindness was in the airport shuttle bus when it arrived to pick up my mom and sis. A group of older men got onboard, maybe about 9-10 entered into the shuttle and pretty much filled the shuttle. They were definitely from Eastern Europe and spoke a different language. We were in the front, and it was just me, my mom, and my sister that could share two seats. So I got up and stood, hoping that one of the men in the entourage would move to a seat behind the bus. For about one minute, before the bus began moving no one moved. And then the oldest man, noticed me standing, put it together and moved to the back of the bus. It’s moments like these that make me appreciate our common humanity and kindness.
I am looking forward to the next seven days on cruise to Alaska. It will be memorable!
Expenses: in US$ 428.24
Hotel: $199.61 (CAD $249.72, Marriott – Vancouver Airport)
Grocery Store: $15.12 (CAD $18.90, London Drugs)
Lunch: $20.18 (Ceili’s Irish Pub)
Beverages: $17.94 (CAD $14.36, Marriott – Allie’s American Grill)
Taxi: $16.00 (CAD $20.00)
Dinner: $143.39 (CAD $114.75, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant)
Taxi: $16.00 (CAD $20.00)