Author Topic: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much) Better Half  (Read 31327 times)

Offline MEIR613

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 4833
  • Total likes: 2
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 7
    • View Profile
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2013, 10:22:32 PM »
I think your the first person in the world, that got someone to go a air plane without them thinking that they were gonna actually fly it.


Offline neuf38

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2012
  • Posts: 9
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2013, 04:36:18 PM »
Very very cool. Nicely done.

Offline BrooklynCPA

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2008
  • Posts: 1446
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #77 on: February 24, 2013, 12:19:27 AM »
@ Mr. & Mrs. AJK: Truly amazing and well written TR!! Looking forward to part 2!!!

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25054
  • Total likes: 262
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 13
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #78 on: April 21, 2013, 10:39:35 AM »
As promised, the second half below:

We slowly meandered our way off the plane at 1:00 AM local time and made our way through the beautiful airport. Passing tanks of jellyfish, Native American totem poles, waterfalls, and little streams flowing through the airport, we made it to customs. After learning that the train to downtown had run its last shift about an hour prior to our arrival, we headed outside to catch a cab. We immediately were shown to a cab driven by an Indian man who had emigrated to Vancouver to escape the corruption of the Indian government. While AJK and our driver discussed various world economies, I could not tear myself away from staring out the window at the familiar and beloved sights of Vancouver.

Pulling up to the Hyatt Regency on Burrard street, I was giddy with joy at seeing downtown and passing street names that each pulled up a memory more powerful and reminiscent than the previous one. We were shown to a beautiful room on the 11th floor with a gorgeous view of the harbor. We promptly went to sleep for although the rest on the plane was wonderful, the flight was far too short [How many times do you say this after a transcontinental flight???]. This is a sentiment unheard of in economy travel, but quite a common refrain once being exposed to the experience of a first class cabin.
 
I awoke at 7:00 AM to the sound of AJK Skyping with Sprint about the lack of international service on his cell phone. Being that he was ostensibly “working from home” that day [Yes, I told my boss that I may or may not need to work from home on Friday, though, in my defense, that is very rarely an issue], he needed to be able to access service on his phone. [Despite having my phone unlocked weeks prior to the trip, I never did get manage to get it to work, but did get Sprint to more than compensate me for the lack of service.]

I got dressed quickly and got outside into the crisp, fresh Vancouver air and walked to the AIG up a few blocks to find breakfast. Returning with yogurt and blueberry scones, we ate quickly and set out to rent bikes for riding around Stanley Park. On our walk to Denman Street, AJK put up well with my squealing excitement about anything and everything we saw. The sheer reality of being in Vancouver is enough to make me excited beyond belief, but passing familiar buildings and getting closer to the Westin Bayshore brought me to a fevered pitch of giddiness.

After running up and down Denman comparing prices at various bike shops, we finally ended up in a grungy, albeit, low priced bike shop. For the low price of about $15.00, we set out on our bikes and entered Stanley Park near the seawall of Bayshore Drive. It was an overcast day, but as we biked the sun broke through and made the whole ride just unspeakably gorgeous. Throughout it all, I pointed out familiar landmarks such as the 9:00 cannon, the yellow sulfur piles, the rock that looks like marror, the Lion’s Gate Bridge, the water park, and the aquarium.

We biked up the path to the aquarium to purchase advance tickets so we could come back on Shabbos. [Ask your LOR.] Although they weren’t keen on the idea at the outset, AJK informed them that his wife did this all the time as a kid and they acquiesced. While riding, AJK consistently needed to stop and respond to emails and phone calls from his boss back in New York. [Little did she know, this was my last surprise for her: I was actually emailing and speaking with my sister-in-law and her husband, who had driven up from Seattle to meet us for Shabbas, and I was coordinating our surprise meetup.] Seeing as his boss thought he was working that whole day, it was not an unusual occurrence.

As we finished the six mile loop, we biked back to the bike shop and returned the bikes. The plan was then to set out for Granville Island, but we walked slowly back up Denman while AJK googled the location of the nearest water taxi dock.
As we sat at a bus stop to catch our breath [Well, that’s what I told her anyway, that I needed to “catch my breath,” but, really, this was my predesignated meetup point with my sister-in-law and her husband], I noticed out of the corner of my eye, what I thought was my family’s blue SUV race past. Though it sparked some suspicion in my mind being that AJK had been warning me that there was one more surprise to come, I didn’t pay it any further mind when AJK made no movement or comment regarding its apparent appearance a couple hundred miles away from Seattle. But, a few minutes later my sister and her husband appeared! True to form, AJK had arranged one final surprise in the form of them joining us for Shabbos. His “boss” was actually nice enough to leave him alone the whole day. All the “texts” and “annoying phone calls” were actually trying to direct a hopelessly lost sister and husband to our location within Stanley Park.

We hopped into the car and drove to the Hyatt to pack up our stuff and go check in at the Westin Bayshore. We quickly checked in [and got upgraded to a junior suite], stuffed some refrigerated items that my sister had brought into the hotel fridges and jumped back in the car to grab a pre-Shabbos meal at Omnitzky’s. We made our way to the deli, ate a delicious meal, and then headed to a Safeway close by to grab some last-minute Shabbos necessities. Seeing that it was too close to Shabbos to attempt a trip to Granville Island we decided to save that as an activity for Sunday.

We had a wonderful Shabbos meal and then tried to keep our eyes open long enough to hear the 9:00 cannon sound, which unfortunately never ended up happening. At around 9:15, we decided that anti-gun laws probably forbade the firing of the cannon and turned in to bed.
 
The next morning dawned a foggy, a perfect Northwest day. We ate an early lunch and then walked to the Stanley Park aquarium. We watched a seal and sea lion show, a dolphin show, and a Beluga whale show where the main stage was stolen by a dive bombing seagull who stole food right out of people’s hands. After a few hours out in the drizzly weather, we were ready to head back to the hotel for a Shabbos nap.

After havdalah, we headed out to try a new Hummus place open in downtown. It ended up being surprisingly good and we capped off the evening with ice cream and a drive down Robson Avenue.

The next morning provided a perfect opportunity for a solitary short run in the park. Following the run, we all headed back to the Hummus place for a shakshukah breakfast. We then decided to head to Granville Island. Parking on a street near one of the water taxi docks, we hailed a small boat and headed out to the island. Once there, we perused the interesting indoor stalls.  After visiting every stall, we headed outside to catch a boat back.

We were sidelined, however, by the knowledge that the Granville Island Brewery was but a few minutes from where we were standing. We made a beeline over there and participated in a little beer tasting from their unique menu. [This place is definitely a must!] Afterwards, we took a water taxi back to our car and planned the next activity.

Next on our list was a trip to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. After driving across the Lion’s Gate Bridge we drove about fifteen minutes up the highway and arrived at a parking lot buried deep within a forest. We hopped out and followed signs to the suspension bridge. Although the bridge looked sturdy enough, it was incredibly nerve-wracking to step out on to the bridge. The bridge looked about a foot and half wide and hovered 150 feet up in the air, over raging rapids. We made our way to the other side, passing a man walking three dogs and what looked suspiciously like a wolf. In fact, when AJK questioned “what king of dog is that?” the man simply responded, “wolf” and kept walking. [Keep in mind, he was walking on the bridge with this five-foot-tall beast, so it was either risk being eaten, or not traverse the bridge. We risked it. And it was worth it. Even in the face of possible death.]
 
On the other side, we met some hikers who informed us that about 20 minutes up the mountain was a frozen pond. Not to be deterred by the wet and misty weather, nor by the fact that my sister was wearing shoes that were as fit for hiking as a bikini is for the North Pole, we set out. Along the way we passed a gorgeous crystal clear, jewel green lake where we stopped to take some photos. After climbing up endless wooden stairs, getting a bit lost, and walking for what seemed to be a long time, we finally came to our goal: the frozen lake. It was quite beautiful to see a lake completely frozen over, and there was a man ice fishing through a hole and catching a surprising number of rainbow trout. After enjoying the view, we turned around and made our way down the mountain much more quickly than we had made our way up it.

We arrived back at the hotel and had time to shower and change for our dinner reservations at the Maple Grill. On our way to dinner we drove through Gastown, which seemed to have attracted a large homeless population, while at the same time becoming very chic and expensive looking. We took our obligatory photos by the clock, and then headed to the restaurant.  The Maple Grill was not hard to find and was decorated beautifully with a wonderful ambiance. The food was delicious, although the portions were small. But to find such a nice restaurant in a city with so few Jews was a lovely surprise.

After dinner, we drove to the airport. Although early on a weekend night, the airport was deserted, and we made our way through security in all of five minutes. We relaxed in the lounge until our flight was called and then made our way onboard the aircraft. Although in Business class on the way back, not First, the service was quite pleasant. Notably, the beds were lie-flat, just as in First. We ate dinner [not as good as it was on the way there], had a couple of Cathay’s special drinks, and then slept until arriving into a frigid New York morning, ready to start the day fortified with memories of a wonderful surprise weekend in Vancouver.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 10:50:58 AM by AJK »
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 231
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #79 on: April 21, 2013, 10:49:22 AM »
Wow, awesome thanks so much for writing it all up. Planning a trip there soon hopefully.

Offline moish

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 9374
  • Total likes: 44
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA LT Plat, Avis, SPG Plat
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #80 on: April 21, 2013, 11:14:26 AM »
the rock that looks like marror
?? what does marror look like?

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 52973
  • Total likes: 2218
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #81 on: April 21, 2013, 12:10:23 PM »
Awesome, thanks for finishing the TR!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25054
  • Total likes: 262
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 13
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #82 on: April 21, 2013, 12:14:25 PM »
Awesome, thanks for finishing the TR!

As promised :P

Just let me know if and when you plan on posting the TR to the main site -- may want to make some slight changes.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Tzfas

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Apr 2011
  • Posts: 371
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
    • View Profile
  • Location: New York
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #83 on: April 21, 2013, 02:20:58 PM »
Thanks. Just in time for my upcoming trip there in two weeks!!

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25054
  • Total likes: 262
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 13
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #84 on: April 21, 2013, 09:42:28 PM »
Figure I should add some pics to give it a little flavor:

First Class Check In:



First Class Lounge:







Air Show:



Glenlivit 18 on the Rocks:



KSML ex-JFK (which was great):



Awesome:



Coal Harbor on our way around Stanley Park:





Westin Bayshore Suite:





Zaatar Hummus Bar:



Water Taxi:



Like I said, aggressive seagulls  ;D



Granville Island:







Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge:









Gastown Clock:



Maple Grill:





Business Class:



Drinks (which was awesome):



KSML ex-YVR:



2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline eliteflyer

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 1441
  • Total likes: 36
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2013, 09:37:39 PM »
It's a shame that Omnitsky's can't produce a better airline meal. as I recall, their house-made sausages/hot-dogs were quite decent.

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25054
  • Total likes: 262
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 13
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #86 on: April 23, 2013, 09:43:15 PM »
It's a shame that Omnitsky's can't produce a better airline meal. as I recall, their house-made sausages/hot-dogs were quite decent.

Agreed. I found their food pretty good.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 231
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #87 on: April 23, 2013, 10:36:44 PM »
It's a shame that Omnitsky's can't produce a better airline meal. as I recall, their house-made sausages/hot-dogs were quite decent.

+1. Little birdy told me that http://chabadcatering.com/ is negotiating with CX to be their new meal provider.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 52973
  • Total likes: 2218
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #88 on: April 23, 2013, 11:03:00 PM »
Anything would be an improvement.
Be sure to send CX feedback.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline smart brit

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 2053
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
  • Location: New york / London
Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #89 on: April 24, 2013, 01:20:08 AM »
Thanks for the tr.
I really like the element of a surprise and I'm glad it worked out for you so great