Vancouver book-ends

Vancouver is the one city in North America for which I felt some affinity before embarking on this trip, so the first and last places I visited were something of a pilgrimage.

After meeting me at the train station and before whisking me off to Whistler, bellringer Alan took me for coffee at a very special Macca’s. Suzannah, the first to leave home and travel, set off on a working holiday at the grand old age of 18. She worked at Macca’s in Melbourne so before she set out she set up a three month stint at Macca’s in Kerrisdale, a suburb of Vancouver. When I sent her the photo she said it’s changed a bit! Thank goodness!! If nothing else, few Macca’s stores have the huge golden arches these days. It took a while but they’ve shrunk.

And the last thing I did before heading to the airport was visit AntiSocial, a skateboard shop near Broadway and Main. I was rather doubtful when I saw the salesgirl who looked barely out of high school but I asked anyway, “Do you know Hilary from Melbourne?” Well, her face lit up! Yes!! She met her last year. Then Kassey told me it was no-car day and to head up to 14th. Pardon? A few blocks had been closed to cars and all sorts of community stalls and events were happening on the street. Aha! So I headed off, found a mini,mini ramp and some little kids trying to skate. I went up to the woman in charge and said, “Michelle? I’m Hilary’s mum.” Wow, and wow again was the response. “She’ll be here in a couple of weeks” said Michelle, which was more than I knew at the time! As the last thing to do on the trip, it was an excellent choice.

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