We eventually made our way out of the flat to find hot beverages. We decided we would check into Sweet Cherubim for coffee and chai. Upon entering we were drawn to the enormous dessert case filled with an array of cookies, raw pies, truffle like things (called such names as "bliss ball"), bars, chocolate dipped things (mostly all vegan) then around the corner to the hot food case¿filled with mostly Indian dishes. Everything is vegetarian. They use some dairy in a couple of curries and samoas, but otherwise no dairy or eggs in anything. Some dishes use honey so are not strictly vegan. The coffee was strong, not bitter, and the soy milk had a great foam on it. We had to wait a bit for the chai CK had ordered, but it turned out to be entirely worth it since it was fresh made and not sweetened at all.
Then down The Drive to the Sky Train station on Broadway. We caught the train directly down to the Science World on main and spent the afternoon playing with puzzles, reaction games, light experiments (on an IR camera you can tell I'm just colder), sound and water experiments. Overall reminding me much of OMSI in Portland, only much larger. The building is also really fantastic (featuring a distinctive "Bucky Ball" as the top half of the building). We sat down and enjoyed a late lunch there of some of the hummus CK had made, the sunseed & avocado pate I'd made, bread, carrots, and nuts. There is an awesome view of the waterfront and city from the cafe area.
We made our way from the waterfront to Chinatown. We didn't spend as much time here, mostly just strolled through admiring some of the buildings, banners, and the generally lovely day.
On recommendation from the Lonely Planet guide (which made mention of "wind up robots" **didn't see any) we popped into Funhauser and had a look around. Maybe becuase we have Finnegan's in Portland and I make semi-regular purchases from Archie McPhee's I felt a little underwhelmed.
It seemed a good time to find a beer and we made our way on across West Hastings (pan handlers, drug addicts, etc. - fine to walk through during the day, but I don't think I'd recommend at night) to Gastown. What can I say...
In the back of my mind I recalled dimly that Gastown was something of a tourist draw. The retired guys with camcorders, shiny-happy-themed "pubs", and tourist shops hawking stuff for the 2010 winter Olympics were everywhere. CK noted later that she should have realized after the third place selling authentic Canadian maple syrup-based treats that we had gone to a part of town we'd rather not be in. It was only reinforced when I went to take CK's picture at the steam clock and the nice man who offered to take our picture together then hustled us for two toonies (roughly $4 USD). By the time we made it up this gauntlet to what Lonely Planet described as a real brewpub, then only to find it was yet another sanitized-for-the-masses establishment we decided to head into downtown towards the library.
We consulted Lonely Planet again and decided to give the Railway Club a try and a possible refuge from all the tourists in Gastown. This time we were not disappointed in this very Brit-style pub. Lots of wood, a good bar, nice selection on tap, and various signed memorabilia from Canadian musicians on the wall. A couple of pints and very tasty cajun fries later we departed for the library.
Why the library? First of all it is a gorgeous building. Imposing, but still inviting. 7 stories of books in many languages, periodicals, computers, etc. Oh and free transit maps! We picked up an assortment of transit maps and were delighted to discover that we were mere blocks from a Sky Train station. We walked around a bit more, went up to the top to look down the open atrium at books on carts far below, and then on to the station.
Another panhandler didn't hustle us and gave us great information on the train. We gave him some of our change, our thanks, and made our way down, down, down to the platform. We were several more stops along, but the train really speeds along at great speeds. In very quick time we were back to The Drive, picked up some take out from Sweet Cherubim (oh, the tikka!) and collapsed at the flat around 10PM!