I love traveling alone, but one of the great things about going somewhere with a group is that you can pool your resources. For instance, you could get yourself a decent hostel room on your own, or you can join forces and get a place with a view like this:
As much as I love backpacking and budget travel, sometimes you just need a pimpin' suite.
So here we are at the Century Plaza Hotel and Spa, just spitting distance from all the hoppin' nightlife of downtown Vancouver. I led our crew (J, Elena, and Susanna) down Robson Street, which upon last visit was a carnival of diners, revelers - you name it. But being Thursday night, it was dead, to say at the least. You could hear everyone's footsteps, it was so quiet.
I felt like a bit of a tool bringing everyone down here, and we ended up settling on some restaurant & beer bar. If we're gonna be in the Pacific Northwest, let's at least drink some beer, eh?
For a moment, I thought our bartender was Irish. His Canadian accent was so heavy, it was hard not to chuckle. I so wanted to order an Elsinore, eh. But I went with the Granville Island Pale Ale, and we went through most of the other local brews, as well. I found my butt growing roots in my stool, and as the barkeep asked what our next round will be, he reminded us it's last call.
"What?? It's not even one yet!" I protested.
"We have a restaurant license. If you wanna drink 'til two or three, you'll have to find a bar, eh."
Fair enough. We ordered another round and started chit-chatting with the group of off-the-clock employees next to us. They started doing shots, so we decided to do shots. They ordered more beer, so we ordered more beer.
Ladies and gentlemen - our first night in Canada and we're part of a lock-in! Two o'clock rolled around and we were still drinking more local microbrew. One of the gals, Ashley, seemed to be all over J's shit. Too bad there wasn't enough Jagermeister left behind the bar to lower his standards. She was sweet and cool, but belied everything I'd told my friends about how Canadian girls are so pretty. Her galpal, on the other hand, looked like my favorite Spice Girl (yeah, I know, Sporty's a dyke or something) and I would've been more than happy to fulfill my role as wingman, but like I said - not enough Jager in there to make this happen.
Maybe I hang out with people who are just too picky. While our bartender was cute, the girlies sat around theorizing that his eyebrows were too shaped, and therefore he must be gay. Whatever. Then again, he kept making conversation with me, even though I had two nice young ladies right next to me. Maybe they were right.