Since we had the opportunity to go out last night, we decided to have dinner on the waterfront. But first things first, a trip to Walmart. I have noticed that the first thing everyone does when they get off the ship and head into town is to find the closest grocery store. This makes sense seeing that your access to certain foods and necessities is sometimes limited. The Filipinos stock up on noodles and other Asian snack foods as they aren’t always offered on the ship. While also, the Europeans pick up clothes like t-shirts and socks and grooming products as they are cheaper in the States compared to countries like Serbia and Ukraine, where things are more expensive because they are imported. Though I feel like I have to do more research on this because I don’t know how true that is, I will take their word for it as I am not from those countries and haven’t been there yet. Of course, everyone goes for junk food for late-night snacking. I have also noticed that the Filipino women always need to pick up extra feminine products like skincare, vitamins, tampons, and pads. Because being here for nine to ten months of the year, you can only fit so many things within your two suitcase limit. I never really thought about this because I usually am only here for three to four months at a time, and packing up three months’ worth of skincare and vitamins is easy. I also use a flex disc, a reusable menstrual disc that takes up less space than my portable hard drive.
So after the half-an-hour truck to Walmart and back, we ran into the issue of finding a place to eat on the waterfront that didn’t have a half an hour to forty-five-minute wait. The area of North Vancouver by the shipyard is stunning, with excellent restaurants, museums, and parks. The Shipyard Skating Park and The Harbor Waterpark where they also host movie nights and were playing A Night at the Museum in the evening. I was surprised to see how busy it was for a Wednesday evening. Having grown up in the suburbs of Mount Pocono, PA, going out on a Wednesday evening usually meant you were attending a game or functions at the high school. Dinners and movie nights out were saved for the weekends as nothing was within walking distance.
We ended up eating at Burgoo Bistro Lonsdale, inland from the waterfront with an outdoor sitting area so you could still see the water but a short walk away. The food was good, and they had a great locally crafted beer, which is always great for a hot summer night. Because it was a weeknight, they had the last call at around 20.30 as they were closing at 21.00. The timing seemed normal to me for the States, but my European coworkers were surprised that they were closing early. Having lived in Italy on and off for the last ten years and having worked in an Irish pub in Rome, I understood why they were so surprised because in Europe, even on weeknights, bars and restaurants stay open past midnight in some areas. However, it wasn’t the case in this area as we found things starting to close down around 22.30, leaving us to call it a night and head back to the ship.