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Happy Valentines

February 17, 2009
  I had a lovely weekend for Valentines this year.  By tradition, my husband and I have alternated in cooking a special dinner for each other on Valentines day.  It started the first year we were dating when he had me over to his one room basement suite for a very special and romantic dinner.  In turn, the following year I repaid him with a dinner at my apartment after I made sure that the roomates would be out for the evening.  This year it was my turn again, but we scored some tickets to a concert for the cultural olympiad at the Chan Centre.  Since it was quite a drive to go to UBC and back again to the suburbs, we decided to take up on the room specials for Valentines weekend at the hotels downtown Vancouver and spent the night in town.
  I had bought a new red dress and surprised Jeff with it while we were packing.  He liked it a lot, but I felt it needed something a bit more to finish off the outfit.  Jeff suggested we do a little shopping before the concert.
  We drove into Vancouver and checked into the fairly busy Delta hotel.  The service was really spectacular, our package included valet parking so all we had to do was drive up and check in.  To our delight they gave us each a chocolate chip cookie just for checking in!  It was very nice because I hadn’t had anything to eat as I just woke up after my night shift and loaded up the car.   Our room on the eleventh floor was very comfortable and spacious.  It even had two television sets, one for the bedroom and one for the onsuite.  We unpacked our Valentine goodies we bought for ourselves, (lotto tickets and wine) and set out to do a little shopping. 
  The first store we went through was the Bay.  I gravitated to the Olympic section as they have a large selection of items for the 2010 Olympics.  I love their mascots and the mascot sidekick, Mukmuk, so I just wanted to see what was there that I hadn’t seen before.  What I found most impressive was the huge stuffed mascots in the front window of the store.  Quite the display!
  Next we went for a walk to Pacific centre, which is an underground connection of stores.  I was very lucky that the first store we encountered was an accessory store and I found the perfect wrap to go with my dress.  It is red and has hand embroidery of two peacocks which sparkle with beads.  After that I could relax and gawk leisurely at the other stores until we went to the Lennox pub for dinner.
  The concert at the Chan centre was enjoyable.  The night was divided into two acts, the first was a gentleman, Dhafer Youssef played an instrument called the oud, and had a group that accompanied him that was really an outstanding talent.  The second act was more synthesized sound with the lead named Jon Hassell who played the trumpet.  It was a sound that was sultry and their performance was very intense.
  Afterwards we returned to the hotel and had our wine and chocolate dipped strawberries that were included in the romance package.  Unfortunately we didn’t win anything in our valentine lottery scratch and win tickets, but we had a good night all the same.  The next morning we had our breakfast that was included in the package and we returned home to our usual, quiet house.  It looked like our hamster had a quiet night without us, the carrot heart we left for her was gone and she was sleeping in her little nest of tissues.
    I wonder if the weekend out will count for my cooking the dinner this year.  Maybe Jeff will plan something different for next Valentines day.  I doubt if we will be staying in a hotel in downtown Vancouver next year, as the Olympics will be on and all the hotels there will be full of travellers and Olympic related business.
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