Now I really know what it is like to be a lady of leisure!
My day started with a big sleep-in. That was not planned. I woke up at 10:47am and had to sprint into action because I had an appointment at 11:15am. So much for eating breakfast. I did manage to throw some clothes on and brush my teeth before walking 2 blocks to Burrard Street in search of a taxi. From then my day went like this:
11:10am – A Fleeting Moment in a Taxi to West Broadway
Total Cost: $12
11:15am – Pleasure and Pain at Optaderm Skin Care Clinic, 1244 W. Broadway
Total Cost: $200 (including take-home products)
When I lived in Vancouver, I used to have facials here. It is an actual skin care clinic, not a beauty salon. You will not see any lotus flower paintings, Buddha statues, crystals or Aphrodite pouring waterfalls here. There are no fancy store front signs to entice you off the street or flashing neon signs to get your attention. I’m sure most of their customers come to them via word-of-mouth, like I did in 2000.
When I opened the door, my eyes blinked rapidly. I felt like I’d just walked into a laboratory; even the staff are in white scientist type jackets.
After some small talk about Australia, one such male staff member showed me to the
lab room and told me to undress from the waist up and put on the terry cloth towel/dress. He even gave me a little envelope to put my jewellery in.
Polish born Elizabeth was my skin specialist. She turned the overhead lamp on mock 10 and got to it. My head bounced back and forth like a ping-pong ball as she examined my pores. I layed there; quietly ashamed.
After some chitchat about my skin care regime (I don’t have one, ok??), she began. First she cleaned my face with cleanser then the mega face began. She lathered oil across my already oily face and broken-out neck. Over and over she wiped her hands, walked her fingers and slapped my skin as part of the gentle and relaxing facial massage. With every sigh and exhale from her I wondered if it was because she was disgusted or bored.
Next came the pore excavation. With tissues in each hand she pressed my pores together a with gentle force. From my pores came dirt and puss, from her mouth, tut tuts. She acknowledged the volume of the job and said she wouldn’t do too much as it would be too painful for me. Thankfully, next came the mask and 20 minute rest….alone.
Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth knows her stuff. I was happy with my new face and her regime recommendations. The is the best place on earth to get a facial and when in Vancouver, I always will return there! Plus, they give out cute little travel/trial size bottles when you leave.
12:45pm – Yes, Very Pretty at Exquis Nails, 1932 W. Broadway
Total Cost: $24
On my way to the bus stop, I passed one of those Asian nail salons. I’d never been and they were not busy so I went in. My hands were in desperate need anyway. It was semi planned; I was carrying my own Brisbane Bronze OPI nail polish in my purse.
Vietnamese Kim, was friendly and precise. She got right to work on my nails and didn’t over-talk (though her English was perfect). At the end, my nails sat under a dryer for 10 minutes, leaving them dryer than a nun’s……nevermind. Basically, this small closure to the manicure was worth every penny of the $24. Because of this, I did not screw up the paint job the minute the manicure was done. I’m still looking at my nails with glee!!
2:30pm – A ‘I’m Totally Starving’ Lunch at Nuba Cafe – 1206 Seymour Street
Total Cost: $13.44
Obviously, I did not have time for food yet. I did grab a banana on my way to the taxi but by the time 2pm rolled around, I was very hungry. I had dinner at Nuba on my first night in Vancouver; the falafel plate and I loved it so much I vowed to return. Being as famished as I was, I couldn’t think of a better place to indulge.
I chose the Chicken Tawook plate. 2 skewers of spiced chicken were served with roast potatoes, a huge fresh salad, black olives, pita and hummus. OMG!! I was in heaven….again. I have always loved Middle Eastern food but it’s hard to find really great stuff. This Lebanese cafe has proved to be a winner with me and there’s no doubt that I will go back. When in Vancouver, it’s a MUST.
3:30pm – I need a fix!! Coffee & Shopping on Robson Street
Tim’s: Considering I had not had a coffee yet, my first stop was actually Tim Horton’s on Alberni (one street down from Robson). Tim Horton’s is a very famous donut and coffee shop that has been around since the 70’s. The coffee has not changed but the sizes have!! What used to be a medium is now called a small. So my order was a small decaf with double cream. Yes, this is my re-introduction to dairy. So far, no worries. And, I was not tempted by the donuts…not yet anyway.
Total cost: $1.50
La Senza: I have a thing for girly knickers. I love La Senza and have even gone as far as paying $50 AUD postage to have their products posted to me in Australia. When in Canada, I must feed my fetish.
I’m 41 years old and have not been properly fitted for a bra since I was 19!! Yes, it’s true, I’ve been wearing ill-fitted bras for over half my life. No bloody wonder, I hate the things. But finally, I’ve been fitted. The young Aussie girl from the Gold Coast was excellent in making me feel comfortable about this kinda embarrassing task. She made sure I had the right sizes and styles without being pushy or too forward. It’s no wonder I bought 2 new bras and 5 pairs of knickers.
Total Cost: $56.28
I spent a few hours just browsing Robson Street casually. I popped into Chapters, which is supposed to be a book store but there is much more than books in there. Of course, there’s Starbucks – they’re everywhere!! But Chapters also has kitchen wear (to go along with the cookbooks, don’t you know), yoga and fitness props (you guessed it, to buy along side a fitness book or DVD), housewares, chocolates, biscuits, LOADS of Apple product trinkets (for Ipods and Iphones etc), lotions, potions and all the things you would expect: books, cards, journals, writing stationary and the like. Wow, I could have spent all day in there. Luckily, I escaped with only one $7 item: a gift for my son…….yes, I was sucked in and got an Ipod accessory. He’ll love it.
So, I enjoyed my big city experience. All the pampering, lunch out, shopping and the taxi ride made me feel like Carrie Bradshaw, except I did everything alone, which is not like Carrie at all….does she ever do anything on her own??
Tired and exhausted, I returned to my accommodation at 6:30pm. The evening was spent writing and doing laundry. Too tired to go back out to eat and not all that hungry anyway, I ate an entire block of Green & Black’s Organic Cherry Chocolate for dinner……And damn it was good!