A busy weekend rolled into a busy week with visits to the Symphony and The new Shangri-la Hotel on Saturday, the Canucks Super Skills and the Chinese Lantern Festival on Sunday, the Crime Lab Restaurant on Monday and a presentation by renowned business leader Peter Legge on Tuesday. Wow, what a four day run!

I had not been to the Symphony since the mandatory elementary school visits to see the Winning Symphony Orchestra and I was waiting for just the right time to convince Jeff that it was a good idea. The right time came with the announcement of the Three Broadway Divas show as part of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Pops series. I figured this was a good start because we should know most of the songs and there was another element besides the Orchestra itself. Not only was this our first VSO visit it was our first time inside the Orpheum Theatre (can you believe it?). We spent the 10 minutes waiting for the show to start staring up at the ceiling and all of the elaborate detailing on the walls and were blown away by the symphonies first song – a medley of Broadway tunes performed without the Divas. Needless to say we were captivated by building, the Orchestra and the performers and will definitely watch for another special symphony event soon.

On the way home we stopped for a cocktail at the newly opened Shangri-la Hotel. We were greeted by a number of very smartly Asian attired staff and seated in the Lobby Lounge. While the menu had a good selection of wines by the glass the furnishings were quite uncomfortable for a lounge atmosphere. The tables for two are very large making you feel the need to talk a little louder to reach your partner and the low to the ground low back chairs forced us to either lean on the table or lean even further back – almost too far. There were almost as many staff as guests but the service was still slow. We will give them a few months to get the ‘kinks’ out and give it a try again. Our waiter did recommend the 50 minute lunch special consisting of 3 courses for $20.

The next day we were off to the Canucks Super Skills which is a fundraiser for the Ronald MacDonald House, Canucks for Kids, KidSport and the Luc Bourdon Memorial Fund. While the large number of kids in the audience enjoyed the show many of the Canucks players were participating without much enthusiasm. Given the way they have been playing lately I guess this was to be expected. So we snuck out a bit early and headed over to Lunarfest in the plaza in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The most impressive display was the lanterns intricately carved from tree trunks and adorned with various metals and despite the rain the plaza was filled with individuals and families.

Monday night saw us at the Crime Lab for dinner which deserves a post of its own and will be posted at a later date as Dining in Vancouver v.8. Tuesday afternoon we took in a presentation entitled ‘Doing Business in Tough Times’ at the Hotel Vancouver. The keynote address was given by Dr. Peter Legge, Chairman and CEO of Canada Wide Media. He reminded us that the world has not, and will not, come to an end just because of the tough economic times that we have fallen into. His enthusiasm and commitment to hard work in everything that he does was a great motivator to everyone in the room. If you ever need the inspiration to move forward on a project or a goal read one of his many published books and remember that ‘everyday counts’. We followed up that afternoon session with some friends in a local pub watching the Canucks break their losing streak before heading home for the night. It was a great way to finish off a very busy four days and as you can see we are always continuing to be tourists in our own great city!

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