Stop and smoke the roses.

It was a frenetic trip to Vancouver last week; two days and one wedding doesn't leave a lot of free time. But Vancouver was a jewel of a city, as always, and I'll never complain about the chance to record a few more hours there in my logbook. That's actually relevant to something I noticed on that trip, too.

While being hustled from hotel to harbour, we hurried past a hookah. A whole store of them, in fact. And as odd as it may seem, perhaps they were actually being sold for their cultural purpose, rather than thinly-disguised drug paraphernalia. Or maybe both. It is Vancouver, after all. Nonetheless, the concept of a hookah has always been interesting to me - specifically, the social meetings it creates.

I've never been good at self-moderation. If there is a pie on the table, I will eat the pie. I've always even been slightly envious of those with better self-control: the ability to sip some whisky, appraise it for its collection of merits, and then return to the conversation, or the dinner, or the car chase. Likewise with wine, or food, or games, or even walks. Is there anything I appreciate in small bites?

Yes: Cities. Give me ten blocks in San Francisco, and I'll have an itinerary. It'll mostly consist of wandering, but it'll be well-spent in my book, and I won't feel compelled to photograph myself in front of every landmark within driving distance. One might wager that the Boston Pizza project killed that urge quite handily.

And so, it wasn't really a trip to Vancouver after all. It was a trip to Lonsdale Drive, complete with crepes, sushi, horror movies, comic books, helicopters, bubble tea, fresh fruit, salmon, and that wonderful misty morning air. A small sample of all that the city has to offer, and it was more than enough.

Perhaps I'll try a different street next time. But for now, I have to get back to this car chase.

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About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.