i posted some time ago asking for help and got a lot of it! thank you all for the comments and suggestions. as a result of postings, i drastically changed my original plans (3 days of vancouver / victoria) and cut out victoria. im so glad i did. it was tiring just going through vancouver with everyone...
driving up and arrival; at the border, the americans went through quickly. the korean nationals took 45 minutes with a full interview (get out of the car and walk into a room).
lunch at japadog and then check into hotel without incident.
japadag went well and ppl seemed to like the okonomi. none of us had the fries. some how we managed to find a table. the turnover is quick. hot dogs, duh! :-)
stanley park for the day. it was kind of overcast and a bit chilly but it was still pretty good. no hard rain and it was sunny enough for pictures.
dinner at santouka ramen. most ppl in the party were unhappy with this. comments included "no more japanese please" and "wheres the kimchi"? i was ticked off in particular by the kimchi comment... grrr. that being said, hubby and i loved it. i had shio chashu and hubby had the miso chashu. thick, creamy and oh so so so good. it hit the spot. i recommend going there if you like ramen!
DAY TWO (theme granville island)
breakfast at patisserie lebeau. we had a number of them including savory ham and cheese, but i absolutely adored the original liege. snacked on others savories but ordered another sweet one with apples and custard.
go to granville island and spend the day there. the weather was perfect. sunny and warm, but not too warm. sunny blue skies. it would have been perfect for the water park but the 7 yo was not into getting wet. he still enjoyed himself.
we took a quick ride on the aquabus as some of the relatives were kind of restless after walking around.
we found the sake maker door, but they werent open yet and then we never ended up going back. :-(
snacked a bit at the public market in granville. many tasty looking things!!! but also ended up eating lunch at go fish. PERFECT! salmon tacones. enough said! i think the others thought this was okay. but they werent thrilled.
we ended up having dinner on robson. it was a korean restaurant, but i dont remember the name. even though they had originally said that they didnt want korean in vancouver, it turns out that thats exactly what they craved. i dont remember the name. i looked online and i dont think it was apgujung or norboo, but im not sure. we were able to walk to our hotel and there was a starbuck on the way back. so maybe it was norboo or one right near it.
the food was okay. nothing to write home about and definitely not mindblowingly good. but i guess the relatives felt better after eating weird western food all day.
DAY THREE (richmond)
nobody wanted dimsum so breakfast was at red robin. it was my first time. everyone got biscuit breakfasts but i did the weird thing and ordered poutine. bad idea? how was it? it was as good as you would expect 9 am red robin poutine to be.
i felt a little sick having fries for breakfast but im nearly 40 yo and i am a professional eater. i held it in okay.
shopping and lunch at aberdeen centre. daiso was perfect. lunch not so much. we let everyone just pick what they wanted from the food court bc no one wanted to go outside to a proper restaurant. hubby and i split a bowl (champion) from chef hungs and even though ppl say its overpriced, we both LOVED it and it made us sorry that we didnt get a chance to try other restaurant versions of tbn. *sigh* only so many meals, so little time. it was our first and we will make it a point to look out for taiwanese beef noodles again.
most of the others got some weak food court udon because that is what looked most familiar to them. i tried to offer them samples of our tbn but no one was even game.
we had cream puffs. delicious. took the sting out of the udon i suppose...
we also got various tapioca / slush / tea drinks from a number of different vendors during our trip (including at aberdeen).
we stopped by lido and ordered milk tea and pineapple buns with butter for everyone. someone ordered one of the fried rice dishes but they were unhappy with it. it wasnt what they were expecting at all. i didnt have any, but it looked fine. i think this might have been a bit too exotic for the family.
i did want to add that hubby and i adored the hot milk tea and the buns. i would go back for those warm pineapple buns. if hk diners are up your alley this is a place NOT TO MISS. esp for a snack. i would love to go here for a proper meal as well if im with the right kind of company though
after this we ended up going home instead of having dinner at sea harbour bc nobody was enthusiastic about eating any more chinese food (except for hubby and me). :-(
way before i started planning the family trip, my mother in law suggested that we buy a package tour. everyone would ride a bus, there would be a guided tour all in korean and more than half the meals would be at korean restaurants. of course when we heard about this, hubby and i said "no way! we will plan a much better trip with much better food!"
now that we saw that everyone wasnt as thrilled with the food as i was, i see the wisdom in package tours. i dont know if all koreans are like this or if its just them, but next time (if there is one), i certainly wont volunteer to organize and if someone suggests a package tour, ill go along with that. better that everyones stomach is happy and have a good time, right?
we all had a great time in vancouver outside of the food. stanley park, granville and richmond are wonderful and everybody said that they wanted to come back, also to go back and see victoria.
i cannot wait to go back with my foodie friends though!!!!