Friday, October 12, 2012

Dinner Out With Friends From England

Ten days ago I received an email from good friends from London, England.  David and Belinda were planning to be in Canada, and Vancouver would be one of the many stops on their travel itinerary.

David and I met when I moved from CBC-TV Calgary, Alberta, to the Vancouver TV station, over 30 years ago.  David was a senior producer in the newsroom and I was coming in as their new TV Director.  Being the gracious and caring fellow that he is, David was instrumental in making me feel at home very quickly.  We became life long friends as a result of our working relationship.  Years later, David was appointed as the senior producer on my network TV series, "The Best Years". Living in Toronto at the time, David was responsible for producing current and public affairs stories in Eastern Canada and abroad. A solid and accomplished journalist/producer, David produced many gripping stories for our series.  His Canadian broadcast journalism career also included stints with CBC-TV's flagship news program, 'The National', with Peter Mansbridge and with CBC-TV 'Newsworld'.
L-R   Jeanette, Belinda and David
David has had an interesting career in TV journalism.  He has worked in numerous Canadian cities, followed by a reasonably long stint in Hong Kong and major cities in the far east, and has lived and worked in London, England, for the past half dozen years.  Although retired, he continues to work as a freelance producer out of London.

David and Belinda were on a pan Canadian holiday that would see them land in Montreal (David's home town as a boy), then to Calgary (where his brother lives) then to Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto before returning home to London, England.

They were in Vancouver these past three/four days and we managed to get together in downtown Vancouver for a great dinner out....and plenty of chat.

Downtown Vancouver Hotel - The Sylvia Hotel on English Bay - British Columbia, Canada
We found David and Belinda at this waterfront, boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver.  The Sylvia is a stunningly beautiful heritage hotel, with commanding views of Vancouver's main harbour.

Nearby is this Inukshuk.  Clicking on the photo below will help you read about its status.

Although the sun would not pop out from under the low ceiling of fog, it was still fun to be in downtown Vancouver for the evening.
Vancouver's Burrard Street Bridge.
We rolled into the waterfront area at about 6:30 pm.  Having parked on the street near their hotel, Jeanette and I caught a few photos before entering the hotel to greet our European friends.
Interesting series of sculptures a block from the Sylvia Hotel.

We enjoyed a libation in the Sylvia Hotel lounge before choosing to walk over to the recently built Cactus Club Cafe' that overlooks English Bay.  The food was top class; our visit was even better!

Suffice it to say that we burned up a lot of oxygen just catching up on their lives and sharing ours.  Belinda was keenly interested in our RV'ing, snow birding, lifestyle.  She saw photos of our 5th wheel and was amazed by its size.  In England, caravans (trailers to us) are popular but they seldom exceed 20 - 22 feet.  Compare that to a 39 foot 5th wheel?  We invited them to come and join us in the US southwest this - or any future - winter.

The last time we had dinner together was five years ago when we met at the same hotel.  We chose to have dinner there at the time.  The meal did not disappoint.

David and Belinda commute between their London, England, flat and their seaside home in Hastings - in southeast of England.  It was fun to reminisce about our work world relationship and our current positions in life.

We received a gracious invite to visit them in England and that got our travel juices going.  We've been to England twice but it has been many, many years since our last foray there.  It just might be an opportune time to re-think some European travel.  We would especially love to motorcycle through western Europe.  Something to think about!
Hastings, England
Hastings Pier
Safe travels you two.  We look forward to our next visit - whenever and wherever that may be!

To our blogging friends, thanks for dropping by.


  1. how great that you got meet your friends!..the Sylvia Hotel is a beauty that is for sure! the tree still on the roof?
    we may have to check out the Cactus Club one day when we are downtown!..a seat on the patio on a beautiful day would be lovely!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful evening with great friends. Someone else in blogland has posted a photo of those curious laughing guys--Rick??, Paulette??

  3. Yes, Janna, that was me who posted a few of Paulette's pics of the laughing guys shown here in Rene's post.

    The Sylvia Hotel is a beauty and glad to see it's still going strong after so many years.

    Hastings, England looks like a nice quiet place to live. Sounds like you had a wonderful evening with your friends.

  4. Good times, good friends...does it get any better!