Robyn Hanson was the perfect choice to show me this city. Known on Twitter as BCRobyn, and she’s been a TripAdvisor destination guide and has been a booster/fan and a lover of all things Vancouver her whole life. I got a chance to see the city through her eyes last night as we sipped beers at the Yaletown Brewing Co. It’s across from where she works in the Yaletown neighborhood, which is made up of converted warehouses and the sidewalks are all covered since they were once loading docks.
Robyn is effusive on the topic of British Columbia–born and raised here, she studied geography at the University of British Columbia. She’s seen the far reaches of this vast province–showing me photos of Prince Rupert, a remote sliver of the province near the Alaskan panhandle. She’s written daily blogs about everything that’s going on here and now has the perfect job for someone with her skills–she works for a social media ad agency called Think.
These guys do the kinds of things I wish I could have thought of–intriguing contests on Facebook to engage travelers for their destination clients. They set up a promotion for nearby Richmond BC that involved hiring a blogger to post a blog about eating at a different city restaurant every single day for a full year. They work with many other destinations in far flung places like Western Australia and Dallas, creating contests, buzz, and attention for their clients.
After some beers I was happy when she decided to blow off her life drawing class to show me more of Vancouver’s highlights. We walked to a non-descript sushi joint where we enjoyed hot saki and sockeye salmon, dinner was an amazing bargain. “Sushi is the thing here in Vancouver, it’s our specialty and it’s often a great deal!” There are hundreds of sushi joints here, you just have to pick the right one. We walked through Gastown, past the panhandlers she warned me about, and then visited her neighborhood, the East Vancouver, known as EastVan.
We hopped on the newest subway line, that took us from the east to the center of the city, in the new Canada Line, built during the 2010 Olympics in the city. While the rain came down, as expected, I made like a true Vancouverite–and I didn’t use an umbrella. It rains a lot here, but often it’s only a few drops, and it gets recorded as a rainy day. No worries, this town is much too fun to let a little rain bother me!