Flight to Calgary with Air Canada

idearabbit-aircanada_calgary idearabbit-aircanada_calgary4After my disappointment with Aeroplan, I still decided to try again, this time to go to Calgary (read my previous post in trying to go to Las Vegas). I didn’t know that the promo had more conditions (don’t they all…), and since Sheepie wasn’t going to be able to take time off from work over the long weekend, I decided to go back to Calgary on my own.

I was told that for the promo to be valid, I needed another person to go. It was two free flights – not one, meaning you just couldn’t take one. So I asked a friend who also used to live in Calgary and her parents still lived in Calgary. As a matter of fact, they lived only a few blocks from my parents house…lol. So the drop off and pick up from the airport to home by my friend’s dad was easy.

The promo or any Aeroplan flight does not Include taxes. This time, the taxes and fees came out to $150 per person, which still is much better than the regular $400+ to Calgary.

The flight going there was freezing, and my friend asked the flight attendant to turn up the heat a bit. There was even a stranger who offered his jacket to her, until it got warmer.

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idearabbit-aircanada_calgary6On the flight back to Vancouver, I noticed that we were flying quite low and in the wrong direction after take off. We should usually see the Rockies come up fairly quickly, but I only saw the flat prairies ahead of us. The terrible intercom came on and the pilot said something like they were trying to take care of some technical difficulties…I watched the map on the little screen in front of me showing our plane was flying North.

After a while, the pilot came back on and told us the ‘malfunction’ was corrected and that we would return to flying our route to Vancouver. For a person who has extreme fears of flying, this was not something I wanted to hear…however, the rest of the flight went without a hitch, and arrived safely back to YVR. Phew!

I have heard numerous complaints about the staff, flight attendants, quality and now planes themselves from Air Canada. Their Aeroplan system has turned for the worse, and it’s so not worth accumulating little points. (going to Japan costs $700 for taxes and ‘fees’ even though you have to use 75,000 Aeroplan points) I’ve stopped carrying my card, or dealing with it anymore. Sure, the normal points you accumulate through their flights and at some retail stores are free, but if you have a credit card that allows you to get points, but then costs you over $100 annually, it doesn’t make sense. Sure it comes with some travel insurance, but I ended up having to buy a separate insurance to Europe because of certain conditions.

Thank you for the flight, but sorry Aeroplan, I’m abandoning the reward system. I’ve had better experiences with WestJet, going to Europe has always been with Air Transat, and now that there’s ANA (of JAL) to Japan, and that tells you something if I’d rather go elsewhere where they don’t have rewards.

Service/Quality on Plane: carrotcarrot   Cost/Return (Aeroplan): carrot  Call Centre Service: carrot

Junsei River

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A spacious and open restaurant on the very popular street of Robson. I know it’s a Japanese-cuisine restaurant, and we were all there for sushi, but I was craving for some pho.  Yes, an odd combination, and you wouldn’t normally know they have Vietnamese food unless you noticed some of the photos of Vietnamese dishes on the wall.

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idearabbit-junseiriver6I ordered the Beef Ball Pho $8.95. It was decent size, with good noodles, but I didn’t like the broth too much. The colour was darker, too salty, the ‘umami’ (flavour) was weak and overall not that good. However, my friend did take a sip of the broth and he seemed to like it.

If having pho at a supposedly Japanese restaurant wasn’t weird enough, we had Chinese plastic chopsticks…:P

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The portion was good, but since I was still a bit hungry, I ordered Negitoro roll $2.95. The roll wasn’t done that well since the bottom of the pieces weren’t filled, but taste was satisfactory.

idearabbit-junseiriver9Two people ordered the square Green Matcha Ice cream $3.95. I had a small bite. It was not bitter, and not authentic – in fact, I can make better matcha ice cream with high quality matcha powder and vanilla ice cream. However, the creaminess was really good.

idearabbit-junseiriver5My friend ordered the Sushi Combo E $10.95 with Salmon Teriyaki, Tuna roll, Assorted Sashimi (5 pieces), salad, and fruit. He said the miso soup was weak…and rice wasn’t that great.

idearabbit-junseiriver7Sheepie ordered the Assorted Sushi $10.50 (seven kinds of nigiri sushi and a Tuna roll). It seemed ok, though being served on plastic plates make it seem cheap.

The menu is quite extensive, and as mentioned earlier, they do have a separate Vietnamese menu, though you would have to ask for that one specifically. They also have a lunch menu with some good deals, though I didn’t see many people from our 10-ish group members order them.The restaurant was kept fairly clean, though lacked character, but the service was alright.

Would we come back? Despite the great location, I am not sure if it is on my list for to-go sushi restaurants.

 Taste: carrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot

Voyage Cafe

Voyage Cafe on UrbanspoonI actually had blogged about this place when it was called Waffles and Berries. Not much has changed inside, so not sure for the reason why they changed their name…
The cafe is catered towards chicks with comfy chairs, a simple chandelier, a piano and nice sleek interior. From a design perspective though, I am not a fan of the new logo/look. The previous Waffle and Berries was much more feminine, sophisticated and higher-end.

idearabbit-voyagecafe idearabbit-voyagecafe2 idearabbit-voyagecafe3I had a Social Shopper voucher for two waffles and two hot/cold drinks for only $13. Slightly disorganized that the girl had to hand write the orders as she ripped off slips from the receipt machine. And even with not many customers, it seemed to take a while for our drinks and dessert. I think they only have one other person working in the back…

idearabbit-voyagecafe5I ordered the Sakura and Snow with Chai Latte, while Sheepie asked for the Dark Forest. Unfortunately, as we got ready to sit ourselves, the staff came over to tell us they were out of chocolate ice cream…so he changed his order to Waffle and Berries instead with Liege waffle, milk chocolate, whipped cream and mixed berries.

idearabbit-voyagecafe4 idearabbit-voyagecafe6He ordered a Espresso Macchiatto which he was disappointed in since it was a really small cup…I know espresso comes in those petite cups, but I guess he was wanting more milk foam and a bigger cup…His spoon that came with the drink was dirty. His utensil wrapped in napkin was also dirty, but I think the staff spilt some of the espresso and it went onto the spoon and napkins. (cuz I saw her out of the corner of my eye rushing to clean the espresso cup, but probably neglected to check other things)

Sakura and Snow had Liege waffle, strawberries, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. Both of our waffles were presented nicely. It tasted really good! However, $10 for a waffle with some topping is a bit pricey.

Good desserts but in a slightly inconvenient location.

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrot