Eating and shopping are two activities that fit perfectly in the agenda on any visit to Richmond. In my first report I covered some of the former and now I will do some shopping.
Aberdeen Center is located next to the Radisson hotel and serves a predominantly Asian clientele. Some expensive items can be found, but at the same time there are herbal shops, jewelry stores, a Japanese Daiso store that sells mainly household goods at cheap prices and other mom and pop stores specializing in different things. There is also a Korean supermarket along with several restaurants scattered throughout.
Inside the mall
Japanese kitchenware store
There is an Asian bakery named St. Germain that has decent coconut tarts. I also had a napoleon that was the furthest thing to the real deal with cake in between the layers of flaky pastry. A bastardized version if you will. Overall, this place has items that are hit or miss.
On a brighter note, I found L'Opera - a French patisserie that put a sweet ending to my exhausting day. It's a very small bakery outside of the Hilton and it was packed with customers having tea even before closing time. I brought some back to my hotel.
Richmond Center caters to those with a more Western predilection. There is a skytrain station (Richmond Brighouse) right in front of the mall which is quite convenient.
At the airport, we were checked by an efficient UA agent and cleared security and U.S. Immigrations. Once we finished, we arrived at the Duty Free shop and browsed around for a little bit.
Duty Free shop
We arrived at the gate with plenty of time and when boarding started we got in line. It was at this moment that tragedy stroke. It was discovered that a set of bed sheet that one of my parties bought as a carry on was missing. She resigned to her loss but right after coming back to SFO, she called YVR Lost and Found and it was there on hold for 60 days. There were two options to retrieve it - either someone has to go in person or they will send it via FEDEX overnight, which cost USD 200+. Of course, this presented the perfect excuse to go back to YVR and we all decided to return in a few weeks. Besides, there were other restaurants that I still wanted to try.
The gate agents were polite and did their job professionally. Upon boarding, I realized that this plane was retrofitted with the slim seats and despite the tight pitch, it seemed a bit more comfortable than the previous flight due to the thin hard surface of the back of the seats.
A bit better
Magazine holder - missing an air sickness bag
FA's were professional and smiling throughout the whole flights. They even pulled the carts all the way back a few times to allow passengers to return to their seats in the middle of the inflight service. No condescending attitude or eyes rolling.
Surprisingly, they offered fresh meals for BOB (Buy on Board) this time. I purchased a chicken wrap for USD 9.49 that contained chicken breast meat in a tortilla with vegetables, creamy ginger sesame sauce and a package of spicy aioli. Not too bad.
The flight was uneventful and we arrived 19 minutes earlier at 1717 instead of 1736. We parked at the recently renovated wing in T3 where gates 60-69 are located. This used to be the old AA terminal before they moved to T2. SFO and UA did a great job in giving this area a more stylish and contemporary feel.
Gates 60-69 @ UA T3
Vancouver - YVR
San Francisco - SFO
Overall I had a decent experience with UA on this particular flight.
The seat pitch on the A319 is tight but this is somewhat alleviated with the introduction of the new slim seats.
A nice crew makes a big difference and this one performed really well.
It was a nice surprise to find fresh BOB on this flight. This is in line with what AC offers on the same route.
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