I’m back with a vacation blog post! For the Victoria Day long weekend I decided to spend my extra day off and headed to Vancouver, British Columbia. I even was able to extend it into a business trip and was able to leave Wedensday. Needless to say it was an amazing trip filled with many firsts and as I sit typing this on my flight home I’m already sad that it has come to an end. I’m going to miss waking up every morning to the mountains out in the horizon. You just don’t get those views in Ontario.
These are just the photos from my iPhone. I’ll be sure to add my shots from my DSLR once I get access to my MacBook.
Unfortunately my good friend and gracious host Amanda dislocated her knee a few days before I even arrived on Wedensday so she was forced to wear an immobilizer to help keep her knee straight and was stuck moving around with crutches. We had originally planned on going on some hikes and to go exploring. So the crutches proved to be an obstacle to face. I ended up just exploring a bit by myself some days and on the Saturday we rented a car and drove around. Still was able to get our adventure in!
I arrived Wedensday night (fell asleep for most the flight but did manage to watch The Maze Runner!) on a Boeing 770 and took the SkyTrain to Waterfront station and then took a bus to Amanda’s. By the end of this trip I was an expert at their bus system!
I had a meeting Thursday for lunch with the Georiga Straight (weekly alternative paper in Vancouver) and after that meeting I took the SkyTrain once again and then a bus to Richmond. The final destination for this trip was to Stevenson, British Columbia as this is where the TV show Once Upon A Time is filmed. It is indeed the fictional town of Storybrooke. A few shops even embrace this fact and keep their signage up even during the off season. A smart business decision if I do say so myself.
I was expecting to see the town I see on television all the time but what I wasn’t expecting was the great scenery overlooking a marina and all the great little stores around the area. There were a few fish and chip stores along the water and I’m already regretting that I passed up on getting some! Oh well, always an excuse to come visit another time.
To end off my afternoon I did a little shopping and headed back to Amanda’s for dinner. We were invited to a board game night at her friends place, so I picked up some craft beer and we spent the evening playing games like Sherif and a new version of Pandemic.
Friday I helped Amanda with some chores around the house that she was currently unable to do and had a late lunch / early dinner with my reps at TSN Radio. Had a great time having some drinks and getting to know the people I usually only communicate with over the phone or in emails.
My other friend Cassandra wanted to see me while I was in Vancouver and that night offered to drive myself and Amanda to White Rock to see the a town right on the water and right by the Washington state boarder. We walked down the pier there and took some photos. Also, stopped by a restaurant and I had Pho for the first time! I’m sure I looked ridiculous eating it but it was delicious!
On Saturday I rented a car for the first time ever in my life. Amanda and I had a quick first stop at a Starbucks and then to a grocery store to pick up some food for a picnic at the beach later that day. Then we began our mini road trip around BC!
The first location we went to was Lynn Valley and I went on the suspension bridge there. I’m glad we got there when we did as I was able to get a few shots and looked around before a swarm of other tourists arrived. It became hard to pass people on the bridge so it was that was the signal to head to our next destination!
The next stop was our pit stop for lunch at Golden Ears Provincial Park at Lake Alloutte. After a lovely lunch of sandwiches, baby carrots, crackers and peanut butter I took some photos of the area. I like to think that if I was advertising some cologne this is the photo they’d choose to use. I think the one on my DSLR has a more ‘serious’ looking shot.
While in area we also stopped at Mike Lake where I watched a few people fishing and canoeing for a few minutes before walking around on a trail. It was then back onto the road.
Our final destination for the road trip was Castle Fun Park and to see Mt. Baker off into the distance. I must admit I didn’t know what to expect coming here but I felt my inner child coming out with all the arcade style games. They had everything from skeeball, to pinball machines, to Pac-man Royale to all sorts of racing games. Got myself a ring pop with all the tickets I won. Haven’t had one of those things in years.
Amanda and I had a brunch reservation at the Top of Vancouver Rotating Restaurant. I’m so glad Amanda suggested it as this was a perfect meal to also take in the views of Vancouver. I believe the restaurant fully rotated every 40 minutes or so and I was able to take in 360 degrees of the city. Brunch there was an all you can eat buffet. They had waffles and bacon so I was content. For the first time I learnt to eat grab legs and had dragon fruit for the first time too. Not going to disclose the amount of desert I ate. Let’s just say need to hit the gym tomorrow ASAP.
Amanda headed back home but left me with instructions in how to get to Gas Town and then to Stanley Park from there. I spent the rest of the afternoon being a tourist. I checked out the steam clock and walked in and out of all the stores in the area. Picked myself up a few souvenirs. Like a keychain, which for months I was telling myself I was going to purchase a new one for my keys.
I then walked along the waterfront to Stanley Park. This walk alone made me wish I lived in Vancouver. I would be in this area everyday if I could just enjoying the outdoor. At Stanley Park I was taking some pictures of ducks in a pond when two Canadian geese literally just walked right up to me. Could have pet them if I didn’t think they’d bite my fingers off. I’m assuming tourists feed them, even though they shouldn’t be. I told them I didn’t have any snacks for them but did get some great closeup shots of them!
I did some hiking in the woods, which must have looked odd to any passerbyers since I was wearing a tie, sports jacket and dress pants still from brunch! It worked out well though as I liked the contrast between nature and my city life in some of the shots I took of myself. My hiking also led me to the Sea Wall where I was blown away by the views!
To top it all up I saw some wild seals along the trail, which was so cool to see. They were too far away to get a good photo, but I enjoyed seeing them out in Vancouver Harbour. Ended the evening watching movies with Amanda and getting a tarot card reading! Not sure if we interpreted the reading right, but whatever thre cards were saying… It’s supposed to be a positive outcome!
Cassandra was kind enough to offer to drive me to the airport in the morning and since we had some time to kill we actually went to the casino… At 9am in the morning. I lost $20 at the slot machine, which was to be expected, but won $30 at roulette! Huzzah! Cashed out in the positive, even if it was only a little increase.
I then went through security and got on my return flight home to Toronto, which I’m currently on as I write this post. Between drinking some Second Cup coffee, and watching American Sniper, I’m wrapping up this post. This has been such an amazing and relaxing trip and it was a nice reminder that with all the travel I do in other countries I have this beautiful backward to explore in my very own country.
Till next time!