Friday, August 6, 2010

Vancouver B.C.

We got to Vancouver at 5pm on Friday and checked into our hotel and went to a yummy Italian place for dinner. I had a thin crust, almost like a cracker pizza with carmelized onions and proscuitto and fontina cheese on top. It was SO good - Rich and I both were loving it! Our hotel was super nice and in a good location for walking everywhere. Rich's conference was about a 10 minute walk away and we were close enough to walk to different places for dinner and shopping and stuff, so it worked out great. One of the best things about Vancouver is the temperature and location. It is mild temperature there year round. They get snow once or twice a year but two hours to the north is Whistler that gets tons of snow and a couple hours to the east they get lots of snow. It was between 70-75 degrees the whole time we were there with no wind. You could wear pants and not be too hot or shorts and not be too cold - it is the perfect temperature! Plus it is such a great location - you have downtown right next to wooded parks and mountains and surrounded by ocean. The thing that surprised me the most about Vancouver was how many Asians live there. I felt like we were in China except everyone spoke English - it was crazy!
This is a picture looking back at Vancouver from N. Vancouver
You have to take a seabus across the water to get to N. Vancouver. The public transportation was very easy to figure out and use.
here is a picture of Rich and the seabus we just rode to get over to N. Vancouver
We caught the bus up to Capilano Suspension Bridge. It is absolutely amazing how much money and work they have put into this park. The suspension bridge is 450 ft. long across a 230 ft. deep canyon. It really sways when you walk across it - so many people were freaking out and walking super slow.

After you cross the suspension bridge they have built all these paths and walkways through the forest and up through the treetops. It was fun to walk from tree to tree and be so high up.
After the Suspension Bridge park we caught the bus up the Grouse Mountain. We took the gondola up the mountain and they have all sorts of different shows and activities at the top. It got really foggy for a while when we were at the top but then it cleared off.
This is the lumberjack show - it was so fun to watch them compete against each other in different events. Here they are cutting into the tree and sticking a piece of wood in the slot and then would stand on it and cut the next piece in until they had worked there way up to the top of the tree and cut the top off.
You can see the log they spin on in the picture above. That was really fun to watch. Down below they are cutting through the logs.
After volunteering Rich to go help them to the two person saw - they picked me to go up instead. Rich said I looked like Ma Ingles of Little House on the Prairie. We raced against another lady from the audience and the other lumberjack - we won!
We went to a Birds in Motion show after the lumberjack show. They brought out falcons, hawks and eagles and they would fly from the trainers arm to a perch and back - but the would fly right over the audiences heads and so close to our heads you'd have to duck so they wouldn't hit you. The birds know you'll move so if you don't they will hit you. I have a video I'll try to post of a hawk flying so close over our heads its wing hit Rich in the face.
This is the bird that hit Rich - I think it was a Hawk.
Here is the eagle - they were huge.
We reserved the bikes our hotel offered for one afternoon and rode around the seawall. The north/west tip of the penisula that Vancouver is on is a big wooded park that they have made bike and walking/jogging paths around the edge along the ocean. It is about 6+ miles around the park. It was so pretty riding along the ocean. We rode bikes for 2 1/2 hours, then I couldn't walk.
This is Rich on the Vancouver side - behind him is N. Vancouver
That is Canada Place behind me. There are convention centers there and cruise ships dock there. There were a few cruise ships headed up to Alaska.
On our last day there we went back up to Grouse Mountain so Rich could do the Grouse Grind. We learned all about it the first day we were there and he wanted to do it.
The Grouse Grind is 2,800 feet elevation gain in 1.8 miles. I would have liked to do it with him but didn't think it was a good idea for me. So I stayed at the bottom and read my book - The Help - while he did it. I finished the book while we were there - it is a good book, I really liked reading it.
The best part was just being with Rich and not having to think or worry about kids. After you have kids that seems to be the main focus in life and it is so nice to have time to just be with Rich. It was so nice to just do whatever we wanted and sleep in as long as we wanted. But by then end of the trip I was more than anxious to get back and see my boys. It doesn't take long to realize you are back to reality and everyday life. :) We need to start packing up our house this weekend. We close Tuesday morning and will start moving stuff over as soon as it gets funded and we get the keys :) We are so excited!!


Belnap Family said...

Wow, that looks so fun! That bridge gives me the chills just looking at it!

Anne said...

i'm glad you had so much fun!!

Honeycombs said...

Glad you had a great time. Nothing like getting dressed up like someone from Little House on the Prairie. We really like Vancouver and all the outdoor things to do.
If you ever want to venter back to the Pacific Northwest we have a free place to stay and you could even bring your boys...or not.

marinda said...

sounds like you had a great trip!
glad you had a good time!
have a great week-good luck with your new house! yeah!

Jenna said...

Buffy! Wow! It looks like you had SUCH an incredible time in Vancouver! I am so impressed by the swinging bridge you crossed and the trails they've set up to let you explore the tops of the trees...that seems so fascinating to be at such a different point of view. So neat that you helped the lumberjack guy win!!!! AND your bikeride reminds me how much I can't wait for us to get bikes so we can go bikeriding as a family again :) Thanks for sharing your pics, it was so fun to learn about Vancouver and see what an exciting trip you had! I must be a little out of the loop, where are you guys moving to?? Good luck with all the moving, I hope it all goes smoothly :)