And We’re Back!

After spending last week madly trying to get our yard work done so we could take off for a few days in Vancouver, we took off late on Friday to spend the night with Sylvia’s Mom. We had a great time with her on Saturday, and visited with some other members of our family before heading to Sylvia’s Dad’s for dinner and more visiting. At the end of a great day (and no pictures…I’m a terrible blogger) we took off for Vancouver, where we spent 4 nights right next to the Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal at the Fairmont  Pacific Rim Hotel. We were joined by a couple of family members who do not wish to be documented in our blog, so the pictures will only be of Sylvia’s and my escapades, but all the wonderful spots we visited were enjoyed by all of us.

It was late when we arrived in Vancouver but Sylvia and I decided to take a lap around the Vancouver Convention Centre and see the sights. There were no cruise ships in town, but we ended up wandering around Jack Poole Plaza where the cauldron of torches from the Vancouver Winter Olympics is located. My pic didn’t really work that well, so I stole this one from the Interweb. I don’t know what your impressions are of this torch but I was really quite surprised on how small the structure actually is. It’s not much more than 25 feet tall and 50 feet across which is much smaller than it was in my Mind’s Eye after seeing it so often during the Vancouver Olympics.

After a nice Mother’s Day brunch the next morning we drove to North Vancouver to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the associated forest walks they have developed. It’s rather expensive for a walk in the forest if you ask me, but not a bad deal for the locals as a one day pass allows you to get in for the rest of the year for free, and bring along future guests for a 15% discount. The tourists have to pay full price though, and the $37 charge didn’t deter anyone, as the place was packed.

IMG_0134

The bridge is quite long and quite bouncy with all the people on it. I didn’t think Sylvia would enjoy it, but she had a great time.

 IMG_0136 IMG_0142

One of the other attractions is a Tree-Top walkway that allows you to walk from tree to tree and look down at the forest. Quite a different perspective. IMG_0143 IMG_0144

It was tough to get a picture of just Sylvia anywhere in the Trees as the place was packed, but we finally got her almost by herself. IMG_0147

They also have a Cliff Walk section that includes a skywalk that juts out from the granite.

 IMG_0149

It’s much more stable than the suspension bridge and provides great views of the Capilano River.IMG_0151 IMG_0158

After a couple of hours wandering around the forest we made our way back into Vancouver to check out a couple more attractions, that included food and beverages and then made our way back to the hotel to prepare for an evening of more eating, this time at an Asian Fusion restaurant. Eating did seem to be the theme for most of the time we were in Vancouver.

On Monday we made our way to Granville Island where we wandered the various galleries, artisans and yes, restaurants for several hours. Sylvia got caught up feeding the seagulls for a bit which could have been messy, but turned out quite well. At least the seagulls seemed to know that if they ever let go on anyone the free meals would probably be over.

IMG_0161a

Monday night was time for a French Restaurant and while the food was pretty good, it was difficult to pick something from the fairly small menu that we thought we’d like to try. There’s just something about Foie Gras and Sweetmeats (don’t ask, and I promise I won’t describe them) that doesn’t appeal to our particular palate. What we did manage to settle on did taste good though, but I believe it was the single most expensive meal we’ve ever had.

Tuesday morning started out a bit cloudy and drizzly but we walked across downtown to visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen  Classical Chinese Garden. This is a little bit of peaceful paradise smack dab in the middle of Chinatown. It was built in the 1980’s by Chinese craftsmen and all the structures were built without nails for screws. It’s quite impressive and very tranquil.

IMG_0164

All of these pebbles in the pathways were brought in from China and placed by hand in these patterns. So were all the unusual rocks around the pond.IMG_0167

The lattice work was all very intricate and held together with little wood pins and wedges. The posts were a very special wood that’s rare in China and covered with a very thick coat of paint. They were so hard we thought they were steel until we saw where some paint had chipped off. IMG_0168

The pebbles in this walkway are more geometrically shaped as opposed to the curving shapes in the previous path. It’s part of the Yin and Yang difference apparent throughout the entire garden.  IMG_0170

There weren’t many flowers out, but those that we found were sure pretty.  IMG_0172

Then there’s this flower! IMG_0173

After the garden tour was over we found yet another spot to stop and eat and then wandered over to the Vancouver Planetarium. Sylvia and I hadn’t been there since we took our kids there when they were in Elementary School. It’s about 46 years old and the original projector had finally broken down a couple of years ago. They have replaced the old school central projector that contained hundreds of different lenses with 6 projectors that they can now control with an Ipad. The images they create are pretty impressive. IMG_0175 IMG_0176  

After the show was over we wandered back to the hotel and prepared ourselves for our last evening out. Dinner was another new experience for us. It seems that the new  trend in Asian Cuisine is a Ramen House. This is a gourmet version of the Mr Noodles that our kids used to eat by the bowlful when they were young. The restaurant we went to had  very large colourful menu, but every dish had two pages dedicated to it with impressive colour pictures of each item. The food wasn’t bad, but the pictures were better than the taste of the Ramen.

After dinner we attended a Joe Bonamassa concert at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. This is the second time I’ve seen him but was a first for Sylvia. The show I saw a year ago was in Tucson at a Hockey Arena, and while I really enjoyed it I was looking forward to hearing him perform in a proper theatre. We weren’t disappointed as the sound was great and Joe’s guitar playing was exceptional. He played for a solid 2 hours and 15 minutes with hardly a break. He also only played a couple of songs that I heard at last year’s concert so it was a whole new experience altogether.

The following morning we packed up and drove home to West Kelowna to get back to the chores and yard rejuvenation. It was surprising to see how much the lawn had grown in the 5 days since I cut it last. As we’re heading to Calgary next week to see our kids and grandkids we’ll step away from the major yardwork for a bit and just try and maintain what we’ve accomplished so far. That’ll keep us busy enough.

Advertisements

5 responses to “And We’re Back!

  1. Made me quite nostalgic!

    Like

  2. Looks like you had a great time. Not sure about that cliff walk, though! More things to put on our bucket list 🙂

    Like

  3. And Vancouver and area businesses thank you for your tourist dollars. You did not waste much time loafing around. Good fun!

    Like

  4. Oh my, you really did all the great tourist things to do in Vancouver and you stayed at the Fairmont! Wow! That Tree Top Walkway is new since we were last there ( at least 10 years ). What a wonderful mini vacation. Good for you for just doing it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s