Welcome back, to the letter R of this year's A-Z challenge!
Sorry, guys, I did it again. "R is for Richmond", and we had accommodation and dinner one time in Richmond, plus we visited a pumpkin patch.
But mostly it is going to be a 20 minutes ride up north to V is for Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Victoria, because when I was mapping out the alphabet, V already was taken. So turn up the volume and give it up for this Vancouverite:
One time we arrived from Seattle, and shortly after passing the US / Canadian border it began to pour, and for pretty much the rest of the day that's what we got. Rain, rain, more rain. I don't do too well in rainy cities, so pretty much everything and everyone was annoying me.
C asked to go to the Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. Guess what. On Canadian Thanksgiving Monday the store was closed. There was a note, however, that their downtown store was open. Did I mention I don't like rainy cities? We drove around, looking for a parking space that didn't require coins, because having just arrived from the U.S. we didn't have any Canadian change. I was hungry, moody,…
A pizza, a glass of wine and a hockey game at Earl's made it all better. I especially liked this wall decoration:
It consisted of hundreds of fortress locks that couples left there. I had heard about bridges in Europe where lovers do the same. Years later I was going to come across some in Hamburg, Germany.
PS: watching a hockey game for dinner may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is for us. We don't get to see NHL games in Switzerland, except we pay for the NHL app and stream the game, but considering the time difference it's mostly when they go into overtime that we get to see it for breakfast our time!
Being able to actually watch some of our Swiss stars like Josi, Baertschi, Sbisa or Weber playing during our trip made us excited and proud!
The next morning the Canucks Team Store was open, and Colin was in heaven!
From the hockey stadium we walked along the shore to Science World.
Our parking meter was going to expire soon over at Rogers Arena, so we only enjoyed some time outside the actual museum, hanging out with Drs James Till and Ernest McCulloch, two Canadian scientists who pioneered the field of stem cell research.
We were also being pretty entertained by the gigantic marble run.
Next on our list was Canada Place.
Colin wanted to be the Canadian, but he was too short ;-)
One year - the only time that we visited and the weather was nice - we even went to Stanley Park.
Lions Gate Bridge
We were about to find out on Vancouver Island. On Horseshoe Bay there is a nice little village with a park for those who don't have a ferry reservation.
Then our time had come. Dr Nightmare, our GPS voice told us to board the ferry!
Arriving in Nanaimo we kept cruising back and forth in order to find a food place other than the usual Tim. We really should have updated our GPS cause it took us to places that had gone out of business.
We finally ended up having a pizza at the Husband Day Care Centre, hahaha! I need that at home! They got excellent pizza, too!
Wickaninnish Beach and blue sky, what a treat!
Tofino is a very nice place that has something almost magical to it. You feel like you are at the end of the world, and you're actually in official rainforest area.
You've got barely one signal bar on your mobile phone, and don't get me started on how slow the internet is, but in the evening you end up at a place like this: Shelter. I never wanted to leave!
Neither did Colin. 'Twas the night he became a football fan! While hubs and I were chilling at the fireplace, C's eyes were glued to the TV at the bar. The Seattle Seahawks were beating the Washington Redskins that night. The waiters took pity in him and heaved him on a bar stool where he immediately made friends with Seahawks fans / honeymooners Alexis & Brian.
The next day we were ready for our adventure!
This is what we spent a lot of time and money for:
A couple of years earlier we weren't any luckier spotting whales either, but we sure made some seal friends:
On our way home some otters waved goodbye!
Later that day we arrived in Victoria - just in time for some fabulous sunset shots!
Reservations for the ferries closed two days before, and we had to try for the "first come - first serve" scenario the next morning. It was looking good, only a dozen cars ahead of us on the stand-by parking lot.
We came close - even closer than the folks who actually had a reservation but failed to turn up 90 prior to boarding - but not that close! Which gave us an opportunity to check out the town some more.
We had made our way back to Vancouver, and I got inspired by their way of handling the lack of parking space!
Even though we have been to Vancouver a couple of times, I can't remember having ever seen the steam clock at Gastown, so that was really nice!
That day hubby was annoyed by me so I went my own way for an hour or so. Aaaahhh!
By dinnertime we were one happy family again. Boston Pizza, a hockey game and a glass of wine!
On our last day we got the absolute worst weather! It was pouring really badly.
Good thing we remembered there was this Guildford mall. It is probably the toughest shopping place to find your way around, but then again, we had time. Our flight wasn't till 6:40pm.
Also we still had to resume our Walmart tradition: I shop for the real things like Halloween stickers, brown sugar or canned black beans, the guys keep wheeling silly items to me...
Another last day tradition… the dreaded picture postcards ;-) Well, I didn't write any, but C did.
And look at the cool postal stamps we got from the post office that we almost didn't find because it was located inside of a Canadian Tire store.
We made it to the airport without incidents and on time! Others weren't so lucky. We came across an accident at an intersection very close to the airport. The two cars didn't look too damaged, but there were firefighters using force to open the door, and an ambulance unloaded a stretcher. I thought to myself they were probably visitors like us, on their way back to the airport. Instead they ended up at the hospital.
Time to be thankful...
I hope you don't mind long-haul flights, because that's what it's gonna take if you want to see some kangaroos! That's right, we're off to Sydney - see you there tomorrow!