what i loved about vancouver

This month Mike and I took a trip out west, and it was pret­ty epic in our his­to­ry of trav­els! Our route went from Van­cou­ver, through the Rock­ies to Cal­gary, then a few days’ stay in Drumheller, Alberta.

What I loved about our first stop, Vancouver!

1) Peo­ple walk slower

That was first thing we noticed get­ting into the city from the air­port. While Mike and I saw the bus approach­ing at the stop across the street and ran to catch it (with our lug­gage and every­thing in true Toron­ton­ian pan­ic style), every­one else were just walk­ing casu­al­ly, then formed a neat line to board *blush* 

2) Logs on the beach!

We stayed in Eng­lish Bay, which I high­ly rec­om­mend if any­one is vis­it­ing Van­cou­ver. It’s so easy to get to down­town attrac­tions, Stan­ley Park and Grouse Moun­tain by bus, and the beau­ti­ful beach is just steps away, per­fect place to watch the sun­set every evening with an ice cream cone — and yes, many great food places just on the one street where our hotel was, includ­ing sushi, Kore­an food and ramen! It even has palm trees! There are quite a few hotels in the area but we stayed at this more afford­able one, which was owned by very friend­ly peo­ple and the room was spacious!

And the beach have logs that peo­ple can sit on and relax! I thought that was the most bril­liant thing. Every­one was so relaxed. It must be the ocean breeze. Peo­ple play­ing instru­ments, chat­ting in dif­fer­ent lan­guages, so lovely. 

At one end of the beach there is a giant inuk­shuk, and all around it along the sea wall we were hap­py to find that there were inuk­shuks of all dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes :D

3) The mag­nif­i­cent rain for­est 

We took a free shut­tle to the Capi­lano Sus­pen­sion Bridge Park. The main attrac­tion was the bridge, which I main­ly focused on cross­ing with­out faint­ing :S

I man­aged to snap one pho­to while on the bridge, it was stunning.

But I much more enjoyed walk­ing around in the rain for­est, mar­veling at the very, very tall trees, and the small­er sus­pen­sion bridges around the treetops. 

The air was hazy because of smoke from the wild fires. And the sun­light fil­tered through the haze paint­ed every­thing orange.

There was so much to look at on the for­est floor — dif­fer­ent kinds of moss, rocks, a stream flow­ing through, a nurse log with so much diver­si­ty and life grow­ing from it… I could explore forever.

4) The Van­cou­ver Aquar­i­um!

Has the most beau­ti­ful exhibits of jel­ly­fish! I could spend all day (well I kind of did) watch­ing them flow. 

And the gallery is dec­o­rat­ed with origa­mi jel­ly­fish! It’s an inter­ac­tive dis­play where one could con­trol the colours of light illu­mi­nat­ing the jel­ly­fish. Maybe I’ll dec­o­rate our apart­ment with lit up origa­mi jel­ly­fish too…

And sea otters! They’re the cutest crea­tures, so fluffy, float­ing on their backs. We learned that they were orphaned, and res­cued by the aquar­i­um staff, they some­times hold paws when swim­ming togeth­er so they don’t lose each oth­er (so sweet!), they tuck food in their armpit pock­ets to snack on lat­er (smart!), and they hold favourite stones in the same pock­ets to open clams! (“or for when they wor­ry,” says Mike)

5) LYS!

On Granville Island! There’s the love­ly Fibre Art Stu­dio, with a group of 5 artists who sell yarn that are hand spun and dyed by them­selves. It also sells weav­ing sup­plies. I could­n’t fit much yarn in the lug­gage (I wish I could bring back some hand-dyed yarn though!!), and just need­ed small amount of var­i­ous colours to make amigu­ru­mi dinosaurs (more on that lat­er! :D). The yarn for weav­ing was just perfect.

6) Chi­nese Garden

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Clas­si­cal Chi­nese Gar­den. A re-cre­ation of a 15th cen­tu­ry Chi­nese gar­den, in the mid­dle of Chi­na­town! A very serene place. It has a bam­boo for­est and dif­fer­ent nooks and cran­nies with dif­fer­ent views of the lily pond. Also has a res­i­dent tur­tle and koi fish!

7) Mas­sive pub­lic library!

Must love a city with a library like a Roman Col­i­se­um! It’s def­i­nite­ly mas­sive, with kind of a street and shops inside, not to men­tion floors and floors of books!

8) Stan­ley Park

And of course, last but not least! A dear friend rec­om­mend­ed the hop-on-hop-off tour bus while in Van­cou­ver, which was real­ly help­ful and we prob­a­bly saw 50% more than what we planned to. With­out a car, there was only so much ground we could cov­er by walk­ing, and Stan­ley Park is huge! We went through Stan­ley Park twice! There were many love­ly views but you’re prob­a­bly tired of my pho­tos by now, so I’ll leave you with my favourite — because it cap­tures a seag­ull. (they’re chick­en-size out west!)

Oooh, and a bonus one — Dig­i­tal Orca by Dou­glas Cou­p­land at the harbour :)

Already miss you very much, Van­cou­ver! We will meet again <3

Stay tuned for “what I loved about the Rock­ies” and “what’s so bad about the Bad­lands?” :D


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