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Life in the Slow Lane - Vancouver/Whistler, BC Canada

Posted 10-01-2014 at 07:48 PM by silverlabs
Updated 10-01-2014 at 07:50 PM by silverlabs

I am going to combine posts here because this is the week we left Lucille behind. We had a fabulous week with our girls. We spent the weekends in Vancouver and the weekdays in Whistler.

Making plans for hotels, etc., were a little bit different this time because we had to find greenspace around any hotel to allow for the dogs. The Westin Bayshore was our favorite. The room was comfortable. They brought dog beds, bowls, treats, and bags for each dog to make their stay and ours more comfortable. We were steps from Stanley Park, which is kind of like Central Park would be in New York. There was also a green space just outside the door of the hotel that made a quick jaunt outside possible.

We spent the day exploring the waterfront and walking in Stanley Park. We found a modified golf course, called the Pitch and Putt, which intrigued us. It is an 18 hole course and is totally devoted to golf’s short game. Kristin had taken golf as a summer course and wanted to play golf on vacation with the hubs so she was particularly intrigued. We decided we would do that on the return leg of our trip.

We tried to find our favorite food truck, Tacofino. After searching high and low and driving through some really sketchy areas of the city we came up empty. We ended up at a grilled cheese food truck in front of the museum. It was really good for second place. We topped off the day by eating at a really nice restaurant for dinner. My goal when we are in this part of the country is to eat as much salmon as possible. This offering did not disappoint!

We had heard that there was a fireworks competition in town and that the US was presenting their show that night. We retrieved the dogs and walked around the waterfront looking for the show but gave up and called it a day. AND THEN at about 10 pm the world erupted! We were on the wrong side of the hotel to see anything. My husband later would describe it as sounding like the finale of any fireworks show you had seen but it lasted for 30 minutes nonstop. I was so sorry we missed it!

The next 5 days we spent in Whistler. We rented a condo where we had rented before and were completely happy with the accomodations again. We had a great view of the mountain from our ground floor patio. Patio furniture was available to us so we sat it up and ate our lunch outside every day.

We spent our days hiking and wandering about town with a couple of excursions thrown in. Our favorite hike is to Lost lake,and they have a dog beach area. We came the closest we would come the entire trip to seeing a bear. We saw scat on the trail. That was it. The hubs was so disappointed! We did get to the tiny toad migration again. The tiny toads migrate from the lake to a nearby stream or vice versa. I can’t remember. Each toad is less than an inch in total size so you really have to watch where you put your feet. They even close off a portion of the bike path to help the little critters survival rate.

We did two excursions. The zip line company opened up a new section so that was a lot of fun. This year we added an ATV trip. It was just fun to ride up the ski trails. The Peak to Peak gondola ride was stunning. We walked around the summit a little bit, took some fabulous pictures, and ate a really nice lunch. I’m not sure if the food really was that good or if the mountain air makes it so but it was good.

Met a nice couple on their honeymoon. They told the story of seeing a bear outside of their hotel. The guy walked up close to it and video taped it. Then he said he realized how close he was standing to that bear and decided to exit stage left rapidly. His video was hysterical.

We had a differently hotel back in Vancouver. It was still close to Stanley Park but we had to walk several blocks through a neighborhood to get to the off leash area. Neighborhoods in Vancouver are different than the US. In the downtown portion they have a city ordinance that requires each high rise to be half commercial and half residential. It keeps the downtown area bustling at night and on the weekends and there are services available to them that we find in our neighborhoods.

This particular neighborhood was filled with all residential apartment/condo buidlings. It was so interesting because the streets were lined with trees and there were grass lawns. They all had manicured flowerbeds with beautiful blooming flowers. It is basically all the flowers that we grow in the spring and fall.

I started noticing little signs in some of the flowerbeds that were out near the street and at corners. I discovered that they have a program with the city called street gardens. These small areas near a corner, in an esplanade, near a fire hydrant or sidewalk are sponsored and maintained by private citizens. Each one displayed creativity with plant selection and placement and really added to the beauty of the neighborhood.

For lunch we were back on the hunt for Tacofino. We walked all around the museum district searching where we thought the truck should be. No luck. While searching I could see more of the downtown area. Vancouver does such a good job of engaging their citizens in utilization of the city. There are pocket parks. I started wondering if there was a way to integrate that into Waxahachie somehow. There was this large chess game set up on the sidewalk with an open invitation for someone to just sit down and play.

We ultimately just called them. Found out the truck is not out on weekends but got directions to the commissary. It took us forever to find the commissary and, had we not known what the exact address was we would have missed it. There are no signs on the door and the awning out front is just a frame with no awning. Very unassuming but inside was all goodness. Our trip was now complete!

The next day we played the pitch and putt course. The hubs and daughter 1 did, of course, way better than me and daughter 2 but it was still a lot of fun.

The fireworks competition was still going on. The last night Japan was on the schedule for their presentation. I got lucky and met a local while walking dogs. I asked her where would be a good place to go and watch that wouldn’t be so crowded. She gave us a tip. We found a spot and waited along with about a million other people. The fireworks show was truly amazing. There were fireworks we had never seen before, colors we had never seen, and combinations we had never seen. It lasted for 30 minutes at least. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

The next day we dropped the kids off at the airport and headed for the border and back to Lucille.
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