Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vancouver: Part 1

Finally, the moment that everyone - or no one - has been waiting for, the first of many picture heavy posts from our recent trip.  I've been asked over and over "How was Alaska?!?!," but the first leg of our trip was spent in Vancouver, BC, which was absolutely amazing.  It is such a beautiful, friendly, green city, and I would have had no complaints spending our entire vacation there.

We left at the crack of dawn when it was still pitch black in DC and were greeted on the other side of the continent with glorious weather and a full day still ahead of us.  The hotel mistakenly sent us a welcome treat intended for someone else, which became a running joke for us the rest of our trip.  We really had Joseph believing for a minute that he was going to have to share his bed with Mr. Bebbington.

We stayed just a short walk from the waterfront and immediately scoped out Canada Place, the terminal for all the cruise ships.  Stunning views no matter where you look, and Joseph loved watching the water planes take off and land.

Right next door there's a big convention center and the beginning of the Seawall, a 22K paved route for walking and biking that lines the Vancouver waterfront.  I got a few good runs along the Seawall and can now say I've run in more that one country.  Lots of fun sculptures scattered about, along with the Olympic torch from the 2010 winter games.

We took a bus tour around the city which started in one of the better known neighborhoods called Gastown, with its famous steam clock and cobblestone streets.

Our main destination was Stanley Park, an amazing 1000 acre green space larger than New York City's Central Park.  It's a huge peninsula right off of downtown Vancouver.  Great views of the Lions Gate Bridge along the way, and a brief stop at scenic Prospect Point.

The park, as is hockey's Stanley Cup, is named after Lord Stanley, the Governor General of Canada in the 1800's.  There are tons of gardens, trails, beaches and sights to see within the park, including the Lost Lagoon and it's Jubilee Fountain and nature center, the hollow tree, and the First Nations Totem Park (not all pictured!).  There's even a water park and an aquarium!

About 5 miles of the sea wall loops around Stanley Park, including the area with the Brockton Point Lighthouse.  It's gorgeous no matter what direction you're looking!

Joseph tried to be a good sport, but O.M.G. did he complain about all the walking.  "How many miles have we walked?"  "HOW MANY NOW????"  Should we go back again, I'd love to rent bikes and ride the entire route.  But we only had 2 days and so much more to see!

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