Category: Vancouver


Our first day on our trip and it passed with flying colors. What was supposed to be a day of 50 MPH winds and lots of rain, turned out to be a calm day in the mid-40’s with everyone in Vancouver outside biking, running, and just enjoying the day. This truly is a city for people who love the outdoors. We started the day at the Vancouver Lookout to, well, lookout over the skyline in all directions. It had some good views, but was a bit overcast when we were up there so we couldn’t see too far in the distance.

We then headed over to the tourist info center, to be greeted by two older women who either loved their job like no one I have ever met, or were on something to keep them cheery because their job is boring as can be. I’ll go with the latter. She told us to hit Stanley Park, Granville Island, and a couple of streets. She told us to walk a bit, then take a bus, then take a ferry. I told her we’d just walk, she thought that was preposterous, yet she was still smiling the Joker!

Anyway, we walked up to Stanley Park along the sea walk, where I had my first catastrophe and dropped the camera. Fear set in, Annemarie almost killed me, and I thought I was out a bit of coin. But all came out fine, and thank god for a UV filter on the lens. We made it up to Stanley Park, primarily just to see the lighthouse and the Totem Poles:

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

We then headed down the south side of the island along English Bay and Sunset Beach, which gives you another prospective of the island. Vancouver is a very modern city, with tons of construction going on for the growing population, as well as the Olympics which will be here in less than a year. We followed that path down to a ferry boat which took us over to Granville Island, which has the Public Market of Vancouver, which was packed with tourists and locals, but interesting none the less. We then hopped back on the ferry to main island and walked around until we met up with my friend Andy and his friend Monica for dinner. It was nice to see a familiar face and catch up with our old friend.

As of right now, we are sitting in the JAL Sakura Business Lounge waiting for our flight to Tokyo, in which we take off at 1pm and land in Tokyo at 3pm……the next day! And an obligatory city shot to part with:

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So we took off for Vancouver yesterday, and we had some highlights for what would have been otherwise a boring trip to get out here. The flight on Southwest was fine from Chicago to Seattle, and it was the first test to see if our bags would pass the carry on test, and they did with flying colors. Right before we board the plane I find that my iPhone has, well…….gone mad! Completely blank white screen, yet I can still receive calls, just can’t see what I’m doing. WONDERFUL. Good thing I wouldn’t need my phone much on the trip. First snafu of the trip.

We get to Seattle, and find that our trip is delayed half hour, no big deal. We grab the last bowl of terrible Japanese food that we will ever eat and make a mad dash to find a plug to charge up the computer and Annemarie’s phone. I go online, and find that if I do a power reset on my phone, it might work. Thankfully, it did! So that was out of the way. We are about to board the plane, and the check in desk calls us up to make sure we have our passports, and to move us to the emergency row for more room, NICE! I then get a warning from Annemarie that Vancouver is having 50-70 MPH winds in the city, and it will continue through tomorrow. I let that pass for now. We also realised that our Residence Inn for the next two nights, well, NO LONGER EXISTS!!!

Apparently the hotel was bought out by Cascadia Hotels and our reservation lies with them. This whole transition happenned 2 weeks ago, guess we would have never known. So we board the plane, crash for the 40 minute flight, and we’re in Vancouver. We get to customs, where as always, I pick the wrong line for quickness and we are stuck waiting an additional 15 minutes to go through. Mind you it’s 1am in Vancouver, and 3am in our heads. I then took a quick glance at the weather in Vancouver, and those 50-70 MPH winds were actually in KMH, and we had our first laugh, which was then followed by finding the slowest cab driver in all of Vancouver. There are Prius cabs everywhere, and this guy either wanted to show us how good the gas mileage really was, or run our meter as high as he could within a 10 mile drive. Either way, it was slow.

So besides an inaccurate weather report, a hotel that no longer exists, a temporarily disabled cell phone, and a slow cab driver, I’d say it was pretty uneventful. Time to go grab some breakfast and head out to take some pictures…..in the calm weather that Vancouver is having today 😉