A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vancouver baby!

After a thrilling trip to Whistler we made our way back down the sea-to-sky highway, this time stopping at Shannon Falls.

The view from over the road where we parked:

Stunning view as you walk up:

And just enough time to stop for a white chocolate magnum - the advantage of being in Canada - British brands! :) 

We spent the afternoon in Vancouver at the shops! The city reminded me a lot of Manchester. It had a big mall, some of which was underground and went under the road - very confusing! And then a street full of shops that were more unique. I do miss living near a big city sometimes but we had a good couple of hours to shop and I enjoyed being let loose in H&M! We even got to have the famous Canadian dish Poutine - it's basically chips and gravy with cheese curds thrown in for good measure! Delicious and much needed as we didn't stop to eat until 3pm (6pm Michigan time):

It is definitely more multi-cultural than small town Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo is huge and population wise is far from a small town compared to Altrincham but I realise it does have a small town mentality and is behind in things like fashion. We saw a lot more culture and diversity, openly gay people, tattoos, fashion trends, street peformers etc. 

They are big on being 'green' and have huge metal recycling bins with instructions - in the food court at the mall, they actually had a video playing on a tv, telling you how to recycle! 
And there are designated bike and pedestrian walkways like I have seen in Germany. So there were lots of people riding around the city. On the second day, we hired bikes and rode around the outside of  Stanley Park and had great views of Vancouver harbour and the English Bay all the way round. 
Also all of the taxis are hybrid cars - they make a strange noise when driving so you know they are there but when they stop and start they are practically silent. It makes a nice change from the big 3 or 4 litre SUVs here! 

On the Saturday night we treated ourselves to another nice meal, this time in a restaurant called blue water cafe which turned out to be partnered with the Araxi from the night before. Anyways we enjoyed another great seafood meal, this time feasting on sushi, crab and creme brulee. Soooo good and I love 'working' for my dinner, cracking open legs and fishing out white crab meat from inside the shell. 

On the Sunday morning we watched some of the wimbledon final, given Andy Murray was playing, and headed down to the harbour to take a 'float plane' tour round the harbour and mountains. It is something that Jeremy has always wanted to do. I on the other hand, do not like anything that floats on water but didn't want to be left out so shut my eyes and boarded with him! It takes a while to take off from the water and makes quite a splash! We were lucky to be sat at the front so we got to see the view through the pilot's window! He got pretty close to the mountains and made you hold your breath hoping he would pull up! 

That is Stanley Park at the back behind the city:

Lions Gate Bridge:

Splash landing:

One pleased Harper:

No rest for the wicked, we went straight from the plane to the bike shop to hire bikes for our ride round the park! An easy 6 mile ride, we managed to stay on the path and avoid a dip in the sea! We were treated to a fantastic view of Lions Gate Bridge and stopped for lunch by the beach. 

On the way to dinner I spotted this piece of art by Chuhily down a random side street. I was very excited as I love his work, ever since I saw the roof of the Bellagio's foyer in Vegas. He decorated a big part of the roof with these glass flowers and it looks stunning! He has an exhibition in Seattle but it was too far to go and see. So glad I saw this:

And on the way back, we walked by Canada Place. I know it was designed to look like a cruise ship but it looked like it would be more at home in somewhere like Blackpool! Oh well, you can't please everyone! :) 

I took this pic by putting my camera underneath the huge 'water drop'. It gave me vertigo and I couldn't stand underneath and look up - it was too tall and leaned!! 

Can you see Canada Place in the reflection? 

Jeremy is stood underneath it looking up - gives you an idea of how big it is! 

Monday and we were homeward bound! 

One hell-uv-a moose in Vancouver airport:

It seemed to take all day to get home as Chicago airport is 3 hours from our house and the plane was delayed. We had a nice welcome home. Clarence the Kellogg driver picked us up and this is the view in the corridor linking the domestic terminal 4 to the baggage reclaim at Chicago airport: 

Cool or what?! The lights turn on and off as you go down the travelators and in time to the ambient style music playing. 

We loved our trip to Vancouver and Whistler. It was like a second honeymoon and we are very grateful to Granny and Papa for doing a brilliant job with the kids and allowing us to relax and have fun just the two of us! 

Thank you Granny and Papa and thank you to my wonderful husband for taking me on a trip of a lifetime! 

The question is, where to next?! :) 

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