Lookout Vancouver

Trip Start Oct 14, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We started today by waking up to a beautiful Coal Harbour sunrise.   You can't even begin to describe in words how beautiful this city is.  Our room overlooks the eastern portion of downtown, as well as Stanley Park and Coal Harbour.  What a view! After getting ready we headed out towards the Gastown district.  As the birthplace of Vancouver, Gastown was initially a settlement that sprung up around a tavern founded in 1867 by sailor and gold prospector Gassy Jack Deighton.  The cobblestone streets are lined with Victorian buildings that house everything from shops to art galleries.  We grabbed breakfast in an old General Store.  Bagel and cream cheese for both of us; they were fantastic!  Joey loves the coffee in this city; they just make good coffee here.

After breakfast, we made our way to Vancouver Lookout, a 50-story, 360 degree view of the city and surrounding areas.  The view is absolutely amazing and this is a must-see in Vancouver.  You can take your time making your way around the circular room, taking time to read each of the informational signs at each window.  They even allow you to come back up as often as you like that day.  It takes about 50 seconds to reach the top and the elevator is on the outside of the building...which makes for a fun, but scary ride up.

After we had our fill at the Lookout, we headed back towards the east and Stanley Park.  We made a stop at Canada Place, which houses a convention center, an IMAX theater, a hotel, and the cruise ship terminal.  We walked out on the observation deck and watched the float planes take off and land in the harbour...very neat.

We started on our way back towards Stanley Park and happened upon the Tourism Vancouver office.  We stopped in and spoke with a very nice lady for about 30 minutes.  After we left, we knew everything else we wanted to do while we are here.

We finally made it to Stanley Park in the early afternoon.  According to the Stanley Park website...Stanley Park is recognized around the globe as one of the great parks of the world! Vancouver's first park and one of the city's main tourist attractions, Stanley Park is an evergreen oasis of 400 hectares (1,000 acres) close to the downtown core. Its natural west coast atmosphere offering a back drop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees embraces visitors and transports them to an environment rich in tranquility. The park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in beautiful surroundings.

Let us tell you, there is no park that we've seen that is as beautiful as this park.  We rented bikes (they make you wear helmets...bleh) and started out on the 5.5 mile journey around the park's seawall.  They have the path divided so that bikers and rollerbladers are on the upper path and pedestrians are on the lower path.  Apparently some people couldn't figure this system out which made for some interesting encounters. :-) 

The ride was cool and crisp, but we never broke a sweat.  We made our way to the totem poles that were carved in the 1920's by local natives.  We continued on around Coal Harbour and to the Lion's Gate bridge which spans the Burrard Inlet, the main body of water in Vancouver.  We stopped to watch a seagull eat a starfish and even got within a few feet of another.  Katie, in particular, liked watching him hop along the seawall.  She made that funny, quick little laugh...which is one of the reasons that I married her.

We made the final portion of the trip around as the sun was getting lower in the western sky.  It got a bit chilly, but it felt fantastic and the views of English Bay were gorgeous.  We returned the bikes and headed back towards the hotel.  We grabbed a late lunch and ate along the seawall by a marina.  We had Lay's sea salt and pepper chips and we're hoping that they sell these in "the States" soon. Yes, that is what they call the US...everyone.  We walked back to the hotel and took a break.  About 3 miles of walking and 5.5 miles of biking will wear anyone out.

After we had rested, we made our way back to the Lookout to see the night view.  By this time the temp had dipped towards 40, so we both bundled up in jackets and scarves.  The view from the Lookout at night was spectacular.  Its hard to describe it in words.  They windows have a special tint that reduces glare so you can see at night and even take pictures through the glass.  It was well worth the ticket price to see this attraction twice in one day.

It had gotten late on us and all the restaurants were closed or closing so we slipped into a 24 hour McDonalds for dinner.  Its a little bit different, but mostly the same.  Katie had an angus burger with cheddar and bacon and I had a chicken sandwich on cibatta bread.  Both were pretty good.  We've observed that Candadian's (at least in Vancouver) don't take their trays to the trash can and clean up their table; they just leave it all on the table and walk out.  We saw this in two different restaurants and a food court...NO one took their tray.  Funny.

We made it back to the hotel just after 11 and Joey crashed as soon as he hit the pillow.  We hope you enjoyed reading about our day.  We'll have another update tomorrow!  We love you all!
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