. Then we walked down to the Waterfront and caught the Seabus (a large flat bottomed ferry) that we simply walked onto and it whisked us across Vancouver Harbor and into North Vancouver. It is a simple means of transport and the kids certainly enjoyed the ride, they would have been happy to ride it back and forth all day. In North Vancouver we had lunch, Lily had salmon sushi, Lucas, cucumber Sushi, Eli, fish and chips and Felix a crepe with strawberries and cream. We ate in a food court and had a wonderful selection of fresh cuisines to choose from. We then finished off our lunch with "Beavertails". These are flat oval pieces of fried dough that can be topped with different sweet conoctions, Eli, Lily and Lucas all had icing sugar with oreo cookies and Felix had chocolate spread with m&ms. Wet wipes were required by all in order to clean up after this sweet ending. We then went out to the playground on the waterfront and relaxed while the kids played off their meals. Back we went on the Seabus, back on the Skytrain and then back to the house for some afternoon chillout time.
The kids spent the rest of the afternoon playing lego and games in the backyard while Jess, Tim and Fiona packed up the bags and chilly bins in preparation for a bbq on the beach. We drove down and picked up Uncle Ben from his work and then all 8 of us travelled through the center of Vancouver in order to get to Stanley Park and Beach 3. Ben had bought fresh bread, ground buffalo and wild salmon burgers for our meal on the beach
. We had a wonderful time relaxing in the warm sun (apparently one of the first warm days of Summer), watching the kids splash in the sea and roll in the sand and just vege out on the beach. Dinner was stunning, as it often is when having a bbq on the beach; the ground buffalo made a lean and flavourful burger, the salmon had a nice blend of cilantro and spice and the crusty bread, fresh tomatoes and lettuce all rounded it out in order to make the perfect beach sandwich. Well fed and satiated, we continued to relax as the kids (even though it was now cloudy and cool) splashed some more and continued to coat themselves in sand. We had to drag them away from the beach in the end and we stumbled back home for showers for the kids before bed and after a couple of stories from Uncle Tim, they quickly fell asleep and the adults retired to the living room for cups of tea and chocolates, all the while congratulating ourselves on wearing out the kids. The cousins had had a grand day indeed, but we too found we had paid the price of keeping them going and to soon we were off to bed as well.
It was nice to wake up this morning and hear the kids playing all together. However, what was not so nice was the fact that they started playing around 5:45am!!!! Nevertheless, it started us all up and out of bed and began what turned out to be a wonderful day touring around and through Vancouver. We had an excellent tour guide in Aunt Fiona who had arranged a comprehensive transport schedule around the city. We started with a ride on the Skytrain which is one of the forms of public transport around Vancouver. We caught the train and travelled down to the Waterfront where we walked around and explored Gastown. This was the first part of Vancouver City to be settled and on the streets they still have the old gas lanterns that were used to light the streets. The streets and sidewalks are still covered in cobblestones and we had a great time walking the streets and our tour guide, Fiona, had timed our arrival so exquisitely that we managed to see the Steam Clock sound off its four chimes to signal 11:00. This was a cool clock that is entirely driven by steam (just as it sounds, right?) and it was cool to hear the whistles as they sounded like a train, but rang at different pitches in order to play a short tune on the hour