The last day's hippie van

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 23, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, May 23, 2009

So today I have arrived in Vancouver.  The last stretch of the trip on the

train was pretty uneventful.  I woke up to Gab, the VIA attendant taking a photo of me.  Out of all the VIA attendants I have taken photos of, 21 year old Gab was the most resistant to the idea.  So in revenge as it were, he took a photo of me just waking up.  I got up and took multiple photos of him serving people at his station at the Take out counter, which sits below the observation deck.

Advice and the end of it all

 There is one piece of advice I would pass along to people wanting to go on vacation.  It is

called a vacation for a reason.  You are leaving every day life for a break where you can just sit back and relax.  If you go on your  vacation with a negative attitude and you do not get excited for the trip, the vacation will not magically change your mood.  You need to put in some leg work and actually strive to enjoy your vacation and be open to anything that comes your way.  The people with this type of attitude on the train were the travelers who were taking in the sights, enjoying conversations and trading numbers and emails as we slowly pulled into the station.  Our train was so big we had to cut the train in half.  First taking off several cars and leaving them on one rail and then doing the same again for our portion of the train.  As everyone funneled out of the train people embraced, shook hands of newly made friends and many of the young girls gave Gab, the VIA Rail guy a hug.  As I walked along the train to the departure gate I said goodbye and good luck to Ben and to every VIA Rail attendant I saw.  Especially to a man with no name tag standing watching everyone depart in silence, Services Manager Fazal.

I arrived at the gate and there was my brother waiting for me.  We walked out of the terminal and he
took a photo of me at my last destination.  The rest of that day I spent with my brother touring the city where he now lives
The next day was my vacation from my vacation.  My parents had decided to come to Vancouver to visit my brother and me when I arrived at the coast.  But typical of my parents, they couldn't just visit they also had to travel. 

So we were waiting for an old Volkswagen Wesphilia Euro-Van to take us to Vancouver Island and along the coast of British Columbia.  I had immediately told me brother, "I am not taking anymore pictures.  I had taken up till that point 3,500 photos of my trip in the last two weeks.  Then an old Volkswagen pulled up in front of my brother's house.  "That can't be them," said my brother as the driver was wearing a bandana and the other passenger was coming around the van wearing a flowery dress and a hippie shirt.  She waved to us.  Yes, my parents had dressed up as hippies to drive in their "hippie" van.  We soon found out that this van was wearing its age on its back.  Set up to be a camper, the back seat did not lock, the windows did not always roll up, it smelt like hockey equipment, there were rusty patches and dents on the exterior and best of all
the sliding door didn't open from the inside.  We drove through the city  to the main ferry terminal.  Once again the scenery forced me to take out my camera and take pictures as we left on the ferry and headed further up the interior of British Columbia.  In this part of the country, the Rockies are set against the expansive blue of the Pacific Ocean.  As we struggled up the steep roads cutting through valleys and mountains, the van humming as it struggled up the roads, we realized there were two other things that didn't work in the van, the speedometer and the gas gauge.  After driving through picturesque scenery all day we stopped at the best restaurant I have eaten at during my entire trip, Eagle's View Bistro.  The food there was incredible.  The menu was varied from several seafood dishes to a New York peppercorn steak.  I opted for the Cajun Jumbo Prawn Caesar Salad and the Santa Fe Chicken.  The Caesar Salad was an interesting take on a seafood starter.  The prawns were covered in a Cajun sauce, which was infused with herbs and spicy reds and much of the sauce mixed with the homemade Caesar dressing making the croutons soft and delicious over
fresh salad dressed with slices of Parmasean cheese and homemade bread croutons.  Then the main dish and I am not sure I have had a more delicious meal. 
The presentation was elaborate.  The grilled and sauté vegetables, the whipped and then baked horseradish
potatoes and the piece of chicken covered in a pesto cream sauce.  Inside the chicken was a mixture of
feta cheese, olives, onions, and sun dried tomatoes.  The taste of all the distinctive flavours from the mixture
with the chicken and its cream sauce made the meal different every bite.  The food plus the view from the restaurant, which had the Pacific ocean with snow covered peaks in the background, was a perfect beginning to my vacation from my vacation.
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rosaslovian on

Really enjoyed your train blog through Canada. You abruptly ended it. I wanted more, especially of Vancouver Island! I liked your sense of adventure, your guts to travel solo and your constant curiosity, especially about the people surrounding you. I read your blog because I dream of taking the train solo from Toronto to Vancouver and then the one from Vancouver, BC to Seattle to Chicago. Dreams become reality! If you are interested, you can read my last year's sailing blog under my pen name. Thanks for sharing! Your blog answered many questions that I had about 'training'. May our paths cross again, Rosaslovian

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