Day 13: A wet day in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Trip Start Jun 05, 2008
Trip End Jun 24, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today's blogger: Kory
Today's photog: Matthew, Kory and Mike

I figured this would happen sometime on the trip, but day 13 was a hard one for me. Living in a motel room with 3 other people is catching up with me. Navigating big cities is catching up with me, too. I told my family today that if I've learned anything from this trip, it's that I'm a small town girl. Not that all of the bigger cities on this trip haven't been enjoyable places to visit. They have. But when we caught sight of the Vancouver skyline today, I thought, "what have we done?" Vancouver is not that much bigger than Seattle, according to some web stats I checked, but the mass of skyscrapers downtown makes it seem bigger.

To its credit, Vancouver traffic downtown wasn't too bad, and between the map and good road markings, we made our way to Stanley Park without much difficulty. But the freeways around Vancouver are rather narrow laned and not very many lanes, so that part of the trip was very congested, both morning and afternoon.

Stanley Park is the 3rd largest park in North America. (I don't know what #1 and #2 are - I've meant to look that up, but that's your assignment.) There, along with every Vancouver school child under the age of 8 (we said that DisneyWorld wouldn't be as crowded), we visited the Vancouver Aquarium, which has a lot of the aquatic life indigenous to the area, plus a tropical rain forest area and other features. A baby beluga whale was just born there about a week ago, so that was all the excitement there. People were waiting in line for an hour to see her with her mother, but we took a top-of-the-tank view with little wait. The cutest things there were the sea otters, which as Kelsey said, had the cutest expressions. Unfortunately they were so popular that it was hard to get close enough for a good photo. But we sure did enjoy watching them, and Matthew has developed a swimming pool routine in which he mimics them. He's almost as cute as they are.

As aquariums go, the Vancouver Aquarium was not a disappointment, and I'm glad we learned something about Pacific NW aquatic life, but I'd rate Chattanooga's aquarium higher. Chattanooga definitely has the "wow" factor when you walk into the area that has the huge floor to ceiling viewing windows of the large tank. Vancouver's aquarium doesn't compare with that.

After the Aquarium, we set off to catch a Stanley Park trolley to take us around to other stops in the park. We were able to see a great view of the Vancouver skyline, a totem pole display, walk on the sea wall, etc. It started raining, so we didn't get on and off the trolley quite as much as we originally planned, but we still got a good feel for the park.

When we left Stanley Park, we intended to visit an old part of Vancouver called Gas Town, but we had some traffic challenges and decided just to get the heck out of Dodge, so to speak. It took us almost an hour just to get back to the freeway. Once we cleared the Vancouver area, though, it was smooth sailing back to the US and through customs (very quick for us today).
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mksquared on

The pointy roofs
The white pointy roofs in the Vancouver photo we posted named 'Seaplanes' is Canada Place, a cruise ship pier, hotel, restaurant and convention center.

We are in Seattle now; love our hotel, which is like a small apartment, and have a used book store, music store, coffee shop, and grocery store all within 2 blocks. Did I say I wasn't a city girl?

More soon! xo!

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