Van City a la Bus

Trip Start Aug 12, 2012
Trip End Aug 25, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Today we ventured into the hub of British Columbia, Vancouver. Jonathan's aunt gave us some really good tips and ideas for things to do in the city and sights that were "must sees". Before driving into Vancouver we filled up at the Esso Station (Exxon in the states) and grabbed my now beloved Tim Horton’s. We were surprised at the cost of gas, if you don’t keep in mind that it’s in litres the price of $1.36 seems like quite the deal! Some quick math and we were ashamed of complaining about gas prices in California, it was $5.14 a gallon! We chose to take a city tour on one of those bus lines that you are able to hop on and hop off of at different stops around the city. This works beautifully in the sense that we parked the car in a garage in the area known as “Gas Town” then rode through the entire city on a old fashioned open air bus. The bus itself is pretty neat, it has a running commentary on the various sights you are seeing in the city; and the bus drivers add little anecdotes. At one point a big Canadian football game was starting downtown between the B.C. Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders and our bus driver took to yelling at fans on the street “Come on pump it up, show some pride, yell!” while laying on the horn and narrowly missing a traffic cop standing in the street. We rode the bus through town seeing the various churches, old hotels and major buildings like the Ferry Building and Canada Place looking out onto the water. We got to drive through Stanley Park which is known for its Totem poles and its gardens that bloom in colors specific to the season, right now light and bright. We hopped off at Granville Island and wandered through the various shops then hit the market there. To us it seemed that it was much more diverse than the market at Pike Place in Seattle, it had beautiful flowers, and fish and meat counters, row after row of craft goods and maple syrup, and food stalls featuring food from everywhere in the world. After some deliberation we decided on prime rib and shaved lamb sandwiches from a French eatery, and of course had to get an order of Poutine (French fries with brown gravy and cheese curds) to share. We enjoyed our lunch while looking out on the harbor watching the boats and a man performing on a giant unicycle in the square. After lunch we made our way back to the bus stop and continued on with the rest of the tour of the city. The tour wound its way through Vancouver’s streets highlighting the various spots including China Town, Robson Street (like Rodeo Drive), and the historic waterfront section. Before leaving downtown we made a couple of stops into some stores to buy our souvenir magnet, and went over to the Ferry Building to take some pictures of the water and airplanes. Again we have a knack for catching special events and on this particular day they were having a big Anime convention in Canada place with droves of people dressed like cartoons, including one rather burly, husky man wearing only white see through pants and some red suspenders. Always something going on in the city! After leaving Vancouver we headed to Jonathan’s Grandparent’s in Surrey to have supper with them, his grandfather made delicious chicken curry and rice. We spent the evening talking late into the night about our day, and comparing Canada to the U.S., laughing about the differences in the ways we pronounce things and the things they have here. Jonathan laughs because I say in Canada they have all the same things as the U.S. like McDonalds, Sears and Denny’s only thing different is that they slap a maple leaf on the logo. One day down in the city, though we plan to go again during the week since our bus tickets were good for 2 days. Tomorrow we plan to take a trip to the Capilano suspension bridge and visit Whistler where they had the Olympics in 2010. Until tomorrow, eh.

Miles traveled today: 56 miles/ 90 km
Total:  1,351 miles/ 2,174 km
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