Visitors in Vancouver and Victoria

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Nov 24, 2006

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, June 19, 2006

Our latest travel expedition was to Victoria on Vancouver Island. As you can see from my previous entry, my sister Amanda, her husband Marcus and the most adorable child in the world, Ava visited us.

Vancouver managed to put quite a display on for our visitors and painted the most unlikely picture. 'Sunshine in Vancouver'. In fact, in their entire 2-week stay, they didn't even spot a cloud. People were swimming at the beach, the sand was packed full of people, it was quite a sight!

We had quite a busy time and tried to jam as much in as possible. Amanda and Marcus wandered around the city and did tours etc, checked out Stanley Park and surrounds while Paul and I worked. Then Friday afternoon we raced out to the Ferry Terminal and jumped on the ferry to Victoria our province capital city. As we were making our way across the Georgia Strait we saw Orcas or Killer Whales - which was very exciting! (Considering we had paid $90 each to see them the following day). We had a bit of trouble getting accommodation because the International Jazz Festival was on in Victoria (The Cat Empire played the night we arrived) so lots of rooms were booked out. So we went to the ol' trusty to get something last minute. We found something decent for a decent price, so jumped on it and headed to our accommodation.

Once we arrived the lobby seemed to be in a bit of a commotion. After about 20 minutes I finally was greeted and promptly told (it was 10.15pm) that they had no room for us, there had been an error in their system. Anyhoo... after a bit more commotion she managed to find us a suite at another hotel (which was muuuuch better) for the same price, so off we scooted down the road to our new accommodation. So we arrived and checked reasonably easily and were given hotel vouchers for our inconvenience and off we went to our room. Our room was rad. We had a suite with kitchenette, coffee maker, 2 TVs (which was perfect for watching the world cup) an area for Ava's cot next to our couch, it was all good. We were offered undercover parking but I couldn't work out how to open the gate, so just parked in the regular car park.

So we had a 9am Orca Tour the next day which meant an early morning - getting 4 people and a baby out the door before 9am is never easy. So, we had breakfast with our vouchers, and I went and got the car. Something seemed a bit 'odd' when I got to the car when I found my door unlocked. Anyhoo I got in and picked the other guys up and then realized that the change that Lucy and Justin left there from their trip to Whistler along with all their butterscotch lollies (those that Amanda hadn't yet scoffed ;-) were also gone. So, it looked like someone had broken into the car and thankfully hadn't stolen Ava's car seat in the back. We opened the boot and realized that the buggers stole Amanda and Marcus' rain jackets - the only other things left in the car. Boo.

We arrived at the Orca tour and put Ava in her pink 'babybanz' (small ray bans) - too cute. And headed out to find these Orca's. Being the first tour of the day, they hadn't figured out where they were yet, so we spent the first 2 hours of the trip cruising all the way back up to Vancouver to where we had seen them on the ferry on the way down to Victoria. We finally found them and had about 30 mins with them before we had to go home. Paul and I wanting to get the best vantage point braved the wind and cold upstairs on the roof section and thought we'd get the payoff when we found the whales. Well... when we were with the whales, the boat has to be 100m away from them - but if the whales come in the direction of the boat, the boat doesn't move away. So, I'm getting all these cheesy fin shots with my massive lens at 100m, and Marcus who just happens to pop out to the back of the boat with Ava, manages to see a huge Killer Whale Breach right at he back of the boat about 20m away!!! Of course all of us with our 100s of cameras are up on top, looking in the wrong direction!! I think Ava enjoyed it... hahah! Gotta love nature!

We spent the rest of the weekend looking at the sights of Victoria, eating, sunning ourselves and generally having a relaxing time.

We headed out early for the 6pm ferry on Sunday night, so we could get home and get ready for our flight to Calgary very early Monday morning. So we're heading to the ferry terminal - and the big overhead signs tell us that both the 6 & 7pm ferries are fully booked, the next one isn't until 9pm and is 33% full. So we had to race to the ferry terminal and sit in traffic until they finally loaded the 7pm ferry and us into the waiting bay for the 9pm. Aggghhhhh. Gotta love the big city! They scheduled an early sail at about 8.20 and luckily we made it on that one, and got home late. 11.30pm or something.
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