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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 3–Welcome to Vancouver or AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…

… it was just the traffic. and the construction. and the lack of signs. As soon as we dropped off the Coquiahalla the traffic levels quadrupled. From Chilliwack it was bumper to bumper and then as soon as we got into the big construction zone after Abbostford it just went crazy. The limit is 80kms/hr, we travelled between 80 and 85 and never passed anyone, but must have been passed by a million cars doing 120. Add to that places where we have to slow almost to a stop when someone merging onto the freeway stops as they enter the travel lanes, plus a nervous wife passenger slamming on the phantom brake pedal, and you have a pretty stressed out Daddy.


The part that bothered me the most was the lack of signage. You have to know your streets and make some assumptions otherwise you pretty much drive past everything you want to see. And you have no idea you passed it until you see a glimpse of it through the trees behind you. We ended up in a crazy traffic jam as we accidentally exited Stanley Park, after coming in from the North instead of the South. But we did get to cross Lions Gate Bridge twice. So there’s that.


All stress was forgotten when we finally got into the Aquarium and spent some time in Stanley Park enjoying a gorgeous day.

But I digress. The Ramada Limited was a great stay in Merritt. We were leaving Kamloops and I told Traci we should just order pizza for supper. When we got to the Hotel there was a Dominos in the lobby! Woot! Before we ate though we went to the pool. Andrew and I went on the waterslide at least 18 times and spent a good 1/2 hour swimming in the pool. This was the freakiest waterslide I’ve been on. Not because its the steepest or curviest, but because there is not an ounce of light for the duration of the slide. It is complete blackness while you slide. Andrew laid on top of me to slide and had a blast. I spazzed out a little in my head each time we went down.


Oh. right, I got up early and went shooting before they woke up… The Nicola Valley is so beautiful!


This Ramada has the best free breakfast I have ever had! A self serve waffle maker, muffins, cereal, coffee, juice, toast, oatmeal and pretty much everything the health dept will let guests make themselves! yum! Andrew and I went down while Traci got ready, and she was going to skip the waffles, but I made her go before we left, and she was really happy she did.

I tried to get some DayQuil to crush my cold, but you aren’t allowed to access the Meth ingredients until after 10am on a Sunday. I didn’t get ant meds. Ah well. there isn’t much in the way of elevation change in these next 2 hours of travelling so I shouldn't have any issues.

Wait. what? there is 4kms of elevation change? in the next hour? yikes. Heh, I did fine. The Coq highway is pretty amazing that’s for sure.

Aquarium was cool! Not like I remembered it as a child, as I think things have changed from “Display the biggest Whales at all costs” to “Lets take care of our environment, and show off how we are doing this, and in the meantime let’s rescue some marine animals”. The place is truly amazing, how they showcase so much in such a small space. You can tell the staff are passionate too.


Traci has a degree in Biology so this place is right up her alley, especially the butterfly room.


After an hour we headed out into the park, and over the to the Indian Village train. It’s pretty cool in that there is a narrated story and actors, telling the story of how the evil chief was stealing the food of the tribe and then was turned into a sasquatch in the end, to be converted as a protector of the tribe. I wasn’t sure how Andrew enjoyed it until he asked if we could go on it again. So we did!


From there we spent some time on the beach, people and boat watching. At 3:30 we headed over to the hotel.


The hotel was very cool, Pinnacle on the Pier, and we had a 6th floor habour front room overlooking the Pier and across to downtown. The room itself was great, but had this really interesting glass wall shower, that had a blind you opened from the room side. Not sure who this was designed for… any guesses?


The view was outstanding!



It was very hot and hazy, so the pics were a bit colorless from the room.

We relaxed in the room for a while, then got cleaned up to take the SeaBus into downtown for supper. We always debate the trouble it takes to go on an adventure such as taking the SeaBus, but every time we go, it is worth it to see the excitement on Andrews face. He is such a good traveller and is always up for the adventure.


There is no lack of photography subjects in Vancouver..


We hung around for a while in Gastown and enjoyed a great meal at the ‘Old Spaghetti Factory’ where the seated us in the Trolley car.



Gastown is pretty charming too! We waited around for the 8pm toot of the steam clock. Andrew didn’t believe me it was going to sound like a train and was very happy that it did!


On the way back on the SeaBus, I couldn’t resist shooting this sunset with random people shot.


Day 3 was incredible, by the time we were ready for bed, we had forgotten about the driving stress and wound down into the night…




  1. Your great cruise ship photos (among all of the other great photos) reminds me of my Grandma. From their place in West Van, she used to watch for the cruise ships heading in/out of the harbour, and would wave a white bedsheet off the balcony if she knew someone on the ship. She'd get the schedule from the paper and we'd check which ships to look at with the binoculars if we were out visiting.

    1. Cool! Glad I could conjure up some good memories!

  2. <3 this post so much! I'm so glad to see the little train in Stanley Park is still working, as I plan to take my daughter on it (just as my parents used to take me). SeaBus, Aquarium...yep, all the places I plan to take my daughter, you've done all that, and it's so awesome to see so many things of my childhood....