Canada, eh!

Trip Start Jan 17, 2011
Trip End Jan 12, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday 22nd October

So the time had come to say goodbye and go our separate ways after a brilliant fortnight together. We took it easy in the morning transferring everything we didn't need in our bags into my Mum, Ken and Chris’ bags to take home and everything they had bought out for us into our bags.

Our flight to Vancouver was a couple of hours earlier than the one back to London plus the hire car had to be dropped off so we said goodbye at the reception of the hotel where we took a shuttle bus to the airport. It wasn’t quite as emotional as the goodbye’s in Heathrow but not far off and it will definitely go down in my books as the best family holiday I can remember.

After checking in and getting through probably the most unorganised security control point of our travels, Asia included*, we grabbed a drink and Kerry called her Mum to let her know how everything had been and to update her on our plans for the next couple of days. After that we called Nana to update her as well, it was nice to hear some voices from home after saying goodbye to everyone earlier in the morning.

*If for any reason someone from the US Border Control reads this it isn’t your fault, I blame the design of LAX. Maybe because it was our first departure from the US but for some reason you had to take your luggage to the counter to check in so it could be weighed and the tag put on it then you had to walk to another desk so they could screen your bags which they then kept, then there was a ticket check before finally heading upstairs for the usual hand baggage screening. Glad we got to the airport in plenty of time!

Just before our flight we noticed a vending machine which sold things like iPads and cameras and also memory sticks which I had been looking for but had been shocked by the prices (quoted $55 for an 8GB stick in Vegas if that means anything to anybody), think I paid about $20 from the vending machine.

The flight was good with a surprising amount of legroom for economy, good old Air Canada. We watched a couple of films before landing in Vancouver in the early afternoon. We took a taxi to our accommodation as it worked out pretty much the same price as two train tickets.

The hotel seemed pretty laid back with a common lounge area with loads of books, free hot drinks and most importantly a fireplace as it definitely felt colder than California! For dinner we went to Safeway, the local supermarket where they had a couple of soups, a salad bar and a hot Chinese food bar which seemed like an amazing idea.

We had a pretty early night after the emotions of the day and planned our time in Vancouver before getting some sleep.

Sunday 23rd October

Had a lazy planning morning working out what we would do once we leave Vancouver, we had the options of the train across Canada to Toronto which we could get a good deal on but it would mean sitting in a chair for 4 days which didn’t sound like much fun. The other option was flying east so that the majority of the distance to cover would be gone and we could then work out what to do from there.

We decided to go with the flight as there was a sale on with our new buddies Air Canada. The flight times were a bit crap but as it was overnight it saved us money on booking a bed somewhere, win-win! So next Saturday evening we will be flying to Quebec City via Montreal, better practice our French.

After sorting the flights out we headed into town in search of a SIM card, the guy on reception pointed us in the right direction to a Rogers store where we got connected to their network. It seemed strange having to pay for a SIM card as in the UK the companies are so desperate for your custom you can get them for free.

We also passed a bike hire shop which will probably use tomorrow then carried on in search of a post office which we failed to find. We didn’t really have anything else planned for today so we had a walk round Stanley Park which was nice, we were introduced to plenty of Canadian wildlife in the form of black squirrels and raccoons.

For dinner we went to Safeway again then did a bit more planning in the room for after we land in Quebec, looks like the train will be the best option but we didn’t book anything as we were too tired. Think the mix of walking around most of the day and our diet consisting mostly of bread and soup is making us ready for bed earlier!

Monday 24th October

Kerry decided to go for a jog round the park this morning to try and break out of the sleepy slump we have both been feeling the past couple of days. I decided the best way to get over it would be to sleep some more. While Kerry was getting showered I booked up the bus to Whistler where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held for Wednesday and also accommodation. Because it isn’t the ski season yet we got a pretty good deal on a nice looking room, hopefully there will actually be stuff to do there!

We were more successful in finding a post office once we left the room then we went back to the bike shop and began a route that would take us all round the sea wall of Stanley Park. The first circuit we did was freezing with the wind coming off the sea so we didn’t stop much although we did see some otters in the shallow water and sitting on the rocks.

After going back to the room for extra layers we cycled the same route again but a bit slower to stop off and read some of the signs and take some photos. This time we saw a sea plane take off and a group of raccoons walking along the path!

After taking the bikes back we decided to treat ourselves to a meal out for dinner as the soup and roll combination was getting a bit boring. We went to a Thai restaurant which was pretty reasonable then went back to the hotel to finish our Canadian route plans, looks like the trains, will definitely be the best bet as you seem to save money the more legs you book.

Tuesday 25th October

Kerry decided to go for a jog again this morning, I decided to have a look at the local pitch & putt course which was pretty good and I came the closest I ever have to getting a hole in one, one bounce then it lipped the cup.

We booked the train up this morning before the price went up so our route will take us from Quebec – Montreal – Ottawa – Toronto – Windsor. After sorting the train out we decided to go for a walk towards Granville Island where there is supposed to be a pretty good food market.

The walk took us past the big Inuksuk (Inuit rock formation that looks like a human) which was used in the opening credits for the Winter Olympics and along the seafront before heading inland to cross the bridge to Granville Island, it was a pretty long walk but worth it as the market had a few nice samples and we got to try our first pumpkin pie, it will probably be our last.

After we had finished looking round the market we took a water bus further into the city where we saw BC Place where the opening ceremony was held and the Rogers Arena where the Vancouver Canucks play their hockey. We walked through town to Canada Place which is the main pier in Vancouver and looks a bit like boats with the roof looking like the sails, or if you are from Chelmsford it looks a bit like the entrance to Dukes.

We headed back to Safeway for dinner where as a treat we had another soup and salad although this time the soup was actually chilli con carne which I never realised was classed as a soup but i’m not complaining!

Before bed I just about had the energy to turn the TV on so we could watch the Canucks lose 3-2 to Edmonton, my NHL education continues!
Slideshow Report as Spam


Ma and Pa weston Smarts on

Well you seem to be making most of things again still enjoyin reading your news,eye for a bargain ah,never imagined chilli co carne was classed as soup,into soup making myself lately have to try that one love to you both as always and take care XXXXXX

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