British Columbia - As I Recall It

Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, June 12, 2006

    Vancouver was a last minute deal. Ellen and I had been thinking of investing in property there for some time. Upon arrival, we picked up a rental car and headed for the hills. Our first night we stayed at a B&B in Kelowna. On the way there we passed Penticton. It was just after Stockwell Day had himself photographed while buzzing around on a noisy fricking jet-ski machine. It was a stunt that almost blew him out of the water, so to speak. Shortly after, he started yammering about the world being, I believe, only 5,000 years old. With those carefully chosen words Day's aspirations to become the leader of Canada went to the bottom of Okanagan Lake along probably with the never again seen jet-ski machine. 

     Our night on the banks of Okanagan Lake was cool, but the owners of the B&B had an outdoor hot-tub so we could gaze at the stars in wet warmth and comfort. The following morning after breakfast we drove onwards joking about the 'Day of Penticton' as we headed east towards Revelstoke. Just kilometres from the town we were forced to make a detour; a landslide, or forest fire prevented us from forging on. Heading south along Upper Arrow Lake we drove through the town of Nakusp, before settling at a B&B that was run by a Czech couple on Lake Kootenay. Our room had a Jacuzzi that sat beside floor to ceiling windows. The misty views were quite spectacular. I remember thinking that the birds in the trees could see my bird in the tub as we soaked our worries and cares away.

     The following night we stayed in the kooky little town of Nelson, the place where the Steve Martin movie Roxanne was filmed. I remember the woman who owned the B&B where we stayed referring often to Nelson as being eclectic. I woke up three-thirty in the morning and found the sun had already risen. When the owner woke up I asked her what time the sun came up. She shrugged her shoulders and said she thought around eight. She'd lived there all her life. Eclectic, I remember thinking of her.

     The following night we camped by a lake in the town of Osoyoos, Canada’s only desert. It was in Osoyoos where we decided that British Columbia wasn’t for us. Old people raced up and down the streets in motorized wheel-chairs. And the Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s parking lots were filled with these machines.

     Finally, after spending three nights in rural BC we arrived back in Vancouver. For four days we walked the streets of this fabulous, almost New York-like city, and loved it. The trouble with Vancouver though is that you feel like you’re constantly on the set of Blade Runner, the post-apocalyptic film where it rains pretty much all of the time. Each and every day we lunched at Robson Sushi, where there was and all-you-could-eat sushi bar. I've often wondered if it's still there. They might well have went bankrupt after Ellen and I finished our series of feedings. Our hotel in Vancouver was a condo that I believe had been converted into a hotel, it seemed. This place too had floor to ceiling windows with condos the same as ours right across the street. And like Lake Kootenay, a lot of bird was most certainly seen in our hotel room during the four nights we were there.

     It is now August 2011. This is a retro piece, written seven years after the fact, and all from memory. From what I recollect the BC – that could just as well be an acronym for Before Christ – interior was big, cold and scary. But the city of Vancouver was special. Then again, maybe I got it backwards. It was seven years ago.       
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