Tuesday, July 17, 2012

British Columbia, Part 1

We left Edmonton early on Monday morning after a very tearful goodbye to my sister and mom...  It had been raining all night, overall making the parting of ways even more somber.  I was a little concerned about driving the windy roads in the rain.  Our goal was to be in Kamloops by evening and that meant around 9-10 hours of driving.  It ended up being a pretty drive- the route we took was through Jasper National Park.  There were lots of green trees, wildflowers, mountains, and billowy clouds.  We stopped by Meadow Creek to stretch our legs, eat lunch, and take in the beauty.

I could've had a not-so-great story to share about our drive, but I'm ever so grateful that I don't.... Imagine being stuck in the car on the side of the road with 2 kids while a certain someone has to hitchhike to the nearest gas station some 30 miles away due to running out of gas.  Hopefully, that tells you a little bit about the anxiety I felt for a portion of our drive...  I'll leave it at that...

We arrived in Kamloops around dinner time and after checking in to our hotel, we went downtown to grab some dinner.  I have to admit that Kamloops was a nice surprise- we walked from the restaurant to Riverside Park and were impressed to find a great park with lots of green space right beside Thompson River, a playground next to a water spray park, and to top it off, there are free concerts every night during the summer in the park's bandstand.

The next morning, we continued on our way to Vancouver.  The last time we were here was during Olympics 2010, and this is our kids' first time here.  We went straight to the Capilano Salmon Hatchery in North Vancouver.  We were fascinated to learn about the salmon run.   Our whole family LOVED watching the salmon jumping up the fish ladders.  It's really quite amazing how these fish will continue to jump upstream despite all the obstacles they have to face.  We'd watch a fish get totally knocked down mid-air by the water currents as it attempted to jump up to the next level of a fish ladder, and yet these fish don't give up.  Quite an analogy...

Next, we headed to Granville Island.  This is such a cool and unique area.  In addition to the many shops, there is a 2-level Kids Market full of shops specifically geared towards kids. 

After exploring some of the toy shops in there, we went outside to the spray park.  Jason signed up to go on a brewery tour of the Granville Island Brewing Company, so I found a shady spot to read my Kindle while the kids splashed around in the spray park, went down the waterslide, and played on the merry-go-round.

After Jason returned, we headed to the Public Market, one of my very favorite places to visit in Vancouver.  We meandered throughout and stopped in the food court for dinner.  Afterwards, we headed to our timeshare and Jason tired our kids even more by taking them swimming before they went to bed.  This gave me some time to truly relax in our gorgeous 20th floor condo.  Out of all the timeshare properties that we have stayed in, this is definitely one of our favorites. For one night, I was able to live out the dream of living in a "big city!"  Tomorrow, we will be visiting Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium- can't wait!  

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Just got to see Vancouver first hand last weekend and was amazed at all the kid-friendly areas everywhere you look! So glad you were able to enjoy more of your beloved Canada before coming back to the heat!