Two summers ago, we went on the most amazing trip of our lives. We went to Alaska. It was sixteen days of gloriously discovering America’s last frontier, by cruise and then, by land. Of course, this would be ANOTHER post for another day once I get around to writing it. There is so much to tell that I am not even sure when and how I can do it.
But before Alaska, there was Vancouver. Cruise ships for Alaska either have ports at Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, Canada. Two days was all we had and I found out early on that I needed more time than that. Vancouver was not what I had expected it to be. I thought it would be just like any other big city, crowded, traffic and lots of buildings. In short, generic.
I was wrong. First off, I loved the weather. It was summer but it wasn’t maddeningly hot nor humid. It was just perfect travel weather. I also found it to be a vibrant bustling city full of trees and coffee shops, beautiful neighborhoods and outdoor cafes. Despite its cosmopolitan flair, it was artsy and quaint in it’s own unassuming way.
I was surprised to see a huge Asian population, with it’s own version of Chinatown and lots of Asian fusion restaurants and shops scattered about. It seemed almost like California. The intermingling of races and cultures made me feel at home here. I don’t know why but I just get that vibe the minute I see and feel a new place for the first time. Vancouver is a clean and green city. Not only did I notice lots of trees along its side walks but also on top of or on the sides of its buildings! Not plants, mind you, but full grown trees on the rooftops! Stanley Park is the city’s largest urban park that rivals New York’s Central Park. Where Central Park is centrally located in the city, Stanley Park is almost entirely surrounded by waters of the Pacific Ocean. It has beaches, trails, a seawall, picnic areas, eateries and snack joints, historical and cultural monuments and lots more. There are so many different activities for people of all ages here. We spent our last day going on a bike ride around the park’s famous seawall. It is one of the must do’s when in Stanley Park. Nothing like working up a sweat pedaling and then stopping by for a quick Dunkin Donut break. The rest of our group went on a morning run. They had fun as well. There are lots more places to go and see and lots more things to do. Two days is just not enough. Someday, I’m sure our paths would cross again. Now, let’s go on to Alaska….