Travel: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Last summer my daughter, my mom, and I took a trip to British Columbia.  We went to Vancouver and Victoria, to visit family.  I hadn’t been to Victoria since 1995, and I had never been to Vancouver.  Vancouver is a special place for my family.  It is where my parents first lived when they left Scotland.  My older sister was born there and my cousin and his family currently live close by.

We took an early morning flight where we had a quick layover in Seattle before heading to Vancouver.  When we landed in Vancouver my mom dropped an interesting bit of information no one in our family had ever known – my dad, who was an electrician, helped build the Vancouver International Airport.  That was his job when they lived there in the 1960’s.  My daughter and I thought it was pretty cool, my mom was non-chalant about it.  Parents…

Vancouver British Columbia
Good Morning, Vancouver!
Vancouver, British Columbia
If you build it, they will come

Where we Stayed

Best Western Plus Chateau Granville – The room was fine, the location was interesting.  It was in a young area of town which I probably would’ve loved in my 20’s.  There were a lot of bars and clubs that were closed during the day.  It seemed that everyone on the street was smoking pot.  There’s a time and a place for getting stoned, and me on my city vacation with things to do didn’t want to get stoned every time I walked outside.  But, it was in a central location and we could walk to most places we wanted to see, or easily take a cab or the Sky Train.

Vancouver British Columbia
Granville Street

Ella got a lesson in bongs when we went to the store across the street to buy ice cream.  They sold a lot more than just ice cream…

It also didn’t feel terribly safe, then again, it’s Canada, how unsafe can it be?  Hotels are really expensive in Vancouver.  We could’ve stayed at the Four Seasons in any major U.S. city for what we paid to stay at this Best Western.

Vancouver British Columbia

What we Did

Telus World of Science – Once we got settled, we met my cousin and his family and took the Sky Train to the museum.  My daughter loves science museums and we liked this one because it was very interactive and there was a lot to see.

Telus World of Science Vancouver

Vancouver Art Gallery – While Ella loves science museums, I love art museums.  This was one of my favorites.  She really enjoyed it as well.  There was a Monet exhibit going on {he’s one of my favs, too} so I was happy.  It’s a beautiful art museum, probably one of the best I have been to.

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

Hudson’s Bay – You can’t go to Canada without doing some shopping at Hudson’s Bay.  I picked up some Canadian maple leaf Olympic mittens for myself and a few friends.  I get compliments on them all the time and they are a great conversation starter, mainly because if you wear them, people assume you’re Canadian.Hudson's Bay Vancouver

Vancouver Lookout – We didn’t actually do this, but I was on a mission to find it.  It’s near Gastown, and I kept seeing it on the map.  We walked around in a circle and I couldn’t figure out why we weren’t finding it.  Until I turned around when we were several blocks away and realized we’d been underneath it the whole time.  I made Clark Griswald proud.

Vancouver British Columbia

The Steam Clock – This steam clock is a big deal if you’re a tourist.  It’s one of only a few clocks run on steam in existence, so have your camera ready.  Everyone else within a ten foot radius will, too.

Steam Clock Vancouver

Where we Ate

Pourhouse – The first night, we ate in Gastown at the Pourhouse.  It was very good, but Ella was so tired from our early morning flight, she fell asleep at the table.

Gallery Café – We ate lunch here and it was really good.  I wish I remembered what I ate so I could tell you about it.  I do know we drank tea and ate fancy desserts.

Steamworks Brewery – The next night we headed back to Gastown.  No one fell asleep this time and dinner was great, but I don’t remember what I ate.  I remember the beer was good, though!

The Edge Social Grille & Lounge – This restaurant is in the hotel and we ate breakfast here both days.  Ella had a giant cinnamon roll which she said was the best she’s ever had.

That was our quick weekend in Vancouver!  It was an amazing city and I look forward to going back and exploring some more.  My mom didn’t recognize much from when she lived there as it’s all high rises now and she had a hard time getting her bearings.

Next, we took the BC Ferry to Victoria {if taking the ferry, you need to make reservations ahead of time} where we stayed with Uncle Bill and Auntie Alison for the next part of the week.  We ate the buffet on the ferry, which my mom insisted we do as she and my dad used to do this.  I can see it being a big deal in 1967.  It was nice, I ate curry.  And we drank more tea and ate more fancy desserts.

BC Ferries

To be continued…

 

Related:

Travel: Victoria, British Columbia Part Deux

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