Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let's see... I think I'm in Montana.....

It's been crazy since I last posted - we've been so busy! Many late nights and early mornings and some very spotty Internet connections.... I haven't been able to get on-line to do more than read my e-mail in quite a while. I did manage to get the proof for the Fall issue of ANPT and I actually did my proofing while we were driving to Whistler! How's that for dedication to a job?

But, I'd better back up a bit.....After Merritt, we drove on to Vancouver. We stopped at Hell's Gate to ride the gondola over the rapids and poke around a bit.

Then we found a park that had 4 abandoned railway tunnels that we could walk through. They were built around the turn of the century and it was incredible to see how they'd tunneled through solid rock with 1890 technology.....

DH's aunt and uncle live in Vancouver and very kindly offered us the use of a condo that they own in downtown Vancouver while we were there. It was wonderful to see them and it was overwhelming to be able to have such a wonderful space to stay in while we were in Vancouver. The laundry room was a mega-bonus as well...

Our first full day in Vancouver had us being urban hikers and we walked over to Gastown and enjoyed browsing in the various shops and stopping to watch the steam clock do its thing - it has a bunch of steam-powered whistles that play the Westminster Chimes every 15 minutes.

We continued our hike over to see the Olympic torch from this past winter olympics. It's huge! We also happened upon a team of guys making an enormous sand sculpture. We watched them work for a while as it was really interesting seeing the process.

Then we walked all the way over to Stanley Park. It's a beautiful place with the most amazing trees - I've never seen anything that large. Here's DS#2 being a tree hugger....

We spent some time wandering the park and enjoying the sights and sounds. It's hard to believe that this park is right in the center of town.

The next day, we drove to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (it's very much like the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but has the attraction of being free!)... We had fun walking across the bridge and back again.

We spent the rest of the day playing at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver (again, thanks to the Ontario Science Center pass we have!). Here's DS#2 holding up the geodesic dome at the Science center. There's tons of great exhibits as this science center and lots of hands-on activities for young and old alike.

DH's aunt and uncle hosted a lovely dinner for us and we were able to catch up with DH's cousin and his family as well. It was the perfect end to a wonderful, fun-filled day.

The next morning we were off to Whistler.

Once we arrived, we wandered around a bit and looked at a few shops and figured out where we needed to be for the days big event. We were going to ride the zip lines. Now you have to understand something. I'm afraid of heights and I hate roller coasters. How did I agree to this zip-line thing?????

Clearly being of no sound mind at all, I did it anyway. And I discovered that zip-lines are fun and not at all scary. They're actually quite gentle. The view was stunning from the lines and I enjoyed every second (except the first second when you have to step out into nothing to get going on the zip line.....that's a little unnerving, but after that it's fine....)..... The zip-line tour took us about 3 hours to complete and by then we were starving, so it was off for dinner.

After dinner the kids wanted to go swimming, so DH took them to the hotel's pool while I wandered around the various shops. There are lots of really neat shops in Whistler. It's unfortunate that my budget didn't allow for much buying. Thankfully my eyes work just fine, so I looked at lots of stuff.

The next day had us riding ski lifts all the way up to a glacier. It was the last day for snowboarding and skiing on Blackcomb mountain, so there were lots of guys and gals with boards and skis heading up for a last day of runs before everything closed for the season. We were able to ride the ski lifts all the way to the top and then we rode the same lifts back down again. DS#1 and I decided to have a snowball fight. In July. While wearing shorts and t-shirts! Surprisingly it wasn't *that* cold.......

After heading down from the glacier, we rode the peak to peak gondola that goes between Blackcomb and Whislter (and discovered in the process that it's much faster to ride from Blackcomb to Whistler than the other way around - the lineups at the Whistler end were ENORMOUS!). We managed to get onto a glass-bottomed gondola (there's only 2 of them). The view was wonderful. Gorgeous mountains and trees and rivers everywhere you looked.

In one shop the kids found one of the bobsleds used at the Winter Olympics. Naturally they had to do a little horsing around.....

Once we finished playing in Whistler, it was time to find the ferry that would take us over to Victoria. Unfortunately when we got there, there was an enormous lineup. We ended up waiting over 2 and a half hours to get on a ferry. I, naturally, had a great way to occupy my time, and a great view out the dashboard of the van:

I couldn't help but feel sorry for folks who didn't have a hobby to occupy their time....

The day after getting settled in Victoria found us driving out to Butchart Gardens:

Oh, the gardens! This one is called the sunken garden:

The flowers and blooms and colours abound:

I could have moved in. Gorgeous.

Sadly, we did have to leave and head out to visit Craigdarroch Castle. This castle was full of gorgeous carvings, stained glass and furniture. True to form, I did find lots of needlework, but sadly, no one could tell me anything about the pieces I saw. It's very frustrating too when they put things so far away - most things I couldn't get close enough to determine just what type of needlework was done. I'm pretty sure most things were needlepoint, but I did find some beaded bags and I think an amazing crewel screen..... I won't show all the pictures I took there now, but here's a couple.....

And being me and seeming to have radar about these things.... I found this:

It was closed when I found it, but I got to go back the next day. Yes, stash was bought. No, I can't show you just yet as I've managed to separate the stash from the camera and the camera from its battery. I didn't really buy much though as the shop catered mostly to antique and primitive samplers which aren't really to my taste.... I bought more fibres than anything...

We left Victoria and boarded the first of two ferrys that would take us to Seattle.

.....and there's tons more pictures to show, but it's waaayyy past my bedtime. I'll have to share more about Seattle next time. We'll be home by Wednesday next week.


Terri 11:24 AM  

Erica, I am really enjoying reading about your travels with your family! And they are to places I really hope to be able to travel to myself some day.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Anonymous,  6:30 AM  

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

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