Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#GPinCanada: Visiting Vancouver

Hi everyone! I’m sorry it took me so long to blog about the next part of our trip. I’ve just been really busy lately (with work, Kids for Christ activities, life in general), and sorting out, re-sizing, and watermarking pictures are just time-consuming. Really, if this didn’t happen to us, it would make blogging about our trip more easier. Oh well. Please just bear with me. You guys understand, right? ☺

Add to this the fact that our nanny left last Friday for a month’s vacation, so Hubby and I are going on leave from work to take care of Caila and Sophie. Hubby is the stay-at-home dad now. After 2 weeks, it’s my turn to be the stay-at-home mom. It’s an adjustment, but we’ll manage. At least it gives us more time to spend with the kids. And since they’re closer to me, these first couple of weeks will give them more chances to bond with their daddy.

Anyway, to continue with our first family vacation out of the UAE back in July, our 4th day in Canada was spent in Vancouver doing the usual tourist stuff: go to the popular places and take pictures ☺However, our girls weren't in the mood so most of the ones you'll see here are just of me and Hubby, or they'll be in the picture but they won't be smiling.

To save on the high parking rates in the city, Kuya parked his car just outside Central City mall and we all took the Skytrain from Surrey Central, using the day passes for unlimited use of the Skytrain and buses.

Central City
Waiting for the Skytrain that would take us to Waterfront Station
Coming from a place where the metro has glass barriers that only open and close when the train arrives and the passengers tap their cards to enter and ride, the Skytrain did not operate on the same standard.  As you can see in the picture above, it was wide open, so we had to hold the kids' hands tightly else they might run, slip, or have the crazy idea to jump on the railway.  Plus, there was no way to know if the passengers had cards or not.  There was no barrier or gate to swipe or tap before entering so there was easy access for anyone who wanted to ride.  It was just like the tram when we visited Germany last year.  I'm not sure if they do random checking on the train, though.  I asked my brother, but he was as clueless as I was because he rarely goes on the Skytrain.

If you ride on the Skytrain, you'll know why it's called that.  The rails are really up, above, and elevated which gives its passengers great views of the places it passes by.  And when you look down, you can hardly see the rails at all!  There was no border or railing that would keep the train from falling (you know, just in case it goes off the tracks).  Pretty scary when you think of it!

Thankfully, the panoramic views kept us from worrying and we arrived safely at our destination.  Ate Evelyn was already waiting for us at the Waterfront Station when we went down, so we immediately walked to the nearby landmarks: Canada Place and the Jack Poole Plaza.

All hail The Maple Leaf!
I'm in Vancouver!
Selfie!

In front of the Canada Place Welcome Centre

Outside the Vancouver Convention Centre
The Olympic Torch (or Olympic Cauldron) that is lit up only during special occasions
This huge sculpture of a killer whale was cordoned off in front of the Convention Centre so we weren't able to go near it. Looking at it closely, you'll notice that it's made up of blocks like Lego pieces. Which is why it's also referred to as the Lego Orca or Pixel Whale.
Digital Orca
Trying to get her to smile...well, at least there was a glimpse of one here ☺
Hubby with the seaplane terminal at the background
At first I had no idea what this huge blue sculpture was and why Kuya Boy wanted to take a picture of me in front of it, but apparently it's a large gentle raindrop, symbolizing the widespread water bodies and frequent rain in Vancouver.  Hmm...ok.  Thankfully, it didn't rain that day.
In front of The Drop
View of The Drop from afar
After some time, we headed to the bus stop for the bus that would take us to Stanley Park. As we walked, we passed by this sign pointing to the way to the Philippine Consulate
Notice anything wrong?
At Stanley Park, there were horse-drawn carriages that took their passengers around.
We, on the other hand, opted to explore the park on foot, first referring to the map, and using the pathway overlooking the harbour.

A few minutes later, we came upon the park’s popular totem poles and sculptures. It was actually interesting looking at them and reading the plaques that explained their meanings.











A smile...finally!
And since there was a shop nearby, we took the opportunity to buy some souvenirs for ourselves and friends.
Going back to the bus stop, we took a different route.
They still didn't want to have their pictures taken, thus the wacky and expressionless faces
This time we used the trail in the woods where we saw and picked some berries


The youngest's turn for a ride on her Daddy's shoulders
Then coming out, we saw these trees with leaves, making me think of the movie Autumn in New York.

No, we're not in Central Park
And after that, we just enjoyed whatever simple pleasures Stanley Park had to offer
Ducks freely waddled around, much to the delight of our girls
Looking at something she found in the grass
Just like when we went into the woods of Alouette Lake, we came across a big log that Caila walked across
And just like last time, Sophie copied her sister.  She was more confident this time, not wanting me to hold her hand
 Even their mommy decided to join in the fun! ☺
We were pretty hungry by then, so we rode the bus that would take us to Chinatown.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the restaurant we dined in but it served Filipino food in big servings (sorry, no photos to share because we were famished by the time the dishes were in front of us; we just said grace and attacked ☺)

By the time we finished, it was time for us to go back home.  So we all rode the Skytrain again back to Surrey Central, waited a bit for Salman to arrive, then headed to Langley.

The following day, we were up early for our road trip to Seattle.  But that's another day which calls for another post.  Watch out for it! ☺

6 comments:

  1. Wow! what a great vacation with your family! It is very important for us to have quality time for our family to strengthen our relationship specially to our kids. You know what sis may kamukha kang artista hehehe, iniisip ko pa kasi nakalimutan ko ang name. hehehh lol!

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  2. I feel you, it is really hard to blog if you came from a travel, there are so many pictures to sort and watermark. Nice to see part of Vancouver in your post.

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  3. Sounds like you've planned everything down for the coming weeks, that's great. Canada is such a beautiful place, you mentioned that the kids weren't in the mood but looks like they had fun, they're smiling in the pictures.

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  4. What a lovely trip spent with the family. I can relate to the kids not smiling when their pictures are taken... I also wish my kids are more excited when we have a family picture moment.

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  5. Must have been a real fun trip to Vancouver. I haven't been to Canada before and it does seem like a nice place to visit.

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  6. Looks like you did have a great vacation! Vancouver is a lovely place. There are so many things to do, and sights to see. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Canada. Come back soon if you can. :)

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