With modern flights I left New Zealand on Saturday night and arrived in Vancouver on Sunday just after lunch.
I have always wanted to visit Canada because I had a pen pal who lived here. Mrs Dianne Di Sommer set that up when I was in intermediate. So Canada was on my bucket list.
The trip far exceeded all my expectations. I traveled with my second sister and we left our eldest sister at home looking after Mum.
One journey highlight was flying our national carrier and having a comfortable flight over and back.
In Vancouver we were able to tick off many to dos on our list. Such as the Capilano swing bridge where there was information about water conservation, visiting the First Nation totem poles in Stanley park to remind how closely linked original people are with the environment, the Vancouver Aquatic Centre where there was much information on the sad state of our oceans.
The second day saw us experience an early snow fall on Grouse Mountain. Again reminding me how much we are a water planet. The variety of trees growing on the mountain was again a reminder of how much trees, mountains and water are all interconnected.
We caught the aqua boat to Granville island and spend a couple of hours wandering the market place seeing and tasting some local produce.
We were in one of the movie capitals of the world and they were just launching the International film month.
We stayed at Sutton hotel, just a stone throw from Fremont hotel where ghost busters was filmed. The hotel was clean, quiet and very comfortable. The hotel was centrally located within walking distance from everything we needed.
My impressions of Vancouver was a feeling of familiarity. The city was just shifting into the autumn season and so the trees were just starting to Change colour so there was yellows, orange and red happening. I looked out for the Anna Hummingbird but this trip was not to be. However my sister took great delight in teasing me about traffic signals that I had earlier on wondered which bird we were hearing.
We came to Canada prepared for a constant drizzle as had been forecasted and yet, we really only had drizzle the first half day. The rest of our trip was dry and mild.
One cannot visit a new place without mentioning the food.
We breakfasted at Bellaggios most mornings where we ate bacon and eggs and bottomless coffee. I was treated to a Mexican dish, Thai and my absolute favourite was eating Canadian Salmon at Earles served with rice and long stemmed broccoli. We finished off our meals with a shared slice of pumpkin pie.
Being school teacher I had wondered if I could squeeze in a school visit. But for this trip I am glad I did not because the journey was really short.
Those of you who know me, know my love of numbers. During my short visit I walked just over 67,000 steps covering approximately 44 kilometres. Most nights I slept close to 12 hours.
Overall I had an amazing time. I spent time with one of my sisters. I was able to visit an amazing city and have a bit of a break from work.
I forgot to mention. On our last day as we were signing out, a small party of First Nation people in full regalia were just leaving the hotel. I was super excited but restrained from getting a selfie because it just did not seem right. The man had claws on his hands and they both had on beaded national dress. I would have loved to find out more. But again maybe next time.