Tagged with " Greater Vancouver Area"
Apr 19, 2009 -

Winding Down

It is difficult to conceive that two weeks from now, my time at Pacific Border RV Park will be over. It has been a cushy four months, but I need to go back to a less luxurious way of life!

I’ve contacted a few RV maintenance places to get quotes for a small tune up for Miranda as well as a generator inspection. It would be brilliant if I could get all of this done in one place on May 2nd, but I’m not holding my breath. I really doubt that I’ll actually be heading north by this time in two weeks, but that’s only because I’m too lazy to take the rig out next weekend to get things done! The only problem with my having to stick around for a few days at the beginning of May is that there does not seem to be many places where I can boondock in the Vancouver area, but I’m researching my options.

I feel so differently about the GVR than I did four months ago, even four weeks ago. It’s taken a long time, but I have fallen in love some parts of Vancouver and the surrounding area, parts where it would be possible to build a life without having to stray into the parts I dislike. The end of the road, whenever, and if ever, it comes, could very well be English Bay or White Rock or Cloverdale or North Van or a number of other locations. This region is so much more than the sum of its parts; in fact I feel that it needs to be judged by the parts of its sum!

It has come to my attention in the last few months that, deep down, I am seeking a ‘forever home.’ The more I travel, the more the definition of that becomes clear to me, but I have not found the place yet and I don’t think I would even recognize it until I get many thousands more kilometres behind me.

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British Columbia, Campgrounds, Canada, Maintenance & Repair, Musings, Personal, Technical, Travel, Why I Do This    No Comments
Apr 18, 2009 -

Journey to White Rock Across the Bottom of the Ocean

Today, all the elements came together to make a hike to White Rock possible. The weather was perfect, I was limbered up from all my hiking and walking, I knew what I wanted to see and do, and the tide was out (meaning that I could walk on sand instead of stones). It was a roughly 20km (12.5mi) expedition (according to my pedometre) on foot through Peace Arch park and down to the beach. It would have been much quicker to use the land route via eight avenue, but not nearly as scenic!

For the visual folk out there:

Google route in blue, my route in red

Google route in purple, my route in red

White Rock is a seaside resort town that seceded from Surrey, which surrounds it on all four sides, in 1957. The population is roughly 5,o00, but that number grows exponentially in summer. The community has a reputation for being balmier and sunnier than neighbouring towns and pilots actually call it the ‘hole in the sky’ because it often lacks cloud cover when the rest of the lower mainland is blanketed in fog! Walking Marine Drive with the ocean on my left, houses carved into the hillside on the right, and palm trees all around never fails to make me feel that I am back in southern California!

My mother has been to White Rock and was quick to advise me to try out the fish & chips at the Moby Dick restaurant. I figured that a 20km walk would mean a guilt-free indulgence in such a greasy treat, so I planned my day to have an early supper at this restaurant. I found the meal excellent, but it wasn’t quite the best fish and chips I’ve ever had (hint: the Lobster Barn, in York, Maine). The French fries were fantastic, the coleslaw was rather disappointing, and the fish was very good (not too greasy, light on the batter), but it needed lemon, which they don’t offer. I do highly recommend this place for fish and chips!

Today’s photo gallery tells the rest of the story. Pardon the French; I’ll be making my photo galleries bilingual from now on to save myself some work when telling my relatives about my adventures. šŸ™‚

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British Columbia, Canada, Restaurants, Travel    5 Comments
Apr 14, 2009 -

Riding the Knight Bus

We got a late start on an absolutely beautiful Easter Monday. I’d suggested walking through Gastown and my friend found a jump on, jump off bus tour that started there, so we decided to do that.

After parking, we strolled down Water Street to the ‘Big Bus‘ tour headquarters. As it turned out, there would be a bus leaving momentarily, so our timing was perfect. The 35$ tickets are valid for two days. We would only use them this afternoon, so we were offered a free gelato as compensation, which was appreciated (and very delicious!).

The tour was excellent in that we got a chance to pretty much see all of Vancouver–Gastown, Chinatown, Stanley Park, English Bay, Granville Island, Robson and Davie Streets, and on, and on… We just did a full loop back to Gastown without getting off because of time issues. For someone with only a few days in Vancouver, this tour is a great way to see the city! My only complaintsĀ are about the jerky stops and the fact that the audio was often inaudible.

Gastown is historic Vancouver and it has really kept its old world charm, with cobblestone streets and buildings still showing their Victorian faƧades. The city of Vancouver grew up around this area, becoming Granville before taking on the name by which it is known today.

Vancouver’s Chinatown is the second largest in North America, after San Francisco’s. It is the least grimy Chinatown I have visited (compared to that of San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal). It resides essentially a block away from Gastown, but is separated from it by the infamous Downtown Eastside. Our tour guide had very specific instructions for how to walk safely from Chinatown to Gastown. As an aside, I drove down Main all the way past East Hastings and I could not believe the difference in how the area looks when you approach it from Chinatown with a view of the water and mountains in the distance!Ā One of the most interesting things we saw Ā in Chinatown was theĀ Sam Kee building, which is the narrowest building in the world!

English Bay is on the northwestern tip of the city and boasts several palm-tree lined beaches. It is a beautiful area and host to the annual Vancouver Polar Bear swim!

Robson and Davie Streets are vibrant urban neighbourhoods filled with unique shops. The latter is also Vancouver’s ‘gay village.’ We’d already done Robson, so we ended our day on Davie Street where we tried another all you can eat sushi restaurant. It was quite good and I am now firmly convinced that spicy tuna cones are the yummiest thing ever concocted (vinegared rice, seaweed, raw tuna, and chili; who would think that would be so insanely delicious?!). My friend is now as addicted to sushi as I am and we’re having it for a third time on her last evening here!

I took lots of pictures, some of them of distinct buildings and others which simply captured the stunning diversity of Vancouver’s architecture. I never thought I would find a city more architecturally beautiful than Chicago, but I have. I hope you enjoy this wonderful photo gallery and warn you that Library Square will take your breath away.

I have fallen in love with this beautiful, vibrant, compact city that seems a part of nature, like it grew from the same soil as the redwoods and snowcapped mountains, rather than having these things regrow around it.

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British Columbia, Canada, Nice Folks, Social, Travel    4 Comments