Vancouver City Visit
Have you ever been to Vancouver and area before? Well if not, I cannot tell you enough how fantastic this city is! I mean how can you go wrong with it's great seafood/sushi restaurants, the natural beauty of being a coastal city surrounded by the rocky mountains and all the amazing parks and sites to visit! We had the pleasure of living there for 6 months in 2013/14 where we did a ton of exploration of Canada's 3rd largest city. The Vancouver Aquarium in my opinion is still my favourite out of all aquariums we have been to so far and thats a lot! Stanley Park is an incredible place to visit for a day trip, but you can't see it all in that amount of time as it has amazing bike/walking trails throughout, scenic overlooks of the harbour and city, fantastic gardens, splash pads, playgrounds, totem poles, restaurants, ride-on miniature train (highlight for any kid and big kid at heart, plus its decorated for christmas and halloween) and much more! Depending on the time you're visiting you should also check out the whale watching options. We decided to jump on a whale tour from Steveston Harbour (Seabreeze Adventures) and for several hours we were out watching some amazing wildlife. It was so fantastic to see a family of 5 or 6 orcas gracefully swimming in the ocean. We also managed to see so many bald eagles and also some sea lions. We were told that at other times of the year you can see humpbacks and grey whales...but this time of year its the orcas.
The Telus Science World is a MUST do for any family visiting and I spent countless days there when Shyla and Lennon were little, it was a godsend on those damp and dark winter days that Vancity can bring. Of course there is the infamous Granville Island which is a hot spot for local eats, the market is always full of foods, crafts, music, and everything else to be expected at a large indoor/outdoor market. It also has great restaurants and street performers as well as a kids indoor/outdoor play area complete with kids clothing, toy and hair cut stores! There are great shopping and restaurants districts as expected in any major city and it never feels overwhelming in my opinion like Toronto or larger cities do. It's a short drive to the border for US shopping as well as to many mountains for skiing and all outdoor activities and Whistler is only an hour drive away too. Yes, Vancouver is almost perfect really except for the winter. After our time living there from October to April 2013/14 I was so glad this time around to be visiting in the summer. Winter in Vancouver rains and it rains and it bloody hell rains A LOT! Plus if its not raining it's dark and I have learned the hard way I need sunshine or this lady gets down. So I implore you to visit this great Canadian city which has a special place in my heart always, but try to go during summer :)
Even though we had been to Vancouver already we still decided to re-visit the big sites previously mentioned so the kids and us could relive the memories there and to introduce it to Madden. The highlight of this part of our journey was spending quality time with Alex's cousins in Pitt Meadows, a suburb of Vancouver. It was great to catch up and live in a house for the 9 days we had together. To have unlimited hot water, other adults to speak to (sorry Alex) and just to see our family and be with them was so much fun and relaxing. I cherish them so much and the kids had an absolute blast hanging out with their cuzs' and playing with their dogs daily. We had our trailer in the local RV shop to repair a roof tear that happened in the Redwood forest so timing was perfect! Thanks again Eddie, Anne, Nicole and David, baby Maya and Aaron for having us and hope to see you guys sooner than later xo