A Travellerspoint blog

July 2007

Running around Greater Vancouver

sunny 27 °C

(Rob)

The first full day of being away!

Another cloudless day in B.C., and Bruce and I set out to rent a car. After going to the wrong Budget rental first, I'd seen a lot more of the greater Vancouver area than we'd intended. Finished the morning with all 7 of us in Steveston, a quaint, upcscale fishing village. Lunch was fish & chips at Pajo's, dockside. Mount Baker emerged more fully on distant horizon today.

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Next was going downtown, parking where Bruce works, and exploring Granville Island. We had an "Aquabus" ride. "This is my daily commute," one rider told us. It sure beats the DVP in Toronto.

Word then came that Bruce's boss has loaned us his Jeep for the rest of the week, but that led to the second car fiasco of the day. He told us he'd dropped the keys off inside the gas cap of Bruce's own car, except he hadn't. It was some other white car in the same lot. And whichever one that was had gone! So Pete left a spare key at the concierge at his condo. Except when Bruce and I went to get that, the concierge was awol. Tired of waiting, Bruce took me on a car ride through Stanley Park. Great views the whole way. I've never been around mountains like these. Concierge spotted later; Jeep now ours. Dinner at "Earl's" in big booth. Anica's "sleeping over" with Lauren tonight, so Jenn & I took off on a mini-date: a romantic walk to the Ladner Starbucks :P

Posted by jennrob 14:50 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Off to a good start...

sunny 22 °C

(Jenn)

Got up at 4 am. Airport limo came at 5, on plane at 7. Security barely checked our passports which was weird, even though it was a domestic flight, given the hullabaloo over increased security. Westjet was great -- individual tvs on backs of seats, cookies and juice, departed and arrived on time. Jean, William and Lauren picked us up. Went to guest suite and their place, Rob went grocery shopping, had lunch.

After lunch we went to Boundary Bay. It was low tide and there were a lot of kids skimboarding. William had fun showing me the jellyfish:

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Then we went to Westham Island and picked up some fresh new potatoes and herbs for dinner at Herb's Place. The kids checked out the path through the flower garden:

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Bruce barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner and Jean made up the new potatoes with fresh herbs. Everything was delicious. I had my first drinks (2 Bacardi Breezers - whoo hoo!) in 7 months or more. We stayed at the house til 7:30, then went back to the guest suite, put Anica to bed, looked for a connection but everyone was locked up tight (good for them! bad for us) so I just wrote up this entry in notetab, read for a bit and crashed at 9.

Posted by jennrob 14:20 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

All packed up

and raring to go...

sunny 27 °C

( Jenn )

Well, mostly. We are all packed up as evidenced by this photo:

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(everything that was laid out on the futon the other day in 2 backpacks, 2 small daypacks and Anica's daypack)

It was tough though. We'd already done a run through but it still seems like so much stuff. We've chopped at our list, read through dozens of similar ones, listened to advice on what we can and can't get over there (so much of it conflicting). Finally we've decided that the packs will just have to go as they are and once we're overseas, we can assess the situation and see if there are things we can jettison or send home. Ideally we'd like to travel even lighter but, as we keep reminding ourselves, we are 3 people traveling with 2 carrying the majority of the weight and with a kidlet, there's a lot of things you carry because you can't chance being without them (pediatric versions of meds, etc).

We're very excited. Our airport limo (oooh, sounds so much more thrilling than it is when it's simply a flat rate Lincoln Town Car) comes at 5 am and I know I'm going to have a tough time sleeping tonight but I'm going to try because I'm terrible at sleeping on planes.

First stop is Vancouver, British Columbia to visit Rob's sister Jean and her family (husband Bruce, son William and daughter Lauren). Anica can hardly wait to see her cousins (it's been over a year) and we're looking forward to just spending some quiet time with them all and having them show us around Vancouver (Anica and I have been before but Rob hasn't) before we head to Singapore.

Posted by jennrob 16:52 Archived in Canada Tagged packing Comments (5)

Random Musings Before Departing

22 °C

(Rob)

-we were getting our last immunizations and Dr. Wise asked Anica if each of us have different roles to play while traveling. I wasn't sure if she understood the question, but she answered immediately: "Mummy plans, Daddy drives, and I play." Yep. That's about right...

-our passport now contains four visa pages: China, India, Egypt, Vietnam. We haven't gone anywhere yet, but it makes for a lovely collection.

-can you learn anything about a country from its consular services office? (Or is it like judging a city by its airport, a useless exercise.) If you can, Egypt would win: leather couches, lots of brochures, and the guy working there gave Anica candies. China, however, was standing lineups only, and a continously looping propaganda video. When it finished a loop, the Chinese woman in front of me snorted, turned around with a laugh to me, and rolled her eyes.

-biggest worry before leaving? My back. I hurt it just testing out my backpack. Not a good omen.

-our little two night trip to Ottawa last week reminded me that even "ordinary" travel can lead to frustration and squabbles. I have a more realistic picture in mind again about what we can handle and expect.

-here's something I joked about with my friend Chris at work:
"All We Really Need to Know About Traveling We Learned From The Amazing Race"
1) Either learn to drive standard (we didn't) or insist on an automatic (we did for Europe)
2) If you're not sure what to do, ask someone at a five-star hotel
3) Ask for directions sooner rather than later
4) If you and your spouse dress the same, you look dorky
5) When you're lost and arguing, it's not a pretty sight, but when you reach your goal, all is forgiven
6) For most people, being yelled at is not a form of encouragement
7) Don't make bad karma!

-after all these months of dreaming and planning, we leave on Monday. Like Anica said: "I wonder how it will feel in these places. Like India. How will it feel? We'll be touching India's things!"

Posted by jennrob 06:29 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

Us & Our Stuff

-17 °C

( Jenn )

Here are two pictures of us all from when we were in Ottawa last week. I'm not terribly fond of the picture of me but then again, I hate having my picture taken and avoid it whenever I can :P

And of course, the obligatory all-our-stuff-laid-out picture to be followed by the all-our-stuff-packed-up one tomorrow :)

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Posted by jennrob 09:10 Archived in Canada Tagged packing Comments (6)

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