Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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Day 15 – From Vancouver to Olympic National Park

October 21, 2008

I finally made it out of Vancouver, with a supposedly working car (we’ll see how that bears out over next few days). Of course, “tomorrow morning” turned into late afternoon, but I was on my way by 2:45.

It was pretty standard departure:

1. Park illegally by the hostel because it’s sometimes too much damn trouble to do things in legally.

2. Rush through the packing and checking out process in the hopes you won’t tempt fate past the breaking point and get a ticket.

3. Give a mental thumbs up to the All Mighty God when you don’t see a slip of paper under your windshield wiper.

4. Curse and bemoan your way through downtown traffic.

5. Curse and bemoan your way through suburban traffic.

6. Curse and bemoan your way through expressway traffic.

7. Exchange pleasantries with the guy at U.S. customs.

8. See the first telltale sign that you’re back in the States:

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Finally, a gas station sign I can comprehend without any mathematic gymnastics

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Up, up, up Grouse Mountain

October 13, 2008

On a lark, I biked and then hiked to the peak of Grouse Mountain, which is something of the tourist mountain in these parts. You can get to the peak in one of several ways. Most people, it seems, take a bus from North Vancouver to the mountain parking lot (you can tell a mountain has been prepped for tourists if it has a designated parking area) and then take the air tram the rest of the way. I ignored these motorized options for two reason:

1. Bus and air tram tickets cost money.

2. Sitting in a chair and looking out a window isn’t much fun.

By the end of the accent, my quads where questioning the logic of my brain.  At any rate, the trek proved photogenic, so I’ve got some photos to post.

The Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park to North and West Vancouver

The Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park to North and West Vancouver

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That’s no moon, it’s a space station, a juicy, meaty space station.

October 12, 2008

A few days ago, I was wandering about and saw this sign:

You bet yo ucan't finish it?  I bet you're right, but that's no reason not to give it a sporting try.

You bet I can't finish it? I bet you're right, but that's no reason not to give it a sporting try.

I was intrigued, but on my way to do other things, and so let it pass. The next day, I decided that if there’s a restaurant willing to sell me two pounds of beef and happiness, I was obligated to take them up on the offer. After all, why am I here? To wander around idle and complacent, or to risk gastric rupture?

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It’s the Little Things

October 10, 2008

As the saying goes, it’s the little differences you notice the most when traveling.

I haven’t run into any Royale’s with Cheese, but I have noted a few difference between the lands of yanks and canucks so far:

1. In the States, A&W Drive-Ins are subtitled “All American Food” in order to give Americans the ethnocentric fuzzy wuzzies. Not so in Canada.

2. There are a whole host of candy bars I am unfamiliar with. The primary example of this is Cadbury. Known mostly for their candy eggs and adorable easter time bunnies down south, there is a wide selection of year round Cadbury confections to be had up in the land of maple leaves.

Unfamilar Candy Bars.  Many thanks to Susan at the Esso station for allowing me to takie this photo

Unfamilar Candy Bars. 'Many thanks to Susan at the Esso station for allowing me to take this photo

(More after the jump)

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Day 8 – From Harrison to Vancouver

October 9, 2008

Alright, it’s now about 9:30 and I’ve been in the city for about a full day.

The drive in from Harrison was uneventful. I took the exit for “First Avenue” into Vancouver, hoping it would get me near but not in the middle of downtown. That’s pretty much what it did. After driving through some suburbia and passing the “Welcome to Vancouver” sign, we found ourselves on the outskirts of town. I found a spot to stow my car until I could find a more long term place for it, and Will and I set off into the city. After bushwhacking our way through a street that smelled of urine and was populated by various beggars (many of whom also smelled of urine), we found our way to a much nicer part of downtown, found a coffee shop with Wi-Fi (actually about forty of them) and I proceeded to google around for a hostel… and ran into one of those times when the Grand Oracle (aka the Internet) failed me. It pointed us towards the Granville Grand Hotel at 1212 Granville. When we got there, the woman working the counter didn’t seem to know of any hostel accommodations on the property, and the establishment looked much more high dollar that a hostel (or at least a cheap hostel) normally would. But never fear, there are plenty of other hostel’s about. We’ve ended up at the Vancouver Samesun Backpacker’s Lounge. It’s a bit more expensive than I was hoping for, but overall I can’t complain. The accommodations aren’t exactly classy; you can tell the staff and owners have a strong DIY attitude, either out of intention or necessity, but that very lack of polish allows for a lot of character and a different kind of class. There’s a lot of color and personality. Overall, not a terrible place to spend time in.

(Photos of Vancouver after the jump)

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