The last couple of years for my birthday, I’ve gone down to Portland. And the year before that I just stayed in Olympia. This year I felt the need for something a bit different, and after some research, decided to travel north to Vancouver B.C. I hadn’t been there since I was a little kid, and Sierra had never been. So we bought our train tickets, arranged a stay through Couchsurfing, and counted the days until we left.
We left very early on the morning of the 19th, my parents being nice enough to drive us up to Seattle so we could take the train from there up to Vancouver, rather having to switch trains in Tacoma.
The train ride was nice, but nothing spectacular. Sadly the train was quite full, and our seats were on the side with roads and stuff, so Sierra and I didn’t have much of a few.
We arrived into the city about noon, and had lunch at an A&W burger place, because those are actually a thing in Canada (just like Tim Hortons). The only good thing about it was the root beer, I could have skipped the rest.
Afterwards, we took a bus over to Stanley Park, to see the aquarium. Stanley Park is a prominent and busy park in Vancouver, that has several different attractions and some lovely walking and picnic areas.
We got last day before summer prices, which was already steep at $29 per person. The aquarium was nice, but especially given the fact several exhibits were off display, I’m not sure it warranted it. We enjoyed listening to a talk on sharks, a short demonstration of beluga whales and what makes them unique, and a 4D movie that was more fun than it should have been for someone about to turn 23.
The trip to our couchsurfer’s apartment was a bit of a ways, but not too hard to find, and we slept quite soundly that night. The next day was my birthday, June 20 (and sometimes the summer solstice). French toast made for a lovely breakfast, then we took a very long bus ride all the way across town to the university, where the anthropology museum is located. There are thousands upon thousands of artifacts and things to read, and I think if you’re at all interested in this subject, you should take the time. It was a fascinating visit.
Something we did in Victoria was have high tea, so I really wanted to have it again for my birthday. We found a wonderful place called Le Petite Culliere which I wholly and highly recommend. The staff were wonderful, the food and tea was fantastic. I would be happy to go there again. Just to make everyone else jealous, here’s what all we had:
- Cheese, cucumber and mustard sandwich
- Croissant with cheese
- Banana bread
- A cookie
- A macaroon
- A little cheesecake
- Chocolate cake
- Darjeeling Tea
The last thing for the day was to go see The Lion King. I’d wanted to see the stage version since I was a kid, and when I found out it was going to be in town over my birthday, I was thrilled. The tickets were my fiancee’s gift to me, and it was a fantastic gift. The production was amazing, I was glued to my seat, so entranced. I would happily watch it again. I cried during the Circle of Life.
Our third day, we visited The Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s very expensive, but I think it’s something that if you’re in the area, you should at least see once. They’ve really done an incredible job with the park, and preserving it. The best part of the visit I’d say is actually the history on the bridge, which talks about a couple of different women who were instrumental to making the bridge what it is today.
We decided we needed something relaxing and watched the movie Inside Out in a local cinema. An excellent movie as is, the joke about Riley’s boyfriend being Canadian was so much funnier hearing it there in Canada.
The next day we only had a few hours before the train home, so we went to the planetarium. Honestly, it’s nothing much to right home about. I’d say save your time and money for something else.
I had a lovely time on my birthday, and can’t wait until the next time I go back to Vancouver.