Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our Vancouver Weekend

Well what a fabulous weekend we just had. One to remember that's for sure. We got word on Monday after Hayden's practice that the 2nd string slot receiver got hurt in the game the Saturday before so Hayden was moving into the 2nd spot. We got thinking that his best chance of lots of playing time would be the game this weekend against Simon Fraser in Vancouver. We decided that we really wanted to go see the game for ourselves and surprise Hayden. We decided it would be fun to drive up and back since we both enjoy road trips. It's 1200 miles each direction but we weren't worried. We would leave Thursday right after Mendis' meeting at about 9pm and just start driving. We figured we would make it with a few hours to spare. We had all day Sunday and Monday to get back. Well By Wed night Mendis found out he had meetings on Monday so we would be really pushing it to get back in time. So we checked online and sure enough we could get plane tickets, 2 nights at a 4 star hotel downtown and a rental car for only $150 more than it would have been to drive so we booked the trip. We knew we would never have the time and money to do it so we would just do it!! We flew out Friday afternoon and go to Vancouver at about 11pm.
It took about an hour an a half to drive to downtown and check in but this was the awesome view from our balcony!

It looked just as cool in the day light because now I could see some fall colors and Stanley Park right past the water.
The next morning we got going early (to avoid the $36 parking fee we had to be out of there by 9am.) After a lovely McDonald's breakfast we hit the town. We drove through a popular area called Gastown. It's a restored district with cool lamps and fun shops on cobble stone streets.

There was this cool steam clock there. Not sure what the story of the steam is but I admired it anyway.
After enduring a bunch of one way streets which enabled us to thoroughly see Gastown a couple of times we headed up to China town.

This was pretty cool too. The markets everywhere were fascinating. Not alot of English being spoken here. It was pretty dang authentic actually a little too authentic for me to spend too much time there. Mendis said it was just like being in Japan smell and all. It looked like you could get anything you wanted at their markets!

We did some more driving around downtown and saw the Olympic sites. Here is the big stadium where they had the opening and closing ceremonies. It was right downtown.

After we had seen everything downtown we hit the road to find Grouse Mtn and other ski areas in the North of Vancouver. We blew right by Grouse Mountain but got off the road in time to see Cypress. Cypress Mtn is where they had the aerial competitions. It was really foggy as we left Vancouver and it got pretty thick going up the mountain. So mysterious and fun looking. We loved it.

At the top of Cypress Mountain we found lots of reminders of the Olympics! It was cold and windy up there so we looked around a bit and got back on the road to Whistler.

This is the view coming down Cypress as the fog was lifting and we could finally see Vancouver. The white sail looking building is Canada Place where the cruise ships sail now. That was a huge Olympic hub. The bridge is going right into Stanley Park to the right.

So we rounded Horseshoe Bay and kept on going since we had lots of time. We went on the Sea to Sky Highway which was absolutely breath taking. We just drove and drove and enjoyed the view. We knew we didn't have time to get all the way to Whistler Mountain but we really enjoyed the part we saw.

We found this gorgeous little park at Shannon Falls on the way.
Shannon Falls was huge and we thought it was so pretty. We tried our hand at the ever popular self portrait. I am not that good at it but it was hard to get us and the falls in there together. This was close enough cause we were starting to run out of time.

The mountain Mendis is taking a picture of is Whistler Mountain and it is HUGE. We saved that for our next visit.
On to the game at 2pm. SFU campus is pretty cool. Lots of concrete and glass and really a pretty campus. It is up on the top of a mountain and surrounded by thick forest. The campus was pretty but the game was not!! Hayden saw us right away so that was fun. Then we watched Dixie get down by 2 touchdowns in just minutes. The other team really got lucky a couple of times. So our defense struggled but the other team was getting away with murder out there which was very frustrating. The game went into triple overtime and we lost :( We visited with Hayden for a few minutes at the bus before they shipped out. We decided even though he didn't get to play much because the game was soo tight and they lost we were still glad we were able to go. It was awesome to be there.
We spent the whole rest of the night driving around looking for a great restaurant. We wanted Chinese buffet but there were no buffets and the places looked a little too authentic if you know what I mean. We were afraid they would just kill the chicken right there and feed it to us.
Sunday morning we got up early to beat the $36 parking fee again and drove through Stanley Park. It was so fun with a little bit of everything.
Loved the flower gardens.
Loved the thick forested roads.
Loved the Yacht Club and the view of Vancouver from there. The gas station out in the middle of the harbour was fun! Again there is Canada Place behind it.
Loved the totem poles...gotta have those.

Loved the view of the bridge with the tugboat going right under it.
Loved the Olympic torch site at Canada Place.
So we had a great weekend to say the least. I am not sure when we will ever be able to be spontaneous ever again because now we have to pay this one off but we are still glad we did it. Can't wait to go back in July even if it is just overnight before our cruise.


Jolynn said...

What a fun trip! Your pictures are awesome. What a gorgeous area. I loved the one of the campus with all the fall colors. You guys were able to pack a lot of sight seeing in a short visit! Looks like you had a great time. It's fun to be spontaneous once in awhile.

Vicki said...

Vancouver could very well be my favorite place right now. We didn't spend much time there, and didn't get to see any of the stuff you guys did, but I loved the bay, and the green, and driving through town to get back to Seattle. Can't wait for your cruise...you will love it!