SEPT 2nd - 5th, 2011
Another solo trip. I wanted to see Vancouver.....and I made it! Vancouver is probably the most beautiful and cleanest city I've been to so far.
FRIDAY: The flight was from LAX was about 5 or 6 hours non-stop. I arrived to Vancouver at night and headed straight to my hotel from the airport to rest. The fun would begin the next day.
SATURDAY: I met up with an Australian traveler whom I've had prior conversations with via travbuddy.com. While messaging back and forth about our plans we decided to go ziplining together. He didn't have a workable cell phone so we set a meeting point in Vancouver. During my inital meeting with him I could barely understand his heavy Aussie accent. A couple of times I find I needed him to repeat what he said for clarification. It was quite hiliarious. We met a nearby hotel walking distance from where I stayed to get together to hang out for a few hours before taking the shuttle bus for a two hour trip to Grouse Mountain.
We were lost while walking around Vancouver and I managed to get ahold of another traveler whom I've also had prior conversations with via travbuddy.com who is a tour bus driver. He came to our rescue!! The shuttles were all full to get to Grouse Mountain, we weren't sure if we could have made it in time for ziplining. He waited for us in downtown Vancouver to help us get a ride to Grouse Mountain by using his power of being in the industry to get us a ride. Thanks so much!
We finally made it to the mountain and began our ziplining experience. I was not nervous since I didn't have a fear of heights. There are 5 lines in total, the first being the shortest in height. The last line, 5th line, was the longest line.
Here is an article I wrote about my experience: http://voices.yahoo.com/ziplining-grouse-mountain-9134049.html?cat=16
After an adventure of ziplining we headed back down to the city to get ready for our travbuddy dinner. Since I was traveling solo to Vancouver I decided to make a meet-up while I was in town. A few locals replied and a meet-up was formed. For dinner I made reservations for a restaurant by the ocean called Boathouse English Bay. It was great to have dinner and spend time with the travbuddies talking about our travels and hearing crazy and interesting stories about Thailand. Nearly everyone at the table met for the first time except two. After dinner we decided to continue to night to get some drinks. Later that night we wound up at a bar with a dancefloor. At this point a few people left leaving only 4 of us out. Legal drinking age in Canada is 18 years old therefore you will have 18 year-old's partying it up with the older people like myself. We called it a night and went home for sleep.
SUNDAY: This day I went to Victoria. I didn't get too many confirmations for others to join me so I and my Australian friend went by ourselves. Our Travbuddy friend gave us a ride to the ferry. Thank you! We took the BC ferry to Victoria which was about an hour ferry ride. I had a rental as well and paid extra to take the car with me. While being "shipped" away we parked our car at the bottom deck of the ferry and headed upstairs to get food and for entertainment. It wasn't a cruise ship but they did have a few mini shops and an arcade for guests to kill time while on the ferry, a very large and clean ferry. Catalina Express you don't compare to BC ferry!
An hour later we landed and we drove off to my hotel to drop off our luggages. At this point spending much time with my friend my understanding of an Aussie accent improved. Often times I wonder why Aussies don't pronounce all the letters in the words...such as Canberra or Cairns...they don't seem to pronounce the R's. haha!
We met up with a local who lives in Victoria after she finished her day from work. We all met up in downtown Victoria and had a walking tour of the city. We dined at "Red Fish, Blue Fish" which made the most delicious fish & chips I've had in North America so far. She was a very active woman with a calming personality. It is absolutely fantastic meeting new people during my travels, most of which I still keep in contact with.
After our meal, our friend had to get going to meet up with her personal friends so my Aussie friend and I headed out to go strolling around downtown to take pictures of the sights. There doesn't seem to be nightlife for the younger crowds like ourselves (early to late 20's) so we called it a night and headed back to my hotel. Did I mention how amazing my hotel was?? Thank you Priceline bid!! The hotel is called Inn at Laurel Point. They have a spa and it is walking distance to many of the places in downtown Victoria.
The next day I had to head back to Vancouver to catch my mid-afternoon flight back home to the LAX. We took the ferry back to Vancouver, dropped off my rental car, said my bye's to my Aussie friend, and flew home.
A great trip overall and meeting the local travbuddies.