Tag Archives: Vancouver

BC rte 99 to Whistler

Vancouver to Whistler, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics

Seemed like a great idea to me. I unlocked the cage in the parkade (aka parking garage) and took my rental out for a drive along British Columbia rate 99. Getting out of the city was straightforward although the traffic seemed pretty heavy.

It wasn’t long before the scenery moved from urban to rural and totally gorgeous. The mountains, trees, water, sky and snow collaborated to make this an incredible drive. Of course most of the pullouts for the view were on the wrong side of the road so I did the best that I could to view and not run off the road. I figured that staying on the road was more important than the view but I gawked whenever I could and made mental notes of where the good overlooks were for my return trip.

I followed the signs to the Olympic Village but was disappointed to arrive at the gates where a big “Closed” sign resided. Well shoot! I started back to BC 99 but was able to get one really good picture before heading on into the village of Whistler.

Whistler is a relatively typical ski village with lots of ski shops, eateries, rental apartments and inns. Also like most of these ski villages plenty of warm weather sports shops with mountain bikes to buy or rent. And of course the view was awesome! I couldn’t help but imagine how cool it would be to be sipping on hot chocolate and watch the skiers shushing down the slopes.

It was warmer than I expected so I left my sweater in the car and set about to wander. It is a huge ski village so it wasn’t long before I was totally lost. I found a nice eatery with a patio and enjoyed my lunch while looking up at the slopes. Afterwards I browsed the shops and picked up a few souvenirs.

Then I had to figure out where the car was! I didn’t take too many wrong turns and eventually found my way to the parking garage that was near the library and was soon back on my way to Vancouver.

Remembering the pullouts, I found this one, which didn’t have nearly the view that I had hoped for but …

The next one was better

And better

It was getting on in the afternoon by then and the view was to the West so the sun made good shots a bit difficult but still it was beautiful.

I made it back to Vancouver without any hitches and put my rental back in its cage. [The hotel had a caged in area of the parkade for hotel guests.]

After cleaning up some, I decided to try one of the hotel’s venue for dinner and ended up at the Red Card sports bar. I had plank grilled salmon paired with the Fat Tug IPA.

Vancouver – a day in the park

The weather is perfect for a day in the park. I checked out my map and it did not look like a terribly long walk, so packed up my day bag and headed out. I think it turned out to be about a mile and a half but it was incredibly pleasant. High 60’s or low 70’s Fahrenheit and most of the walk was shady. When I reached Stanley park I picked a path through the woods. Man was it gorgeous!

I walked along until I came to what I think is called the Lost Lagoon. Amazing what I found. Canadian Geese in Canada!!! I’ve seen them in CT, NY, VA and even AZ and finally!!! I get to see them in Canada!

Beautiful aren’t they? I wandered through the woods until my path exited near “Second Beach”.

I guess an empty beach is what you get in Canada after Labor Day. Pretty though. At this point I figured I would follow the Sea Wall trail at least until I got to “third beach” . I lucked out to see a Sea Lion sunning her(his)self on a rock.

By the time I reached “3rd beach” I decided I was enjoying myself too much to cut inland so I continued on the sea wall walk. It was a really nice walk and the view was great. Before I rounded the point and left English Bay I did manage to get my feet wet.

Ah if those Keens could tell tales.

I stayed on the sea wall trail until I returned to semi-civilization and meandered up to the Stanley Park restaurant. I was seated on the patio and indulged in the Tomato Basil soup. As I was finishing, there was a commotion a few tables over and it seemed we had some uninvited, but quite welcome, guests. A four pack of juvenile racoons!

They really enjoyed the berries on that tree and only disrupted us in that everyone wanted a picture!

After the interlude I debated on taking the bus back to my hotel, but decided “what the heck” and went ahead and hiked my way back. My fit bit was ecstatic with my 8+ miles for the day.

After resting briefly back at my hotel, I went out to the Bootlegger for dinner which was again only a couple of blocks away. I had the pork chop special which was awesome!

I’ve been enjoying British Columbia, so I stopped at the desk and arranged to stay an extra night. So more Canadian tales for tomorrow!

Linden,WA to Vancouver,BC

I woke up to yet another beautiful day.

Linden is a cute little town that was originally a Dutch settlement. The residents are proud of it and have built on that tradition. I had breakfast at Dutch Mother’s Cafe

But am afraid I had a ‘Very Veggie’ omelet and nothing very Dutch about it. The breakfast was very good and just what I was wanting. I spent the rest of the morning wandering about the Main Street of downtown – actually named Front St. It was decorated for Labor Day

I wandered further down the street where music was playing and someone was talking over a loudspeaker. Pushcart races. I had to stay and watch that.

Apparently losing a wheel or two is not grounds to stop, they were still expected to push the cart with its rider over the finish line. I did see one race where a cart lost a back wheel and yet they made it to the finish … last.

There was also a dunking booth, a fire truck for kids to ooh over and plenty of food. It was nice soaking up some Americana on Labor Day.

But it was noon and time to head for Canada. I filled up the tank with US gas and headed for the border. The B&B owner in Stevenson Lake had told me horror stories about spending up to 5 hours in line waiting to cross the border. I was barely back on I-5 before the signage informed me that the wait was <5 min. Of course I picked the short line which soon became the long line but even so I don’t think I was there more than maybe 7 minutes. I showed my passport and answered the standard questions. Since they ask if you’re carrying alcohol, I was wondering if they would also ask if I was carrying tobacco and/or cannabis. It seems like the restrictions should be the same for all 3. Well, I might not have expected them to ask that but I still think all 3 should be treated the same…. Well, the same as far as taxing and the like. I still support no smoking in a bar. It’s not like someone is going to get drunk by sitting next to be in a bar. But I digress.

The roads into Vancouver were moving along and I tried to accustom myself to reading the kmh instead of the mph dial but mostly just went with the flow of traffic. My hotel is in the downtown area so the driving got a little tougher as I got close. Like most cities, too many one-way streets. Also I had not thought ahead to realize there was not going to be a big empty parking lot next to the hotel. I went around a few blocks from the hotel and finally found surface parking. I got checked in and then moved my car to the nearby parking garage that had the 5th floor reserved for hotel parking.

The Moda hotel is smallish and just the kind I like in cities. The room is done in black and white with red accents. Everything within the room is clean and modern. On the ground floor of the building there is Trattoria, a wine bar, and a sports bar.

As it was only 2 by the time I got checked in I headed out on foot for the waterfront. I stopped to change some money and then headed down Granville street. There was a TaiwanFest going with several blocks cordoned off for the festivities.

The costumes of black tights and tops with a flannel shirt tied around the waist was unexpected by me at least – also many were sporting cowboy hats.

If you look straight down the street in the picture you will see the smoke stack of a cruise ship … geez those things are big! There were 2 of them in port that I saw once I walked down to the Canada Place port area. It made getting a picture across the water a bit of a challenge as they blocked a bunch of the view but I gave it my best shot anyway.

Based on my map, that’s North Vancouver on the other side of the water.

I enjoyed some leisurely walking along the waterfront for the remainder of the afternoon.

For dinner I headed to the Cinema Public House where I had the most amazing fish tacos paired with Driftwood Fat Tug IPA.

So I live in the desert SW and this was the second time I had incredibly awesome fish tacos in the Pacific NW. Obviously all about the fish!