Sunday, July 1, 2012

Travel: British Columbia (Life List #33.3)

So...I just got back from a 5 day trip to British Columbia.  Planned in just over a week, I decided to knock out one of the train treks that I listed on my 40 by 40 list.

The Amtrak Cascades

I flew from Los Angeles to Seattle first thing Friday morning.  It was raining, its Seattle...of course it was raining.  DUH!! I needed to find myself a jacket OR an umbrella.  The hotel had an umbrella for me to use so that was nice!  I dropped my bags in my room and headed out to find a jacket and find Pikes Market for some much anticipated seafood!

Pikes Market, Seattle, WA

Pikes Market, Seattle, WA
Oyster Shooters and Shrimp Cocktail a.k.a. pure heaven don't know a good shrimp until you've had these suckers...I'm telling you...they were to DIE for!

Pikes Market, Seattle, WA
Oh to have been able to ship some home!!
( can! They DO ship!...I just didn't have anyone to receive my packages while I was away :( )

Continuing on....Saturday morning I took a cab to King Street Train Station to head to Vancouver, BC!!
If you haven't heard of this train is on the National Geographic's Top 10 US train rides (check the list out here).  This is a MUST do!  Note: Pay the extra few dollars for Business Class.  You are boarded first, and you may de-train first! I also heard from several passengers that coach was very loud with people talking on phones etc...  

Is this a house? I'm not sure...but it made for a cool pic I thought
Somewhere between Seattle and Canada

It was a gloomy morning.  
I really like how this pic turned out though.

Amtrak Cascades.  The staff were GREAT!!

The first Bald Eagle that I've seen with my own two eyes.  

After about 4 hours on the train I arrived in Vancouver, BC!  Woot!  I had never been before but had heard it was a beautiful city!  It was raining just a wee bit but I headed out with my new jacket and the hotel supplied umbrella to find some lunch and a cold beer!  I headed down to towards the water and found a Pub called Mahoney & Sons (get the Granville Island Pale Ale and the fish and chips! YUM!).  

Moving on..... The next 2 days I shopped, ate plenty of Dungeness Crab, drank a lot of local beer, hiked through Stanley Park (get a map! I got lost...), had brunch at Edible Canada (order the Caesar...its like a Bloody Mary but better!) on Granville Island and picked up some fresh cherries and figs at the Granville Market. The International Jazz Festival was going on so I enjoyed a couple of performances over the weekend.

PS....I can't recommend the Chinese Garden in Chinatown in Vancouver.  I didn't think it met all the hype and was really disappointed.

Blue Heron. Stanley Park @ Beaver Lake.

For whatever reason this is the only picture I ended up taking on Granville Island
Ship Propeller.

Monday afternoon I took the Sea Plane over to Victoria, BC.  Yes! I got in this little tiny plane!!  The Pilot invited me to sit in the Co-Pilot seat...I didn't hesitate AT ALL! Very fun experience!

Harbour Sea Planes. Vancouver, BC

My view from the Co-Pilot chair in the Sea Plane.
Vancouver, BC

Lighthouse. Vancouver, BC

I arrived in Victoria about 35 minutes later....

Victoria, BC

I spent 2 nights in Victoria at The Empress.  One night would have been more than plenty in my opinion.  I did visit Butchart Gardens and that was enjoyable.  I think there are come surrounding islands that folks like visiting.  
Butchart Gardens Fountain.
Victoria, BC

Butchart Gardens.
Victoria, BC

Butchart Gardens.
Victoria, BC

And for my final vacation day I boarded the Victoria Clipper on Wednesday morning and headed to Seattle to catch my flight back to Los Angeles.

It was an amazing experience.  A little lonely at times but I found everyone to be very friendly, accommodating and helpful.  This is certainly Solo Traveler friendly!  I can't wait to go back to Vancouver and conquer the Suspension bridge! I'm totally afraid of heights but can't imagine NOT doing this!  

Thanks for bearing with me on the long post.  Have you been to Vancouver?  Share your favorite restaurant, bar or activity!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog! I enjoyed reading about your trip. Great photos as well. Where are you going next? Eric N.