Pre-Spring Visit to Victoria

Already the middle of March, but due to our dreadfully cold winter and frequent snow storms, the tulips, daffodils and other bulbs have not even started to poke through the ground. A most depressing situation, especially since we were cutting the lawn in February last year. What better time to spend a few days in Victoria, BC’s coastal sunshine capital. This year, our plans were to visit the Parliament Buildings, Provincial Museum, craft breweries and partake in Afternoon Tea.

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Vancouver’s Stanley Park – Bright Nights & Christmas Train

bright-nights-main-entranceStanley Park’s miniature railway, a favourite attraction for kids of all ages, has been a Vancouver icon for over 50-years. Opened in 1964, engine # 374 is a miniature replica of the Canadian Pacific “steamie” engine that pulled the first` cross-country passenger train into Vancouver, in the late 1880’s. The original engine is displayed in the Roundhouse located on the old Expo 86 land on the shores of False Creek.

Bright nights is a seasonal attraction hosted by Vancouver Park Board and BC Professional Firefighter’s Burn Fund. It comprises lighted displays around the station and an amazing light display along the train tracks. Entrance to the station plaza is by donation, while the train requires a ticket purchase, which is highly recommended in advance.

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Capilano Suspension Bridge – Canyon Lights

canyon-lights-drone-dec-2015This was our 3rd venture out into a bitterly cold wintry night (-6C/21F), this Christmas Season, to view the Canyon Lights, at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver. We had intended to take my dad, grandson and daughter-in-law, but our grandson had a bad cold and fever, so Judi stayed at home with him. While we have visited the suspension bridge many times, normally when hosting friends/family from UK, this is our first visit to the Canyon Lights display, with this being the 11th season for the display of lights. It certainly won’t be the last.

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Enchant – Vancouver’s Christmas Light Maze & Market

enchant_poster_11x17_10xWelcome to our 2nd Christmas Light adventure; heading out on another uncharacteristically bitterly cold December evening, we visited Vancouver’s newest Christmas attraction – Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market. Billed as the world’s largest Christmas Maze, it comprises 55,000 square feet of lighted sculptures, with a market featuring local vendors and a dozen food trucks. An interesting combination and even kid friendly.

The media hype has ensured that almost everyone in Greater Vancouver knows about the new attraction. Based on the media reports and the content of their website, we eagerly awaited our visit.

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Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights

vandusen-walkway-around-lakeWith our kids approaching their mid 30’s, it has been way too many years since we visited the plethora of Christmas light attractions, in and around Metro Vancouver. However, this year we have a number of reasons to get out the house and enjoy the light displays. My dad is visiting from Scotland, our daughter-in-law is spending her first Christmas in Canada and our grandson is almost 2 yrs old. All great reasons to play tourist in our own backyard.

Many have said Vancouver is a no fun city, but in our experience, we could not disagree more, as we thoroughly enjoyed most of the attractions.

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Hells Gate Airtram & Fish Ladders

Hells Gate upper station and tram enrouteYes, this post will focus on the amazing Hells Gate Airtram and fish ladder, but first a little background on the preparation and start of our 2016 adventures. The planning and organising is complete, summer is upon us and after an 18-month hiatus, Judi and I are back enjoying the RV lifestyle.

On completion of the dealer service, we towed the coach out to Camp Bridal near Chilliwack, where my dad joined us for 5 days of cleaning and testing all the systems that hadn’t been used in 18 months. Fortunately, everything is in good working condition. After 5 days, we returned home, taking my dad to the airport the following day, for his return flight to UK. The next morning, June 15th, we packed up the truck again, taking the 3rd full load of “stuff” out to the coach. An hour after arriving at the campground, everything was stowed, the coach was hitched to the truck and we were off to enjoy our 2016 RV’ing adventure.

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Road to Whistler, BC – Sea to Sky Hwy

A week after we returned from Hawaii my dad arrived from Scotland, coming over to spend time with us, but really to see his great-grandson. He will be back again in December to spend Christmas with us. Yes, 85 and still regularly flying around the world. During his visit, for a few days we wanted to play local tourist, something we have sadly omitted these last few years.

Where better than British Columbia’s world renowned skiing destination of Whistler/Blackcomb. We spent a fabulous 4 days at one of our timeshares in Whistler, but this post will focus on the journey up Hwy 99, which locally is known as the Sea to Sky Hwy.

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Royal Roads – Military College or University

Royal Roads Hatley Castle 23We recently spent four days at our Worldmark condo in Victoria, with good friends Richard & Karen. With no time constraints for the return, we decided to complete a circuitous route through the western suburbs, along the coast to Port Renfrew, then across the mountains and up to Duke Point Ferry Terminal. One of our stops was at Royal Roads in Colwood, which is currently a University, but in previous years hosted one of Canada’s Military Colleges.

For an additional challenge, I signed up for the Writing 201 Course at Blogging University and this week’s challenge is to find a different angle, while creating a post, or re-writing an existing one.

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Victoria, BC – Breakfast & Breweries

Moon under water tasting flightArriving in Victoria on a Friday evening, with friends Richard & Karen, for 4-days of R&R, we sat down after dinner and prioritised our objectives for the weekend. After their recent visit, our kids highly recommended the craft breweries, so Saturday’s schedule comprised breakfast followed by visiting the downtown craft breweries.

What do you think of  our priorities?

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