|Vancouver Harbor near Stanley Park.|
I know that by the end of this year I will probably over the newness of seeing these creatures but for now I celebrate. And prepare by purchasing bear spray, a noise canon, and.. always travel with someone slower than me... just kidding...
Anyways, the first entry into Canada began with the hopes that I would be able to acquire a work visa at the border. Alas we were wrong. All of the paper work must be in order.
However, this mistake gave us a bit of an unforeseen vacation in no better place than British Columbia! My parent were gracious enough to drive me up to Canada with the hopes to drop me on the Island. This was not the case but with all of my stuff backed up we continued on to Vancouver past the nice Canadian officers denying me a work visa at the border.
And so began the Vancouver adventure! The turn of events left us with a multitude of opportunities given the beautiful country we had just entered. Firstly we tried to find someone at the Immigrations Office and no luck. Apparently one must apply, be qualified, and book an appointment online in order to talk to an actual person.
Instead we wandered around the city a bit; attempted to get into pretty churches and looked up at glass buildings. It was kind of overwhelming for someone who has been living in the small town of Corvallis or the farm for so long. After a giant table, well a small table filled with sushi, we realized a place to stay was in order. It quickly became clear that Michael Bublé fans and a stem cell convention had taken almost every room in the city. I will spare you the curse words but driving in this unfamiliar town should be left for the locals. Except most of them walk and use the buses... After showing up to several locations desperate for a room, finally one got hooked! And for a discount even!
Relieved to have a place to stay we relaxed long enough to get hungry. La Brasserie served a delicious steak. Seriously, I could eat my way through this city given enough time and money. There is such a vibrant variety of cuisines and options that at each street corner I'd wish for a sample.
|Bent Cedar Boxes. First Nations made these|
from one long plank, curved to make a
The First Nations people encompass the people with heritage roots of those tribes originally residing in North America. For more detailed information check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations
|UBC College of Forestry Student Center|
|UBC College of Forestry Faculty Building|
Overall, our experiences in Vancouver have been very positive. The people we have met are extremely nice and warm to talk to. The city is very easy to navigate and interesting to explore. Stanley Park is a gem in this city. We walked part of the 8 km route adjacent to the bay. The city has more than 1.8 million trees and promotes earth friendly practices.
|Beef Tenderloin Wellington roast garlic mash grainy mustard marsala.|
|Quest University Main Campus View|
Later on in the day we were motivated to get out of the big city. Takinga drive north on Highway 99 we headed towards Squamish. A small town of 17,000 people was known for their fantastic outdoor opportunities for the adventurist. We stopped in the Saturday Market for gluten-free Crepes! And Dad of course bought a bag of kettle corn… as if he can’t get enough at the farm.
The real mission of visiting Squamish was to see Quest University. A small non-for-profit school that has a very unusual curriculum is where our dear friend Hannah P. will be attending in the fall. It had supreme views and a pristine campus. It was near this town we saw a bear. So be careful Hannah.
|Whistler Olympic Rings|
Instead of turning around we choose to follow the signs up to Whistler, BC. It was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics. And wow, the Olympic Village was incredible. It reminded us of some European cities. We could walk over a half-mile lined with shops, restaurants, hotels, and outdoor adventure trips. The village had restaurants and menus familiar across the world. It catered to the international audience obviously present year round in Whistler.
|Whistler Mountain Bikers enter the village.|
The Tough Mudder was going on that day and the streets were filled with similar T-shirts and muddy people. Mountain biking was huge at Whistler in the summer. There were gondolas taking people and their bikes up the scenic mountains to ride the rough trails. They would ride to the base of the mountain at the very end of the village. Loud music greeted the riders where they could wait for friends and fix up their bikes.
|Beautiful Rock Face Near Squamish, BC.|
Rock Climber's Heaven I would say.
While our stay was short north of Vancouver we finally felt that we relaxing and more familiar with British Columbia than ever before. The drive was all jaw dropping views reminding one that there is really nowhere else like it.
|Shannon Falls, Hwy 99|
While I still do not havea visa the plan as of now is to head to Vancouver Island to meet with my bosses. The intention is to drop my stuff off in the staff housing and drive back to the states. I must cross the border again in order to get the work visa while still waiting for the verification letter. Depending on when the letter comes I will bide my time in Portland. I will travel solo up there via train unless there is someone willing to drive me to Vancouver at the drop of the Canadian Immigration’s hat. Any volunteers?
|Huge Leaves at Stanley Park, Vancouver|