Reunited with our favorite shuttle man!

This morning at breakfast, our favorite shuttle man from yesterday stopped by our table to ask what we were up to.  We told him we were heading up to Canada Place and he said to have the front desk give him a call if we wanted a ride.

Yes please!

We dropped off at older couple with their luggage at the train station, and then the shuttle man tried to talk to us about our plans for the day but got really distracted because apparently he saw his exgirlfriend on a billboard??

Then he asked what neighborhoods of Vancouver we’d visited.  He was not pleased with our lack of complete touring the city and asked if we had some time to spare before getting to Canada Place.

Shuttle Driver Man took us on a mini-tour of the city.  Main locations include Chinatown and Gastown.  In Gastown, he stopped to let us see the steam clock go off.  And was SO excited.  Apparently, people just LOVE this clock. We parked illegally and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Then gave up – thinking perhaps it was broken.  So instead he enthusiastically did an impression for us of the clock.  I told him I felt like it was the real thing.  This made him very happy.

He gave us some history of Chinatown, and told us the restaurants there are only mediocre.  He also told us all about the homeless people who live in the midst of the super rich people, and drove us down Hastings St. so that we could see the people shooting up in the alleys.  Like literally slowed down past the alleys and pointed out specific people to look at.  Thanks, sir!  Our mom will be pleased that we were safely behind the tinted glass for that experience.

We drove past Canada Place as we discussed our plans for next week.  At which point he turned around and looked at my face.  He exclaims “FRECKLES!” and loses all train of thought for several minute.  It seems my face is very overwhelming.

Before leaving the shuttle, he planned the rest of our vacation for us.  Then we shocked him by telling him  how we are indeed old enough to rent cars.  Which resulted in a heart to heart about why we are not married yet, and how we feel about our little brother being married, and may have given him the false impression that we came to Vancouver specifically to find husbands.  That is not the case at all.  It was very tricky.  Rachel really enjoyed when he asked us point blank: “Why are you not married yet?” and I responded nonchalantly: “because no one asked us.”

He was a little bit distraught that we would be staying at a different hotel when we return to Vancouver.  I am a little surprised that he did not offer to drive us to Whistler to continue our friendship.

Next Up:  The actually Canada Day experience.  Shuttle Man was just too amazing of a driver to not get his own entry.

Meandering should not equal blisters…

… but I guess that it does when you meander for 6 miles.  oops!  Seriously – these shoes were clearly made for walking!  Why did they hate my feet so much???  I will probably burn them when I get home.  Or give them to my mom.

Today we got off to a leisurely start, which was much needed after a busy busy wedding weekend followed by a long day of traveling.  We slept in, ate some continental breakfast, and smuggled apples back to our room for a snack later in the day.

After waiting for basically five hours to get directions to Stanley Park, the concierge offered to just call a free shuttle for us.  Okay – thanks!  The shuttle man was awesome – not only did we bond over helping inner city children, but he also gave us some great tips for exploring the park, checked to make sure our footwear was sufficient for the walk, and looked to see that we had sweaters with in case it got chilly.

We set out at Stanley Park, excited to meander the seawall, see some totem poles, stop and read our books on a bench overlooking the ocean, and perhaps riding a trolley.

Look how happy we are!  Our feet feel great!!!

The views from the seawall were wonderful!  It was a beautiful day for a long, but leisurely walk.

It is impossible to really tell in this picture, but Tiffany – this is one of the two Westins in here in Vancouver!  our happy place.

Looking inland, we saw some crazy trees, and some totem poles!

We rejoiced when we came across Hallelujah Point!  Yes, we both sang, and pointed.

We were delighted to be taken back to our days in Tokyo when we spotted a cute little family that used an umbrella for sun, and the little girl who must have been sick, for she was wearing a surgical mask while riding her bike.  Then we intriguingly found the front of a Japanese ship.  Hmm.

About halfway around the park, we decided that we would stop for a bit and read and eat our contraband apple snack, then head up the main road to catch a ride on the free park trolleys.  Sounds simple, right??  Not so much.  First a giant wall/cliff SUDDENLY separated us from the main road.  Then when we FINALLY made it to the road we discovered that we were tragically misinformed and the trolley was not free, but rather ten dollars!  Yeah right!  I mean, if you know me at all, you probably know that i love trolleys (ok, don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that – it maybe isn’t THAT well known.  until now.  now it is public knowledge).  By this time my feet had basically been eaten by my so called “walking shoes” and I hobbled along at a snail’s pace.  But I still did not find a trolley a worthwhile $10 investment.

We tried to enjoy the beautiful things along path… and smile through the pain…

(Rachel really loved these barges.  I mean seriously had dozens of questions about them.  She will probably be writing a letter to the barge captain to find some answers about where they are going, where they are from, what they are carrying, how long they had been traveling, etc.  My dad would be proud).

After the trek of death around the lovely Stanley Park (it really was beautiful views, despite my slightly melodramatic complaining), we grabbed some lunch at a fun restaurant, then hobbled through the streets back to our hotel.  At this point, we no longer thought so highly of our morning shuttle driver, as he clearly misled us on the “short” walk back.  I kept an eye out for new shoes, but didn’t pass any stores I wanted to look in.

Tonight we went to a movie theater and saw Toy Story 3 – last night Shakespeare… tonight, animated movie.  I may have teared up at the end, but told myself to not be ridiculous and to not cry.  I also gasped in horror at one point.  My sister is still laughing at my over-reactions.  I was clearly invested in my movie watching experience and would definitely recommend this movie if you have not seen it.

Tomorrow is Canada Day.  I am getting ready to join in at noon, singing O Canada “so loud they’ll here us in Ottawa!”  You can be ready too if you want!

I will leave you with a fun fact about Canada!  Inventor Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to answer the phone saying “Ahoy!”  I would encourage you to answer your phone in this way to honor Canada on July 1 (today).

Now I must go rest up – I have a very patriotic day ahead of me.