My Happy Place

I have loved this whole trip so much – each day we have done one of my favorite things (or perhaps a new favorite thing) but I’d have to say that today was spent in my happy place.  If I could plan the ideal day, it would probably look something like today did.

We started out with a leisurely (free) delicious breakfast, then headed off to take our picture with the love statue.  Once we realized they had one here, just like we stumbled upon one in Tokyo, we knew we had to get our picture with it.  It was considerably smaller than Japan’s – no sitting in letters this time!  But totally worth stopping by.

Then we hit up two gardens.  The first was the Queen Elizabeth Park, and the second was a botanical garden nearby.  We meandered through winding paths, soaking in the sun, enjoying the cool breeze that carried floral scents, and looking off to see the mountains in the distance.

Rachel stopped on a park bench at the first destination so that I could take my time photographing the flowers.  Taking pictures of flowers is one of my favorite things to do – and she kindly came prepared =)

At the second park we bought lunch at the garden cafe.  We sat in cute little wrought iron chairs and ate… hot dogs??

The botanical garden was simply gorgeous.  It was HUGE!  and beautifully landscaped.  We even got to go through a hedge maze (lifelong dream – checked off the list!)

There was a little waterfall, a rose garden, and really cool trees, like the monkey puzzle tree, and the snake branch spruce, and the corkscrew hazel tree.

It was delightful to stop at a bench set next to a beautiful little scene from a fairytale, complete with irises on the banks of a pond that has both water lilies and ducks.  A gazebo overlooking the pond framed the right side of the water, and pine trees and mountains filled in the rest of the backdrop.  We sat here in the sun for quite a while, reading our books and enjoying life.  It was lovely!

We LOVED the rose garden, and I even ignored the buzzing I could hear around me (which I was rather proud of) until I saw a HUGE swarm of bees nearing in on Rachel’s head.  I do NOT like bees.  At this point we made a quick getaway.

Tonight we are off to the historic district of Vancouver to take in the cute little cobblestone streets, brownstones, and fun shops and restaurants.

Yes, flowers+strolls+reading+sun+photography+historicalness= the perfect end to our Spinster Sister Vacation.  SUCCESS!

It’s a boat, it’s a plane, it’s a float plane!

Rachel and I decided that a float plane trip up above the mountains near Whistler was probably essential to our trip, and probably a once in a lifetime experience.

For me, it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, as I was surprised that my body did not like the constant ups and downs and turbulence and twists and turns.  Normally I LOVE that sort of thing!  Body – why were you so confused???  I think that it was through sheer willpower that I did not succomb to motion sickness.

Rachel on the other hand will be doing her best to make friends with little planes, and perhaps will be found loitering around the Crystal airport.

I am so glad we went though, as the views were INCREDIBLE!  Seriously – SO awesome!!  We saw mountain tops, looked down into valleys, noted the frequent creeks flowing down the mountain side, looked at aqua ponds up on the mountains, and enjoyed looking down at the trees and snow.  (And the Olympic sliding center, as pictured below)

Afterwards, we took the train back again, and made friends with our train lady.  We wanted to move to the other side where the better view would be, because we were on the wrong side on the way up too.  So we tried to switch seats, and asked her, and she apparently had promised the second row to a family, but let us sit in the first row, which meant she chatted with us, sharing funny stories and sassy remarks, and trying to help us make our travel plans for our last day in Vancouver.  It was a beautiful ride back, and we said a tearful goodbye to our new friend.  I don’t have any pictures from the return trip (since they would have looked surprising similar to the pictures from the way there) and I never thought I would say this – but it was actually enjoyable to put my camera down and take a break from the photography…

After hopelessly meandering Vancouver, looking for something that would be open for dinner on a Sunday night, we ended up in a restaurant across from our hotel, sitting on the bar side so we could catch the baseball highlights (and eventually watch bowling).  Our waitress was adorable and told us a great story from the Olympics.  She said that a family came in all wearing the same shirts, so she asked if they had been at an event together.  They said they’d come from curling, and she asked how it was, to which they responded “it is curling – how do you THINK it was??”  and they talked about how boring curling was, egging on the waitress to agree with them.  As soon as she finally said something about “yeah, I guess on tv I don’t really understand it, it isn’t very exciting to watch” then they fessed up that they love the sport, one of the guys was on the Canadian curling team, and went on to win gold!   She was mortified, but they wouldn’t let her change her statement – they all thought it was really funny, but she was super embarrassed, and would see him on tv all the time after that… awesome.