Following our Victoria trip, we didn't leave much time to ourselves, we had just one short week left in Vancouver, where we made the most of our time by visiting all our favourite haunts, taking a heck of a lot of photos and spending lots of time eating and being merry with friends. A wonderful day trip was had with 2 friends I made at work visiting the beautiful town of Whiterock, where we spent the day prancing around on the beach and generally making the most of each others company.
|The view from the pier - along with the town's namesake - the White Rock!|
|Spotted some eagles nearby!|
Saying goodbye to our apartment was weird. It's the only place I've ever lived other than my father's house, and the first time Ian and I had lived together so it was the first time I've had to properly let go of a space I have thought of as entirely my own. But say goodbye we did, we packed up the last of our things (having squished an extra bag with my Dad back in January we managed to get back down to the one carry on and one checked bag each which we originally took out with us) and dutifully carried it to our friends house, who were kindly going to look after it, while we went on our last jaunt! And so it was back to our apartment for our last night there, and then handed over the keys the following morning, and what followed the oddest day we possible spent in Vancouver.
I distinctly remember handing our landlord our fobs for the lift and then walking outside and thinking, that's it, we can't get back. It's not home anymore! And so we spent the day aimlessly wandering Vancouver. We ended up going back to our favourite beach (CRAB Park!) where we people watched (and dog watched), reminisced, laughed and I must admit, battled some sadness.
|The Strip - Pittsburgh.|
We spent a few days settling in, for me to spend time with my family again, and for Ian to get to know them. And we got to meet my cousins lovely fiancee (now wife!!) and we spent a few days relaxing after the hectic week.
Ian and I had planned on a road trip to Niagra, and some of my family very kindly offered to take us up there, so we bundled our stuff into there car and pottered off on a road trip...back to Canada! The drive took us through Pennsylvania and New York which were both lovely to see, and then we hit Ontario. My cousins had organised the hotel and my goodness it was stunning. Our bathroom had a hot tub, which was much appreciated, I spent a lot of time in that tub. So we did the Niagara Falls thing, then our cousins drove us further afield, and we visited Niagara on the Lake, and looked across the lake at the very distant Toronto.
|Ian and I next to Lake Ontario.|
Next day we made the hours drive into Toronto itself and we spent some time wandering the city, had a spot of lunch and just generally enjoyed each others company. I must say Toronto was nice, but it didn't strike or grab me in quite the same way Vancouver did. (I realise one day probably isn't enough time to judge but still, Vancouver already captured my heart!)
|Bottom of the CN Tower.|
Following the roadtrip, it was back to Pittsburgh. While there we did a whole range of things, had many family events, barbecues, bet on the Kentucky Derby and tried out a Pittsburgh must, the Primanti Brothers sandwhich (pictured with the travel duck!)
Highlights for me include visiting PNC Park to watch a baseball game (I have been previously on a trip in 2008 and LOVED it, so going back was a must!) and also visited the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum which we also adored. http://www.mattress.org/
|The Mattress Factory - Pittsburgh.|
And then far too soon, it was time to throw our stuff together, and hop on a long flight back to Vancouver for the final leg of our year long adventure.