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Things I forgot to blog about in 2014. Part One: The End of Vancouver :(

I left off with a whirlwind explanation of our final few months in Canada and with an airy promise to fill you in later. Clearly that idea bombed, however, I'm attempting to pull myself together and get back on the blog wagon!

So, things I forgot to blog about in 2014. (Part One because this could take awhile.)

  • My Dads visit to Vancouver
So last January my father came to Vancouver to visit, and I wrote a little about his arrival and my preparation for it, but didn't hugely touch on the subject much afterwards. Well, I had a wonderful few weeks with my Dad in Vancouver, and we managed to cram in rather a lot, considering I had to work for part of it.

Initially we spent a few days relaxing, wandering the city a lot with my own version of a guided tour, showing my Dad all the places we loved around Downtown Vancouver, such as Gastown, Coal Harbour and Chinatown. We chatted and drank a lot of coffee, and just had general father/daughter time which was lovely, and gave my Dad a break from his workaholic lifestyle back at home. It made me realise quite how much I missed my family and I wanted to make sure we made the most of our time together, so then we went into tourist mode!

After my brief stint at work we filled our time considerably, we walked around Stanley Park a lot (New Years Day we stumbled upon the Polar Bear Swim at English Bay, I'm signing up for that next time! It sounds mad, but really, what an experience.)

We spent a day in North Vancouver and took some gorgeous pictures of sunset over Downtown.

Father on the cliff walk!
One day was spent visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge, which was a nice trip out, if a little too 'touristy' and guided for my liking. I'm a bit more of an open spaces, off the beaten track kind of girl, but nevertheless, I enjoyed the bridge, and seeing the engineering involved in it, along with the cliff walk.

One of my favourite days was spent on Grouse mountain. We took the ferry across to North Vancouver and then a bus to the bottom of the mountain. Earlier in the year Ian and I had ascended via the Grouse Grind, which I had wanted to show my Dad, but unfortunately it was closed for Winter. So we had to take the tram up the mountain, which was a lot quicker and rather beautiful anyway. From there we rented snowshoes (I can't remember quite how much, but I rememeber thinking it was reasonably priced, but if I lived in Vancouver I'd totally buy my own pair and do this all the time!) and we spent the day plodding in the snow up the mountain! The scenery was beautiful, but the snowshoes are hard work! They make your feet feel oddly inbalanced and heavy, and tired us out!

Me in the ol' snowshoes!

Another day while walking in Stanley Park, and one of my favourite memories that I share with my Dad involved coming across a lady and 2 children feeding chickadees. These are small birds that live close to Beaver Lake, and as we walked towards the lady and children saw that they were surrounded by these tiny, delicate birds. The lady approached us and gave us some seeds too, and we spent a wonderful afternoon feeding them, simply by holding out seeds on your hand and waiting for the chickadees to land on your palm and dash off nervously with a seed clasped in its tiny beak. They were adorable and nervous, and very light, but with strong little feet. Very cute indeed, 'tis a shame I never got a photograph. If you're ever intending to go to that area, definitely take seeds with you and have a go!

Another evening we visited the Harbour Centre Tower and I again I took a million photos as the sun went down over my adoptive city, which I have no grown to love more and more.

Overall, we had a wonderful time together and saying goodbye when he left was almost harder than saying goodbye when we left London. But at this point Ian and I had decided we would not be renewing our visas, so we knew it wouldn't be long before we were back in good old England again!

  • April - Anniversary in Victoria, BC
Our last weeks in Vancouver flew by way too fast, and leaving work and people behind was more difficult than I could have imagined. The day after my last shift was Ian and I's anniversary, and we had planned a trip to Victoria. So we got up early and took the Skytrain/bus to Tswassen ferry terminal and hopped on a ferry to Vancouver Island, and then took a final bus to Victoria. While there we stayed at Ocean Island Hostel, which we loved for its kooky community feel and amusing paint job.

Victoria was pretty, but we couldn't help constantly comparing it to Vancouver and finding that it came up short. Our first port of call was to track down a pub, as one thing that Vancouver lacks was a pub (as opposed to bars, of which there are many!) and we dove into one and spent our first afternoon getting suitably drunk and doing not much else. I honestly don't remember a lot of that day.

A lot of walking took place, we checked out Victoria's Chinatown, which was very pretty, but considerably smaller than Vancouver. A highlight for me was walking through Beacon Hill Park all the way to the beach, where we spent the day snuggled on the sand, played with sticks and met a pug. We stumbled upon a great little coffee shop called Solstice Cafe, where we spent a considerable amount of time eating and drinking (the salmon bagels where delicious!) and overall we had a lovely stay.

We may not have been entirely blown away by Victoria, but we had so little time to really get to know the place, the largest feature for me were the places to eat and drink. I wish we had had more time to enjoy the city in more depth, and had more time to travel further into the Island, as I'm certain Vancouver Island has a whole lot more to offer.

After our brief stint on the Island, we pottered back to Vancouver and our sweet little apartment, and started packing our things up for our next adventure...

In an effort to keep these manageable, I'll split the post up so I don't post too much all at once, so:

Part 2 - America/Niagara Falls

Part 3 - Returning Home/Canada Work Visa Round up

This post first appeared on Raider Rachel - Around The World!, please read the originial post: here

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Things I forgot to blog about in 2014. Part One: The End of Vancouver :(


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