Our First Week in Canada

We’ve been here a week, but have managed to pack in a couple of weeks worth of fun already.

We were delayed again in Manchester whilst the remaining coaches carrying passengers from Glasgow arrived, so it was around 4pm before we finally took off. That was around 6 hours late, and an hour further from Canada than we should have been but at least we were on our way. Unfortunately as we took off we were informed that the entertainment system wasn’t working so we had a nine hour flight with no games or movies to keep Megan entertained.

She was an absolute star though, and we eventually arrived in Vancouver around 6pm local time (7 hours late) to be met by Craig at the airport. Its around a half hour drive back to their place in Surrey, and the McLeans arrived there around the same time as we did for an emotional reunion all round. It was game three of the Stanley Cup playoffs that evening, with Vancouver playing Chicago (all square going into this game) so we settled down to watch that for an hour or two to try and delay going to bed a bit, whilst Megan played with her new pals Keira, Caden & Ryan.

Unfortunately Vancouver lost and when we finally hit the sack around 9pm local time we’d be up for over 24 hours – Megan had a minor meltdown that night because she was so tired, and said she wanted to go home. By the time we all woke up in the morning she was feeling much better and decided she’d rather stay!

So for our first day in Canada Craig took us for a ride into downtown Vancouver, where we saw the Olympic flame from the Winter Olympics as well as Chinatown, Gastown and Stanley Park. The weather was fabulous and we headed back for dinner in the backyard with Cory, Kiera & Caden – followed by an early night.

Kiera & Caden had a Pro-D day on Friday (no school!) so they showed us round the local shops and parks in the morning, and then an Ice Cream at Dairy Queen. In the afternoon Helen and Ryan picked us up and we went down to the beach at White Rock (more great weather) and then back to the McLeans for dinner (great steak cooked by Ryan) and game four of the Stanley Cup playoffs (Vancouver lost again).

Saturday was Kiera’s birthday but also a baseball tournament for Ashley, so in the morning we went shopping with Dennis & Ryan (had some fun with a great machine for monitoring your golf swing whilst Dennis bought a new hybrid 3 wood) then went to Crescent Beach for a while before the party. It was a bowling party and all the kids (including Megan) had a great time, before we went onto catch some of the last game of Ashley’s tournament at Softball City. We went back with the McLean’s for dinner, and left Ryan and Megan watching a movie whilst the grown ups ate at the Ocean Park Village Pub.

Sunday we went with Dennis & Ryan to Grouse Mountain north of Vancouver, taking the cable car up to the top where there was still enough snow for a snowball fight (weather still fabulous though) and the bears were out of hibernation (but fortunately still behind an electric fence). Unfortunately someone pulled the emergency cable on the cable car during the afternoon so we were a bit later getting down the mountain than planned – although we still got back in time for a barbecue and game five of the playoffs (Vancouver won this time).

Monday the three of us took the SkyTrain to Science World (which was great) and then a walk round the harbour at Vancouver through Yaletown and then up the Harbour Tower to admire the views. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Gastown and then headed back on the SkyTrain just in time to catch the end of Kiera’s baseball game.

Tuesday was an early start to catch the ferry across to Vancouver Island, the three of us had booked into the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa for an overnight stay in Victoria. The ferry crossing was an hour and half, but the views across the Straight of Georgia and the Gulf Islands were spectacular – then a forty minute coach ride into Victoria itself. We took the bus tour around Victoria to take in the sights and then headed back to the hotel for dinner (and a swim in the pool). Sadly Vancouver lost game six of the playoffs that night and were knocked out – at the same point and by the same team as last year.

Wednesday we checked out and then took advantage of the two day bus tour tickets to have Tea at the Empress Hotel Tea Rooms (ridiculously expensive) take a walk through Beacon Hill Park (admiring the views across to the Olympic Mountains in Washington) and a wander round Miniature World. Then it was back on the bus to catch the 7pm ferry back to the mainlaind.

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