We arrived in the evening and settled into our room. The beds were a smidge too small but the room was nice and clean and mostly quiet. We decided to go out for a celebratory drink, “yay vacation!” We joked that we ended up at the Canadian version of Malone’s, a crappy suburban sports bar near our house that is somehow always packed. It was a little too true for comfort. The drinks were decent though.
The next day we woke up entirely too early. It was nice to wake up and get ready slowly, we weren’t on anyone’s time table but our own. We wandered down for the “free continental breakfast” expecting it to be some folder’s coffee and pastries from Costco. We were pleasantly surprised by scrambled eggs, bacon, belgian waffles among assorted other things. I got to have breakfast tea to fully wake up that morning. We made our plans for the day over a syrupy waffle we split.
We ventured out to the International Buddhist Temple, missing a turn and having to double back. It was an adventure driving anywhere not using our phones to give us turn-by-turn directions. “How did we survive before?” we laughed as wrong turns were made and circles were drove.
The sun was starting to come out sending the heavy clouds away. It was beautiful weather, a fall sunny day, crisp and bright. It was enchanting to walk through the temple grounds, many of the shrines you were not allowed to photograph for obvious reasons. Even if you could I doubt a photo would ever do any of them justice. They were breath taking.
Taking in the afternoon sun we meandered along the paths of Queen Elizabeth Park, walking among the quarry gardens. I always seem to find myself visiting either an aquarium, zoo, or something of that sort no matter where we visit and we found this trip was no different. We popped into the Bloedel Conservatory and walked amongst the birds and exotic plants.
Raman was had for dinner following the best bubble tea I’ve had. We spent the evening catching up with a wonderful friend and passed out asleep, full and happy.
The second day started in much the same way as the first. It was another beautiful fall day and we took advantage of it. We headed over to the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. We wandered as much of the gardens as we could, still not seeing everything I’m sure. The leaves were changing the sun bounced off them creating a fire of colors. We wandered through mazes and meditation gardens. We sat on benches and talked of our adventures. I fussed with my camera some but didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I thought.
This time we had to stop at Stanley Park, having missed it the first time. We meandered along the sea wall for a bit, enjoying the views of the water and the people and the city. It’s a gorgeous city.
The evening ended much the same as the first. Sushi was had instead of raman and at the end we wandered through downtown, comparing places to the first time we had visit years ago. It was a different visit and we were a different couple and we remarked on how time changes you and we were both glad to be there again.
In the end the trip was entirely too quick, there’s always so many more things to do, more places to try, more food to eat. But Monday morning we packed our car and headed back across the border, back to our home, and slept that night in our own, just the right size, bed.
(The rest of the photos from the trip are here on flickr.)