BC & Alberta, Part 1: Vancouver

You learn a lot about someone after travelling with them. This still applies to someone you’ve known since the first day of junior kindergarten. Thankfully, Shannon and I made great travel companions as our trip started out on the wrong foot, right from Pearson Airport.

Upon arriving at the airport we tried to check ourselves in using the self-serve kiosks. We put in the flight number, pulled up our information, and BAM. Our flight details had changed. Thinking the system was wrong, we waited in line to check-in with an actual agent. Now, I can get quite impatient, so I left Shannon in line to retry the kiosk and the same information had come up as before. Our original flight was supposed to be nonstop, arriving in Vancouver around 6:30 pm. Our new flight was not only departing two hours later, but had us arriving after 10:00 pm with a stopover in Calgary. Something had to be wrong.

Turns out the system was right. Our original flight was cancelled due to maintenance and we were shit out of luck. I was looking forward to spending the evening settling in and walking around once we arrived, but by the time our plane had finally landed in my beautiful Vancouver it was after midnight. The only thing we did that night was crash in our bunk beds after an epic day of travelling. Honestly, we could have flown to Europe in the same amount of time it took us to get to BC.

We woke up the next day still tired from our travels, so we decided to not set an agenda and just walk around. Shannon had never been to Vancouver so it was a good way to let her take in the sights on foot. From the hostel we walked to the northern end of Granville Street and made our way to the harbour. We sat with coffees while watching the water planes come in and did nothing but relax. I made Shannon take a photo with the giant water drop as I did on my first trip to the city, and she did it like a champ.

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We then made our way to Gastown, stopping in some record stores and a pin-up/rockabilly-esque clothing store along the way (that’s how we roll). We got yet another coffee (something we do well) and shared the biggest cookie I’ve ever seen while sitting on a bench, enjoying the view and cobblestone streets.

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After filling our bellies with coffee and cookie we decided to return to the hostel to freshen up and attempt to wake up (I almost requested nap time, that’s how tired I was). Refusing to waste precious vacation time by sleeping during the day, we set out again to visit Stanley Park. We didn’t make it far into the park, however, as we got distracted by the ducks that we found on the pond in Devonian Harbour Park, located at the opening to Stanley.

We didn’t think to bring bread with us to feed the duckies, however it seemed that someone had left a secret stash just for us — I found a pile of bread scraps amongst the plants along the water’s edge. How the ducks didn’t find them before I did, I will never know.

We started out with maybe three ducks in front of us. Those three eventually became about seven or eight, and then those ducks got brave, jumped out of the water onto the ledge we were sitting on and before we knew it we were hand-feeding those birds. One duck in particular had the balls of a bull and was so close to me and my camera that he mistook my finger for bread and started to nibble on it. Thankfully ducks don’t have the teeth of a bull or else I’d be single-finger typing this blog post.

Ducky needs to wipe his mouth after his hand-fed bread snack.

Ducky needs to wipe his mouth after his hand-fed bread snack.

Once we were out of bread the ducks lost interest and left us for what I can assume to be more bread from other tourists. We slowly made our way back to the hostel by walking along West Georgia, and surprise surprise, we got another coffee on the way. We chilled on a bench on Granville Street and watched the never-lacking entertainment that can be found anywhere along the downtown portion of Granville (read: VERY interesting people). People watching is never boring on Granville. I wasn’t bold enough to take pictures of interesting passerby, but Shannon and I took the opportunity for one of many to come selfies (we’re girls…leave us alone).

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I have always dwarfed Shannon in any picture taken of us, regardless of our age. This shot is no exception.

Once we were back at the hostel we ran into my buddy Pete. The three of us got some pints and dinner then made our way to Pete’s apartment so I could show Shannon the view from his floor. It’s pretty fantastic.

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By this point I was pooped, a little tipsy, and wanted nothing more than to crawl into my top bunk. We wish Pete a good night and made our way back to the hostel to officially end our first full day of sightseeing in Vancouver.

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