Reconnecting With Family North of the Border

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Days 81-82 – Tuesday & Wednesday July 10 & 11, 2007 – Vancouver, British Columbia

This morning we braved the Seattle traffic on our way up north back into Canada. Since I am aware that not everyone is up to date with Canadian geography, we are going to Vancouver, British Columbia which sits on the Pacific Ocean, about thirty miles north of the border with Washington. The cities we visited in Canada earlier in our trip, sat on Canada’s eastern coast. With that free geography lesson out of the way, let’s get on with the show.

The plan was to meet my cousin Glen at his house around 2:30pm. We were perfectly on time until we hit the border. Of course, I had to pick the lane that moved three times slower than all of the others. After we finally made it across, it was 2:30pm and we arrived at his house around 3pm. I wasn’t sure what he had in store, so we left the day open.

My cousin Glen moved up to Vancouver from the Los Angeles area a little over a year ago. After surviving the daily rain and lack of sun during Vancouver’s long winter, he is enjoying the plentiful sunshine that the summer has brought. After a little catching up, we caught the SkyTrain (light rail) and rode it into town. My first impressions of Vancouver, led me to compare it most closely with San Francisco.

As we emerged from the train and walked around in the downtown area, it became obvious that Vancouver is built vertically. Mid-rise condo buildings are the norm here and this type of building even stretches out into the suburbs. The fact that they have used mid-rises in lieu of taller buildings, keeps the city from feeling to “large” though. After touring some of the streets, Glen took us into Stanley Park. Stanley Park is the largest suburban park in the world. It is impressive, as it is mostly natural forest and sits north of the downtown area, in the heart of Vancouver. We found plenty of bikers and joggers who were enjoying the sun and beautiful scenery in Stanley Park.

I have to admit, that most of our day in Vancouver was spent walking around and enjoying the atmosphere. Vancouver is a traditional city and definitely has that type of vibe. While we didn’t see any museums or go to any tourist attractions per se, we felt that it was just nice to be out and about. Jasmine and I also did our fair share of talking to my cousin and his friends, as it has been awhile since we have had someone else to talk to! Following a couple of hours of walking around, we had dinner at a great little Greek restaurant before taking in some more shoreline and heading back to his house around midnight. The night just flew by as we were enjoying the city and enjoying the company.

When Wednesday came around, we were a little fatigued, so we took it easy. We did go into the city to explore a bit, but once again didn’t tour anything or visit any museums. Once in the city, we took the SeaBus across the river and back. We also walked through more of the downtown area before trying to meet up with my cousin. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find him so we headed back to his house. By this point in the trip, we are more interested at taking a slower pace. To be honest, the week of rest we have coming in Las Vegas is looking pretty good right now. We only have ten days more before we get there!

Tomorrow we are going to drive south all the way to Portland, OR. Due to our limited time, Seattle kind of got the chopping block. We decided to give ourselves a couple of days in Portland, as it is one of the cities we are considering as a place to settle down when we return. The other exciting news that came from these couple of days is that we finally got the dates nailed down for our flight to Guatemala. We are leaving on the 29th of this month and flying into Guatemala City before taking a shuttle to Antigua. We plan on staying in Antigua for about a month before spending the next two months traveling through the region!

It was nice to see my cousin these two days. He has done quite a bit of traveling himself and has been helpful with many suggestions, but most importantly with his support. If you are reading this, we love you Glen! You could not have made us feel any more welcome! Thanks for everything!

The Coomer Family


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