VANCOUVER (july) 2007. pseudoadventures to the exotic wilds of Canada

10.12am vancouver ||

In Vancouver. Having breakfast before heading to Stanley Park. And then to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Looking forward to the latter very much! :o)

Weather is great. Perfect. So good timing on our part. Walked ourselves exhausted yesterday. When I get back, I must tell you about the zombie land that was Chinatown. Ghost town it seemed. Sketchy scary. Okay, food here. Bye for now!

9.46am vancouver ||

Last full day in Vancouver. Sad. Can't talk long at this place. Last time we ended up stinking like food after we finished our breakfast. This time we are sitting outside. And my emails and stuff will be super speedy.

Headed to Grouse Mountain later. And walking the Lion's Bridge. It was beautiful last time we took the bus back. Couldn't take good pics because digiSon is unwell. That's the major damper of my trip. Otherwise, super super beautiful beautiful.

Okay, bye! See you state side.

11.19pm ||

first meal in Vancouver

You wouldn't believe how much time we 'wasted' in our hotel upon arriving. We both felt gross, so cleaned ourselves up. And we were tired too. Even post-shower. But we finally found the energy to head out to eat something. Get some energy in us so we could get down and dirty. Food. We took a couple steps out...into one of the hotel's restaurants. Hahaha. I had read in a review that they had good restaurants, so why not. Besides, we were beat. So Moxie's it was.

Scallop and crab cakes (super yum!), salmon (yum) with fruity stuff on top (yum!), and one big chunk of simple, yet, believe it or not, super tasty, broccoli.

I sat down, I think Saturday morning, and wrote like 5 (scratch that, just counted 8) pages. And it covered only half of my first day in Vancouver. I need to sit my ass down and write out the rest. Else I'll forget.

Thank goodness for digiSon. I use my pics as cues.

I wrote out postcards near the end of our stay. I even wrote one to my folks. In Chinese. I think they will be impressed. I'm sure they think I'm more illiterate in it than I am. They don't have to know that, while I could recite my whole letter, I had to look up how some characters were written during our morning breakfast. Because my character writing abilities are super rusty.

11.25pm ||

graffiti alley, vancouver

11.34pm ||

cowgirls wear pink

Riding along the shuttle bus through Stanley Park. By the window. Nice and breezy. Good break for our legs. Glimpsed this little girl in the reflection.

11.25pm ||

unexplainable, but i love me these

10.56pm || Wednesday

i know when people's eyes stray

I haven't forgotten. And I really am very intensely aware when people's eyes stray. It irritates me to no end.


11.23pm || Thursday
a change in geography
When you are in a different country, or even a different town, things seem to be better. Coated in this special film of yummy differentness, cool newness, a cozy, refreshing unfamiliarness. A trash can in your backyard, BLAH. A trash can across the ocean, now that's somehow pretty OOH. The line of homes you past on your way to the subway, the line of homes you past on your way to the subway. Sounds the same, but can be oh so different.

While in Vancouver, mt was absolutely fascinated with one aspect. We were walking towards Stanley Park. She stopped on the way there when she spotted something. She swore that we didn't have ones like they had in Vancouver. Theirs were SO much better, SO much prettier. Ours were simply mediocre. We didn't have anything like it over here. What was the loon talking about? Or more to the point, what was she snapping pictures of as I looked on shaking my head?

As I looked on shaking my head then snapping mt snapping away:

even their weeds are better!

To me, they looked like any other weeds. Ones I've seen many a' time in the grassy lands of homehome. Pretty, little weeds, but nothing I haven't seen before. But as long as it makes mt happy.

11.35pm || Friday
We walked from our hotel to Stanley Park. A pretty long walk. But like NYC, you don't really notice or mind since there's plenty to see on the way. And lucky for me, and just like me, mt doesn't mind walking. We strolled a bit and admired the Lost Lagoon, originally called Ch'ekxwa'7lech (wrap your tongue around that one) by the natives:

your dog + ducks = lost dog

We then discovered something quite nice. There are free shuttles that run in a circle throughout the park. You can get on/off at whatever stop you like. At this point, we were both a touch tired, so on we went:

shuttling along

on and off, or just looking out

It was super fabulous. Out of the beaming heat of the sun, with a wonderful breeze coming in the windows and swooshing past our faces. And our legs got a chance to rest too. Ahhh. Not only that, but our driver/commentator was quite a funny lady. We were sure to drop something in her tip box when we got off.

And where did we end up getting off? By the Totem poles, of course:

three heads are better than one

12.50pm || Saturday afternoon
the mighty capilano
The highlight of our trip was definitely the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It was images of this mighty beast that took my breath away and really spurred my wish to go to Vancouver. Prior to our actual booking (stressfully last minute and almost didn't happen), I told mt about the suspension bridge that we had to go to and her face lit up as her excitement bubbled.

Post our adventures in Stanley Park, we walked to the bus stop that would take us to our next destination.

We kinda got lost in Stanley Park at one point. Trying to exit the correct way. Or locate an information center. While we were amidst our lostness, we came upon a park worker. And we ended up having a really nice chat with her. Spoke about the park, how supposedly Vancouver-ers were super friendly, but we'd seen otherwise (this lady beeping her horn and yelling while these touristy folks were trying to take a picture next to a "Welcome to Vancouver" sign), about NYC, and we even got to talking about how the park workers were on the verge of a strike. (Looks like it happened.) She finally directed us in the right direction and we parted ways.

I'd consider that another highlight of our trip.

As we walked towards the bus station, we came upon this humorous vision:

uprooted but still breathing

It felt like the tree was making a statement. That no matter what, it gonna keep on keeping on.

Earlier, as we were being shuttled around, the driver told us about a major storm that went through the park not too long back and how it had caused major devastation to the forest lands. We passed by empty, damaged areas that had been teaming with towering trees, many of them old old fogeys. Now, the land was barren, except for the remnants of shredded trunks, browning leaves, etc. It was a sad thought to know those ancient trees were gone.

A bus ride over the Lion's Gate Bridge and a short walk later, and there it was:

and there it was waiting for us

A mini background on the bridge: Originally built in 1889 (out of hemp rope and cedar planks), the bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. Lucky for us, it is now made of steel and concrete. Still sways (the more folks, the more unsteady), but probably not nearly as much as the hemp and cedar would. It stretches across, from one side of the rainforest to the other. Yes, rainforest. Pretty cool.

Of course the first order of business was:

fries and a bit of literature

The flyer was actually pretty interesting. It mentioned how a couple years back, a gigantic douglas fir tree fell down on the bridge. The tree, unfortunately, snapped in two like a twig. And the bridge? Believe it or not, the bridge was unharmed. Not even a lose screw. It went into the process of how they removed the tree. Couldn't just lift it because then it would be like a huge catapult. Instead, they sawed it off piece by piece.

As we were eating, I couldn't help feeling like there were eyes burrowing into us. I peeped over my shoulder and there he was. A dashing Canadian in uniform. He was totally checking us out. When he wasn't looking, I sneaked a shot:

the ladies can't resist a man in uniform

That's one happy Canadian. Then again, with all the attention he was getting, why wouldn't he be. I'm surprised his coat isn't faded pink after all the camera flashes. Hehe. We were sure to meet him up close and personal before the day ended.

And now I present to you, the Capilano Suspension Bridge:

no on-daddy's-shoulders rides for the kiddies

peering across

my blind (failed) shot to the side as I looked straight ahead, my heart MIA

doesn't look so high, right?

how about now?

oh mommy

I'd have to say this is one of the scariest thing I've done. I kept walking straight ahead, afraid to slow down, afraid to look anywhere but at the cable that my hand held on to for dear life. There were knots in the cable that would slow me down. And whenever my hand was stopped by one (just for a millisecond), my insides jumped a little.

It didn't help with mt behind me. When we first stepped onto the shaky bridge, mt immediately informed me that she didn't think she could do this. That she really didn't think she could do this. As we slowly inched our way out, she repeatedly uttered such things. 10 feet in mt was saying how we needed to turn back. I was totally supportive, telling her we could turn around if she wanted, that we didn't have to do it. I guess a part of me wanted to do the same thing, but I would never say it outloud, nor be the one to suggest such a thing. Pride, stubbornness or something. We kept going though. I mean, this was what we came for, no? Shit, we needed to get our money's worth. Ha.

Whenever my pace slowed even a little, she was on me. Keep walking, keep walking, don't stop. With such a vocally anxious soul behind me, my own anxiety, firmly unvocalized and internalized, was magnified.

And then we finally made it to the other side. And we could breathe again. Before even finishing that breath, mt said she couldn't go across again. Was there some other way to get back? I informed her that was the only way. Unless, of course, she became so violently ill that they would have to bring in the Medics and the helicopter...

Quite a feeling of accomplishment was felt by both of us.

My stomach was a mess and it all felt surreal and trancy, but the rest of me felt great.

What greeted us on the other side was nice, but kinda anti-climatic:

treetop adventures

These were basically a network of bridges that took you through the forest of trees. We saw old old trees, we saw baby trees. After the Capilano, crossing these, which were of varying heights from the ground, were a piece of cake.

a contraption of bridges

A blind shot over my head as I walked:

follow the leader

Mt still was a bit iffy with these. Shorter distances to cross and not as high up, but swayed and rattled as you walked.

Man, she'll defend my honor (bwhahaha) by (almost) kicking some sketchy guy in the shin, but then this. *shakes head*

the underbelly of the beast

When we were on the other side, and when we came back to the original side, we stood (on solid ground) and watched as others crossed. A grandma was standing dead center, her hands resting on the railing, peacefully looking all around her, while a kid ran speedily across, only to turn around and run back to his folks. We were both shamed. Or so I said outloud. Mt's thoughts: Grandma had lived life. And the kid, well he just didn't know any better.

For the second crossing, I was ready to go. I still couldn't simply stop in the middle of the bridge to just enjoy the view, but I was feeling good enough to snap pics over my shoulder of mt as we crossed the bridge. Mt still badgered me whenever my paced slowed too much, but those were some great pics. Me grinning ear to ear, mt attempting a smile, her brows furrowed, hands outstretched and holding onto both sides. I kept telling mt that this time around was good. It wasn't so bad. I could even not hold onto the railing. Much much better than the initial. Undoubtedly, my stomach was still a mess if I looked around too much (except for the occasional peeks, I still kept my focus ahead), but otherwise, all was good.

When we reached the other side, I made her go onto the bridge again so I could snap a pic of her:

can you sense the trepidation?

It was late evening when we finally left. The ride back across the Lion's Gate Bridge was quite spectacular.

can't take my eyes off of you

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