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Thursday 15 August 2013

Out and about in Vancouver

Our move into our new apartment is all done and dusted so it's time to get back to writing a few more posts about our recent trip to Canada.

This time let's have a look at a day we spent out and about exploring the beautiful city of Vancouver...

We spent out third day in Vancouver wandering around various places. We did a little shopping, visited Canada Place, took in the views from high above the city at Vancouver Lookout, walked across the bridge to Granville Island where the kids played in the water park, tasted a few local brews at Granville Island Brewing Company, caught a water taxi and walked along the beach watching the sun set over the harbour.

Vancouver Lookout

After a little shopping at everyone's favourite Canadian clothing store Roots (to us Australians that name will always be amusing!) we made our way to Canada Place, a pier designed to resemble a ship. It even has sails! Canada Place is home to all sorts of touristy stuff but we skipped it all and just went for a walk along the pier taking in the views of the harbour.

Canada Place 

Looking back over the city

Ava at the end of Canada Place

Looking down it feels like we're on a container ship!

Setting sail!

Vancouver Lookout from Canada Place

Lola sits on a fountain opposite Canada Place

Our next stop was way up high above the city. We took a glass elevator up almost 170 metres to Vancouver Lookout. From the top we had 360 degree views over the city and the harbour.  Ava took part in the Junior Pilot's Program, an interactive program designed to teach kids about Vancouver and its history. She carried a questionnaire on a clipboard around the lookout and, with a little help from Kim and I, answered all of the questions correctly, thus earning herself a badge and certificate. Ava's a sucker for anything that requires filling out forms and winning prizes so she was pretty excited about this!

Vancouver from the Lookout

Ava and her new beluga friend take in the views

Vancouver from the Lookout

Looking over Gastown

Lola tries to grab the ships in the harbour

I just love the colour of the cranes and the containers

Looking toward Stanley park and North Vancouver

Shiny buildings

The windows were a little high up for Lola. Good thing they had step stools available for the kids.

With my girls

Admiring the view

Lola looks down

Lola got a wings badge too.

Five minutes after we left Vancouver Lookout Ava realised that she'd left her new beluga whale toy back at the top. Lucky your entry ticket gets you in as many times as you like in one day. Kim went back to find the beluga (it was still enjoying the views out the window!) while the girls and I stopped for a coffee and a bite to eat. Granville Street was closed to traffic and there were tables and chairs set up in the middle of the street. What a great place to stop.

A bite to eat in the middle of the street

With Ava's beluga whale back we headed down Granville Street toward the bridge and Granville Island. Crossing the bridge wasn't quite as nice as we had expected and in hindsight we should've caught the bus across. Ava was not impressed with walking so close to the traffic and the bridge itself was pretty uninspiring. Plus it was really sunny and there was no shade. Underneath the bridge however we were met with the famous Granville Island signage and things were much more to Ava's liking. And shady - in the good way!

Trying to get across the bridge as quickly as possible!

We made it to Granville Island

Much nicer under the bridge than on top of it

Lola at Granville Island

The girls had loved the water park in Stanley Park so much and I'd read that there was another one on Granville Island so this was our first stop once we'd made it across the bridge. This time I was prepared and had swimsuits and towels for the girls. Ava was pretty excited that this water park featured a water slide. She chickened out on her first attempt but once she plucked up the courage there was no stopping her. Lola, once again, was a little scared of going under the water sprinklers and preferred to play next to them, just getting a little wet from the spray. The girls didn't get long to play in the water as we arrived just 30 minutes before closing time. With the water turned off we hit the nearby playground for some fun with swings, spinning things and sandpits. Oh, and a spot of goose watching!

Lola in the water park

Here comes Ava down the water slide

Lola loved the big puddles for splashing and jumping

Watching the geese

By now it was beer o'clock so we headed to Granville Island Brewing to taste the local brew. The girls drank apple and orange juice out of beer glasses, the whole time pretending that they were in fact drinking beer! Ava's looks a little convincing but Lola's not quite so!

Drinking beer?


Lola tried to steal her glass by putting it in her mouse purse. Umm, it doesn't quite fit! 

Ava had been desperate to catch a water taxi somewhere, anywhere... She didn't care where it went she just wanted to get on one. She was pretty excited when we said that we'd catch a water taxi back from Granville Island.

Here comes the water taxi

All aboard

Looking out the windows of the water taxi

We hopped off the water taxi at Aquatic Center Dock and made our way back along the beach towards our hotel. The sun was starting to set and the view over the harbour was stunning.

The girls with Burrard Bridge
(That's a toilet paper bandage on Lola's arm! The girls had been playing doctors) 

Walking back along the beach

Sunset Beach

Ava walks along the sea wall

"Engagement" sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim at Sunset Beach 

Sunset from Sunset Beach. Who would've thought it?

Back in the hotel at the end of the day we wrote out a few postcards for friends and family back home in Australia. Ava was a little grumpy at the time and refused to write about any of the fun stuff that I suggested - although I did manage to convince her to write about Stanley Park before she got too grumpy. Instead she wrote about getting her new visa and how she liked going through the metal detector (or buzzer as she called it) at the consulate!

"I had fun going through the buzzer"

More Canadian fun coming soon so stay tuned...

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