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Although I tried to capture this beautiful mountain for over an hour it was from the hotel room in Langley that Gary was able to catch a great shot.  Of course, he had the luxury of not traveling down the freeway at 100+ km/hr!  While driving up the coast we had decided it was best to arrive in the Vancouver area as close to the weekend as we could in order to see my Sister-in-law and Nephew in New Westminster.  We went across the border into Canada at Peace Arch around 8:30 pm.  With no one expecting us because we didn’t know where we would be and when, we got a hotel room in Langley and made phone calls, texts etc to see the best way to see the most amount of people.  Claudia had to work Friday, but that was no problem but we entertained ourselves in the big City of Vancouver. We arrived at Claudia’s a little before she got home, so walked the Fraser River boardwalk and had a refreshing Cold one at our all time favorite pub on the Quay – The Paddle Wheeler Pub

It was great to spend time with them both.  Our nephew is growing so quickly, we just do not get to see him enough.  We look forward to a time when they will venture north again, but it might take another family wedding!  We did spend Saturday afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium.

I have to say last time there I was probably 10 – maybe younger.  Of course it has changed, but what hasn’t changed are the excited children running around enjoying all the worldly creatures an aquarium has to offer, my nephew was one of them.  It truly is a brilliant exhibition.  Loved the frogs exhibit, but my favorite, beyond doubt were the jelly fish!   They had created a pool in which sting rays could not only be viewed, but touched!  They were not at all slimy like I had imagined more like a feel of velvet.

We did spend some time just sitting and visiting, delaying the  inevitable, the end of our road trip.   On Sunday afternoon we went to Langley to visit Gary’s cousin and wife.  It was such a wonderful visit once we found their place!  Yes, although we were back in Canada, back in BC we did use little Suzie to help guide the way, however, she got extremely confused, and we had to text Jack several times for directions.  Geez, she even had us on the wrong side of the freeway! Not sure if Jack was just trying to make us feel better about being directionally challenged or not, but he did say GPS’s seem to do that in that area. Could it be BC’s own triangle?  Having had a few cups of coffee, and discussing their big road trip and ours,  we decided to go for a walk along the river in Fort Langley, but not before Robin and I checked out what the Little White House had to offer.  Such unique items in such a unique setting.  We walked across the bridge, and then onto a trail which we followed to the end, a point into the river.

It was a beautiful day for a walk, and with the trail not being busy often we were able to walk four wide. Yes, we were back in BC with the old growth forests which give way to such beauty while dying and giving new life, they do that you know? The mountains! Never enough mountains!  We finished the day off with a great dinner on the patio of the Fort Fraser  pub along the River.  Great food, great visit, with wonderful people.

We went back to my sister in laws early enough to visit with Fisher before he went to bed.  He did not spend a great deal of time conversing with Gary and I, but it was evident that next morning, before we all left to go our ways  that he didn’t want us to go away. I am hopeful it won’t be so long before we see them again! The next morning we were all up early as Claudia had to go to work, Fisher to school, and we were catching the ferry to Vancouver Island.

Vancouver island, here we come.  Once again, it has been years since I’ve been on the ferry to the island. I would like to say it was likely during the same occasion we visited the Vancouver Aquarium. I do remember going to the Wax Museum in Victoria, but that wasn’t on our itinerary this trip!

We arrived at the Tawassan ferry terminal in Vancouver about 20 minutes before boarding, and were on time arriving at Duke Point terminal in Victoria. After giving Suzie our destination address, which was Gary’s “adopted sister” Jean, we hit the road again.  I loved the rain forests along the way; everything so green and flourishing, huge contrast to the rest of our journey.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, but we were anxious to get to Jean’s by the scheduled time so didn’t stop for photos.  As it so happens, there are several ways to get to Duncan from Duke Point, and we, unknowingly, took the more scenic route! About 45 minutes into the trip we decided this route would put us on yet another ferry over a slough, a marsh or some other body of water.  Once we realized Suzie’s mistake, headed left to get back on highway 1, and continued on it to Duncan where we again put a street address in and Suzie took us straight to Jean’s door.  Jean’s daughter Jennifer was there so we had a good visit with her, and before she left for home in Victoria we made plans to see her on Wednesday afternoon for a hike.  We spent two nights in Duncan with Jean, and then it was time to head back into Victoria, where Suzie took us right to Jennifer’s with nary an incident. We did go for a short hike in the Oak Bay area, which in its day was an affluent part of the city along the ocean.  Houses were old, but refurbished beautifully and although they were not large houses, they were very grand sitting along the ocean.  We walked along the beach for the majority of the hike, through sand, over rocks and logs. I’m not complaining, we could have stayed on a sidewalk, but I chose the beach!  We were heading for the Oak Bay Beach Hotel which Jennifer thought would be a nice place to have lunch.  Before we arrived at the hotel we passed the Glenlyon-Norfolk school; obviously it was lunchtime.  It was comical watching the primary/elementary students out in their school uniforms playing on the boulders, rocks and logs – throwing small crabs and seaweed at each other during their free time!  We sat on the balcony, overlooking the ocean, and had a wonderful lunch.  It was windy and cool, but the view made up for it.   Returning to the car we elected to walk along the road, which gave us a closer look at all the beautiful old houses and yards. Going past the school again it appeared to be the older students out in kayaks, maybe a PE class?  Here we cross country ski or snow shoe there they Kayak!

Before heading back to Jennifer and Ian’s house we made a detour to pick up Maddie at the day care, then went back to the house and took Maddie for a walk to the park.  It was a beautiful day, and so nice to be out walking.  Jean met us at Jennifer and Ian’s for supper.  Spaghetti! What a wonderful home cooked meal.  All the home cooked meals were very much appreciated on the trip!  As you can well imagine, we ate plenty of restaurant food, and even though someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning up it gets rather repetitive and not so enjoyable after awhile.  With dinner over, we waited for Gary’s cousin Kathy to phone saying she was back from Las Vegas so we could go over and have a visit with her.  As we had a few things to pick up we said our good-byes to our wonderful hosts for the day and hit the road.  We did get in touch with his cousin, and obviously there was misunderstanding during the previous call.  With her having to work the next day, and us with a time limit to get back to Teepee Creek for our grandson’s baby shower, we discovered a visit was not going to be possible this time.  We checked the time, and realized we could still make the last sailing, back to the mainland!   Arriving back in Tawassen, we headed out a new road Jennifer had told us about that would take us around the city, and out to the highway 1.   It’s a good thing we followed the directions given to us, because Suzie had us out in a field or marsh and obviously had not been given this new information as to the quickest route back to Highway 1.   We made it to Abbotsford that night, putting more miles behind us than we anticipated.  The next morning, we headed for Teepee Creek (Grande Prairie).  Gary was like a horse heading for the barn; he had 3 grandchildren to see.  We contemplated which route to go, and decided through Jasper would be quickest, knowing it was still early in the season for too many tourists to be clogging up the park road.  On previous trips through the park I’ve seen Elk, and a couple bears beside the road, but this was the right time of the year and the mountain sheep were on the move.

They could have cared less that there were several vehicles parked watching them, we didn’t stop – but was able to get what I thought was a great photo.  And of course Mount Robson – such a beautiful day!  Once we hit Grande Cache, we headed North on highway 40.  We arrived at Teepee Creek around 21:30 Thursday April 7th.   We stayed to visit for a few days, and for our Grandson’s Baby shower.  We headed home Sunday April 10th, ending our month long road trip.

This was our second road trip covering several states.  Our first road trip, which had us also traveling in parts of Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah, took place in 2011.  I have decided to blog the highlights of that trip in the weeks to follow. If you are interested in Death Valley, hikes in Zion, and the Grand Canyon stay tuned for my “Four States in two weeks” blog.  It was such a memorable experience, one which spawned this trip, and incidentally has me planning another!  We had not planned to be away for a month this time.  In fact, I believe our initial plan was another 2 week trip. However, our first road trip had us fly into Las Vegas, rent a car, tour and then catch a returning flight home on a specific date, so we were on a bit of  a schedule.   This time however, leaving home with our vehicle, it was fly by the seat of our pants.  We only booked one hotel room,San Francisco, in advance – reasons being somewhat obvious….the rest of the time, no real problem getting rooms. I highly recommend traveling this way, if you have the time.  Although we had destinations each day, if we didn’t make it – we changed it.   It just seemed a shame not to visit with people, and see things while we were in close proximity, and in doing so we came across plenty of interesting places along the way.  We also came to the realization that a plan to go back to certain areas would, in all probability not happen. Missed a lot of sites and people along the way,  but I’m sure we’ll see them eventually!  So being newly retired, and having the time, and most importantly our health – we HAD to just go for it while we still can.

 

 

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