Sunday, June 14, 2015

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A few weeks ago we took a family vacation up to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We drove through Missoula, Montana; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; and Seattle, Washington. It was a long drive, but beautiful, and we got to meet up with some people along the way.

In Vancouver we stayed at the Sylvia Hotel, a hundred-year-old hotel right by the beach on English Bay. Here was one of the views from our room on the top (8th) floor:

And here is the nearby beach we went back to many times:

We were in Vancouver at this time primarily to meet Erin's brother Colter Jacobsen for his art show at The Apartment art gallery. See Colter above wearing their Grandpa's work shirt with his name Virg on it! Here are photos of some of the pieces from the art show:

The area of town around the art gallery is where the heavy drug users congregate, and with the kids we saw junkies and near-zombies roaming in their altered states, along with the beautiful gardens and interesting mix of shops in Chinatown.

Colter stayed with us at our hotel most of the time and we got to see a lot of sights together, play games in the hotel room, and so on, which was a lot of fun.

On Sunday after church we went to the nearby Queen Elizabeth Park, which has the highest point in Vancouver (which is of course still not very high):

And in the evening we walked halfway around Stanley Park, near our hotel on English Bay:

On Monday, Jacob, Phin, and I hiked the Grouse Grind, which climbs 2800 feet in 1.8 miles. It earned the name. It was a fun hike, with beautiful forest and occasional views. It was a busy trail with people from all over, and I got to speak to several Germans who were visiting. We were disappointed that they don't allow you to hike down, and you have to ride the gondola. But that was fun too, and we spent a little time hiking around more on top, where we saw some captive bears let out to play.

We walked a few miles to Gastown, an historic and touristy district:

All around English Bay were nice walking paths, seawalls, beaches:

And to wrap things up with a sighting of urban confusion, the owner of this car seems to be a little confused about the industrial technology and infrastructure required to make it go:

We had a great time in Vancouver and look forward to visiting again someday!

Cicely, Alaska (Roslyn, Washington)

We missed out on the TV series Northern Exposure when it first aired, but Erin got into reruns of it in the late 1990s, and we’ve watched most of it on DVD since. Phin has lately started watching it from the beginning too, during his rare allotted blocks of TV time.

During our recent drive up to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, we took the opportunity to make a little side trip to Roslyn, Washington, which was the actual location of the fictional Cicely, Alaska portrayed in Northern Exposure.

It’s a very small town, and we were there late enough in the day that most businesses were closed, but it was fun to see it in person at last.