Vancouver or Bust
Since my regular day off was on Victoria Day, we took today as a comp holiday and celebrated the Queen by visiting some of her old dominion. It was really our first trip into Vancouver (sure, we'd flown into the airport before and we once took a wrong turn trying to find Ikea and crossed the bridge, but this was our first intentional trip really into Vancouver). Beth's oldest nephew was in town with a friend from college and had been staying at some hostels downtown (yes, we invited them to stay with us, but we're not as close to all the excitement of the city apparently). Their current hostel was in Jericho Park near UBC (University of British Columbia), so Anders found it amusing that cousin Josh was staying at Jericho (one of his favorite Veggie Tales videos and Bible stories of late is Joshua and the walls of Jericho falling down). On the car ride their we were crooned with several rounds of "Joshua put the battle of Jericho" (he substitutes "put" for "fought" in that verse).
We met up and drove over to Vanier Park which is home to the Maritime Museum, the Planetarium (the picture of the crab water fountain above is in front of the building) and the Vancouver Museum. We didn't go to any because they were too expensive for any of the people in our group at that point (except probably for Nils who would have been free). But we walked along the waterfront and continued on until we found ourselves at Granville Island (not really an island). The small island is home to a lot of little shops--artsy, touristy, unique--and the big Public Market. I'm sure it's nowhere near the size of Seattle's famed market, but it houses a variety of places selling fresh seafood, meats, cheeses, delectable produce and flowers. We also found a few eating options, which was what we needed at that time.
We enjoyed at least an hour sitting along the water, eating, listening to some pleasant live music, watching the seagulls and starlings try to pilfer food and mostly watching Anders (the second youngest Fisher cousin--just ahead of Nils) adore playing with Josh (the oldest cousin). Anders hasn't gotten to be around Josh too much, but he really enjoys being with him--which is fun to watch.
Of course, we were all well worn out by the end of the day, as you can see from this picture taken a few minutes into the car ride home.
(PS. One of the wonderful oddities of this area is reflected in the fact that driving between Surrey (the biggest and fastest grown suburb) and Vancouver we witnessed many John Deere tractors out in the fields along the way, along with the horse stables and other ruralnesses (I just coined that word) that have stuck amidst the urbanness.)