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Home Exchange - Vancouver - In progress

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Hi Everyone: I thought I'd try my turn at detailing our home exchange here in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although I've been reading Fodor's avidly for at least 4 years,and have made comments here and there and asked questions galore, I've never tried my hand at a trip report. So here goes.

First a bit about ourselves. We are not new to home exchanging. We have done 12 or 13 home exchanges. I've lost count, but always in Europe or Australia, never in North America. We usually exchange for a minimum of a month, sometimes two months, but usually average 5-6 weeks. This exchange will be one of our shorter exchanges, a little less than 5 weeks. Home exchanges gives us the flexibility to know an area a little better than a hotel dweller, plus we never feel bad about not using a day to see the top tourist sights, as you will see from today's experience.

We are from Southern California, and quite frankly though it may startle some of Fodor's European lovers, we were ready to explore a bit closer to home AND I must admit, also, I was tired of the long haul flights to Europe and Australia. Last Summer, we traveled to Argentina, though not on a home exchange,and though we loved it and were tempted to go again, we were not anxious to spend out summer again bundled in coats and gloves nor did we feel like another long airplane flight. So when a friend at work started telling me that Vancouver was like San Francisco with a European flair, I thought a three hour flight, how wonderful is that!Also, we had received several home exchange offers from Vancouver last year that made it appear so attractive and it started me thinking. . .

We left LAX yesterday at 2:15 (on time) on Air Canada on a surprisingly partially empty airplane and were met at the airport by our home exchangers, less than three hours later, after a short and quick walk through the airport. It was wonderful to have someone meet us, and not have to struggle with taxis or language barriers. E and D were very welcoming and gave us a tour of their home. They live in the Dunbar section of town. The homes are large and lovely. I imagine them to have been built in the 20s and 30s. Correct me Vancouverites. I'd love to know. The streets are full of these lovely overgrown trees and shrubs and everything is so green. What a treat for my Californian eyes. I even saw several beautiful Japanese maples today, something rarely glimpsed at home. They have to be my favorite tree, though I can't say I've ever seen an ugly tree!

to be continued. . .

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