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Trip Report Weekend in Vancouver

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I was lucky enough to have a work trip that started in Vancouver, so I asked to be flown out a couple days early to visit the city, which I had never been to before. It was a great weekend! I stayed at the fantastic L'Hermitage hotel. I arrived late (9pm) and since I had emailed a request for a quiet room, and the only room they had available of the type I paid for was a connecting room, they upgraded me to a "Boutique Solarium" which was gorgeous... it included a fully-equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances (SubZero fridge, etc.), fireplace, sun room, etc. Initially they were going to move me after the first night, but they ended up telling me to go ahead and stay for all 3 nights. Well okay! ;) Anyway, I very highly recommend the hotel:

I was incredibly lucky with the weather, as I heard they'd had a chilly, wet summer so far. But I actually got a sunburn! On my first day of sightseeing, I drove up to North Vancouver and first went to Grouse Mountain. I took the tram (gondola) up to the top and went on the zipline tour. It was great and really beautiful! The views are incredible, as you zipline... take a camera and/or video camera with a wrist strap and you can shoot pics & video along the way. I'm used to doing ziplines in Costa Rica, but the system here was quite different, and you have an individual heavy "trolley" that you carry from line to line. Thankfully, the guys leading the tour can help you carry them, as there as some stretches of uphill climbs. You also get to ride on the ski lift to go between some of the ziplines, which also has beautiful views. The only negative: in this system of ziplining, you come into the platform at full speed, and are stopped by a huge spring (in contrast to other styles where you brake yourself along with an incline slowing you down). On the 2nd zipline here, you come in quite hard (they warn you) but I was really stunned at how jarring it was... I actually felt dizzy for a minute after this line, and that's something I've never experienced on any other ziplines (and I've done about 8 different tours). Just wanted to mention that... I wouldn't recommend this tour for an older person, quite frankly. Other than that one minute, the whole rest of the tour was great!

I then drove to the Capilano Suspension Bridge... it was quite crowded, but still a really fun experience crossing the bouncy main bridge, hiking along the boardwalk-type trails in the forest, and I really enjoyed the new Cliffwalk! (Walkway suspended out from the cliff). Afterwards, back in the city, I was lucky enough to catch a little bit of a Brazilian festival that they had going on, with live music and food, etc.

For my 2nd day of sightseeing, I wanted to see Stanley Park, and initially had planned on renting a bike, but I was under the weather, so I opted for the horse-drawn carriage ride. It was pricey in my opinion (about $34 after tax), but it was a nice option to be able to see the main features of the park, on a one-hour tour.

Afterwards, I drove out to the Museum of Anthropology, which I thought was great! The building is gorgeous and really showcases their extensive NW artifact collection. I highly recommend a visit here... you can spend a couple hours and see most of it.

And since I'm into music, I then headed to Zulu Records on 4th Avenue (in Kitsilano) and really enjoyed myself... picked up some CDs of local indie bands, and talked to the really nice people working the store. If I had felt better, I would have enjoyed taking more time walking up and down 4th Avenue, checking out the shops and cafes, etc. Nice area.

After my work thing, I was off driving to a few places in Washington (Seattle, Wenatchee -- which was gorgeous! -- and Olympia, also beautiful), as well as Portland.... but I guess that's another forum! I totally fell in love with the Pacific NW and can't wait to go back when I have more time! :)


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