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Thanks for all your help, we had a terrific time in Vancouver and on the Island!

Thanks for all your help, we had a terrific time in Vancouver and on the Island!

Sep 23rd, 2002, 06:27 AM
  #1  
Catherine
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Thanks for all your help, we had a terrific time in Vancouver and on the Island!

Hello everyone,

Our family trip was terrific, thanks in part to so much good advice from this board. I did promise a trip report and will write one when I get a chance. I can't beleive how long it's taking me to do one, but we came home and were swamped by kids starting school and lots of work to catch up!
 
Sep 24th, 2002, 06:18 PM
  #2  
Coco
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Catherine,
It is so nice to hear that your "trip was terrific."
Will look forward to reading all about your experiences, especially on Vancouver Island.

Coco
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 11:40 AM
  #3  
canuck
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Hello Catherine

Still waiting for that trip report.
 
Oct 25th, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #4  
Catherine
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I've just been trying to post thefirst part of my report, but it won't accept it. will keep trying.
 
Oct 25th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #5  
Catherine
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Finally, my attempt to write a report about our summer trip. I am going to try writing it in word, then pasting it onto Fodors in instalments. My computer at home has packed up, so I’m trying to do this at work when I can. For parents, I am trying to include some travel ideas we found helped. If you find it too long-winded, please don’t complain: just stop reading it. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. This site was very patient with me when I was planning my holiday and while I’m far from expert I’d like to return the favour.

Weatherwise were lucky, we only had a few cool or rainy days. Most of the time shorts and t-shirts were enough, but in the evenings we found a sweatshirt and jeans was better.

Travelling from home to Vancouver was loooong, thank goodness the kids were relatively well-behaved. Must’ve been the ton of games and books we brought along. I should buy shares in Amazon. Since our flight departed very early I packed a small cooler bag with mini yogurts, cheese, mini cereals, fruit, etc. American would not let us bring aboard my daughter’s booster seat, so we packed that on the top of a suitcase and prayed it would arrive (it did).

You have to walk a lot in Vancouver’s airport, but it is a nice airport nonetheless. We splurged for the first and last night of our vacation by reserving at the Fairmont airport hotel. It was worth it, but more so on the last night when we had a 7 am departure. Next time I’d book into a cheaper hotel for the first night. The Fairmont is a really “cool” hotel, extremely comfortable, quiet despite overlooking the runway – great view though, and a bit wasted on the kids. Our room had two double beds and they gave us a roll-away free of charge. Lovely big bathroom, tub, etc. Just what we needed after our day. We ordered room service on the last night, not bad at all. I had a drink downstairs with a friend who’d met us at the airport in the hotel lounge. It is very relaxing and lovely with a fireplace. You could forget you were at the airport in this hotel. It is much better than the Westin Bayshore downtown, price wise and the Bayshore’s rooms are in need of renovating.
 
Oct 25th, 2002, 08:02 AM
  #6  
Catherine
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We probably could’ve gotten the rental car and onto the ferry to V. Island all in one night, but didn’t want to push our luck dealing with strange roads, busy ferries, etc. We rented a mini van from Enterprise, it was perfect: size, cost, and the staff are friendly. Ok..important note…always reserve the ferry during the busy summer months! We arrived in plenty of time only to find ALL the ferries to Nanaimo that day were filled up. No problem we took the next one to Victoria, which is a prettier ride, then drove up to Nanaimo. The cafeteria on the ferry isn’t awful, I’ve had much worse! I don’t remember exactly how much the ferry cost, around C$50 to 60 for all of us and the car. The drive up from V. to N. is quite enjoyable despite being tired. There were lots of interesting looking little markets and antique shops that broke my heart as we whizzed past them without stopping.

For some take home gifts we found in the local supermarket “Thriftys” great locally made goat cheese to take home as gifts. They were very pretty with real flowers pressed on top. We also bought smoked salmon in the wooden boxes with a First Nations design painted on the top. I wish I’d been able to bring home some BC wine, no space left though. At the liquor store we were able to buy sort of a sampler six-pack of Canadian beers which was fun (we didn’t take any home).

By now you’re wondering what we DID, right?! Since we were visiting family we stayed in Nanaimo and made day or overnight trips to others places.

We went back over to Vancouver on the morning ferry, after a few days in N. to meet friends. We went to Aquarium which was a big hit, except for lunch which was expensive and crowded. And Stanley Park is just a lovely as we’d heard. Next time we will rent bikes and spend a day there. Spent the night at the Westin Bayshore (see note above). Our room was not ready for us when we checked in so we went for a nice walk along the shore looking at the sea planes taking off.
 
Oct 25th, 2002, 08:04 AM
  #7  
Catherine
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After dinner with friends we walked down with our coffees to sit on the rocks at English Bay to see the fireworks. Incredible! They seemed to go on forever. It was a hard to hear the music over the fireworks from where we were, but lots of people had their radios on which helped. There were masses of people, but the crowd was very well policed, we didn’t feel in danger and walked all the way to the hotel without problem.

The hotel’s breakfast is not cheap, so we supplemented our cereal from home with coffee, milk and fruit from the little store down the road from the hotel. Onto Science World. Although smaller than Toronto’s our two older kids enjoyed it, the 5 yr old found it a bit boring except for the puppet show (McGraw) about the planets she found it very entertaining and learned a bit about the solar system. This was a fun way of occupying her while Dad went through the exhibits with the boys. She did get a kick out of touching the "moon rock" though! If it's pouring with rain, this would be a good pick.

Granville Island is lots of fun, our kids enjoyed the kids market. We let them buy a few toys which helped occupy them during our travels. We had lunch there at a place near the entrance to Granville, can't quite remember the name - something to do with peppers. The food, service and price was good and a bonus was the very clean bathrooms! (I'm a mom you know!!)

I know there was lots more we could’ve done in Vancouver (next time!) but we had to head back to the island.
 
Oct 25th, 2002, 01:18 PM
  #8  
Molly
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Thanks a lot, Catherine, great report!
My husband and I will be visiting Vancouver {and Alaska!!} next year,so may have some questions before too long!
 
Nov 6th, 2002, 05:08 PM
  #9  
Coco
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Hi Catherine,
Enjoyed your trip report! Brought back some good memories and now makes me want to return.
One thing I didn't like about our trip was the drive up-island to Parksville. Thought the road made for very dangerous
driving. There have been many, many accidents on that highway. So just a warning to others who may make this drive...Be very careful!
 

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