Random fact about me- in all of the time I have spent internationally, I have never driven outside of the US until now. I even had a PNG driver’s licence but I never used it. When overseas, I usually I use public transportation, my own two feet or someone else is driving. But now Canada is the 31st country I have been to and it holds the higher distinction of being the first and (currently) the only country in which I have driven.
Vancouver is such a lovely place and even though I just returned to the US today, I would love to go back and take more time exploring the beautiful city. But as much as I enjoyed the city, what made this trip extra special was my visit with old friends and getting to meet their two darling kiddos. I’d only read about them in newsletters and seen pictures so it was fun to finally see them in person.
My friend Priska and I met in Kazakhstan while I was in college. We also reconnected when she was visiting her family in Berlin and I happened to be there at the same time. And we also visited each other a couple times in California. And now Canada. Definitely an international friendship but that’s what makes it fun!
Queen Elizabeth’s Park was another highlight. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The views are spectacular. Despite the other visitors, you can still find hidden nooks and crannies. And the weather this time of year is just lovely. Not too hot and not too cool. I really enjoyed just exploring this park and seeing all the different areas.
This included a beautiful little waterfall under a bridge. The air was sweet and cool. I definitely could bring a book and curl up on a bench nearby just enjoying the lovely scenery and the serene sound of the water.
Visiting Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without a trip downtown. We had a meal with the whole family and then I got the walking tour. This included the sculpture where the Olympic flame burned in 2010.
We walked all the way to China town and I was impressed that the little legs with us made it the whole way. This kids are city kids. They love riding the bus and the train and even at 2 and 4, they know how to walk!
Although a lot more sites were pointed out to me along the way, the last little gem before heading back home for a restful afternoon was the world’s narrowest building. The Sam Kee building was built in 1913. It is so narrow that you can stand and touch both walls.
I certainly enjoyed playing tourist in the city as well as doing more local activities like our evening walk by the beach which was ringed in by the amazing mountains. It was lovely to reconnect with old friends and be a part, even a little one, of their lives as a family now. While it is certainly hard having friends spread out all over the world, this is definitely a benefit. I hope to return to Vancouver someday and see even more of this beautiful city.