2015 - PART 2 - CANADA





Vancouver was everything I had imagined and more!  There were so many highlights. We loved Vancouver!! 

Bowen island, Capilano Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park,Vancouver at night, Gastown and the clock, Gasworks Brewery, Granville Island, Granville Island Brewery, a day out with Glenn from Virtual Tourist.   

And the best of all for the boys - salmon fishing on the Fraser River with Silversides Fishing. 

Vancouver is known as the City of Glass and I can see why.

Staying on Granville Island was a great choice.  I loved catching the little Aquabus into Yaletown and the superb view of the city of glass.  Yaletown had some huge yachts moored.

And a pretty cool photo that Hubby took.
I love the dramatic colours.

The Granville Island Hotel was close to the markets and the island has a real cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The hotel itself was very comfortable and quite reasonably priced for the location.  Breakky included was a bonus and real nice too with fresh ingredients.  We found that in Canada there were not many Hotels that included breakfast as is common in many other parts of the world.

I would however miss dinners here. Too expensive and the food is average.

Granville Island was an excellent spot for night photography.

The Granville Island Brewery was a fun place to chill with a beer and have a chat with the locals and home was within staggering distance.  We enjoyed the beers here.  I liked the banana flavoured one which is a little on the sweeter side and unusual for this girl that usually goes for the Pale Ales and IPAs.


Take a short train trip from Yaletown to Canada Place and Gastown.

Canada place is where the big cruise ships come in.

Gastown is a quaint quirky and chic artist hangout with its numerous gift shops, cafes and restaurants.

It also has an old steam clock that goes off every15 minutes.  Make sure you get there at around 12 noon. 

It rained a bit when we were there which was good because the steam was more prominent in our photos.

You should not miss lunch at the Steamworks Brewery. Besides great beer tastings their chilli chicken wings are to die for! Canadians know how to make good buffalo wings.

Make sure you visit the mounted police gift shop up the road.  We loved this little shop complete with friendly and helpful owner.  

I bought the most cutest key ring of a mounted police beaver and it now holds prime position on my camera bag.



This is a 'must do'!  We got on the free bus from Canada Place.  Capilano has a nice little tree top walk.  We were here in the fall.  Colours.   Magnificent!

I became aware for the first time that hubby is a little afraid of heights. Tip - don't laugh at someone that is feeling a little uneasy.   

Lol.  Sorry.

The swaying bridge itself is most worth while walking on.  Yes, it sways, and yes, it's scary.   If you are not comfortable with heights.  But you will kick yourself if you do not do it!
  There's some fabulous views to be had half way.  And after you can chill after at the café with a well deserved beer.



We travelled on and up to Grouse Mountain on the bus and then cable car to the top.
Grouse Mountain was cold!  The fog was thick and swirling around us.  We couldn't see more than a short distance in front.  Still, we walked slowly in silence, following the painted bear tracks with only the sounds of silence and our exhaling breath forming visible vapour adding to the thick white fog that seemed to swallow up any evidence that we were here.





A trip to Vancouver is not complete unless you check out Stanley Park.

Being there in the fall was a bonus. The colours are magnificent.

We loved watching the antics of the raccoons.  Our first sighting was of them raiding the bins. We understood immediately the signs that advise not to feed them. In Australia we have the same for our native wildlife.


I had some creative photography fun in Stanley Park.



Hubby and I like to experience something different.  Not your usual tourist stuff. We like to get away and have a beer with the locals.
Bowen Island is just a short bus trip and then a ferry ride and not expensive at all.

It has a lovely marina.

Being limited for time, we enjoyed a short stroll up the road.  First pub wouldn't accept young Jesse.

Bowen pub at the top of the hill, don't bother going there.

No problem. We just sauntered down the hill and found a better pub.

Doc Morgans was much nicer. They had a lovely verandah out back where we enjoyed a nice lunch overlooking the water with fantastic views of the bush and fall colours.

The staff were just lovely and we enjoyed chatting with them.  Hubby even found his own beer!!

I recommend coming here.


The views from the ferry are stunning!

Coming back in to horseshoe bay where we left from.  
And hubby found his double.



The boys were so looking forward to this. This was to be one of the holiday highlights for Howie and Jesse.
I booked on-line with silversides as they had good reviews.  Owner Brian happily didn't charge me as i was just the photographer.
We were picked up by Brian's wife at our hotel and travelled down to the spot on the Fraser River where we met Brian.  Stopping on the way to grab some subway and a drink to take with us for lunch.
Well I totally recommend this trip! The boys were rigged for salmon fishing.  This sort of fishing is different to what we are used to back in Australia.  Don't quote me as an expert haha.  But they were trying fly fishing for the first time using a lure rather than just bait.  Fly fishing is used in rivers with flowing water.  The lure is flung out and travels down the river.  Then you wait for a hit!
It was a little funny seeing hubby and Jesse dressed in the gear.  Weighed down with weights it took them a while to wade out into the cold river haha.  In Australia we fish in shorts.
Both boys caught some great salmon! A couple Brian kept for his dinner and the rest got thrown back.
As photographer for the day I enjoyed taking some great shots.  Every picture tells a story so I don't need to explain.

I totally recommend booking a trip with Brian and Silversides.  If you like fishing, or a photographer like me. You will love it!


Hope you enjoyed this blog.
On Sunday we caught the VIA rail for a nice slow trip to the Rockies.  The trip was pretty cool and much cheaper than taking the Rocky Mountaineer. Only cost us $150aus each and included a viewing car with glass enclosure for checking out the scenery as opposed to $2,000 on the mountaineer.
So check out next stop jasper including some photos of our trip on via rail.





Jasper! Took my breath away!! By far the biggest highlight of our trip!
Stunning scenery - Lake Maligne, Athabasca Falls, Pyramid Lake, beautiful mountain landscapes.
The above picture was taken at Pyramid Lake early morning. I am very proud of this shot.

It won me a trip to New York in May 2017.  I entered it in a travel competition that went for a whole year with Ausphotography.  I won over about 36 intermediate photos and beat the advanced who won over around 45 photos. How good is that!.

So we are off to NY for an all expenses paid photo tour with U Design Photo tours including a photography chopper ride over Manhattan. Woohoo!!  

Update 2017 – This did not happen.  Seems like U Design Photo tours went under and could not afford to give me my prize.  No compensation from Ausphotography.  So is ditched them.  It was a very sad day.  Instead we went to Manukan Island, Malaysia on Borneo.
We stayed at pyramid lake resort. The chalets here are very comfy and overlook Pyramid Lake. Breakky and dinner at the restaurant also has stunning views of the lake.

I was hoping that we would see snow. It was certainly cold enough for it.....brrrr. I bought a new coat with fluff around the hood. Bought it especially for our rocky mountain experience. I was snug.

Everywhere we went we enjoyed gorgeous views!  Unfortunately the boat here wasn't running but that was ok because the views themselves made up for that.  

We also saw our first squirrel here.  We hadn't had much luck seeing other native animals - just a baby black bear as we arrived on the train.

And a few moose that crossed the road in front of us as we were driving to the resort.



Everywhere we went in Jasper the mountain views were spectacular, from sun kissed mountains to misty mountains to snow capped mountains.

Around ever corner there was another stunning jaw dropping view to wow us.



This is a stunning sight. The boardwalk is easy to walk on and the falls are only about 100m in. Pathway is also wheelchair friendly.



We arrived here on the VIA rail.  It was a long journey leaving Vancouver at 8pm on Sunday and arriving at 4pm on Monday. But most definitely worth it!!

The train had a few little cabins up top with perspects dome so we could enjoy the mountain views along the way.  
We all thoroughly enjoyed this journey.
Upon arrival at Jasper, we picked up our Avis hire car which was located across the road from the train station.  These are the little things that I plan.  
We set the GPS and headed 10min out of town to the resort.




Jasper town is small. Walking around the quiet streets was a pleasure.

Last day before we headed out of town we had breakky at our first American style diner. 
It was pretty good but there were differences to what we are used to having for breakky. 
They have potatoes for breakky...?
That's different. 
I asked for tomatoes with my eggs and bacon.  Tomatoes weren't cooked haha.

But a most enjoyable breakfast still the same.
And so much fun eating in our first American style diner.



The road from Jasper to Banff was scenic and a comfortable easy drive. 

First stop the icefields. 

This was real cold! Brrr.  Hubby and son had shorts on!  Haha.  

First time seeing snow up close for hubby and son.



The amazing Rockies has been listed many times as part of the most stunning places in the world.

The many lakes along the way were just stunning.



Bow Lake was my favourite.  Probably had something to do with us having the place to ourselves. The view here was stunning!




Just before Banff.

We arrived at Lake Louise late in the afternoon and therefore a little strapped for time. Hubby was going to drive straight through to Banff but I was determined to stop here because I had seen so many glorious photos.
I am glad that we did. 



Just like in Jasper we only had 1 day to enjoy this place. Not enough time.

I loved the main street of Banff with its impressive Mt Rundle towering over the town. I was so awe inspired that I forgot to take any decent photos pictures lol.

I chose to stay at Banff Caribou Lodge. I had seen photos on booking.com of this hotel covered in snow!!  I so wanted to experience this.  Sadly no snow.
But it was a good choice still the same.
Caribou lodge has plenty going for it and it was a good choice.  They have an in-hotel pool & spa, great restaurant called the keg, friendly staff, breakky was included in the price.  Something not readily found in Canada and the USA on booking.com.
 They also gave us bus passes into town which was a nice bonus. The bus is outside the front door. I would not hesitate in staying here again!

We decided to take the bus up the hill to the hot spas.  Good choice!  Well this was another holiday first for us.
Walking out in about 8c and sinking into the natural hot spa. Nice! 



 Best beer in banff. 🍺

Banff Brewing was a great choice for lunch and a few beer tastings. The buffalo wings here were pretty good too along with a bowl of cheesy fries and gravy. Yuuum.  

Canada and the US do wings so well. 😀

A tip to all of you Aussies out there - Don't ask for chips or you will get crisps haha.
Who has crisps with their burger??!! Lol.  
Fish and chips anyone?....... Noooo!!! 



Leaving the fabulous Rocky Mountains behind we drove to Calgary for the next leg of our journey.
I arranged for us to stay right at the airport in the Delta Hotel.  This was a good choice because Avis car rental was also located at the airport for dropoff.
The Airport Delta Hotel was reasonably priced, had a nice indoor pool and a restaurant. And that made it easy for us in the morning to check in across the road at the airport for our early morning flight into USA.



Next day whilst checking in through customs, the officer was asking us the usual questions. Just before he let us through he cracked a wide grin.
Hubby was wearing his black t-shirt with small white writing on the front that says 
"nosy fucker arn't you".


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