Thursday, September 29, 2011

Victoria, BC

Thursday: (09/29) We wanted to get up early to catch the ferry to Victoria today. The ferry runs every two hours starting at 7am. In order for us to make the 7am ferry we would have had to getup before 5am. Lou wasn't interested in that. so i set it for 6am to make the 9am ferry, or so I thought. The alarm went off, we took our showers and were preparing to have breakfast when Lou noticed the RV clock said it was 6am. We had been up and hour already.  I had reset all our clocks after we left Alberta except for our traveling alarm clock. Oops! So if we hurried, we might make the 7am ferry after all. We hurried and were the next to the last car onto the 7am ferry . A minute later and we would have missed it. We enjoyed breakfast on the ferry. Eggs, bacon and toast. We were in downtown Victoria by 9am. We stopped at a few thrift shops, and other interesting stores. We checked in to Paul's Inn downtown.

Victoria's China Town Lunch In Chintown
Lunch was in China Town at the Fan Tan Cafe. Chow mien, sweet and sour pork and fried shrimp.

Victoria's Empress Hotel Whale Topiary Victoria's Legislative Chambers
After lunch we walked around downtown. The whale topiary above was by the Empress Hotel. We took a tour of the Provincial Legislative Building.

We took a walk out at the park on the South end of Victoria overlooking the Olympic Peninsula. To our surprise, we learned that from that location we had good Verizon cell phone connection not a Canadian roaming  connection. Nice chance to call home. We met one of our friends daughters for dinner. Jessica is going to school here in Victoria. We enjoyed dinner at a deli downtown. Lou and I shared a shepherds pie with clam chowder. Jessica had macaroni and cheese. We all shared a slice of excellent apple pie for desert.

Victoria'a Legislative Building At Night
We all took a walk downtown and looked at the night lights on the Legislative building. Tomorrow we do Buchart's Gardens.

Unfortunately, in our hurry to catch the ferry, I managed to forget to bring my camera. My phones camera will have to for the photos here on the island.

Friday: (09/30) We enjoyed breakfast at Paul's Inn Restaurant. I had my favorite pancakes with peanut butter, jam and some bacon. Lou had a mushroom and cheese omelet with home fries and toast.

Buchart Gardens Buchart Gardens
We entered Butchart's Gardens by 09:30 and finished our first rounds by 12:30.

Buchart Gardens Buchart Gardens

Buchart Gardens Buchart Gardens

Buchart Gardens Buchart Gardens

Buchart Gardens Buchart Gardens
For lunch we enjoyed High Tea at the garden's dining room. We've never had high tea before.

Buchart Gardens Buchart Gardens
After lunch we made another round of the garden in the opposite direction. It's amazing how different it looks from the opposite direction. We took advantage of several benches along the way for longer looks.

We left the garden about 16:10 and headed for the ferry. We made it onto the 17:00 ferry much like our previous crossing with only a couple of cars behind us. We decided against dining on board this trip. Dinner was leftovers at home. Spaghetti squash with beef stroganoff sauce for me. Leftover chicken for Lou.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Surrey, BC

Monday: (09/26) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I spent some time at McDonald's finishing some blog updates. Photos have been uploaded for 9/19-to 9/25 activities. It rained all night and was raining heavily all the way to Surrey. Added to the rain was all the construction on the highway. We ended up passing our exit. There were no signs on the freeway pointing to an exit for Surrey. Eventually we managed to return and park in a mall near our destination. We disconnected the Jeep, called a couple of RV parks and confirmed our choice of the Plaza RV park was the best. We then went into the mall for lunch of Chinese food. After lunch and a walk around the mall we took the Jeep out to scout where the best way to get to the RV park and avoid any more construction or dead end roads. We checked in to the RV Park. We'll be here at least a week. One reason for choosing the location was it's proximity to transit and the light rail train that takes us in to Vancouver. Lou picked up some nice veggies at the mall produce market and that was the base ofr dinner. It was turned in to a Chinese stir fry with chicken. Here at 5pm the rain has finally stopped, for a while at least. This evening I noticed some water on the dinette. We hadn't been using the table since this morning so why was there water there. I checked the cabinet above the table and it was wet inside. The cables for the satellite antenna go through the roof there. So, another task to take care of when the rain is gone. We did  our laundry at the park laundry tonight.

Tuesday: (09/27) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. We bought some day passes for Translink, the local bus system. We then caught a bus in front of the RV park to the Skytrain station, the local light rail system. That train took us in to downtown. We explored china town and enjoyed a baked pork bun for brunch.

False Creek View In Vancouver Vancouver's Granville Public Market
A walk down Granville Ave brought us to the Granville Island Public Market.

Vancouver's Granville Public Market A Bird At Vancouver's Granville Public Market
Along the way we enjoyed some pizza, some berry cobbler and a slice of pork pie. We graze on our walks. The birds outside the market were quite ornate.

More bus rides exploring more city brought us back to the Skytrain and home. Lou made roast chicken with spaghetti squash and broccoli for dinner.

Wednesday: (09/28) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Another day on the bus today. We caught the bus in front of the RV park and took it up King George Avenue to the Surrey Center then caught the Skytrain hopping off a few times to explore neighborhoods. We transferred to the Millennium line to go through New Westminster and Burnaby on our way in to Vancouver. We shared a burrito at one of our stops for lunch. Then we took the Seatrain over to North Vancouver.

Vancouver Sea Bus Vancouver's Gas Town Steam Clock
When we returned to Vancouver we had dinner at the Cottage Deli in the Gas Town area. We shared a roast beef sandwich and minestrone soup while watch the bay ship traffic.  The steam clock in Gas Town (above right) is a must see. Then it was time to catch the Skytrain home. Another interesting day in the city.

Thursday: (09/29) We're off to visit Vancouver Island and Victoria today  and tomorrow.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chilliwack, BC

Sunday: (09/25) It's overcast this morning and we had some rain showers last night. We had oatmeal for breakfast. I worked on labeling photos all morning. We finally departed about 11:30. The campground was basically closed. no restrooms open, no trash cans available and the dump station was closed for the season. there were a couple of dozen campers like us who stayed over night. With no services, we didn't feel guilty about leaving without having paid. Especially since the signs said that an attendant would come to the campsite but noon ever did. It's too bad the campgrounds have to be closed so early and open so late! Britton Creek Rest Area for lunch. Grilled tuna and cheese with pepper soup. (GPS:49.65582865,-120.99965938).

Our Campsite At Walmart's In Chilliwack, BC
We stopped for the night at Walmart in Chilliwack, BC.  For dinner we had roast chicken and McDonald's French fries. I spent some time at McDonald's using their wifi updating the blog and checking email.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park Near Kamloops, BC

Saturday: (09/24) Lou made ham, cheese and red pepper panini sandwiches for lunch. After lunch we were back on the road. We stopped in Revelstoke for a farmers market that was closing up as we arrived.

Chinese Golden Chicken At Dutchman Dairy Sicamous
We stopped again in Sicamous at "D" Dutchman Dairy for ice cream cones and a look at the farm animals. The Chinese Golden Chicken above was a beauty.

A few more miles and we stopped in Salmon Bar to get a few groceries. A few more miles and we stopped in Kamloops for gas and LPG.

Lac Le Juene Near Kamloops
Then just a very few more miles and we stopped for the night at Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park for the night. The day was really nice actually getting quite hot in Kamloops.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Canada's Glacier National Park

Canadas Glacier National Park Illecillewaet Campsite Canadas Glacier National Park Illecillewaet Campsite
Saturday: (09/24) We had granola and bananas for breakfast. I was out on a hike by 7:30.

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail
The river that flows by our campsite.

Canadas Glacier National Park Glacier House Ruins Canadas Glacier National Park Glacier House Ruins
Along the trail were many information placards that told the stories of the old Glacier House that used to be right near our campsite that was a world famous hotel back in the period 1893-1926. It was a mecca for alpine mountain climbers, in fact, it was the first such sport climbing site in North America.

Canadas Glacier National Park Glacier House Ruins
Actually little remains, just a few foundation pieces and a couple of old boiler tanks and a rusted bathtub. In it's day, Glacier House was "the' place to go.

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail
I hiked a portion of the old Canadian Pacific Railroad grade that used to take the trains over Rogers Pass. Now there is a tunnel that bypasses this section of the track and all the potential avalanches that had regularly occurred.

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail
The trail is about 5 miles out and back. Above shows the old roadbed. The tree roots seemed to like to grow across where the old railroad ties had been.

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Flower Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Flowers
I was surprised to find some flowers still blooming with the fall colors already coming on strong.

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Red Berries
Red berries

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Mushrooms Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Mushrooms
With all the rain, mushrooms weren't a surprise.

Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Bridge Columns Canadas Glacier National Park Rail Trail Bridge Columns
Down at the other campground at the far end of the trail there are several old stone railroad bridge towers that made me think of Stonehenge. Nice hike.
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Calgary Space Port

Friday: (09/23) Lou fixed pancakes and bacon for breakfast on the new Griddler to give it a test. It worked fine.

Calgary Spaceport Museum Skyline View Calgary Spaceport Museum Shuttle Model
After breakfast she dropped me off at the Airport so I could visit the Calgary Space Port. It's a museum that provides some information about the Canadian Space Program. I didn't even know they had one but actually they were thew third country in space and actually established the first satellite communications system. There were lots of things they have accomplished in both space and in flight. It wasn't a very big museum and was more for kids than adults with numerous flight simulators that could be tried out, except not today, for some reason.

When Lou picked me up, we stopped for lunch of Chinese food at the Deerfoot Mall again and then we were off heading out of town on Highway 1 toward Banff and beyond. Dinner was beef log, cheese and crackers on the road. Another interesting thing to fix on the RV. As we were cruising down the highway the transmission gear selector lever fell on my leg. Rather a shock. We stopped at the Visitor's Center on the highway to see about getting a national parks pass so we could camp in the park. As Lou was checking on that, I reassembled the RV. The pin that holds the lever on had worked it's way out. Lou returned quickly because the Visitor Center was closed. We stopped for the night at Illecillewaet (Great) Campground in Canada's Glacier National Park.
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