Remember when we lived in Pigeon Forge and we had a thread about all the cool stuff there?
And then we moved to Orlando and did another one?
And then we moved to Las Vegas and there was no thread?
Well, now we live in Seattle, and again there's no thread.
However, we did recently spend 5 days in Vancouver, British Columbia, doing pretty much everything touristy there is to do there. So I think that's worth a little something, don't you?
Erik & Smisty's Vancouver Oddventure Day 1: Inside A Cobra
Up early for a walk to the train station. Just like in Pigeon Forge, we (happily) don't own a car.
This was to be a trip of firsts. Our first time on a proper train. Our first visit to a foreign country. Our first time having a bus apologize to us. No idea idea how I got so old without experiencing any of those things, but here we are.
On the ride up, you have to fill out a customs form, which they take (while checking your passport) at the border. Also, you have to guesstimate how much poutine you're going to eat while in Canada. Be careful! If you guess too low, they don't let you in!
Well, I can't argue with that.
"Beautiful" weather today, eh?
What can you do on a train? Well, you can get up and go to another train car and eat cheeseburgers, for one thing.
You can also play a board game. Board games are basically what we do now instead of going to amusement parks all the time. This game is called Muse. See if you can figure out which card matches the clue, "Columbus Day."
It takes about 4 hours to go from Seattle to Vancouver via the Amtrak Cascades. Definitely more enjoyable than flying, though clearly much slower.
The gloomy Pacific Northwest weather had burned off by the afternoon. Or maybe Canada is just prettier.
In Erik-&-Smisty-land, vacationing is not for the faint of heart. We don't lie on the beach and drink Mai Tais. We're on the clock here, people!
Vancouver, obviously jealous of Seattle's Pike Place Market, created this: the Granville Island Public Market.
I've been staring at this photo for 5 full minutes trying to think of a caption, and all I've come up with so far is, "Fruit."
Puffcream, obviously. Bought with Canadian monies, which are much more interesting and colorful than US monies. Plus, they don't have pennies, because pennies aren't actually money, and their dollar coins are affectionately known as, "Loonies," which is awesome.
Here I am on a boat, looking at stuff.
Vancouver is a lot like Seattle, which is a lot like Portland. Really, the three cities are just very similar to one another, which probably means this was a stupid place to go considering where we live. But there are differences. For example, in Vancouver, the most popular fast food chain is A&W. So that's weird.
Vancouver also has special trick-riding bicycle lanes.
Smisty has never seen a swing she didn't want to swing on.
Crazy black hole vortex fountain, with Canada Place in the background.
FlyOver Canada is basically Soarin'. (Seattle has one, too! "Wings Over Washington.")
Photos of the ride are not allowed. However, I found a clever way to photograph what it looks like on the inside without breaking any rules!
At first, I thought this was a straight copy (mechanically) of Soarin'. But, we rode in the middle row, and there were no feet in our view, so it's not exactly the same. Also, unlike both Soarin(s) and Wings Over Washington, this one uses wipes and fades to switch between scenes rather than smash cuts, which is something I've always wanted to see in one of these. Unfortunately, there is a bit of dodgy CG work in some of the scenes, where they pretty obviously added something (like, say, a sailboat or a train) into a scene that clearly wasn't there when they filmed it. There was also a dreadful preshow that featured lots of parkour because that's what the kids like these days...?
That could look better.
Looking back from Canada Place. Note how Vancouver Lookout is basically just Space Needle/Stratosphere style observation decks attached to the top of a regular building like mismatched Lego. (Yes, of course we're going there.)
What? We're tourists.
If you look carefully at this photo, the next one will make more sense.
Well, kind of.
Fritz European Fry House was a tiny establishment with weird seating, but absolutely amazing pulled-pork poutine.
We bought tickets and were directed to stand in line (ahead right) and wait for the elevator (far left). We were not instructed that we should first walk over to the elevator and push the button to summon it.
Operational oddities aside, it was a nice attraction. But then, I am a sucker for observation towers.
We got there right before sunset. (It's almost like we know what we're doing!)
Vancouver Lookout is 168 meters tall. (Figure it out, filthy Americans!) It features a 360-degree observation deck and a rotating restaurant. (But we just ate at Fritz, so no restaurant for us.)
Canada Place is the thing that looks like sails, and is a double-sided cruise ship dock and event space, as well as being home to FlyOver Canada.
I really liked Vancouver Lookout's open floor plan.
I'm good at photos.
You'll just have to trust me on that point, though, because Misty took this one.
Back down on the ground and in the nearby Gas Town area of Vancouver, featuring a clock that runs on steam for some reason.
The view from our hotel room.
Well, that wraps up Day 1. Let's see how long it takes me to sort out Day 2, which is the part of the Trip Report you're actually interested in.
Last edited by Electerik on Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:05 pm.
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I've been to Vancouver a bunch of times, and yet, your report is showing me things I've never seen already! (tho I'm hoping you had time to stroll the artisan booths at Granville as well as go to the street market. . .that fruit pic is delectable).
for sure the flyover Canada is on my radar for my next time there!
When planning this holiday, there was a choice to be made regarding Playland. Should we try to visit during the PNE Fair, when the park expands with additional rides, shows, and crowds, or see it in its "normal" state? I won't say it was an easy decision, and I'm still not sure we made the right choice, but in the end we went with experiencing Playland in its flaccid form. (I know. I'm sorry.)
Erik & Smisty's Vancouver Oddventure Day 2: Sad Fountains of British Columbia
We don't visit parks as often as we used to, but it's still exciting to go to a new one!
Playland exists within the boarders of Hastings Park, which contains quite a few other attractions and special event spaces.
This is Momiji Gardens. It's free, completely accessible from all directions, and unguarded (at least that we saw). This thing wouldn't last a week in the US.
Momiji Gardens represents an apology, because we're in Canada.
This is around the back of Playland, and I assume most people miss it unless the Fair is happening.
Fun story: Right after this photo was taken, and employee walked out and added "Roller Coaster" to the Attractions Not Operating Today sign.
While there is some landscaping, it mostly exists in the form of planters and such. Playland is basically a "Fair in a parking lot" kind of park, which is baffling because it opened in 1910 and is in the Pacific Northwest--a region that will literally just grow beautiful trees and flowers all on its own if you don't stop it.
Well, at least the Kettle Creek Mine Coaster is running.
Two of my favorite things: Pirate Ships and Water Fountain Lions.
They have a glass maze. It's super easy though because there are no mirrors and the wooden floor has a path worn into it. Still, it's cool that it exists.
Bug Whirled was surprisingly fun for an extremely short kiddy coaster.
That fountain is just pitiful. I honestly feel bad for it.
We skipped the Vekoma Corkscrew. I'm more of a "unique experience whore."
This photo is really just here to show you what kind of park Playland is. Which is not to say that it's a bad park, or that we didn't have fun. But if somebody told me that this was a top 10 park for them, I'd say that they hadn't been to more than 10 parks.
Once I was the King of Spain (now I eat humble pie)!
Wait, what? Does that say orange ice cream swirled with black licorice ripple? That's too weird, even for me.
Canada is different, man.
Best photo op cut-out ever.
Yup, there it is. The star of the park. The main reason to come here. A ride that still shows up on some pretty well-traveled enthusiasts' top 10 lists. Can't ride it, though. It's broke.
The park hasn't gotten rid of the crew yet, though. And ride engineers are out on the track banging on stuff. So there's hope still, right?
Mini golf is included with admission, which is nice. You may not know this about us, but we like mini golf.
First we'll get some sweet tats. Then, cheeseburgers.
And poutine, obviously.
I mean, you can get it in the states, but it's still fairly rare. It's seriously everywhere in Canada, though. And amazing. And us fat Americans should love it even more than they do. I mean, it's friggin' french fries with gravy and cheese(curds) on it!
Okay, yes, the name does start with "poo," but whatever. Let's call it Freedom Salad and get it out there to the US masses!
I'm generally anti-upcharge, but I make an exception for walk-through haunted houses. This one screwed with my American sensibilities, too, because the pop-out figures come very close to you, and in fairly confined spaces.
Anyway, it was good.
I think she's a ghost. The antlers are a dead giveaway.
Misty's first Enterprise. She was skeptical, but I convinced her with the word, "Schwarzkopf."
Starflyers combine being absolutely terrifying with the sensation of complete boredom. And this one was no exception.
I'm not sure what I'm doing here. She asked me to pose and I panicked.
Corkscrew as seen from the Westcoast Wheel, and that for some reason looks all tilt-shifted.
Still no movement at Roller Coaster.
See, like, what's going on here? I'm not asking you to be Disney. I don't even really like Disney all that much. (Their parks are mediocre.) But that's clearly a brand new trailer more or less permanently installed on a walkway. It's like you don't even want to be good.
Model log flume. I can't even be arsed to look up who made it.
But at least it has a cool name: "Flume."
There's a path around the outside of Playland that allows for some additional views of Roller Coaster. Still, it's not the easiest ride to photograph. But at least I don't have to wait for a train to be in my photo!
We waited as long as we could. I'm not sure if it eventually opened or not.
But let us not dwell on sadness. We had fun, and there's more fun yet to be had!
Slidey slides! That's what they're called. Seriously, go back to photo number 2 of this report and look on the map. Slidey slides.
This playground equipment looks suspiciously like exercise machines.
To the local hobby board game store!
We bought a comic book and a Canadian board game. I have no idea how much they cost, though, because I'm stupid and the exchange rate confuses me. We might be bankrupt now. There's really no telling.
I'm pretty sure the gas stations were charging like $150 per gallon.
Er...I mean, per millimeter or something.
Board game cafes are a thing in several cities now, but this is a board game pizza parlor.
The Sticky Little Prince.
Did you know that Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada? You did? Well, I guess I'm not interesting then.
Jesus Christ, Canada. You're making me cry here.
That's a f**king shower head! Everyone is judging you!
Perverted Ice Cream is the name of this place. And the ice cream was fine. But the esthetic was like a sex dungeon designed by junior high school kids who knew that their parents would eventually be coming by to see it.
They're just trying way too hard here. It's soft serve, guys.
I am immigrating to Canada.
And then starting a fountain installation business.
So far North, Superman lives here.
Pixel Orca! (And like some witches or something. Canada is weird.)
Thus endeth Day 2.
Stay tuned for Day 3 in like a week or something.
Last edited by Electerik on Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:25 am.
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