To celebrate a momentous birthday in our family, my sister came over from The Netherlands to celebrate with us.
The second day of her visit, or first full day to be precise, the sun was shining so we hopped in the car and drove to Deer Lake Park in Burnaby where we enjoyed the gorgeous weather and the beautiful surroundings. We checked out the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and had a bite to eat there. From there we drove to Burnaby Mountain. We enjoyed the view and the Playground of the Gods exhibition.
November 10 was a rainy day. We took it easy, did some shopping and in the afternoon we watched the ultraAVX version of James Bond’s Spectre.
It was definitely a worthwhile experience.
The next day we drove to Tsawwassen and met with cousin Norah and her husband Sam, who had come over from Victoria. We spent some very enjoyable hours with them, having lunch at the Beach Grove Café and walking the dyke trail with a beautiful view of White Rock on the other side of Boundary Bay.
After driving Norah and Sam back to the ferry terminal we decided to go home via White Rock as the day was still young and the weather beautiful.
We walked the White Rock promenade, checked out the pier, strolled until our stomachs indicated it was time to head back home.
It had been another beautiful day.
November 12, a day which started out wet and got very, very wet as the day progressed. A perfect day for “the mall”: Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby. Quite a bit of Christmas decorations already and of course we had to sample the NY fries….
The next day we had to prepare for our trip to the different birthday destinations. On Saturday, November 14, we took off for celebration #1, lunch in Horseshoe Bay with the whole family.
This one was followed by a couple of nights at Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island. We stayed at Pacific Shores Resort, a place where we stayed a couple of years ago as well. Peaceful, beautiful location, lots of amazing rocks… And to top it off: beautiful sunny weather. A bit chilly but that didn’t bother us.
Next on the program was an overnight stay in Poole Creek. The drive to Poole Creek was definitely not uneventful. What started out as rain in Horseshoe Bay turned into wet snow which in turn changed to big snowflakes by the time we reached Squamish. Several cars had ended up in the ditch. We trusted our new tires, continued very carefully and made it safe and sound to Poole Creek, where it was not snowing….
The family photos of these days may be seen here (private photos)
The last 2 days of the celebrations were spent in Whistler.
We were lucky to be able to check in early and park the car safely.
We had chosen Whistler Village Inn and Suites. The location was very convenient and the rooms comfortable. We strolled through the village, had a bite to eat, wandered around some more. The Christmas light came on, changing the whole atmosphere. the Olympic Plaza looked very festive. The next day (yes, sunny), we walked to the Upper Village after a delicious breakfast at “Hot Buns“. The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre was unfortunately closed but the grounds were open so we walked the trail. We also hiked the Lost Lake trail. Slippery sections on the paths at times but peaceful and so nice. After a late lunch we checked out the Fairmont Chateau Whistler before walking back to Whistler Village. Earlier this morning, before going to the Upper Village, we had purchased our gondola tickets to go up Whistler Mountain next day. We were told we were the first sightseeing visitors to purchase tickets for opening day on the mountain. We were so lucky: The mountain opened a week early because quite a bit of snow had fallen already. The Peak 2 Peak gondola’s would open a week later but we didn’t care. We would not have gone there anyway (a bit too high for our taste…).
The next day, after breakfast at our favourite place (yes, “Hot Buns”), and a visit from daughter and grandson, we went up the mountain. It was another gorgeous day. We kind of overcame our fear of heights while going up, as long as the gondola moved, but were happy when we reached the top. It was breathtakingly beautiful up there. With all the skiers and snowboarders we had to be careful where we walked but we managed to wander around without being overrun, sometimes sinking deep in the snow. After a couple of hours we took the gondola back to the village where we were just in time to wave goodbye to daughter and grandson, who were boarding the bus back home. We piled ourselves into our car and drove back home.
6 Days of birthday celebrations. Quite worthwhile!!
Friday morning we were on the bus to Vancouver. We could have taken the train but in that case we would have to be out of the door at 7:30 am. Considering the fact that we got home only the evening before we decided to take the West Coast Express bus. After a cup of coffee in Vancouver we started our sightseeing tour. We walked and walked and walked. It was beautiful weather once again, Christmas decoration were sprouting up and the general mood of the city was happy. We stayed until sunset and took the train back to Maple Ridge. A day well spent.
On November 21 we first checked the early morning mist over the Fraser River. A little later we drove towards the Pitt Bridge in Pitt Meadows and started our walk along Pitt River from there. We walked up to the Pitt River Marina. There were some fallen trees over the path, due to a recent storm but that was no problem for us. We simply climbed over them.
We saw a bird of prey (I don’t really know what exactly it was), Sandhill cranes, a Bald eagle and a lot of happy walkers, with or without dogs.
There was just a little time for a walk in Pitt Meadow’s Osprey Village before driving to the airport. A whole new community has been developed there, adjacent to Katzie First Nation’s land. A beautiful view of the Golden Ears Bridge as well as Mount Baker (U.S.A.).
Then it was really time to drive to the airport and say good-bye. It had been such a wonderful visit!
In the evening I walked by the river, watching the sunset. Birgit’s flight should just have taken off and I was hoping she would be able to catch a glimpse of this beautiful farewell from above. I later heard she indeed saw that gorgeous sky from the plane! A perfect end of an awesome holiday!
Thank you Birgit!