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Monday, 23 November 2015

Vancouver adventures - part 1

What, only just come back from Rome and now off to Vancouver?  This time it wasn't Laura who made the journey as her girl had to stay at home and go to school.  I had a work conference to attend where I gave 2 presentations and this time the conference was in Vancouver, Canada!

When I was about 3 or 4 my father's elder sister, who had settled in Vancouver, sent my sister and I a Native American doll each.  I think my sister still has her doll too.  When I heard that I was to attend the conference I knew that three dolls in particular had to accompany me on the journey to their homeland - my Canadian boy (who has always been nameless) and my Heather Maciak dolls Jenny and Lexie, as they were designed and assembled in Canada.

We arrived on a wet Saturday evening after a long flight from Heathrow.  The following morning the rain had stopped and the clouds were lifting so a colleague and I decided to clear the cobwebs from the long flight and went for an exploratory walk along the downtown Vancouver waterfront and Stanley Park.  My Canadian boy came with me in the camera bag.

There was snow on Grouse mountain which overlooks Vancouver
 At Stanley park we found the Totem poles.  I had a vague recollection of a postcard from my aunt featuring these Totem poles.
Totem pole in Stanley park
My Canadian boy felt right at home with the Totem poles
The Totem poles are very colourful and beautifully carved
My Canadian boy stood on a rock near the Totem poles
At the Totem poles in Stanley park
We walked around the seawall of the park until we got to a path directing us to Beaver lake, so cut across the width of the park through the cedar and redwood trees to the lake.  It was worth the walk.
Beautiful Beaver lake in the heart of Stanley park
Morning sun rising above Beaver Lake in Stanley park
We followed the path through the tall trees of Stanley park from Beaver lake to Ferguson point
At Ferguson point we found a map of the park which showed where we had walked
This was the view towards north Vancouver with Third beach on the right
After we walked round the seawall back to the city we walked all across downtown Vancouver to Gastown. In a shop window in Gastown I saw some modern dolls in Canadian First Nation dress.
Dolls in a Gastown shop window
A beautiful First Nation doll
The weather was beautifully sunny that Sunday but it didn't last, as Monday was wet and windy all day.  I had a day off work so took the hop on hop off trolley bus (a vintage tour bus) on all 33 stops around the city and Stanley park.  This time Jenny and Lexie were tucked safely into my camera bag.  The bus toured the whole ring road by the seawall, so I saw the rest of the park in the rain from the bus. There were enormous redwood trees in the park but many trees came down during a fierce storm in 2006 which apparently closed the park for 6 months.  This ancient redwood tree was 800 years old!
Remains of an 800 year old giant redwood tree in Stanley park
The trolley bus tour included a stop at Granville Island just south of downtown Vancouver.  It used to be an industrial area but is now mostly craft, market and tourist shops.  There was one large barn like building housing several shops for children's toys and clothes.
The red trolley bus at the Granville Island stop
The entrance to Granville Island is under the road bridge to the city
this was the window display for a toy shop at Granville Island
Lexie and Jenny looked at Burrard Street bridge which they could see from the Market at Granville Island
The rain made it difficult to take good photos from the trolley bus on the remainder of the tour.  I was amazed that because I was on the second last trolley bus of the day the driver took us back to our hotels after he got to stop 33, amazing service which saved me a walk in the rain.  

On Tuesday I worked all morning while the weather started to clear up. Jenny and Lexie wanted to see out of the window.  The wind was still quite strong so the Canadian flag was flying proudly.
Jenny and Lexie admire the Canadian flag flying by the hotel roof garden
I posted a similar photo on the Jenny and Lexie Yahoo group that morning. Little did I realise what delightful train of events this would set off!

After I'd finished work, I ventured out for a late lunch and walk around the city.  Jenny and Lexie insisted on coming too and because it wasn't raining anymore and the wind was dropping I took them with me.  At the waterfront they were thrilled to see the seaplanes which fly to Vancouver Island and give people tours of the bay.
Jenny and Lexie at the Vancouver waterfront admiring the seaplanes
There was some sunshine lighting up the north Vancouver shoreline beyond the seaplanes
Lexie and Jenny were fascinated by the seaplanes and wished they could see one fly
Jenny and Lexie at the Vancouver sea front
It was too windy for the seaplanes to fly so they were all moored in a row
We walked along the seawall to find the Vancouver winter Olympic cauldron which has its own special plaza overlooking the bay.
Lexie and Jenny discovered the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympic cauldron 
The Olympic cauldron is a bit like a campfire in shape
It was soon time to return to the hotel, warmth and responses on the Jenny and Lexie group to my photo, but you'll have to wait for the next blog post for the fun this provided!


Serenata said...

Fabulous post with lots of interesting places you and your Canadian boy and girls visited. Jenny and Lexie look great in their hooded coats.

Grandma Shirley said...

I enjoyed your post so much! You were in my backyard!!! I live in Blaine

Sharon said...

It looks like this was the start of a very good work trip, and it was great that you could take your dolls with you. Are Jenny and Lexie made of vinyl or something else? They look like they're enjoying themselves.
I like the window display in the toy shop at Granville Island, it looks very pretty.
I look forward to reading about the rest of your trip!

DollMum said...

Sharon, Jenny and Lexie are porcelain dolls with cloth lined joints so they articulate smoothly. It does mean they are fragile so it is quite risky taking them out to photograph in windy conditions, especially if they are standing on hard surfaces.
Lorraine, the girls were borrowing coats from my Patsi dolls.
Grandma Shirley - I like your backyard and want to return to Vancouver sometime with my family.

Heather Maciak Originals said...

Hi, Anna! I enjoyed reading this so much. You are the quintessential tourist, seeing so many things that I've never seen in Vancouver~ even in the rain-- good for you! Loved the pics of your Canadian First Nations boy, and of course, of Lexie and Jenny :-) Heather xo

Kendal said...

I've been so interested in this post as one of my late mother's sisters emigrated out to Vancover Island shortly after WWII and although they have visited the UK several times since we have never met our four Canadian cousins. He worked over there as a forest fire-fighter so a dangerous job.

I really admire how you 'get up and go' even after exhausting long hall flights and work pressures to see so much in such a short time and then so kindly share them with us.
Many thanks indeed. It was great to catch a glimpse of where some of my family live.