Blogs from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, North America


North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver August 18th 2020

US borders to Mexico and Canada are closed until at least September 21. The borders have been closed since March 18. We are relatively fortunate here in the US to have not one, but two international borders. Both Canada and Mexico present entirely different border crossings. Those of you in Asia, Europe, or Africa may not realize the differences. The border crossing from Southern California into Mexico is relatively easy. It can be done on foot, since it is best to leave your car on the US side. Once past immigration, just take a cab into Mexico, usually Tijuana or the airport. Coming back can be a hassle, particularly during shift changes and rush hour. Avoid the early morning and late evening rush caused by people who commute daily to and from Mexico to the US. ... read more
Crossing by auto

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver » North Vancouver February 28th 2020

“You are a fool!”my father said as a matter of fact while I packed my luggage. On the other hand, my mother stood in the doorway looking concern and distraught at my decision to travel to Vancouver. “Why don’t you think it through hon?” she sounded skeptical with hope but we both knew I had made up my mind. “Ma, I need to do this” and with that as my final say I kissed her temple and memorized her warm hug and as for my father, I didn't spare a second glance scared that his glare would change my mind. Sometimes in life, you have to make decisions that may be either good or bad, but that's not the concern…what matters most is the conviction of that decision. I have ... read more
Arriving Vancouver

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver January 17th 2020

I would love to report that we woke up early and refreshed, ready to hit the town for our last day in Vancouver, however that would be a lie. We didn’t set alarms and so accidentally slept in until about 12pm. I fully blame the fact that we’re staying in a basement, and the fact that Vancouver is very dark itself at the moment, so it says nice and dark and comfy down here. Anyway, we did eventually leave at about 1pm, and we headed straight to Frenchie’s for lunch (allegedly home of the best poutine in Vancouver). One thing we have learnt this past week is that while there’s a chance of regretting it if we both get a meal, it’s very unlikely to regret only getting one. So we shared a veggie poutine (I ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver January 16th 2020

Had another morning like yesterday morning, where we had to decide whether to sleep or stand. Once again, Adam chose to sleep, and I chose to stand and go for a walk. My immediate goal was coffee, however I found a thrift shop, that led into another thrift shop, that led into ANOTHER thrift shop, so I ended up spending all of my time in these three stores. Adam texted me halfway through my vintage adventure, where I was just in the middle of purchasing a Canadian Hockey cap (for $5 which I thought was amazing but Adam was less than impressed) and we met halfway between the stores and the Airbnb at about 12pm. We ended up going to iHOP for breakfast where Adam got Mexican churro pancakes and I got Italian cannoli pancakes. We ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver January 15th 2020

Had a super relaxing day today. We set alarms for 9:30am to give ourselves a bit of a sleep-in, but it turns out we were super tired and slept through it. We have plenty of time in Vancouver to explore and have fun, so we figured it was okay to relax a little and catch up on some zzz’s. At 10:45 we woke up and made decisions. Adam decided to sleep some more, and I, worried if I slept too much it would ruin any chance of a normal sleep schedule, decided to go for a walk. It was -7 outside and snowing but it was so beautiful! I didn’t even mind the cold, everything is just so much prettier in the snow. I went into a few gift shops that were pretty cute and also ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver January 14th 2020

Ok so we ended up getting to bed at around 1am BUT there’s a good reason! A few good reasons! Firstly the forecast said it would be snowing at 11pm so we waited up for that (didn’t happen), then I got a call from my mother who is currently travelling around Greece, THEN we realised we had to pack before we went to sleep otherwise we’d have to wake up super early, and DURING packing Adam threw up. So we had about 5 hours sleep. Which is fine. So fine. We left the apartment at about 6:45am, when it was pretty much pitch black outside (although not so dark that we couldn’t see cars covered in snow- so it did happen!) and headed to the train station to go back to the airport. It was really ... read more

I need to spend time in Canada in order to keep my Permanent Residence or qualify for Citizenship, so it made sense to spend a week and start to figure out some of the info we need for our eventual move. We thought that we’d stay in Vancouver for a few days. We started our Monday morning at the Canadian version of the DMV. We were going to start the process of obtaining our drivers’ licenses but then decided we’d better wait as we were not ready to give up our California licenses. From the DMV we went to the provincial insurance company with a list of questions about importing our cars. Needless to say, some of the procedures are different so we had to sort thru those issues. We didn’t make it down to immigration ... read more
Yew Lake
Yew Lake
Mt. Seymore

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver September 13th 2019

We had a few things we needed to do. We needed to get all our gear from the AirBnB to the Storage facility and we needed to return the hire car (from our Whistler trip) by 10am. So to kill two birds with one stone we loaded our gear (minus the bikes) into the hire car and dropped everything off at the Storage Facility and then continued on to the airport to return the car. We caught a cab back to the AirBnB and tidied up and checked out by 10:30am. We had a few hours left now to just wander as we wanted. We got on the bikes and muscle memory kicked in and our legs began to pedal. No urgency, no rush, just a gentle turn of the pedals. No one is in a ... read more
Decorated silos on Granville Island
Tasty treats on Granville Island
One last view of Vancouver from the south side of the river

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver September 12th 2019

Today was Whistler Day for Tom, Jeff and I while Graeme was going to the Vancouver Aquarium for a mix of business and fun. We had originally decided on getting the bus to Whistler but decided we may as well hire a car and have discretion around when we left and returned. To make the morning more "efficient" we booked the hire car online from the Richmond airport which was only a few kilometers away. In the morning we caught a cab to the airport and tried to pick up our car. After sometime the guy at the service counter worked out that we had booked a car from Richmond - in Virginia, USA and not Richmond Airport in Vancouver. The other complicating factor was they had no cars available for us. Oh dear, nothing like ... read more
Cloud over Whistler
Whistler Village
Mountain Bike track

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver September 11th 2019

We rode the 6km from our hotel in Sidney to the Swartz Ferry Terminal in a quick 20 minutes, plenty of time to buy our tickets and put the bikes on board. The ferry is much bigger then the one that we caught from Seattle to Victoria and much cheaper too at only $18. We are visiting Edna today. Edna is the sister of Jeff's mother-in-law and lives in Surrey. We check the distance from the Tsanwassen Ferry terminal to Edna's place and back to Richmond where we are staying tonight and are quite shocked to find it's 90kms. Not something we were expecting. We realise that this is the same Surrey that we rode through on our first riding day of the trip. The ride is via a different route than we took that first ... read more
Low tide
We took some unexpected agricultural tracks on the way back to Vancouver
Crossing one of the may bridges today

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