By Wednesday, our small family group expanded to include Dear SIL’s parents and brother and we all went off to the Vancouver Aquarium because dear daughter wanted to touch the stingrays. That is an odd goal that she has … to visit stingray tanks in as many zoos and aquariums as possible. So far she has Vancouver, Tacoma, Chicago, LA and Galveston, TX. The Vancouver Aquarium is justifiably internationally famous and some of our visit highlights included the jellyfish, the otters and seals (so playful), the educational shows, the frogs and that I got to be there when the penguins were delivered back to their habitat.
Afterwards we went to see the Totem Poles, which are also in Stanley Park. Interesting facts about totem poles can be found here.
Dear daughter and her fella needed a marriage license, so much of Monday, June 26, was devoted to paperwork, but we still took some time to check out Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. I had it in my head that I would see large topiary in the shape of animals, but we never did find the large bird I was expecting. For the record, that was my fault for not being ready with a map and not having wifi. We did get a glimpse of a topiary carousal horse and found this great insect. The joy of the park was the stunning view of part of a city skyline over the lake and the lush greenery. While strolling around we also we enjoyed the very friendly Canada geese with their gawky teenagers (in geese years). And there was some delightful art and unusual plants.
The Peace Arch spans the United States and Canadian border and commentates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The arch was dedicated in 1921 and was placed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Both countries flags fly on the monument. The Peace Arch and the associated area are considered to be an international park and one does not need to have a passport to visit it. The Peace Arch border crossing never closes. It was a pretty quick passage for us, only about 45 minutes.
The BC (British Columbia) Ferries in Canada are amazing. Dear daughter, my dad and I took the Spirit of British Columbia Ferry from Tsawwassen (south of Vancouver, BC) to Swatz Bay (on Vancouver Island, north of Victoria). On the way to Victoria we took the Spirit of British Columbia and on the way back we traveled on the Spirit of Vancouver. The photos are of both ships.
While I’ve been on my fair share of ferries, none of have matched these ships for size and style. They hold 410 vehicles (including up to 34 semis) and 2,100 people (passengers and crew). Amenities include Seawest Lounge, Pacific Buffet, Coastal Cafe for hot & cold dishes, Coast Cafe Express for lighter fare, Passages Gift Shop, video arcades, play areas, work/study stations, telephones, elevators, wheelchair-friendly decks and washrooms. The trip took over two hours, allowing time to enjoy the spectacular scenery as we traveled through the San Juan Islands.