This morning I am sitting down for what will probably be the last time, to reflect on yesterday’s activities and to sign off as we pack our bags and get ready for the return flight. On Wednesday morning Andrew picked us up and we drove through the streets of Vancouver to a delightful little coffee house tucked away amongst the street trees. We sat at a bench facing the open window and watched the locals going about their business; walking dogs, meeting friends for breakfast and picking up their morning coffee. There was a little drizzle about but nothing significant enough to prevent us from enjoying the morning. It was lucky that Stuart and Andrew went flying yesterday! Although the planes are still flying today, there is low cloud and the mountains that surround the city are all but invisible.
Having finished breakfast, Andrew took us on something of a Cook’s tour of Vancouver’s light industrial area. He had commissioned a piece from a fellow who transfers photos onto wood for Ruth’s birthday and it was ready to be picked up. We were once again impressed by Andrew’s skills on the road, he is a very capable driver, especially given that everything happens backwards!!
From there we drove on the the Gastown district, one of the older parts of town that, having been neglected during the 70s and 80s, has been restored and revamped and now houses beautiful small breweries, shops catering to the large number of visitors to the city and a range of lunchtime temptations. We wandered up and down, made some last minute purchases and then opted for tacos for lunch, in the hippest little Mexican restaurant I’ve seen. Food and service were excellent, as they have been everywhere.
Once again, the hanging baskets made the place a real joy to wander and the lovely street lamps were a reminder of Paris or London.
In the afternoon, I opted for a few hours to myself while the Paynes went back to Stanley Park for a walk and another fruitless search for beavers and raccoons.
Ruth and Andrew joined us for dinner, the last meal we would all share, at one of the waterside restaurants that are only a block or two away and we had a very pleasant evening. Walking back to our apartment we had the good fortune to stumble across one of the local residents – a skunk – making its way home. It was very funny and entertained us with its antics but declined to be photographed, disappearing into the bushes every time we pointed a camera at it.Oh well … no beavers or raccoons but one skunk!!
Now it is Thursday morning and all that remains to be done is to pack our bags and head out to the airport. Andrew has kindly offered to take us. Our plane leaves at 3.55pm so we will probably go out early and have some lunch. Having picked up an extra Monday on our way over, we will kiss goodbye to Friday on our way back! The joys of crossing the International Date Line!
I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and sharing stories of our travels. Lots of love to you all …