Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Final Lazy Summer Post!

Happy September! I hope you had a great summer and that your fall is off to a good start!
 
Today is my final "lazy summer" post... and there are no pictures of the girls! That's because Mr. San Antonio and I took our first trip without children a few weeks ago! And it was fabulous.
 
We chose to go to Vancouver, BC. I loved being able to use our passports and feel like we were far away, but actually only have a two hour time difference and easy flights. We tried airbnb for the first time too and had a good experience. Here was our view from the condo we stayed in.

 
 
We tried to visit the popular spots in town and also try some things that were not heavily advertised. Below are some pictures of the market at Granville Island.

 
We headed to the Granville Island Market as soon as we got settled into the condo. We picked up a variety of picnic items to have over the course of our stay in Vancouver.

 
We sat by the water after we made our purchases while we waited to take the water bus back to the city.



One of the things we were most excited about visiting Vancouver is that it is known for having excellent food... of every possible variety you can imagine. Our first night we passed by these cute houses on our way to get Indian food.


At the end of our first day we took a picture... looking tired but soooo thankful for our getaway time!

 
The second day we woke up early and walked around down town for awhile before catching a shuttle up to the base of Grouse Mountain. Here are our pictures before we embarked on a 1 hour 20 minute grueling hike up the mountain. Every single step is uphill. You are basically going up a very rugged stairwell all the way to the top of the mountain. It is a great bonding experience between you and every other sweat drenched person stumbling and gasping their way to the top.


 
Awww... we look so naïve about what we are about to do.

 
And here is the picnic we enjoyed at the end of our hike!

 
The hike was totally worth it because we got to watch the cheesiest lumber jack show. I loved every single horrible joke made. Mr. San Antonio was a good sport.

 
At the top of the mountain they have two orphaned bears that they are taking care of.

 
And they had a birds of prey show that they did. This was by far Mr. San Antonio's favorite part of the Grouse Mountain day.



That night we took an awesome tour of downtown. The tour guide was dressed in character and did the entire tour as though he was someone from the 1800's. He showed us parts of the city we would have walked right by and shared local lore about when the city first formed. Before our tour we tried a Ramen place and it was excellent.


The third day we rented bikes and rode around the sea wall in Stanley Park. For Mr. SA it was not very exciting... in a couple weeks he's doing a 75 mile ride in the Ft Davis mountains...
but for me it was perfect! The bike path was one way - with no cars or even pedestrians to get in my way. The bikes couldn't possibly be pedaled faster than about 5 miles an hour so no risk of me crashing. The weather was cool and I had great views. For someone who is pretty terrified of riding a bike it was - Perfect!


After our bike stroll, we wandered through the park itself - getting lost a couple times... we walked around a kiddie train ride without realizing there was only one way in and out and we probably looked weird wandering around back there... and we thought we were lost when we found Beaver "Lake" because you couldn't tell it was a lake due to massive amounts of vegetation taking over.

One quick story about the so called lake.... I had told Mr. SA that the one thing I wanted to do in the park was find that lake and take a nap by it in the shade somewhere. Well, when we realized there was no water to be seen and no grassy banks to nap... I stubbornly put down my foot and hijacked a bench right at the point where people come off the trail to find the non-existent lake. I laid down and while I dozed Mr. SA watched people from all over the world come to the same point and in all their various languages question where the darn lake was. Apparently the confused facial expressions and frustrated hand gestures are universal.

 
Our last day we finally rented a car and drove out of the city to a town called Richmond. We spent most of the day exploring old canneries and shipyards and learning about that part of Canadian history.


On our way back to the city we stopped at Elizabeth Garden and had views of the city and the mountains we had hiked.


 
We arrived home safely, soundly, rested and ready to see our girls. The girls stayed with my parents while we were gone and were pretty happy to see us too. Though it did take a week or so to re-train them... "no, you may not have dessert for having a good breakfast" was a common refrain for awhile.
 
I hope you had a wonderful summer! This fall is already off to a running start, but I am excited to see what this season brings! Next post I'll share a book I recently read that has totally messed with me and kept me up all hours of the night...
 
The Very Rested Pampered Bird

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