Vancouver (Vancouvre?)

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We flew to Vancouver Tuesday and settled into our tiny garden-level apartment – the walkout basement of a house that we found on airbnb. On Wednesday we took the bus downtown and went up in the Vancouver Lookout Tower – the tourist top of an office building. After walking around, seeing the view from every direction, we went up one more story and had coffee (me) and dessert (kids) at the revolving restaurant. That was really neat.
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There’s no dishwasher at this apartment (same as in Denver and San Francisco) and no washer and dryer. The closest laundromat is about 1/2 mile away, so housework comprises more of our day than it used to.
Today we took the bus to beautiful Stanley Park and walked along the seawall after drinking some hot chocolate to warm up.
I joined some Meetup groups so we could make some friends while we’re here. Even though homeschooling is legal in Canada, I couldn’t find any homeschool groups. One of the groups I joined is one that pulls weeds/invasive species at metro-area parks, so that’s what we’ll be doing next Thursday. 🙂
We’re not far from the American border, but we immediately realized we were in a foreign country when we arrived April 1. The landlady’s and my different words for household items was the first point of confusion…”Do you have a second skillet I could have so that I can cook bacon and eggs at the same time?” I asked her. She stared at me blankly and then said, “Do you mean a frying pan?” I had to ask for flat sheets in addition to the fitted, and she explained that the European way of making a bed does not include a flat sheet. I don’t know if that’s true…maybe she just didn’t want to wash more laundry since she said she’d wash our linens, but she did give me the flat sheets. I asked for a coffeemaker which also confused her since she said I should just pour heated water through the plastic cone and paper filters she provided. Finally she said, “Do you mean a Bodum?” I found out after an Internet search that that is a brand of coffeemaker. She did give me her coffeemaker though. Then the thermostat is only in Celsius, the distances in kilometers, and the weights and volumes in grams and liters (but also pounds and cups – maybe they’re in the process of converting that part). I’ve heard foreigners in the US say that they knew they were fluent in English when they started dreaming in English. Maybe soon I’ll be dreaming in “re”s (instead of “er”s), metric system, Celsius…Oh what beautiful dreams those will be! 🙂
A friendly young woman who was staffing the Lookout Tower the other day suggested we get tickets to see the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team play at BC Place, a huge arena visible from the tower. So we did! We’ll go May 3. We’ll also go to Whistler while we’re here. I called the private train company that operates the Vancouver to Whistler line to buy tickets and found out that the price for the three of us would be about $750! We decided to take a limo taxi instead and save lots of money and time.

View from the plane

View from the plane

A very friendly cat greeted us as we admired this giant chess set a few blocks from our house.

A very friendly cat greeted us as we admired this giant chess set a few blocks from our house.

View from the Lookout Tower

View from the Lookout Tower

IMG_1417Just outside a train station across the street from the tower Just outside the train station across the street from the tower[/caption]IMG_1439IMG_0200IMG_1445
A homeless man wearing an orange vest told us a little about the steam clock including explaining that it doesn't work because a drunk driver hit it, and it fell apart causing $10,000 damage.

A homeless man wearing an orange vest told us a little about the steam clock including explaining that it doesn’t work because a drunk driver hit it, and it fell apart causing $10,000 damage.

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"House of Uncommons"

“House of Uncommons”

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The Lookout Tower

The Lookout Tower

At Stanley Park - You can see (Well, you could if you were there.) the US' and Canada's flags on the shields; Canada's flag has only been the current design since 1965.

At Stanley Park – You can see (Well, you could if you were there.) the US’ and Canada’s flags on the shields; Canada’s flag has only been the current design since 1965.


Harding was the first sitting US President to visit Canada.  When I looked up the details online, I read that he contracted pneumonia while playing golf in Vancouver (on the visit where he gave this speech)  and died a week later in San Francisco!  His term was only 2 1/2 years, and then his vice president Calvin Coolidge became president.

Harding was the first sitting US President to visit Canada. When I looked up the details online, I read that he contracted pneumonia while playing golf in Vancouver (on the visit where he gave this speech) and died a week later in San Francisco! His term was only 2 1/2 years, and then his vice president Calvin Coolidge became president.

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Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Lions Gate Bridge

Lions Gate Bridge

We saw two planes like this land on the water while we were at the revolving restaurant the other day.

We saw two planes like this land on the water while we were at the revolving restaurant the other day.

Sea Stars on the under-side of the rocks

Sea Stars on the under-side of the rocks

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