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Old 02-21-2012, 11:11 AM   #16
missj1975
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arriving in Vancouver

So Monday morning the cruise ship arrives in Vancouver. I honestly don't remember what we did before we disembarked the ship. I assume we ate breakfast on the buffet. There was a line to get off the ship but not too bad.

I do remember the customs agent gave us the third degree because we mentioned we were St. Louis Blues fans. Yeah probably should have kept our mouths shut, Canadians take their hockey seriously. So after debating hockey with a customs agent, we headed to our hotel, the Pan Pacific.

The hotel was right next to the port, easy to walk to, even with our luggage. Right off the bat I was impressed with Vancouver. Everyone was so helpful and the streets were spotless. Vancouver is the cleanest city I have visited.

Luckily when we checked into the hotel, a room was ready. We were offered an upgrade for a small fee and we took it, so worth it. Our suite had a wonderful view and we were able to watch the Disney Wonder sail into port the next morning from our room.

Totem in the lobby of Pan Pacific.



Shots of our room at the Pan Pacific.





Notice the bottled water. Best tasting water I have ever had and I am pretty sure it was magic, it stayed cold all day long in my bag.



View from our room. The island off to the left is Stanley Park. Also to the left is where the cruise ships dock.



After relaxing in the room, making a few calls, and checking email, we headed out to explore the city. We had already done research and knew we wanted to visit Grouse Mountain, which is about thirty minutes away. We decided to take a water ferry and then a bus to get to Grouse Mountain, that was the cheapest way with the least amount of time constraints.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:31 AM   #17
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Grouse Mountain

DH and I never use public transportation in St. Louis. For one, there isn't many choices and two, we love to drive. Well DH had read wonderful things about Vancouver's public transportation so we decided to skip a rental car and go with the buses.

The water taxi was close to the hotel but it did take us a bit to figure out how the fares worked, which stop was ours, etc. We were on sign overload because there are a billion and one signs telling you what to do, you just have to figure out which sign to pay attention to.

Entrance to the subway/water taxi system.



Waiting for the water taxi.



Bus fare sign on the bus to Grouse Mountain.



We totally enjoyed the bus ride to Grouse Mountain. Most of the bus route was through house lined streets so we enjoyed checking out all the different style of houses. The bus also stopped a lot to drop off and pick up passengers. It was very interesting to see all the different people on and off the bus. I would say the majority of the passengers were not tourists. I wish St. Louis had this nice of a bus system.

In less then an hour, we arrived at Grouse Mountain.

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:12 PM   #18
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The Grind aka Hell

Grouse Mountain is a ski Mountain in the winter. Since it wasn't skiing season, the main reason DH wanted to visit was he read they had some caged bears in a nice habitat. He was obsessed with seeing these bears. We have bears at the St. Louis zoo so I'm really not for sure why he wanted to see these bears so bad but I was game.

There are two ways to get up the mountain, The Skyride (an enclosed ski lift) or The Grind - a two mile trail up the hill. I did a little research and decided we would walk The Grind up and take The Skyride down.

I think I am in relatively good shape, not the best shape, but pretty good for my age. DH and I hike a lot on the weekends and I use to run 5k's. So 2 miles to us is nothing........so I thought. Keep in mind I am from Missouri, we don't have mountains, we have hills and not that many hills. I knew it would be tough going up a mountain but this is a very popular hiking trail and hundreds of people hike it everyday so I wasn't worried. Yeah I can be very foolish sometimes.



DH not happy with the bear warning sign. I resisted the urge to remind him he is the one who wanted to see bears.



The trail was covered in warning signs. I have a bad habit of ignoring warning signs, I tend to think they apply to everyone but me .









We never saw any bears in the wild on this hike, which is a good thing because I would have been easy pickings for a bear. Ten minutes into the hike and I was breathing heavily. That darn altitude. Twenty minutes into the hike and I was moving slower then a snail. Thirty minutes into the hike I tried to call 911 but my cell phone had spotty reception.

My DH is in way better shape then me. He is more mindful of his health cause he had cancer three years ago. He is also always in a hurry even when we don't need to be in a hurry so he was usually ten steps ahead of my wheezing body the whole hike. At one point my DH left me but he must of remembered I carried all the money so he came back five minutes later.

Did I mention my husband had no sympathy for me, especially since the hike was my idea? The more I wheezed the madder he got, which is just his way of showing he was concerned. Me I wasn't concerned, I knew I would get to the top...eventually...maybe crawling on my knees...but still I would get there.

I did manage to find a geocache on the trail. Can't miss a chance to find a geocache, even if I was about ready to pass out. Notice how red my face is.





Finally we reached the top. I could barely walk and my DH looked like he could run five miles. I wanted to push him down and kick him a few times but that would have taken to much energy. The shot is of random strangers resting. I didn't stop cause if I sat down, I knew I would never get back up. Instead we shuffled to the visitor center/restaurant in search of water.

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:49 PM   #19
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I should have known better than to start reading a TR that wasn't completed yet! Lol Really enjoying it so far!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsPrincess View Post
I should have known better than to start reading a TR that wasn't completed yet! Lol Really enjoying it so far!!
LOL, I promise not to take too long completing it. I should be done in a week, two weeks at the most.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #21
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I'm in...Only got through the first post, so I got to go catch up.
I am so glad that Frontier paid up...thats awesome
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:14 PM   #22
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Can't wait for more
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:30 PM   #23
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Top of Grouse Mountain

So after the two hour hike from hell up the mountain, DH and I were starving. The visitor center had a counter service type of restaurant so we got in line. So it seemed like the popular item was a large basket of fries covered in gravy. I think I puked a little in my mouth when I saw the first order come up. Must be a regional thing because I've never seen fries covered in gravy before. Call me old fashion but I prefer my fries naked. Anywho, I quickly regained my appetite and ordered a cheeseburger and fries...plain fries.



After lunch, we walked around, checked out the gift shop, looked at wood carvings, and found the bears.



After we were done exploring, we headed back down the mountain...the easy but slightly scary way if you are afraid of heights...the enclosed ski lift ($20 bucks a person just to go down, very expensive five minute ride) but the view was amazing.





Once we reached the bottom of the mountain, we didn't have to wait for the bus too long and we were back at the hotel in no time. Thank goodness cause my feet were killing me. We took showers and took a nap on the comfy couches.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:50 PM   #24
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Dinner and Vancouver at Night

After we were all rested up, we headed to the restaurant in the hotel Five Sails. It is a very nice restaurant. DH had researched ahead of time and really wanted to try it out since it got tons of great reviews. Not cheap but DH was spoiling me since this vacation was technically my birthday treat.



View from our table.



compliments of the chef











The food was awesome and we were both pretty stuffed after dessert. We rolled ourselves to our room and changed out of our fancy clothes so we could walk around Vancouver at night.

This was a cool Olympic display near the hotel gift shops.



The hotel was right on the Pacific Ocean so we found the path that was kind of like a boardwalk in a way, ocean on one side and a convention center on the other. The walk was pretty busy cause the convention center had some sort of business convention going on. Lots of guys walking around in business suits. We walked around for a while and had a great time. Weather was perfect and the views were awesome.





This is where the Olympic Flame was held during the last winter olympics.



After exploring for awhile, we headed back to the room. I decided to enjoy the huge tub and we went to bed early. Well I think it was ten pm, not that early but early for my DH who usually goes to bed at 3am. The morning game plan was to get up early and walk to Stanley park before we boarded the Wonder at 11 am.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:15 AM   #25
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I'm loving the review.
That gravy over fires is a Canadian thing. We used to go to Canada for a tractor pull and it was at all the restuarants. I agree...sounds really gross to me. It was even on Kentucky Fried Chickens Menu. I ordered it thinking it was mach potatoes and gravy...we threw it out.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
I'm loving the review.
That gravy over fires is a Canadian thing. We used to go to Canada for a tractor pull and it was at all the restaurants. I agree...sounds really gross to me. It was even on Kentucky Fried Chickens Menu. I ordered it thinking it was mach potatoes and gravy...we threw it out.
I love gravy with my fries (and yes I'm Canadian, lol), but I usually have it on the side. But I've been known to pour the gravy on top and drizzle on some ketchup too! Definitely need a fork to eat it, but oh so good!
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
I'm loving the review.
That gravy over fires is a Canadian thing. We used to go to Canada for a tractor pull and it was at all the restuarants. I agree...sounds really gross to me. It was even on Kentucky Fried Chickens Menu. I ordered it thinking it was mach potatoes and gravy...we threw it out.
I am pretty adventurous when trying different foods but I just couldn't stomach the idea of gravy fries.

Quote:
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I love gravy with my fries (and yes I'm Canadian, lol), but I usually have it on the side. But I've been known to pour the gravy on top and drizzle on some ketchup too! Definitely need a fork to eat it, but oh so good!
You wild and crazy Canadian .
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #28
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Stanley Park

Since we were way too excited to sleep, we woke up before dawn. We were very happy to see from our room the Disney Wonder heading into port. ***this pic is of the carnival cruise ship. It was too dark out when the Wonder arrived, none of my Wonder pics came out.***



Since we couldn't board the ship till eleven, we decided to walk to Stanley Park. The front desk said it is a fifteen minute walk from the hotel but I think it is more like thirty minutes. Hmmm...could be cause I was moving slower then a snail after the two mile hike up a mountain yesterday. The walk was beautiful, most of it was a jogging/bicycle trail that was very busy.

Sun was just coming up as we started the walk.





I loved how lots of the apartments had gardens on their balconies.







After thirty minutes we finally reached the park. Stanley Park has lots of stuff to do, like museums, aquariums, etc but we decided to just walk around and find a couple of geocaches.



Geocache at the park.





Another geocache



After exploring the park for a while we decided to head back to the hotel. We were anxious to see Mickey.

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Last edited by missj1975; 02-27-2012 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:51 AM   #29
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Boarding the Disney Wonder

We headed back to the hotel, picked up our luggage, and walked to the port. I don't remember much but I do remember thinking the port was very disorganized. It took a couple of tries to figure out what to do with our luggage. Eventually we found the drop off point but it really didn't look like a drop off point, just a stressed out worker collecting luggage. I remember thinking I am never going to see my luggage again but luckily I was just being paranoid and our luggage reached the ship safe and sound.

There was two cruise ships at the Vancouver port and our boarding lines intermingled. Luckily there were plenty of cast members pointing Disney cruisers to the right area.



The line moved pretty quickly, we got checked in, and was herded to a waiting area. We started talking to a super nice couple next to us. We picked the right couple to talk to cause they turned out to be one of our dinner table mates, best table mates we have had on a cruise so far.

In no time at all it seemed like we were boarding the ship and directed to Parrot Cay for lunch.











As you can tell from my pictures we were seated right next to a window and it was a very sunny day. When we were first seated, the place wasn't crowded but it was quickly filling up. We had a table to ourselves but apparently the host was seating families together at the larger tables. The two families next to us weren't very happy about having to sit together and they were very vocal about it. The host did nothing to correct the problem, which I found very odd. Usually cast members are very accommodating but not this host, he ignored their complaints and moved on.

We enjoyed our food and quickly moved on cause frankly I hate hearing people argue, especially when it is in a foreign language...no fair how am I suppose to eavesdrop .

We walked around the decks, enjoying the nice weather.



Eventually we were distracted by some tasty looking beverages and maybe a snack or two.





After exploring the ship and taking tons of pictures, we decided to check out our room.





I was excited to see a birthday cake waiting for me. My hubby is so sweet. Yeah it wasn't my birthday yet but cake is always good. I looked at hubby and he had the nervous tick going on. I was like...everything ok...he was like yeah fine and he grabbed his iphone and checked out the balcony.



So it turns out he ordered the birthday package (cake and room decorations) for my birthday to be delivered on my birthday (four days away). He wasn't very happy to have the surprise ruined by the early delivery of the cake. He talked to guest services, they apologized, and on my birthday I got another cake and cool decorations. It all worked out but my DH pouted for awhile cause in his mind the surprise was ruined. I was just happy to get cake, lots and lots of cake.

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Old 02-27-2012, 12:00 PM   #30
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After relaxing in the room for a bit, we headed to the deck party.



This is my favorite picture. Jack is the customs dog who sniffed everyone's luggage to make sure no one was carrying drugs, bombs, etc. I love service dogs.



Shot from back of the ship as we are leaving Vancouver.



Goodbye Vancouver, you will be missed. We absolutely loved our day in Vancouver and definitely will have to come back in the future.

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