Today, I turned 26.
The drive from Seattle to Vancouver is gorgeous, and crossing the border was easier than expected. Hand over your passport, answer a few questions, no cars in line and drive on through. Everything switches to kilometers and the speed limits are extremely slow. You don't realize how pretty Vancouver is, or at least I didn't, until you reach the Lions Gate Bridge. Our first stop was at the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. From my research, it's much smaller than the well known Capilano Suspension Bridge. However, Lynn Vally is free and the other costs $50. We saw our first waterfall of the trip at Lynn Valley and oh my goodness, the smell! I wanted to bottle it up and take it home with me. It smelt like Oregon, a smell I remembered from my childhood the moment we hit the trail. The trail was half dirt and half boardwalk and ended with several stairs up the hill to the parking lot.
After, we drove into Vancouver and had lunch at the fish house in Stanley Park before checking into our hotel. Our hotel was right on the harbor, though our room faced the city and not the water. We walked to Spokes Bicycle Rentals and rented cruisers for two hours. Mine was pink with a basket. While walking our bikes across the street, we witnessed a car scene being filmed. After research, we can only assume it was for Deadpool, but we aren't certain. At Stanley Park, we rode two laps around the Seawall. One loop is six miles. I loved every minute. Stanley Park has a rollerblading + bike lane that runs counterclockwise and a walking lane. It was fun to pass people and ring your bell and drive downhill. And it was COLD. But oh so pretty. Before returning our bikes, we rested in the grass and people watched. In the area next to us was a group of teens playing guitar and taking pictures near the cherry blossom trees. Also, it seemed that a great number of people are dog owners in Vancouver. The cutest dog I saw was a small pup riding in a guy's backpack around the Seawall. It looked super content.
The evening ended with a stop at the coffee shop next to our hotel where we ate fruit and drank tea and watched part of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Watching hockey felt like the proper thing to do upon our first night in Canada. After, we sat on a bench on the harbor and people watched once again. There were several groups of people smoking pot (4/20) and the rest of the people were either being active (as most people in this city seem to be--running, biking, rowing, rollerblading) or appeared to be on a business trip and enjoying the walk along the water.
It was a good birthday.