Since all staterooms had to be vacated by eight, we packed up the last of our gear and headed down to breakfast, one last meal in Blu. I had the smoked salmon bagel, one of my favorite choices along with fresh fruit. I was sad to be leaving the ship where I’d been pampered and treated so well. We sat beside a young couple from Hawaii. He was quite fascinated with us–wanted to hear us say “eh?”, but he wasn’t in any way offensive about it. On this cruise we’d met people from all over the United States–Florida, Texas, Colorado, California, Ohio, Missouri, South Carolina,–as well as a Canadian couple from Thornhill, and a young bride from India. It was fun talking to strangers and turning them into acquaintances. I handed out a few business cards, and maybe one of them will even get in touch someday.
After breakfast, we went out on deck to watch the ship come into port. In years past, we’d visited Stanley Park, but until I saw the area from the ship, I had no idea how really big it was. The same sense of deja vu was evident a few minutes later. We’d gone over the Lion’s Gate Bridge countless times. It was odd to be going under it. As the ship approach the dock, I was reminded of our visit to Canada Place in 1986 when we attended Expo. It was my first experience with 3D technology. We’ve come a long way since then! I wasn’t looking forward to going through Canadian customs considering how long the process had taken previously when we’d flown to Finland for our visit to Sweden years ago. Since we live in a border community, I’m used to going through customs, but for some reason, while we’ve never had a problem with US customs, the Canadian ones seem to treat you as if you’ve done something wrong. Contrary to their attitude, most Canadians coming home aren’t criminals. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was this time. We filled out the declaration form and handed it in. That’s it, that’s all. Welcome home!
My brother-in-law and my sister-in-law were waiting for us and within minutes–after a couple of cracks about the weight of our luggage, we were headed to Fort Langley, where he’d just moved into a new condominium home. Fort Langley is a small, quaint little town where everything is within walking distance, and man, do people in that part of the country love to exercise. It explains why they’re in the shape they’re in and I’m in mine. Hey! Round is a shape.
After our walk about town, we settled in for a quiet evening. Ron barbecued salmon for supper. It was delicious. We went to bed. Here I need to add that I had to jump up to get into the bed. Thank goodness, I didn’t fall out of it, but man was it comfortable.
The next morning, after a light breakfast, we headed to Squamish and the Sea to Sky Gondola. I’ve been in gondolas before, but never one that went up quite as high or as steeply as this one did. But, when we got to the top, the views were amazing. Those of you who know me well know that I’m not an exercise maven, but I actually hung in there quite well, slipping on the trail only once and miraculously not even hurting myself. Probably my least favorite part was crossing the suspension bridge. I’d done it in the Yukon, but this one seemed more fragile and came with children running back and forth across it.
After we finished our hike, we had lunch on the deck, a filly bowl of chowder. We returned to Fort Langley and spend a relaxing rest of the day vegging. On Sunday, cousins who live out there joined us for a family reunion barbecue. Monday was our last full day, and while Ron had to work, Cheryl took us to White Rock, a beach not too far from town. We walked to the end of the pier. The tide was going out and by the time we left, it was out all the way, revealing yards of wet , goopy sand that smelled like stale fish. I did dip my feet in the ocean, surprised by how warm it was.
We returned to the house, took aw walk around town for ice cream while the others went for various runs and I started to repack the suitcases for out trek home. Since both Ron and Cheryl worked the following day, Our niece offered to take us to the airport. The flight was reasonably calm, with more than a little turbulence as we approached Ottawa, but all in all, by the time we made it back to the airport, it was late and dark out, and I was exhausted.
The only glitch in our plans occurred when I made it to Ottawa but my suitcase didn’t. It did show up the next afternoon, so, while that was a bit of a scare, all’s well that ends well,
Now, it’s time to come down to reality and prepare for leg two of 2015’s summer vacation. Camping!