Greetings from the land of Canucks fans and legal marijuana cafes. It’s Sunday and we’re just about to leave the first stop on our trip, the lovely city of Vancouver.
Considering my most recent lasting image of this city was the ridiculous riots the denizens of the city put on after the 2011 Game 7 Stanley Cup Finals loss, I was hoping for the best on this trip.
And the best I got. Loved this city from the time after I walked the 11 miles from the airplane gate to the baggage claim upon arriving Wednesday night (OK maybe it wasn’t 11 miles, but it was really freaking far).
We had a wonderful time, our little guy loved it, and of course I have a few thoughts on the one place in Canada that doesn’t get a ton of snow:
— First things first: My little toddler survived his first airplane flight just fine. Was looking a little scared for the first 10-15 minutes or so of the flight, but then fell asleep and blissfully stayed that way until about 15 minutes before we landed. No ear-popping issues, no screaming… he’s just the best.
— OK on to Vancouver. First of all, I have never in my life been in a city that’s more environmentally conscious. I mean, recycling bins are EVERYWHERE here, and not just recycling bins, but composting bins and separate garbage cans for everything. I knew I was somewhere special in this regard when we passed a pizza place on Granville Island that had a sign saying each customer would only be given one napkin per slice of pizza. The water fountains in the museum have a button for filtered water, so you don’t have to throw out our Aquafina or Dasani bottle when you’re done with one serving.
Truly, it was amazing how environmentally aware the city is. Great to see.
— To that end, I was surprised at how clean the city’s streets were. Maybe it’s because there are so many garbage bins everywhere, but there wasn’t much litter, anywhere.
— In case you’re wondering what the world record is for most strollers in one building in the world is, I’m going to go ahead and declare it’s definitely the Vancouver Aquarium’s record. We went on Thursday and my God, it was like Grand Central Station at rush hour, times 10. We were pushing Nate around and literally never went more than three feet without seeing another toddler or baby.
— The Aquarium was awesome, by the way. Highly recommend it.
— So this was different: On our way into Stanley Park on one of the days there were volunteers (or maybe they were city workers?) passing out fliers to each car reminding us about car thieves, and to take our valuables with us, etc. I saw signs about car thefts all over town, like, way more than you’d ever normally see.
I asked our hotel manager about it and he said, no, there haven’t been a rash of break-ins lately or anything, but they really want tourists like us to be careful, so we don’t get robbed and then go home with a bad feeling about Vancouver and telling everyone not to go there.
Made sense to me. Tourism is huge economically.
— Finally, can’t tell you how nice it is to walk into any restaurant or bar in Vancouver and find hockey on all the TV’s. That doesn’t happen in New York or anywhere in America. It was fabulous.