Me: Ma, how do people talk in Canada?
Ma: Like Americans.
Me: You mean they have the same accent?
Ma: Pretty much.
That’s it? That’s ALL there is about Canada? I had to see (or hear) for myself.
Vancouver’s ethnic diversity and livability are just some of the reasons why I’ve been dying to visit. When I had my chance to go, I had very limited time to explore the city and find out if it really is just a milder version of the US, as my mom always says. Bear with me as I attempt to squeeze ten days into a single post.
I feel it pertinent to note, before anything else, that this was my best friend for ten days in 2012.
A couple of minutes in this incredibly steep cable car ride will take you to Grouse Mountain, an outdoor playground offering lots of exciting activities such as skiing, hiking, ziplining, lumberjack shows and grizzly bear viewing. My strata of jackets, venti cup of coffee and this temperature board would probably explain how unbelievably cold it was that time. If it’s like this on spring time, imagine winter.
It was alternately rainy and sunny when we went but that didn’t hinder the commencement of all these thrilling activities. I mean, coming up close to a grizzly bear? And hearing every gust of a breath coming out of its humongous size? And THEN watching lumberjack shows featuring steamy local lumberjacks with soaking wet shirts in the middle of a cold drizzle? My eyes widen just recalling it.
The rampancy of sights like this could be well attributed to the quality of life in Vancouver. Driving to and from Grouse Mountain and practically anywhere in the city will blanket you with lush greens and widespread natural reserves.
Didn’t miss the chance to drive by the sprawling Stanley Park and marvel at these adorable totem poles.
A quick boat ride took us to Victoria, another city in the province that attracts tourists all year round. Our first stop was Miniature World, an adorable museum filled with intricate dioramas of historical and fictional stories. This is literally cuteness, redefined.
Next is where I felt my Disney princess fantasies come true. Craigdarroch Castle used to be the home of Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who was considered the wealthiest man in the land during his time. The castle is one of the massive houses built by successful entrepreneurs during the industrial age and seeing it definitely got me all Mia Thermopolis. Never in a million years did I imagine myself even coming close to one so excuse me while I flaunt the pictures I painstakingly delayed my whole tour group for.
Elegant architecture, exclusive in-house communication systems, furniture and clothing of the Victorian era. Needless to say, I was mesmerized.
Back in the mainland, I had just enough time to explore the rest of the city and even if one day is very insufficient for my usual downtown adventure, I was lucky to come across charming novelties that make Vancouver unique from all other places I’ve visited.
Truth be told.
Ran into a legit Indian artist who carves as you please. I loved the whole thought of it and so did my equally quirky aunt. Here’s a photo of her, what she got and my wonderful cousin, Anika.
Again, I could go on and on with my pointless ramblings but for the meantime, I guess hearing the same American accent from everyone already completes this journey. Next time, I’ll carry more profound motives.