Vancouver – another place I could easily live

We are just back from a week in Vancouver, visiting family and bringing some with us – the occasion to celebrate Dad’s 80th which was done thoroughly and well. Happy Birthday again, Pops! Though we had been before, it was years ago and I really feel we got to know the place and its surrounds a whole lot better this time thanks to our wonderful hosts, Jeremy and Nicola. It helped that we didn’t have jet lag this time. It’s a seamless transition from San Fran to Vancouver. This trip, we made it up to Whistler and who knew it had a number of beautiful lakes as well as those well known mountains. The lakes we saw were Green Lake and Lost Lake. The kids had a refreshing swim in Lost Lake and then we all strolled into town which was heaving with mountain bikers, in Whistler for a festival.

I really enjoy visiting ski resorts in summer as I have completely no interest in skiing but the apres-ski facilities are still there and fantastic. Oh my god, the Purebread Bakery, totally divine, oozing with cake of all descriptions. I’ll be back Purebread.  I didn’t have enough room in my tummy, this time. Speaking of ski resorts, Lake Tahoe has got to be our next long weekend destination from Berkeley, (about four hours away) ideally before the end of the year and before winter sets in, such as it is in California. It’s starting to get embarrassing that we haven’t been yet.

Anyway, back to Vancouver. The thing about Vancouver is that you are in this stunning location with phenomenal views out to islands, north to Howe Sound and up to numerous mountains. I’m sure if you live there you begin to get used to it but I was just gob-smacked every time we got into the car to go somewhere.

Four cousins heading out to sea at Deep Cove, North Vancouver
Four cousins heading out to sea at Deep Cove, North Vancouver

One of my favourite spots was Deep Cove at the end of North Vancouver—we stayed in West Vancouver in beautiful Horseshoe Bay, where some of the main ferries to Vancouver Island leave from. Deep Cove is quieter, and a hive of kayaking activity. The four cousins went out into the bay for a two hour guided tour while the grown ups went into the sweet little village. You could hear British accents wherever you went which was understandable—it’s like an un-built-up Devonport. Deep Cove would be a good place to base ourselves if David ever had a sabbatical at Simon Fraser University, something I am keeping in mind, even if David isn’t. Vancouver also has the excellent University of British Columbia—could be a place for the kids to go to college, maybe.

Other highlights were a wee boat ride over to Granville Market and a great day on Bowen Island with everyone which included a hike around Killarney Lake with the kids and a yummy dinner at Rustique Bistro (without the kids). We bumped into people who had just brought  their speedboats over from Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island for an icecream. They can be devilish, those Canadians. Don’t underestimate them.

Next time we think we will drive up from Berkeley, over a couple of days, taking in some of Oregon on the way. It’s just a 17 hour drive or thereabouts…. Mere bagatelle to these Canadian types. I booked us very reasonably priced flights from Oakland International Airport (not to be confused with Auckland International Airport) but the good prices meant we left at 6 am and arrived back at midnight. I wasn’t very popular.

Ah well, never claimed travel agent was part of my skillset.