Sunday, November 23, 2008

We Took a Short Weekend Jaunt to a Foreign Country. (OK, it was Canada, but still...)

We live only about two hours from the Canadian border, so every so often, just for fun, we like to head north for a weekend vacation across the friendly border. This time we celebrated Aleks and Kat turning 19 -- which is the legal drinking and gambling age in Canada.  Awful parents that we are, we thought it'd be fun to take them out for their first legal drink and to their first casino. 

Because of the rules about photography in the casino, those are pretty much the only photos I didn't take!  Here are some that I did take:

Headin' northward:


This is the Peace Arch at the US/Canada border...


...where you sometimes have to wait in line for a while.  And sometimes when you sit in the car for a while you have to pass the time.

This is Tom's thumb that he bashed a few weeks ago when he was building the shed.  OUCH!


Kat and Elisabeth thought I was taking a picture of them!  Ha!  See the Peace Arch in the background?


This the real border, the official border -- the place where we were asked weird questions like "is this your car?" and "what do you do for a living?" and "where is [our home town]?"


Vancouver, British Columbia is a massively huge city full of high rises! This is driving into downtown:


Our hotel, the Sheraton at Wall Centre, was one of those high rises:


Look at the view from our room (this is a "stitched" panoramic photo)!  You can't see them in this photo, but the snow-capped mountains in the background were crystal-clear.

viewfromhotel stitched

And if you look straight down the mirrored building from the balcony -- which only my camera, not I, did -- you see this nausea-producing sight:


Aleks took a nap in the hotel room, but the rest of us decided to explore Vancouver's beautiful Stanley Park:


The totems:


The view of North Vancouver (and the mountains) from the park:


Lions Gate Bridge:



Looking back toward downtown at sunset:


Mermaid and friend enjoying the sunset:


Man (with bike) enjoying the sunset:


And running man sculpture, enjoying the view:


After our trip to Stanley Park, it was time for a night on the town with our newly-turned 19-year olds. First we had dinner at a great Thai restaurant and did some requisite family goofing off:

Mom and daughters:


Father and son (we missed Peter, who was still at school... but surprised us just an hour ago by arriving home a day early for Thanksgiving!):


Goofy Kitty!


Unfortunately, photos weren't allowed at the Edgewater Casino that evening, but suffice it to say that a great time was had by all.  (And although not much money was lost, no money was won, either.)

We were given a little gift from the casino -- a mug and hot chocolate mix?! -- and decided to document that as proof of the evening:


When we got back to the hotel, Kat and I konked quickly, since we're not night owls like the rest of the family.  Elisabeth, Aleks and Tom, though, headed back out and came home with these photos:



We barely got up this morning in time to check out of the hotel by noon, and then headed right home because mid-terms had to be studied for and work with Mumbai had to be done.

The line at the border heading into the US was long and slow, allowing me enough for me to take a few more photos:





And by the time we finally got moving again, the sun was setting in the west, far off the coast of way-north America and way-south Canada!



It was a great weekend and tonight we're all tired.  But we'll definitely be back to Canada -- next time, hopefully to Whistler... or to my preference -- Banff!

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christina said...

Ahh, home turf! Great pictures.

Not sure about gambling age, but legal drinking age in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec is 18, 19 in all other provinces.

Jen said...

DYING to go to Banff! We loved Vancouver - D had a conference there and we stayed at the Sheraton, too - and had almost that identical view. It was where the conference was. We also have many of the same views from Stanley Park. It was two hours in and out at the border though EACH WAY - is it still that bad? This was a couple of years ago.

What a lovely family celebration!

Also, Carol, I've been very busy with some family issues as of late, which is why I haven't been stopping by. My later fall is a bit like your earlier fall was. And I hope things have calmed down for everyone now.


Maria said...

Canada counts. :) Looks like a good time!

Treff said...

Beautiful pics! We also went to Vancouver for my bachlorette party so my sis could come with (she was 20 at the time) but alas, like yours but for different reasons, those photos will never be shown! :)

Michelle said...

Pretty shots - love the last 2!

Anonymous said...

Carol, you take such terrific pictures. Especially the outdoor/nature scenes. I can tell you love to do it, do you ever think of trying to find a career that your photo skills could be utilized?

Carol said...

Awww... thanks Abby and Michelle (and everyone). My camera goes everywhere with me. I have a feeling my family's getting a little tired of the "wait -- I gotta GET this!" shrieks!


Margaret said...

I love to take photos too and sometimes make myself obnoxious to get the shots I want. I love Canada and you definitely got some beautiful pictures. Fun times.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Vancouver. What a metropolitan city (and almost European in a modern sense). Many people in our country or around the world would probably be surprised how big and modern and unique it is. It's SO Pacific Northwest! Great shots, and what a fun family outing for all of you. I'll bet the twins' had a great time! What fun parents you are!

Anonymous said...

Ooops. Anal me: The apostrophe after "twins" does NOT belong there...

Christine said...

Love all your photos, especially the one of the peace arch through the tree branches.

I haven't been to Vancouver in forever. It's not that far. Road trip time!

Goofball said...

those pictures of Stanley park bring tears in my eyes. Pff it's been 4 years already that I was there taking pictures with my host sisters.

I'm homesick now

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