Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Very Canadian Boating Experience


Did I mention that my entire purpose for coming to Vancouver on a train was to spend a few days with some fun ladies and babies?

On a giant boat?

Please refer to the map above in reference to my laborious journey from the Pacific Central Train Station to the Quayside Marina Boat Dock. It’s hard to see, but the path is in red.


I left the train station on-foot after clearing Customs. I had about six blocks to walk to arrive at the ferry station. It was raining but luckily not as much as this morning in Seattle.


I crossed through a few busy streets in downtown Vancouver and finally arrived at Science World. I’ve been here before and enjoyed it. I actually have no complaints about the entire city…I love this place!


From where I stood on the dock near Science World, I could see Yaletown and the Marina in the distance. Not very far to go on this ferry, for sure!

Can you see the buildings over there? The Marina is just beneath them but not visible from this angle.


Just a short walk from Science World brought me to the right place to catch a ferry. This colorful sign is hard to miss.


Luckily, I wasn’t in a wheelchair to get down to the dock entrance. This ramp was so steep! I wonder how many elderly bodies exist in the shallow water at the bottom of this incline because their wheel brakes gave out half-way down?


Since I couldn’t see any ferry-looking boats on their way, I passed the time by observing the tide lines and lots of moss on the bank of the water. Aren’t the color gradients neat? Of course, it never gets warm enough here to kill the moss, so it thrives even in the open air.

That is a pretty difficult concept for a desert girl like me.


After waiting about ten minutes, and beginning to wonder if I was in the right spot, I saw a ferry on its way to my dock. I boarded and paid $5 (in American…bwaahahaaahahaa) for it to take me to the Qauyside Marina. I was the only person on-board.


The ferry captain knew the boat on which I would be staying for the next few days. He said it was a beauty, and he certainly wasn’t lying! It is the second-largest boat in dock at the Marina. Needless to say, my jaw dropped when I saw it.

Not that I was expecting a rubber life raft or anything, but this thing was pretty impressive! My brother and sister have been here and tell endless stories about how fun it is. I am so tickled that I finally got the chance to experience it in person.


This was a Canadian neighbor to the side of us. It seems that people wash their boats in the rain, which I guess makes quite a bit of sense. You can tell how much I’ve been around boats, huh?

No offense, but I still think airplanes are cooler.


This was the backyard view from the boat. Can you imagine waking up to this every day?! I mean, I could do it, if I had to do it. I loved the view of Yaletown and being so close to the action of downtown Vancouver!


This was a picture with Chris, our steward, me, and Captain Woo, as my niece likes to call Captain Lou. I have bubble-headed my other adorable niece in this picture to protect the innocent. And to appease my brother’s wishes that his family never be on my blog.

These gentlemen were so nice and really good at their jobs. Captain Lou has worked for the family for ten years, and this is Chris’s second summer with them. They both live in Vancouver and thus didn't sleep on the boat with us.

But it was nice to have slave labor available to us all day, that’s for dang sure! Even now, I keep asking for Chris to vacuum things without realizing that I am home now and no longer have a vacuuming man at my disposal.


So, I guess if I have to be here, it might as well be a pretty boat. And it was. Holy cow.


These were my sleeping quarters during my sojourn in the Vancouver Marina. It was actually quite comfortable, and with the lights off, very cave-like. I slept like a baby and wondered every time I woke up if it was noon since I had no reference to outside light.

It was wonderful waking up to the sound of raindrops on Thursday morning. That may have been my favorite day, since we stayed in pajamas and girl-talked and read books while it poured rain outside on a chilly day.

Now that is my type of boat living, people!


When I arrived at the Marina dock around 1:00 PM on Tuesday, four pretty ladies and one boat boy were waiting for me. While he towed my luggage, I gathered up a sweet baby on our short walk to the boat. It was such a treat to be here, and it all felt very surreal.

That evening, Captain Lou and Chris made us dinner of pasta (pronounced “pasta” like “canasta” by our Canadian friends) and homemade Caesar salad with rhubarb pie for dessert. Did I mention that these guys cook, too? And that this was my first time eating rhubarb pie?


On Wednesday, the weather cleared up and allowed us to explore a day in downtown Vancouver. Of course, in my present company, showing me Vancouver simply meant that we went shopping in Vancouver.

I didn’t complain one bit. I even got a few pairs of shoes to show for the fun time that we enjoyed.

This is a shot of Robson Street, which is where the bulk of shopping takes place in this city. I stood outside with the baby stroller while everyone else went inside Guess. I feel a little out of place in some stores, and that definitely qualifies as one that makes me feel unworthy to enter!

So I stayed outside to people-watch.


Across the street from me was an awesome shoe store called Spring. I got a pair of shoes on clearance here that were just adorable. They looked like Toms, which I’ve always wanted, but were way more comfortable than Toms (I was surprised at how much I didn’t like the fit of Toms). And they had snake-skin texture with a sparkly leopard-print pattern. Man, they were cute.

I also got a pair of Keds on clearance, which I have always fancied having, too. They were slip-ons and bright blue and comfortable and SO CUTE!

I talk about these two pairs of shoes in past-tense because they are no more. I’m pretty sure they were stolen from my hotel room when I got back to Bremerton a few days later. Weird, huh?! It’s still “being investigated” by hotel personnel.

Considering that I never buy shoes and had purchased two perfect pairs of shoes in one day, only to have them practically ripped from my trembling fingers in Washington state, I was pretty bummed out.


Anyway, where was I? sniff sniff

This is a picture of lunch while out on the town. We ate at The Cactus Club, and I split the spare rib sandwich with my sister-in-law. We also shared the fries and ordered a small (yummy!) Caesar salad to enjoy. After dipping the sandwich in the au jus, all was well in the world.

Of course, at this point in time, I still had two perfect pairs of shoes in my possession…


It was a wonderful day out exploring downtown with a bunch of fun ladies. That night for dinner, I received a tour of Yaletown on foot. Then we brought some Mexican home to everyone on the boat. It was delicious, but you know how I feel about Mexican food. I could eat it all day, every day and be juuuuuust fine.

Oh, and when I’m incredibly wealthy, I would love to live in Yaletown someday. What a great place!


While we stayed on the boat, we were entertained by endless groups of rowers in the harbor. People actually pay for lessons on this. It sounds like an awful lot of painful work to me! It was fun to watch them from the boat while holding sweet babies and reading books about dinosaurs to my niece.


This is the After 8, which is by-far the largest boat in the Marina. He owns several car dealerships and had eight kids. This is what he bought after all of them finally left the nest.

Maybe I should look into owning several car dealerships as well. Sheesh!


Soon, it was time for my visit to end. I admit that it was a little tough to pack up my things and head back to Seattle. What a wonderful visit with some wonderful people. At around 4:00 PM on Thursday, I caught the ferry back to the dock near Science World to walk back to Pacific Central Station.

Goodbye, Quayside Marina! See you next week?

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a fabulous time! I'm really jealous of the time you got to spend with the little girls!


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