We’re goin’ on a bear hunt….

As previously stated in Yellowstone, we really wanted to see a bear. Really, really, really wanted…. When we talked to the people at the visitors’ center, they told us that we had a fat chance of seeing one on the way to Whistler. There are bears, but they usually stay off the roads.

Regardless of their pessimism, the day after we toured Vancouver, we hitched it north on the Sea to Sky Highway to go to Whistler, BC. How can anything named “Sea to Sky” not be absolutely stunning? I dare you to come up with a reason.

It was the most gorgeous hour and a half drive ever. The first bit follows the coast, and then it curves to the east as you head into the mountains. AND THEN….Whistler, BC. Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

I loved Whistler. Not going to lie. It’s a great resort town tucked into the mountains north of Vancouver. Touristy? Most assuredly. But also very beautiful.

Check out the Olympic guy! I forget what he’s called. But there he is! The whole day, it was pretty hazy like that. We chalked it up just to  being a hazy day, but apparently it’s caused by some forest fires that are going on right now. Thus, the inability to see the tops of the mountains.

While Cara and Amy went zip-lining, I hung out in a Starbucks (I know, I know. I’m on vacation, I shouldn’t spend my time in Starbucks). It was a great morning of relaxation. I caught up on the interwebs, sent some emails, people watched, and just generally spent a morning chilling out.

That afternoon, we wandered around Whistler Village. The girls enjoyed a glass of wine while we sat on the patio of this cute little restaurant.

Then we walked to Lost Lake. It was basically like heaven.

That pretty much sums up our day. It was beautiful. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, beautiful friends, beautiful men (this isn’t a lie. Apparently it’s a pre-requisite to live in Whistler: must be young and gorgeous).

Alright. Now, the saga of the bear. Cara and I really want to see a bear. Amy wants to see a bear from the safety of our car. Cara and I aren’t so picky. We just want to see a bear. The good news is, WE SAW A BEAR! While we driving up to Whistler, we saw an adorable little black bear frolicking in a lake along the highway. The bad news is that, as we were driving on a bridge, we couldn’t stop for a photo op, so I have no proof. The other bad news is that, despite our best efforts and all of our hunting on the way home, we couldn’t find another.

BUT! We did find this mam and her cub. Aren’t they cute?

Also, we saw the Olympic rings. Yay! Most of the buildings associated with the Olympics have been taken down. BUT! The rings remain.

I hope that you all enjoy your Friday and have a great kick-off to an even greater weekend!

Next stop: Seattle

O Canada!

I’m apparently very into titling my posts with the names of patriotic and folk songs… It’s the traveling that does it to me 🙂

We left Yellowstone around dinner time and drove through the night, arriving in Beautiful British Columbia by breakfast time. After finding a hotel, getting checked in, and taking showers (blessed, beautiful showers!), we headed to the visitors’ center to figure out what the “must sees” of Vancouver were. The very helpful people there gave us a gameplan and even took our picture.

Look at us! We’re in Canada!

First stop was Stanley Park, the Central Park of Vancouver. It’s chock full of gardens, exhibits, and trails. We walked the trails along the water and then back through the woods on our way into the city.

We may have gotten a small bit misplaced on the trail. We came to this funky bridge thing and hadn’t a clue what to do. We, being the smart and resourceful map readers that we are, figured it out, and headed toward the downtown area.

We found a restaurant for some wine and appetizers. Yum! We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening wandering the city. We played with the color feature on my camera. I love this camera, have I mentioned that recently?

Vancouver is built on the coast, so everywhere you go there are rivers and canals, which makes for great parks and walkways throughout the city.

I think there’s a reason that the most beautiful cities in the world are bit on bodies of water. I mean, there was the whole convenient harbor and port thing for transportation. Besides that, it’s just so much prettier! How do we feel about Vancouver, friends?

When we first got to the city, we weren’t sure what all the hype was about. The most beautiful city in the world? Most liveable city in the world? We weren’t convinced.

After spending a day wandering around and trying different foods and watching all the people, we understood a bit better. I still wouldn’t say that it blew me away, but it’s a pretty cool city. It’s like Europe meets Asia meets Chicago. It’s a city that has a reasonably sized downtown; it’s all very walkable. Yet, it seemed quiet and didn’t have the crazy busyness that Chicago does. It was a very urban and diverse environment with lots of different nationalities, languages, and cultures all coexisting in one small square acreage.

All in all, we give Vancouver our stamp of approval!

On to Whistler!