Thursday, April 7, 2016

Vancouver --> Whistler (Canada)

I wasn't the only one who was tired and didn't want to get up when then alarm went off this morning.  Look at little Miss Wembley...

But since we failed so bad yesterday and didn't even make it in to Canada, we had to get moving early today.  We were still at hour from Vancouver, and wanted to be at the Capilano Suspension Bridge place when it  9am.

After a stop at a coffee shop, we were on the road about 30 minutes late.  Per usual.  We always set high goals for being up and ready early...and we never reach them.

Anyways, I was getting so excited as we got closer and closer to Canada!  The only other time I had been there was when I took my mom to Niagara Falls for her birthday and we walked across the border there.  I'm not even sure that really counts because we hardly even stayed there.  


Miles to kilometers.  I feel like this is going to be a problem for us...

We checked the immigration/customs lines online and went to the closest border crossing that had the shortest wait.  There were only a couple of cards ahead of us when we pulled up.

Neither of us were too sure if our phones were going to work in Canada or not, so I took some screenshots of directions and maps while we waited in line.

Which turned out to be a really good call because immediately upon entering Canada, our phones quit working!  I'm talking the second we got across the border.  How in the world do they do that??  They must have the satellite towers set up just right so the US carriers quit at that very spot!

The lady we talked to at the crossing was nice, but man, she really grilled us.  "Whose car is this?  Is it registered to you?  Where are you going?  How long are you staying?  Is your dog up to date on shots?  Do you have her papers?  Are you bringing any fruits or vegetables?  Where are you from?  What is your occupation?"

We were a little surprised with all the questioning and Shannon got a little flustered because apparently I lied about how I got to San Francisco to see her.  I flew in to RENO and not San Fran...and she got worried we were going to be inttrouble for lying, haha.  (It was an honest overlook!)

With that all behind us, we were finally in to Canada!  I was so excited!  Vancouver was just a few minutes away!


Wembley was much less excited and assumed her regular sleeping position on my lap.  Poor dog.  We've seriously neglected her on this trip.  I mean we have completely forgotten to feed or water her for hours and hours.  It's a wonder she's still alive! 


Vancouver looked like such an awesome city, and SO beautiful...but the traffic sure did suck!  We got stuck in it for what seemed like ever, and that set us behind even more.  But we didn't stop for breakfast!  More hard boiled eggs for us.  (I don't think either of us can choke down any more of those after today.)

We made it to the Capilano Suspension Bridge park, just on the other side of Vancouver, later than we wanted, but it wasn't too busy yet.

We randomly found this place as we were Google searching what to do in the area (or maybe Shannon knew about it?  I don't remember.)  But either way, once I saw pictures of it, I was so so so excited to go there!  It looked fantastic!  These high, long suspension bridges through the trees, hanging above rushing water.  YES!


And it didn't disappoint.  The pictures don't do it justice at all.  It was such a gorgeous spot, and the weather could not have been more perfect.  Wembley wasn't a fan and didn't enjoy the long, moving bridge much.  And she's still scared of heights apparently. Look at her eyeing the water below...

The boardwalks through the trees were more her thing, and they were equally beautiful!


One of the last places we visited there was the Cliffwalk, which was kind of like the glass bridge thing they have at the Grand Canyon, just a much smaller version.  Wembley started to walk out on it, and all of a sudden I guess just realized how high up she was and just froze.  It was funny, but I did feel a little bad for her.  Poor thing was just shaking and had her claws dug in!

After a few more stops on some trails for pictures, and then to the gift shop for a Canadian tree ornament, we hit the road and continued north to Whistler.


The highway is called the "Sea to Sky Highway" and you can definitely see why.  The ocean comes right in to the mountains.  It's such a breathtaking scenic drive!

Wembley still wasn't impressed and slept through it all.

We got to Whistler around lunch time, and I was shocked at the lack of snow!  I guess I just expected a lot more.  It was pretty barren there!

We walked all around the village, which was cool to see where the 2010 Olympics were held!  (Shannon and I were at the 2008 Beijing Olympics together!)

We walked and shopped, and shopped and walked, before stopping at Naked Sprout in the village for some lunch.  Some healthy, organic, delicious, and overpriced lunch.


Wembley was kind of a wreck again, but I'm beginning to realize it's just when she's too over stimulated.  Like when there are too many people around, too many loud noises, too much commotion, she just loses it.  So the skiers and snowboarders flying down the hill at her, and the cold snow on her little paws, and the blaring music from a nearby stage were NOT a good combo.  She would have taken this guys head off if she hadn't been on a leash!


So back to the car we went.  And back south towards Vancouver.  We didn't have enough time to hang out all day in Whistler, which was fine with me.  I really just wanted to see it.  No point in hanging out all day if I can't ski!  

On the drive back, near Squamish (which btw, is amazing) we happened to see "Shannon Falls Park." I mean, come on.  There is no way we could pass that place up!  Gorgeous waterfalls, rushing water, some hiking trails.  It was a perfect little stop to break up the drive back down south to the U S of A.

We hit Vancouver right around rush hour, and got smoked by the traffic.  Again.  They have too many people there and not enough room on the highways!  We sat forever, and eventually pulled off to a gas station for some chips to get us through.

Back at the border crossing, all was good and we were just waiting our turn in line.  Shannon went to reach for the box of Cheerios, and they fell upside down on the floorboard at her feet.  And the box was open.  So the only way to get it picked up was going to simultaneously spill the cheerios all over.  I guess it doesn't sound that funny as I"m typing it, but honestly, we haven't laughed that hard the whole trip.  I mean we couldn't even talk.  We both were just cracking up and crying.  Take my word for it I guess.  It was funny. :)

Getting back in to the US was way easier than getting in to Canada.  They didn't really care who we were or what we were doing. They just looked at our passports and let us in.   

Now our goal was to make it back to Seattle tonight, or even past it, so we could avoid traffic in the morning.  So we were just causing along when Shannon remembered something about these tulip fields in northern Washington.  So as she was driving, I googled them, and realized we were only like 30 minutes away!  We called and looked at some websites, and everything said they were all closed, but I couldn't fathom how someplace could "close" a giant field of tulips, so we decided to take a chance and try and find them anyways. 

It was such a short detour off the road, and it was going to be perfect timing with the sunset, so off we went, in search of Tulip Town.  (Yeah, it's actually called that!)

The first place we went was actually pretty closed off!  We could see the tulip fields, but they weren't that big, and they were behind a locked gate.  It was still cool to see, but we were a little disappointed.  

We drove around some more, and spotted what looked like another field of tulips not far away.  Me being the stubborn (and sneaky) person I am, tried driving down some dirt roads to make it closer to the field from behind, but it was all blocked off.  So we went back on the highway and attempted one more turn down the highway the opposite direction to see if we could get to them.  And sure enough. It was that easy. A whole giant field full of every color of tulips imaginable...and free.  Just right on the side of the road!

(Warning:  tulip picture overload below)


It definitely was one of the cooler things I've seen.  I can't imagine how long it took to plant all of those!  They went on forever!  And we couldn't have picked a better time to go.  The sun going down over the tulips was just magical!

With a lot more ground to cover before stopping for the night, we kept driving.  Through Seattle, and kept on going.  I was tired and pretty checked out, but Shannon kept on going.  Ryan called and decided to fly in tomorrow night, so he kept Shannon away and occupied...while I dozed off in the passenger seat.  

We hit some road construction sometime around 11pm, and finally pulled in to some crappy/sketchy hotel in small-town Washington for the night...

What a a fun day!  I'm tired just typing and thinking about all of it! ;)

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