genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Our Canadian Adventures - The Blog (page 1)

Vancouver (part 1)

Just over 3 months to go (9th March)

We have always wanted to go to Canada and thought 2013 would be a good year, being just after my retirement.  The retirement didn't go according to plan but this didn't put us off our wish to take a trip of a lifetime. We have been helped enormously by my two Canadian Cousins, Linda and Laura, who have been so helpful in advising us what our options were.  

Everything is now planned.  Basically, we are starting on the west coast for a week in Vancouver, taking the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Rocky Mountains for 9 days, hitting the Calgary Stampede, before a week long rest by a lake to the north east of Regina and ending our month long journey in Toronto.  Our final full day will be at Niagara Falls on our 36th wedding anniversary.  Call me a romantic !! 

The Birds have flown (22nd June) 

Thank you everyone for your well wishes.  We have flown the nest !

Departed on a Boeing 777-300ER at about 10.50 this morning (or was it yesterday morning ..... checked and yes, it was about 24 hours ago !).  Flew over Glasgow, Isle of Skye, Reykjavic and Greenland at 33,000 feet traveling at 566 mph before hitting the north east Canadian coast. Weird watching the flight path on a screen on the seat in front of us.  Having mainly been on Squeazy Jet flights before, it was unusual, and nice, to be fed and watered at regular intervals by friendly stewardesses without being charged ANY extra's.  Views out of the window were spectacular with ice covered mountains and miles of nothingness.  Not a soul on two feet or four. Pleased to say that I won a game of draughts halfway through the flight ..... decided not to push my luck so didn't play again ! Sue watched 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and apparently was rather smitten with Marlon Brando.
Landed after 8 hours 45 minutes which was 45 minutes less than advertised.  Survived Imigration and Customs before meeting cousin Linda ...... well, we were supposed to meet her but she somehow missed us and we missed her.  After a few abortive phone calls we did find each other and she drove us on a quick tour of the City so we could get our bearings.



Arrived safely after a good trip. Sitting eating Tortillas in a bar in Vancouver. Clock says its nearly seven o'clock but I know it's really three in the morning !

It has been a lovely afternoon and evening.  Chilled out chez Linda with an early bottle of Pinot Grigio before walking to a local bar for a bite and a bottle of Chardonnay.  Now crashing as body thinks it's five o'clock in the morning rather than nine o'clock in the evening.  Will sleep well tonight !


The day of recovery (23rd June)
Having slept for seven and a half hours, I woke at 5.00  feeling rather more human than I had a few hours earlier.  A shower would be nice.  Isn't it strange how showers in different countries have their own slightly different characteristics ?  Having studied the shower unit, I noticed there were no taps in the bath.  Ok, not a problem, there was a shower handle which obviously did the same job, so I twisted the handle, expecting water to gush out.  No, ok, I pushed it up, pushed it down, both to no avail.  Thankfully Sue came to my rescue and discovered it needed to be pulled rather than twisted or pushed.  Disaster of the day number 1 averted and a nice shower followed.

Linda had taken advice and suggested we go for a stroll down the Baden Powell Trail to Quarry Rock, where there would be a superb view of picturesque Deep Cove from a lookout in Northern Vancouver.  Path looked rather more steep than anticipated but, hey ho, how bad can it be ?  We pushed on along the clearly marked path (with orange markers on trees) as it became more and more iffy and potentially dangerous to those without the right equipment - no, I couldn't get my heavy walking boots in the suitcase, so was wearing very unsuitable shoes.  Spoke to intrepid explorers coming back along the trail that, indeed we were going in the right direction, and no, they hadn't seen any bears.

We eventually arrived at where we thought the lookout would be, and indeed, there was a view out over the bay ..... although huge power cables and a sign "Danger - Keep Off - High Voltage - Fall Hazard" should have given us the hint that this was NOT the viewing point we were looking for.  There was no path on from there which looked a) like a path or b) welcoming, so a vote was taken and we retraced our steps.
Half way back disaster struck !  Having bravely assisted my two companions up a particularly difficult part of the track, and I should say, probably the wettest section, who should end up falling arse over tit into the mud and branches but ...... Sue ?  No, ME !!  Had I broken a leg the helicopters wouldn't have been able to rescue me as the trees were hundreds of feet tall.  There was no way the girls would have been able to carry me back up to the road, so I manfully struggled to my feet looking for the blood pouring from my leg and the crimson patch on my trousers.  Very sore but (sadly) with little gore showing, I heroically staggered onward on one and a half legs, eventually reaching the car at the top for a much deserved sit down.

Our day then moved into a more normal routine, with coffee at picturesque Deep Cove Village and brunch at the Marina Grill with the promise of an ice pack when we got back.

PS from Sue : Just to say that when Simon fell over Linda and I managed to express the right level of concern until he had got up and we knew it was probably his pride that was more hurt than anything else! We managed to contain the giggles till we got back to the road!!!


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