Every good journey starts the minute you step out of your front door. This journey has been no exception.
Living in a community, 2 ferry rides away from Vancouver, means a journey in itself, just to get to the airport. We do have a small airport in Powell River, which flies small planes, but with unpredictable winter conditions, these flights are frequently cancelled, and sometimes it just isn’t worth the risk of getting stranded.
We opted to drive as far as Robert’s Creek, on the lower Sunshine Coast, where we would leave our vehicle for the duration of our trip, and ride public transit into Vancouver, and ultimately YVR.
It was a fantastically sunny day when we left our home, and we arrived at the terminal with ample time to spare. We decided to kill some time by walking some of the Sunshine Coast trail, which I knew started somewhere near the ferry terminal. In the past I had walked some sort of trail down there, and it had meandered along the shoreline.
So, we found the sign that said Sunshine Coast Trail and immediately decided to cut down towards the water, following a very rough and overgrown trail. After a couple slips and tripping over deadfall, I realized that this certainly was not the Sunshine Coast Trail. We were already annoyed and decided enough was enough, we were headed back to the car.
As we made our way back up to the road and had started walking back to the terminal, I glanced once again over my shoulder to see if there was any other indication of the trail head. Sure enough, bold as can be, was a big sign that would have pointed us in the right direction, had we looked up.
Oh well, c’est la vie. We decided to wait for the ferry the old fashioned way, and not risk hurting ourselves so close to our trip.
We had an uneventful journey down the coast and met up with good friends (our “West Coast Parents”) in Halfmoon Bay, and had a nice afternoon with them checking out Welcome Beach and enjoying the sunshine.
We arrived in Robert’s Creek that evening, after experiencing the Sechelt Parade of Lights, and had a good visit with our friend Dave and my cousin Simon. Simon spent a while living in Amsterdam, so he gave us the rundown and told us some sights to see while we experienced our 23.5 hour layover there.
We headed to the second ferry the next morning. Again, it was a spectacular day, and we were giddy with anticipation. Upon exiting the ferry, we joined the throngs of people jostling for the buses waiting outside the terminal at Horseshoe Bay. In this moment, my anxiety started to bubble up. We must have walked off the ferry with about 200 other people. Most of them, it seemed, were getting on the bus.
We squeezed our huge backpacks and ourselves onto the bus as well, and proceeded into the city. As we arrived on a Sunday, it seems the schedules changed a bit. Well, at least the destination had changed. I have ridden the bus quite often to and from Horseshoe Bay, and it always left or arrived at Waterfront Station. (I swear it did!!!). This was my favourite sentence for the rest of the day after we rode the bus for quite a while, and started to notice that we were passing the Climate Change March downtown, AGAIN but heading in the opposite direction. I immediately asked the lady next to me if we were, in fact, headed to Waterfront Station and she quickly informed me that we were headed to Horseshoe Bay. Apparently we had finished the route and had turned around, somehow without us noticing.
“We need to get off the bus!! Push the button!” I yelled at Chris. I asked the lady how we get to the train station and she said it was below Nordstroms.
Okay, no problem, we got this! I pulled out my trusty “fablet” (the new term for iPhone 6+’s, as they are very large and much like mini tablets), and looked up Nordstroms. Okay, no problem, it looks really close.
We started to walk, and walk, and walk. We looked at the map and were so spun around we couldn’t figure which way was which. It was ALMOST comical. You know, if it wasn’t our first day travelling, and our first public transit experience of the trip, we MAY have laughed. But by now we were hungry and emotions started to run high. I instructed Chris to take the map because obviously I was doing a really shitty job of directing us. He took us on a very different route than the one I had done, and we walked and walked. I swear we did 4 circles around 4 blocks if that’s possible. Finally I grabbed the phone to find out that we were finally on the right street, but were heading the wrong direction. We turned around, and within 10 minutes were FINALLY at the train station.
Just outside the train station was a place to get a quick snack, so we ate happily knowing we were finally going where we wanted to.
After hitting up MEC for last minute items, we made our way to Kitsilano to stay with my friend Anna for the night.
We collapsed there for a while and went out for dinner with more friends, Andre and Adam, later in the evening. Thankfully they picked us up so we didn’t have to figure out yet more bus routes. We had a great meal, and it was after we had been gone from the restaurant 5 minutes that I realized I forgot my purse. Thankfully it was still there when I ran back in to get it!
So, to recap the situation, we have been lost twice, and I have lost my purse once, and we hadn’t even left Vancouver yet! LOOK OUT WORLD HERE WE COME! Haha!!
We made it to the airport this afternoon with little hassle and boarded our flight to Amsterdam. As I write this it is 1:00 in the morning at home, it is 10:00 in the morning in Amsterdam. We are 20 minutes away, and we have slept for approximately 5 minutes.
Oh boy it’s going to be yet another interesting day!! Wish us luck!