Sep
25

The Reids Do Canada!

After a quick flight up to Vancouver we boarded the taxi to meet Cam & Val in the apartment that would be home for the next week in downtown Vancouver. Arrived fairly late on and Cam & Val had already been there for a while, but were Knackered from their flight over the day before. Big hugs and warm welcomes and after a wee chat off to bed. The apartment was lovely with all the latest mod cons but unfortunately was missing an extra bed so poor Anne had to sleep on a single blow up matress, but she said it was actually very comfortable and she slept well.

So the next morning we got up had a fry up, which became a tradition every morning and then spent the rest of the day relaxing. The others went off shopping but Al declined said offer! That evening we went out to a posh dinner and all drank a little too much and I ate fish for the first time ever - apparently it was the smallest of morcels but to me a big feet. Needless to say I bored everyone saying, “I ate fish”!

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The next morning we all got up leisurely and headed down to Stanley Park. 

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Took a little while to get there but the walk brushed off the cobwebs and allowed the bacon to settle. Arrived to the water’s edge and had a stroll round the park which was lovely and sat and had a coffee half way round. From there we headed to the Aquarium, where we got to see loads of beautiful creatures, with my favourite being the Beluga whale, which was a beautiful white whale. We also saw some sea lions and a sloth!

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That evening I cooked a shepherd pie and we relaxed back at the ranch. The next day Al and I went out in search of abook he wanted on “Space elevators” - (ask him) and the others went off fro more retail therapy and sightseeing. We caught a small ferry along the estaury and took in the sights of Vancouver.

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After a stressfull day we headed straight to the pub, where the others joined us at varying stages. After a few too many drinks (again) we somehow got on the subject of skydiving and Al, Anne and Cam said they were up for it. I said maybe and Val said a definite no. In the cool light of morning and minus the beer bravado I declined the offer of a sky dive but Anne and Al still seemed keen and got on the net to enquire. Fortunatley for all they were unable to do one in Vancouver but decided to try in Toronto (umm we’ll see) and fortunately for Cam he was over the weight limit so he got out of said adventure.

We then headed off to Vancouver Island, where we hired a car and reserved a ferry. Due to a late start we arrived at the ferry terminal slightly late and the woman said that our reservation was void and we’d have to get the next boat. Al was not impressed and started bitching about that’s why we reserved a space etc and declared that HE HATES CANADA!

The ferry over (eventually) was amazing and we floated thorugh some scenery straight our of the Swiss Alps or such, but didn’t see any Ochre Whales which we had been promised.

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We headed straight to Victoria where we had a spot of lunch then walked around the beautiful city. Al and I got friendly with some of the locals!

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Drove back to the ferry terminal and just as we were pulling up Al noticed a Mountey in front with a radar. We got pulled and fined for doing 80kmph in a 50 and once again Al hated Canada! Needless to say said fine will not be paid!

The next night Cam treated us to a meal up a revolving tower, which was fab and we got to see the sunset over Vancouver!

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Packed up again and headed to the aiport (again) and off to Toronto. We were staying in a hotel near the aiport which was nice and only had about 3 days there. One we arrived the talk of sky diving continued and Al and Anne remained keen. So headed off to the airport for them to partake.

We arrived and they signed their lives away and we sat and waited for the clouds to clear. Anne and Al remained fairly quiet with frequent trips to the toilet. Val, Cam and I sat relaxed and took in the scenery and played with Rodeo the dog!

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After a couple of hours the guy came back over and said we should go and have lunch as it didn’t look like they’d be able to go up for a while, so we found a local dinner and the condemmed two ate in silence! By the time we got back the skies had cleared and it was all systems go!!

So they got kitted up,

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had the briefest of briefings….

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and it was off they went!

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So we all sat watching the sky waiting for them to emerge and it must have been half an hour later before the first shoot appeared and then the second! Al came down first:

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Shortly follwed by his mammy!

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Apparently was amazing, and for the rest of the day the two chatted with themselves about how wonderful it was and Val, Cam and I just listened in Or! Good on you Al and especially good on ya Anne!

So the next adventure in Toronto was the mighty Niagara Falls. Hired a car and headed out to the Canadian side, about 1 hour from Toronto. Arrived and was amazed that the falls were right next to the road and a small vegas style town. Never mind, despite the manmade tackiness the Natural falls were superb.

Parked up and walked down the river side to the Horseshoe falls.

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The spray coming off them was amazing and you got wet just being close! We then headed down to the famous “Maid of the Mist” boat where we got ponchoed up and headed off. How fantastic you got up really close and all of a sudden the captain announces “Ladies and gentleman welcome to Niagara falls”, at which point the water just comes at you sideways, we were soaked! 

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Great fun though! After drying off we headed to the big wheel where we had an aerial view over Niagara which was stunning and you could see the little boats that we had been in a few minutes earlier! Good on Val, she came up with us depsite a small protest, she conquered her fear of heights and took in the view.  

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The next day we had a trip into Toronto which was lovely. Had a boat ride round the harbour and went up the CN tower. Unfortunately again forgot the camera - so no pics! Had a lovely dinner in town then went back for last night drinks in the hotel.

The next day we checked out and said our farewells to Val and Cam. One of Anne’s old friends from 30 years ago (who now llives in Canada) was meeting us and taking us back to their house in Coburg. The lovely Bill and Evelyn entertained us for the afternoon around the town and then cooked a lovely dinner and we sat back and heard tales of Al’s dad from yonder year. They even found out some old school photos and group photos!

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The next day it was back into town and we said our farewells to Anne and Bill. Anne was headed home and we were headed for our last week in the USA and the last week of our trip.

Thanks to Anne, Cam, Val, Bill & Evelyn for a wonderful time in Canada, but unfortunately now that Al is an outlaw there, we won’t be rushing back!

 

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