Hi everyone. It’s Pugsley again.
Remember back in the day when your friends and their parents would go on vacation and then invite you over to see the photos or slides and you would sit there bored for HOURS?
THIS ISN’T THAT!
I finally have time to sit with my mom so that she can show us her photos from Vancouver. I already told you in a previous post that the Canada Border Service agents in Toronto put mom through a pretty tough interrogation. I’m happy to say that mom made her connection to Vancouver in plenty of time. Mom loved Air Canada. Her plane was one of those big flying cities with nine seats across……and the flight attendants spoke French. Even though my mom had no idea what they were saying, it sounded so pretty. AND THEY GAVE OUT FREE PRETZELS. Try finding that on a US airline anymore.
My mom’s first tour was to Whistler, which hosted most of the alpine, Nordic, luge, skeleton and bobsled events during the 2010 Winter Olympics and where she didn’t learn how to whistle. The bus took the Sea to Sky Highway, which mom said was a beautiful ride. You can read about it here. The bus stopped at a few places along the way and the best was Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in British Columbia.
Mom said she enjoyed meeting the other people on the tour. There was a couple from Adelaide, South Australia and they were friendly and very funny. This was their fourth trip to Vancouver and to Alaska. They must love it considering the 23 hours it takes to get there. I wonder if they know my friend Lisa from Melbourne. They’re probably neighbors.
Another lady, Anna, lives in England. Her father and grandfather were born in Philadelphia and then her family moved to Ireland. So that makes Anna an honorary Philadelphian.
Mom and Anna hung out at Whistler Village and rode the Peak 2 Peak Gondola from Whistler to Blackcomb. It was warm and green at the bottom………
and cold and snowy at the top………..
Wow, I didn’t know that you could get an Olympic medal for gondola riding. Mom, you got first place. I’m so proud! Did they play the Star Spangled Banner for you?
No wonder my mom won; just look at her form and expertise.
After her medal ceremony, mom strolled through the village and wandered over to the Olympic Village.
Look everyone, my mom found where Bullwinkle works now. He’s a Royal Canadian Mountie.
I wonder if Rocky is his deputy. My mom didn’t think to ask.
When the tour got back to Vancouver, mom had dinner by the harbor. What’s not to like?
The next day was the really fun day……..the whale watching tour.
Mom took a tour with Prince of Whales. Cackle! that’s such a funny name! The website says the Zodiac whale watching was a three hour tour.
Uh oh mom. Gilligan wasn’t on your boat, was he?
Mom said her tour was 12 hours. That’s a lot of whale watching. The tour mom took was on a big boat called the Ocean Magic and it went super fast and really rode the waves. Everyone had to wear long raincoats on board in case they got splashed or wanted to ride on the whales.
Nevermind. Mom said it wasn’t Disney World and they weren’t allowed to ride on the whales.
Brittany and Sharon were the naturalists on the tour and mom said they were fantastic. They knew everything about the islands, the animals and the whales we saw, even the whales’ names.
SHARK!!!!!!!! EVERYBODY OUT OF THE WATER!!!!!!!!!!!
What mom, that’s not a shark? It looks like a shark. It has that scary fin and everything. It’s a what? An Orca?
KILLER WHALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYBODY OUT OF THE WATER!!!!!!!!!!
Stop laughing at me mom!
Here’s what Brittany had to say about the whales and here are her photos. They’re AMAZING! Not that your photo isn’t good mom, but Brittany’s whales are dancing for her.
The following photos are of resident (fish-eating) killer whales. We were watching whales from J-pod (one out of our three southern resident pods, J-pod contains 25 individuals).
In killer whales, we identify individuals by their unique white saddle patches located behind their dorsal fins, which are different on each side.
The first two photos are of a male from L-pod, L87 born in 1992 nicknamed “Onyx.” His mother passed away and has no ties to L-pod now. So instead he hangs out with J-pod cause he is a “ladies man,” but also the oldest whale, Granny, has adopted him as a son.
Onyx is also in the third photo with some of Granny’s grandchildren.
The fourth photo is of Granny herself. Granny is the oldest whale we have J2, estimated to be born in 1911, makes her 103 years old. Notice her distinct nick in her dorsal fin.
The final photos are again of Onyx the whale.
Note all photos were taken using a 300mm zoom lens, and cropped on the computer.
WOW!!!!!!! That’s pretty incredible mom. Onyx is cute.
So what happened after you saw the whales?
WAIT! Look at these photos everyone. How cool is this? This rock is looking at my mom.
And here are more rocks with eyes.
They’re not crazy human rocks. Mom said these are seals. They’re kind of cute. I was expecting them to be little, white and fuzzy.
I know what this is mom! I’ll bet if you click on him, he’ll sing for you. It might take a few seconds so be patient. You can’t rush our national bird.
Here he is pooping on the Cowboys giggle snort.
That’s funny. I thought his head would be flatter.
Fly Eagles Fly
Sack the quarterback then hit him in the thigh
Run Eagles Run
Go for the two point conversion
If you fumble, then we’ll boo
And then throw snowballs at you
Fly Eagles Fly
On the Road to the Super Bowl
Well, I like my lyrics better mom! I’m calling Coach Kelly to schedule my audition.
And speaking of the Prince of Whales, did anyone watch that show on Fox called “I Wanna Marry Harry?” Mom and I were up late one night and couldn’t find anything to watch so we decided to check it out. It was a train, bicycle and scooter wreck! Twelve American ladies went to England looking for a husband. A guy who resembled Prince Harry was their “bachelor.” The women really thought he was Prince Harry. Granted, he looked like him and the producers, including Ryan Seacrest (no comment), concocted all these situations to make them think it really was Harry. Talk about dumb Americans. Can you just imagine the real Prince Harry looking for a wife on a reality dating show? Queen Elizabeth would get the vapors and Prince Philip would whack his butt with a cricket paddle. We binged watched all of the episodes. We just couldn’t look away and once we started, we had to find out how it ended.
Oh right, back to mom’s vacation. After the whales, the boat then took everyone to see Victoria. I don’t know her.
Mom, who’s Victoria?
Oh….Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, named after Queen Victoria of the UK.
I want someplace to be named Pugsley. Do I have to be a queen to get a city named after me?
What mom? I KNOW I’M A BOY! So I can be King Pugsley? What? No, I’m not planning to conquer any countries any time soon. So that means I can’t have a city named after me? Okay, fine. I’m renaming our house.Welcome to Casa de Pugsley. Do I need to hit the house with a bottle of champagne or anything? Whaddya mean I can start paying the taxes now?
Geez…..this royalty business has a lot of strings. I guess I can name my room without much hassle.
Here’s the Pawliament Building.
Mom, did you tell them that I’m a pawliamentarian? Maybe I could work for them. Is that like our Congress? They probably get things done without all that fighting and nonsense though, right?
The last stop of the day was at Butchart Gardens. Mom must have taken 1,000 photos so I’m only going to post the ones I love the best.
In case you didn’t like flowers, you could play chess.
Here’s a Redwood that was planted in 1934. It’s GIMONGOUS!
For you rose fans, here’s Good as Gold from the USA 2013. Mom focused on the little bud. It’s so cute!
Here’s the 1999 Betty Boop Rose from the USA.
And her favorite, the Love Song Rose from the USA 2011.
And mom’s favorite photo on the last part of the tour back in Vancouver….the gas station in the middle of the harbor. You don’t want your boat to run out of gas and the best part is, there are no lines. I wonder if it’s self-serve and if they have a convenience store inside.
Dinner that night was at Joe Fortes. Mom sat at the bar and met lots of nice people. Trudy lives in Ontario and winters in Florida. Her brother lives in Ireland. Mom listened to Trudy explaining baseball to her brother so of course, mom bonded with her right away.
Mom’s last day in Vancouver was spent touring the city. Now she knows why people visit there and never come back. It’s an urban rainforest so everything is green and lush. They have palm trees and beaches and it’s so relaxing….and expensive. One of the tour guides told mom that Vancouver is the most expensive city in North America. Poor little New York. It’s the Avis of North American cities. Maybe if it tried harder giggle.
Mom stopped by the Olympic Cauldron. You can have it lit for an event at the low cost of C$5,000 for four hours, although someone told mom the cost is C$10,000.
Mom’s last stop before heading to the train station was the Granville Island Public Market. She visited the galleries and hung out with the ducks for a while. She loves animals. It’s amazing that she didn’t adopt everyone.
Hey mom, this kid has my eyes. Do you think we’re related?
SEPARATED AT BIRTH???
Awww….look at the babies all fuzzy and cute.
Mom caught the train back to the US and Seattle. Look everyone from Philly, Yang Ming opened a food truck near the US border.
And finally, here’s the view from the train as the sun set over a perfect vacation.
I hope you enjoyed my tour of British Columbia. Maybe mom will go to French Columbia next time.
I have lots more to share so check back soon!