Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Canadianesque: Vancouver, British Columbia

by Suzanne Fluhr on August 23, 2012 · 24 comments

FileFlag_of_Canada

I’ve always thought that Canada’s old tourism marketing slogan was brilliant.  “Canada:  Friendly, Familiar, Foreign and Near”.  If you’re from Philadelphia as we are, the not “nearest” big Canadian city is Vancouver, 2,956 driving miles away, according to Google maps.  Of course, the slogan makes a lot more sense if you are traveling there from Seattle.  Vancouver is only 141 miles north of Seattle.  This geographical fact explains why we planned our first trip to Vancouver, Canada, when I had to be in Seattle, Washington for a Social Security law conference.

The conference coincided with the week of our tenth wedding anniversary, so while my husband, Steve, was not that keen on spending our anniversary hanging out with 1,000 Social Security lawyers (I can’t imagine why), he was willing to tag along when I dangled in front of him the prospect of being able to hop across the border to Vancouver. On that particular occasion, we did not even have to look for flights to Vancouver. We just made our way to the Seattle Greyhound bus station.

Fast forward ten years to our 20th wedding anniversary. It turned out that a visit to Vancouver once again figured in our plans, only this time we arrived in slightly grander style — on a cruise ship from Alaska.  Instead of 1,000 Social Security lawyers, we were accompanied by our two teenage sons, my seventy-something parents, my sister-in-law and her partner, and my husband’s 90 year old grandmother, Nona, and her 84 year old friend, Sarika.

Sunset, Inside Passage, British Columbia, Canada

Sunset, Inside Passage, British Columbia, Canada

Our seven day cruise started in Seward, Alaska and once I had everyone safely on the ship and settled in their cabins (a bit like herding cats), we really enjoyed the spectacular itinerary. Our last day was spent sailing down the Inside Passage before pulling into the Vancouver Cruise Port next to the iconic five sails of Canada Place.

Canada Place, Vancouver, Canada

Canada Place, Vancouver, Canada

We especially picked our Alaska cruise because it ended in Vancouver and we thought it would be best if we made sure everyone in our party over age seventy had their land legs back before we all flew off to our east coast homes in Philadelphia, Boston and New York City.  We were happy we had a few days to introduce our sons to Vancouver.  We sent the Greatest Generation folks off on a bus tour to visit Victoria, the veddy British capital of the province of British Colombia, while the Baby Boomers and our echoes took a “hop on, hop off” bus tour of Vancouver.

Stanley Park, Promenade, Vancouver, Canada

Stanley Park, Promenade, Vancouver, Canada

One of the places we hopped off was at Stanley Park, rightfully possibly the best known Vancouver “must see”.  The park is larger than New York City’s Central Park and the intent of the park overseers is to keep it as much as possible in its natural state. We walked part of the 5.5 mile seawall that follows the perimeter of the park, sharing it with folks on roller blades and bicycles. There are a multitude of camera worthy vistas along the way.

As much as they enjoyed strolling along the sea wall with their parents (NOT!), our sons’ favorite Stanley Park attraction was the Vancouver Aquarium.  We were all quite taken with the beluga whales.  If you’re not sure what a beluga whale looks like, think the Pillsbury Dough Boy meets Flipper.  (BTW, we do not talk about the photo of moi in the Aquarium gift shop with a purple stuffed animal octopus on her head.  Fortunately, the photo was taken before we had a digital camera, so I think I control all the copies).

Beluga Whale

Beluga Whale

We already spent our 30th anniversary in Helsinki, Finland, but I’d be happy for an excuse to head back to Vancouver.

I know Boomeresque has some Canadian readers.  Do you have any other suggestions for a family visit to Canada?  I realize it’s kind of a big place ;-)

This post is now part of a blog carnival about group getaways on Irene S. Levine’s excellent blog, “More Time to Travel”. Click here to check out Irene’s blog and posts on this topic by other travel bloggers.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Madaline Fluhr August 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Ok – Pillsbury Douhboy meets Flipper – very funny and a great pic! It was pretty early in CA when I read that and it was nice to start my day with a smile.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer August 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Thanks. Smiling is good. Always good to start the day with some caffeine and/or endorphins.

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avatar L Sorensen-Jolink August 25, 2012 at 12:25 am

I’m not Canadian, but my father was. Here are just a few of many possible suggestions for a great time in Canada:

1) A visit to Victoria and to the west side of Vancouver Island (for natural beauty and
culinary and culture delights)
2) A car or train trip through Jasper and Banff National Parks in the Canadian Rockies,
then down through Waterton and Glacier National Parks. The Canadian Rockies are
gorgeous.
3) A visit to Montreal, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities.
4) A car tour of Prince Edward Island (Anne of Green Gables country).

Thanks for the lovely photograph of the Beluga whale! I’m going to search your archives for stories about your 30th anniversary trip to Helsinki, one of my favorite cities! Have a great weekend!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer August 25, 2012 at 3:35 am

Hold off on looking for my Helsinki post! I haven’t written it yet, but I really enjoyed Helsinki—very interesting place. I met a friend of a friend (writing a memoir) there who is a US expat married to a Finnish prosecutor, so they sort of ticked all my boxes.

I’ve been to Victoria (loved Bouchart Gardens) and Montreal (and Quebec City). Vancouver and Montreal could be the poster cities for “A Tale of Two Cities”. I would also like to visit the Maritime provinces on the east coast of Canada. Have you been there other than to Prince Edward Island?

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avatar L Sorensen-Jolink September 14, 2012 at 1:13 am

I’m sorry this reply took so long…a sudden and unexpected convergence of work emergencies and family gatherings consumed every waking moment for awhile. I’ve only been elsewhere in the Maritime provinces (Newfoundland) for refueling purposes, but my grandmother’s stories and The Shipping News have left me wanting to spend time there, particularly in Nova Scotia.

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avatar roz warren August 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Because I grew up in Detroit, I went to Canada (Windsor) all the time when I was growing up. But I havent get made it to Vancouver. Reading this blog post may well be as close to Vancouver as I ever get.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer August 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

You never know, maybe there will be a Jonathan Coulton concert there one day.

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avatar Nomadic Samuel August 30, 2012 at 1:49 am

I’m glad you like Vancouver. I was actually born and raised on Vancouver island from a very small town. Even though I haven’t lived in British Columbia for well over a decade it’s still where I consider home and I’d love to go back again soon for a visit. The last time I was there was in 2007 – it’s been way too long.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer August 30, 2012 at 2:10 am

That is a long time to be away from home—the down side of being a rolling stone—or a travel blogger ; -)

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avatar Montecristo Travels September 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Pillsbury Doughboy meets Flipper – fabulous line! As a Canadian … kinda loved this post. If you loved the Beluga Whales – a trip to Malbaie (Quebec) during the season is worth – seeing them in the wild with their young is amazing.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer September 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks. When is the calving season for Belugas? We live on the east coast of the US (Philadelphia), so a trip to Quebec is road trip—a long road trip, but a road trip.

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avatar Montecristo Travels September 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I believe it is May to October… If you ever do decide to go pleeeease let us know. We have family in Quebec city (a must if you haven’t yet – and yes pet friendly) and might even join you! Summer is best – people forget how much further North that area is. It’s cool. Here is a link for whale watching: http://www.baleines.ca/v2/en/guide.asp
and here a link to the 9 posts that relate to the province of Quebec. Let me know if you need anything else! :) http://montecristotravels.com/category/canada/quebec/

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer September 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Thank you for this very helpful comment. We have been to Quebec City, but just on a day bus tour from Montreal. For some reason (being geographically challenged north of the NY state border?), I never associated Quebec and whale watching.

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avatar Montecristo Travels September 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

Our pleasure! We love our country and want to encourage travel here (with pet) whenever we can. We may do this ourselves next summer. Malbaie is a few hours further than Quebec City so its a hike! From Ottawa where we live it is about 6 or 7 hours depending on traffic.

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avatar Irene S. Levine June 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for taking me back to Vancouver! Loved your tale—and jealous that you had better weather than we did!

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) June 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I think we were very lucky. Vancouver and Seattle probably share richly deserved reputations as wet spots—great for the green foliage—less good for the human psyche.

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avatar Gaelyn June 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Seems like a family cruise would be fun, especially from AK south. Once did a very quick visit to Victoria. Love the Beluga.

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) June 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for your comment, Gaelyn. I think cruises area gray option for intergenerational travel. Plenty of opportunities for both together time and apart time AND no one had to cook and clean.

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avatar noel June 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I love Vancouver, its so spacious with beautiful greenery and parks and lots of water access. I enjoyed your post Suzanne.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr June 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Thanks. It really is a lovely city.

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avatar Marcia June 18, 2013 at 10:14 pm

A cruise is perfect for multigenerational group travel as there’s something to suit every taste. Vancouver and Western Canada are on my list, one of these days, I’ll have to make it there.

I lived in Ottawa for 10 years. As for where else to go, my suggestions: Montreal, and definitely Quebec City. Of course, Ottawa’s great too. I used to love going to the Tulip Festival and watching the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill, crossing the Rideau River to Gatineau to watch the leaves in the Fall or just strolling around the Byward Market on weekends. If you like museums, there are several in Ottawa as well as the National Gallery of Art and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. Lots to see and do there.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr June 19, 2013 at 1:39 am

Thanks for stopping by and your suggestions. I am just back from a trip to Ontario,:staying with Toronto for a travel blogger conference, then Kingston for a press trip and then Ottawa/Gatineau to visit a travel blogger I met onFacebook who is 3.5 pound long haired Chihuahua and his people. You can read about my visit on his blog: http://www.boomeresque.com ;-)

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avatar Nancie March 3, 2014 at 5:56 am

Nova Scotia :) We’ll give a Bluenoser welcome :)

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