vancouver, bc

7.29.11

As I mentioned, we had to get up pretty early since the ship docked at 7am.  Before we got off the ship, Jason and I spent some time walking around one last time.  Later, all the passengers gathered and were called out in groups to walk down the gangway and off the ship.  We lined up to have our passports checked and were asked if we were planning on visiting the city.  Because we had some time before our flight left, we were going to explore a little of Vancouver and so when they asked me, I said “yes.”  For some reason, this was not allowed without some kind of permission or somesuch so we were taken out of line while the staff member called co-workers over.  She left and while she was gone we explained our situation to one of the other staff members.  She wasn’t sure what the big deal was and told us to just say that we had changed our minds and weren’t going to visit the city after all.  By this time everyone else had left and so we didn’t have to wait in line to have our passports checked.  We told the woman we had changed our minds and were not going to visit the city, and she let us right out to board the bus that would take us to the airport.

When we arrived at the airport, we checked in, lined our luggage up against the wall like the other passengers and then went to get our rental car.  My parents had reserved a rental car but when we went to go pick it up, something was wrong and they didn’t have the reservation.  We ended up taking the train back into the city, which ended up being a great thing.  It’s funny because the other “foreign” places I’ve visited have either been in Mexico where there seems to be a lot of poverty (I’ve only ever gone there for mission trips), and Japan, where it was clean but everything was in Japanese.  So it was odd getting off the train and being able to understand what people were saying and not feeling like I was wealthier than the majority of the population.

We walked around for a bit, trying to find somewhere to eat.  After eating, we found our way back to the water, where we could see our ship in the dock.  The sun had started coming out and we enjoyed some quiet moments soaking it up.  It was a beautiful city that I would love to visit again.

Not wanting to miss our flight, we went back to the airport an hour or two before we had to really leave.  I really wanted to get some Canadian bills (couldn’t stop thinking of Weird Al’s “Canadian Idiot” where he talks about their “stupid monopoly money) and so we walked around the airport trying to find some souvenirs that weren’t to expensive.  Unfortunately they gave us back American change.  I tried to peek into the cash register but didn’t really get a good glimpse.  By the time I figured out that I could go to the money exchange booth, we had to get in line for security.

We made it onto our plane with no problems and marveled at how small our plane was.  We actually had to walk along the tarmac to get onto the plane.  We had a short flight to Seattle where we had a couple of hours before our final flight.  We enjoyed the awesome gift shop with some really fun items, ate dinner, and relaxed before taking off again.  We made it in after dark and a friend picked us up from the airport.

It was the trip of a lifetime.  I’m very thankful we could go and loved spending time in a beautiful place with the people I love.

i think he’s happy to be home

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