1. Stanley Park is bigger than Central Park in New York. Wow.
2. I wish I had brought my bicycle. The kids had a great time racing around the seawall on their bikes (and Kieran, a razor scooter).
3. I can never get enough of totem poles. They make me think of Emily Carr, the brave and independent British Columbia artist who loved to paint them.
4. I love sitting near the water, watching our boys make big splashes with their stones. Even better, hanging out with my lovely sister! (Our wonderful husbands went to retrieve our vehicles--even though the boys had energy, we knew they wouldn't be able to cycle all the way around the island.)
5. Food always tastes better outside. Unfortunately, we had a perfect view of some insane people who were walking out onto the Lumbermen's Arch, over the pavement below, in addition to seeing the arrival of an ambulance to take away an unmoving, injured adolescent boy. He appeared to have a head injury from falling at the water park. Very scary!!
6. Kids can never get enough of free water parks! Although our kids decreed the one in Stanley Park as being too cold!
7. I love lace cap hydrangeas. The first time I ever saw one was in Butchart Gardens near Victoria, BC. And of course, I love the cuties posing in front of the hydrangeas!
8. I also love free entertainment. This summer, Stanley Park has a free aboriginal exhibit called Klahoya Village. We saw demonstrations and native arts and crafts, such as wood carving:
and singing and dancing:
9. Vancouverites love their outdoor pools and beaches. We went to the swimming pool at Second Beach, and I realize I've gotten a bit spoiled when we take our kids swimming. When the water is shallow, I am comfortable just keeping my eyes on them from a distance. Kieran can swim (even though he's still an advanced beginner), and Nicholas never goes in over his head. At Second Beach, they required all children under 8 to be within an arm's length of an adult at all times. This definitely cramped Kieran's style, but we all got used to it eventually. We probably would have stayed in the pool longer if we hadn't been so cold! (The pool is heated, but it's still cold!)
10. Vancouver is FULL of parks and playgrounds; it's great! The house we stayed at was located a few blocks from a park (Stanley Park). I am not so crazy about the gravel surfaces on the playgrounds, though.
Nick enjoyed the antique fire engine, but of course he would have preferred to have it all to himself. The girl in the purple shirt was very bossy and told him to take a hike. Hrumph!!
More peace and quiet in the back!
11. Watch out for crazy cyclists! It was a mite stressful earlier in the day keeping all the kids out of the way of the serious cyclists. But as we were leaving, Nicholas almost got run over by a speeding cyclist...right by the playground. Nick should have looked before he ran across the path, but the cyclist should not have been racing so fast near a playground, either.
12. I miss Indonesian food and desperately wish we had an Indonesian restaurant in Portland! We decided to get takeout that night, and we ordered from a restaurant near our house called Balilicious (formerly Sate Satu). Nasi goreng, gado gado with peanut sauce, satay, kare ayam, and sayur kari. It certainly was balilicious and made me miss our wonderful three months in Indonesia 21 years ago. I must find some good Indonesian recipes and try to recreate some of these dishes. We loved the food so much that we ordered from them again on our last night in Vancouver!