Dodgeville annexes Vancouver

Kayaking on False Creek

The best thing about taking a vacation is coming back home. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoy exploring beyond the normal boundaries of the Greater Dodgeville Area, but there’s just something about Toronto that really makes me appreciate coming back to it.

Risa and I were visiting family in Vancouver before scooting over to Jasper and Banff for a few days. It was a varied couple of weeks for transportation: in all, we flew, drove, walked, hiked, biked, and canoed, and rode the train, the bus, the icemobile, the ferry, and horses: something different almost every day.

This was the third time I’ve been to Vancouver in the last five years, and my first trip to Alberta since I was nine years old. I’ll spare you the typical vacation slideshow here, but I thought I’d share some random Dodgeville-style observations from each place we visited, starting with Vancouver. Banff and Jasper will follow in subsequent posts.

Before the gallery, a few non-photographic notes:

  • Both of the major grocery stores we shopped at, Safeway and Save-On-Foods, give out loyalty cards that you can use to get discounts on many items. Except that they aren’t exactly discounts: what really happens is that the “regular price” on thousands of items is jacked up sky-high, and the “exclusive savings” you get with the card are nothing more than the regular price you’d pay somewhere else. The result is that you get gouged with a higher-than-retail price on virtually everything you buy if you don’t have a “discount” card. I’m amazed that westerners put up with it. Fortunately, our hotel was two blocks away from a Whole Foods, which is a much more wholesome and honest way of getting gouged.
  • Many people who exit TTC buses  by the front door will say a quick “thank you” to the driver as they disembark. People do the same thing in Vancouver, but they’ll also bellow “THANK YOU!” at the driver if they’re getting off at the back door. It can be quite jarring the first few times.
  • The Seabus terminal, where you take a ferry to North Vancouver (and Grouse Mountain), is basically unsigned. If you don’t already know it’s there, you’ll have trouble finding it.
  • And finally, Simon and Garinder are the two unfriendliest people in Vancouver. They’re rude even by Toronto standards. You’ve been warned. And now to the gallery.

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