The Great Wild
The Vancouver Tourism Board and TBEX did a great job making Vancouver accessible, but, to be honest, this city is very easy to get around and explore. As it turns out, a lot of the outlying parts of the city are similar to what I had expected, small village nooks on the rocky shore, giant timeless trees, adventure. After the shock of being totally blindsided by Vancouver’s city side, I was so excited to get out and explore the way I had imagined I would.
Several weeks ago, TBEX offered sponsored trips to nearby sights as well as Vancouver city-passes to all the conference attendees. Between the two, nearly every major and minor attraction in the Vancouver area has been made available to us. To make sure we took full advantage, Jade and I decided to split up, Bob to sea and Jade to the mountains.
Despite our best efforts, we ended up at the same first location, the Capilano Suspention Bridge. Of course neither one of us knew the other was at the site, but we had a blast anyway. The Suspension Bridge is basically a multi-FUNctional attraction, comprised of the suspension bridge, of course, but also of a tree top walk and a cliff walk. One thing that separated this attraction from similar American affections (ie Rock City) is that everything is available for a single admission price, and, don’t be fooled, this is a real thrill. Both the suspension bridge and the Cliff Walk made grow men hesitate and cry (for real).
After the death defying walking, Jade went on to zip-line at Grouse Mountain. Jade had never zip-lined before, and decided she needed both her hands to help stay alive, so there was no way she was taking a camera with her. There is no footage available to prove the event took place.
Meanwhile, I went for a wild boat ride with Sewells Marina. This was a 2 hour voyage around a secluded bay. The most prominent sights were the massive houses perched over the rocks, but the most memorable part of the trip was seeing nearly a dozen bald eagles (I had never seen a bald eagle before). The reason to take this tour though is the guide. Not only could he spot bald eagles literally hundreds of yards away and get us super close without scaring them away, but, as my butt slapped back down on the seat a third time and the guide revved the engine to jump the next wave, it was clear that his addition to the trip was adventure.
I went back to the city. You could say this I where the real adventure starts. In an area with millions of people, where the streets are literally being filled with hockey fans, Jade and I had no idea where the other was. Two hours of walking later we met up over a cupcake.
The day wasn’t over yet. Together we went to Gastown to see the steamclock, which was quite smaller than expected, and went up to the Vancouver Lookout. It seems that every city in the world looks different from above, and this view hit me again as so much bigger than I expected.
Down on the ground the Canucks won!! The streets around us exploded with sound as we headed to the official TBEX kick-off party!
From here it’s the main event, TBEX ’11, for the next few days.