Hi guys! Today, I wanted to tell you about my trips to British Columbia, Canada. Canada is a beautiful country. It is known for its high mountains, blue lakes, and color-changing forests. I have had two chances to visit Vancouver located in the state of British Colombia on the western part of Canada. My first trip was purely to sight-see and the second trip some 13 odd years later was for something entirely different. As vastly different each trip’s purpose was, I experienced something new and exciting.
My 2002 Trip
My 2002 trip was in December and it was a particularly cold and rainy season that year. I was driven around so I don’t have much information about the public transportation at the time. Back in 2002, I didn’t notice a complex transportation or a vast freeway system either. Even in 2016, when I visited, I didn’t see much improvement. I had to be driven around with family and much of the time was spent on highways connecting cities and town instead of freeways.
One of my first impressions of Vancouver was how majestic it was. It was snow-covered mountains and trees galore! It rained most of the time so make sure you pack some umbrellas when you visit. In 2002, I remember seeing Stanley Park. It is HUGE! I was driven around and I think I saw only the outskirts of it, which was totally cool. Stanley Park is pretty for a rare sunny picnic day. There are some photo opportunities like the animal totem poles and of course the lush foliage in the summer and winter. To learn more about this landmark, visit HERE.
I reserved one day for Downtown Vancouver. It reminded me a little of San Francisco, with a perfect mix of city life and nature. It was very clean but very small. One of the most famous landmarks of Downtown Vancouver is Canada Place, which resembles the sails of a sailboat. The harbor is nearby. I received a chance to ride on a small ferry-boat from there. Another location worth noting is the charming historic Gastown and its steam clock. Gastown is really beautiful and you feel like you are transported back in time!
In Downtown Vancouver, I recommend getting around by walking. Everything is fairly close and you don’t need to drive around much and go through the trouble of finding parking in the city. In terms of restaurants, there is a variety of neighborhoods with varied global cuisines. To learn more about the downtown area, see HERE.
A place I didn’t visit, but would highly recommend is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It is a treetop bridge with wonderful vistas of the forest and river below. To get there, you need a car.
December in Vancouver and other parts of Canada is ski season. I was driven to Whistler Mountain which is probably the biggest ski resort in North America. I didn’t ski, but enjoyed the beautiful log cabin style resort and of course, the snow.
My 2016 Trip
In 2016, I decided to go on a mediumship retreat with Tony Stockwell. Tony Stockwell is a renowned English medium who travels the world teaching, talking, and also writing books in addition to performing readings. The retreat sounded fun, educational, and provided me with a nice break. It took place at Loon Lake Lodge in Maple Ridge, an hour east of Vancouver. I booked an inn nearby for four nights and carpooled with a fellow attendee. Maple Ridge is absolutely gorgeous. If the lodge was more luxurious and provided guest packages, I would recommend it for a prime honeymoon stay. It’s very private, secluded, and provide opportunities for fun activities such as kayaking, swimming, and nature viewing. Because of its casual nature, it is mostly used in the summer for camps and retreats.
For those of you who are interested in learning about the lodge, see HERE. Loon Lake Lodge is nestled in between a dense forest with a view of a lake and bit of a drive from the airport. When you enter the forest from the paved roads of Maple Ridge, the forest road to the lodge, which was being constructed at the time, was literally an unpaved dirt road. I hope they did something about that. There is plenty of parking at the lodge. The lodge has a cafeteria-style eating facility and there are great meeting rooms to mingle and chat and the bathrooms are clean too. The staff is friendly and I need to mention the food is delicious. I do wish the retreat was a little later than September because then I would have gotten to see the fall colors.
The entire 5 days of the retreat were part of a wonderful and enlightening experience. And the scenery outside just made it more magical. If you live in British Colombia or want something different or you are looking for a venue for your next retreat, consider the Loon Lake Lodge in British Columbia, Canada.