My Last Day in Canada – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

We woke up not too early but not too late and made our way out for the day. As we drove through the suburbs and over the bridges to get into downtown Vancouver, I spotted the occasional reminder of some random memory from my life here 10 years ago. A mall I would shop at, my first apartment, a gym I would work out at, a bus line I would take, a bridge I drove over oh so many times on my way to a night out.

We got into the center and began looking for parking which can be a interesting game as a lot of the rates fluctuate a few dollars up and down. We past by a movie being filmed and thought it was cool enough to make a loop to get a better look. We all wondered if we would recognize the scene years later when the movie finally came out. I remember the same thing happening when I was at the Colosseum in Rome…I doubt I will ever know.

So finally we choose a lot that seemed reasonable but of course just as we walked round the corner there was one just a little cheaper. We strolled leisurely checking out shops and picking up a cool drink for what was turning into a very sunny day. We meandered in and out of the trendy and always popular Robson Street. Busy with souvenir shops, brand name stores, the odd busker and loads of tourists pushing their way down the wide sidewalks, we were glad to take solace inside one of the oodles of restaurants. We met with my uncle and cousins enjoying updates on the past few years of their lives. Max was especially impressed with the number of “meatless meat” options and I was surprised at how well it tasted. I tried to pack as much into Max as possible as I knew that the next day this vegetarian honeymoon would be over and it would be back to pasta and soya burgers once again.

With our tummies full we ventured back into the hot midday sun and almost immediately stumbled upon a souvenir shop that was closing out. We found the Canadian hockey jerseys that Max had been looking for at a fraction of the price and because we bought four, I negotiated an even better deal. We found a funky little store selling all things trippy from glow-in-the-dark everything to holograms. Of course I tried to talk Max out of the lava lamp explaining that it would never make it back to Argentina in one piece. But it was such a good deal that we couldn`t pass it up and well, isn`t it mandatory that everyone owns a lava lamp at least ONCE in their life?

Next we made our way to the IMAX at Canada Place where we were just in time for Into the Deep in 3D. IMAX is largest film frame in motion picture history to project crystal clear images onto giant screens up to eight stories high and the most advanced digital surround sound system. How fitting for max to see his first IMAX and his first 3D film at the very first IMAX 3D theatre in the world. For Max who loves films, this was a real treat and a first he wouldn`t forget for a very long time. In fact later when I asked him his favorites of the whole trip, this experience was at the top his list. After we bought our tickets, we took a quick stroll and saw a seal in the water waving at us which was a nice intro to what we were about to see.

We settled into our seats and donned our special glasses giggling excitedly in anticipation. Next we were treated to a spectacular display of vivid and brilliant underwater imagery. It was so well done that at many moments during the show, people would reach out their hands to touch what appeared to be right in front of you. There was a moment when we were following a school of millions of tiny fish which suddenly turned and swam right past you, into you, giving you such a sensation I cant describe. This is a perfect commercial for scuba diving which Cortney and I are already certified (remember that trip down to the Caribbean where we saw the seahorses Cort?) and now Max has already decided he is joining the club as soon as he possibly can.

Next we met with my Aunt went for a drive around Stanley Park as the sunset and the very full moon crept up. Stanley Park, Vancouver’s playground, has always been a favorite of mine at more than 1,000 acres with sandy beaches, giant fir and cedar trees, swimming pools, lakes and stunning vistas from every side. We learned about totem poles and watched the squirrels hopping about. As we cruised along the Seawall trail that circumnavigates the entire park (8.8 km of smooth path popular with rollerbladers and cyclists), I gazed out over the calm waters of English Bay and felt peaceful. Could this day get any better? Yes it could!

We were quite hungry as we skulked up and down the streets in Richmond looking for the all-you-can-eat sushi place that Cortney had heard about. After many u-turns and trying to decipher the Japanese symbols (“that looks like it could say Sushi, doesn`t it?”), we finally found one. But it was just closing. With our tummies grumbling louder and louder, we had to find a place fast…it was already past 10pm! And in Argentina, that’s early for supper, but here in Canada we had gotten used to eating at 6pm.

Luckily, we found our place and proceeded to stuff our faces with every kind of sushi imaginable. I told my cousin Carley that if she ever wanted to travel, it would be a good idea to have a bit more of an open mind towards food. She wrinkled her nose at us and ordered the only thing on the menu that she recognised, sweet and sour chicken. We gobbled for a couple hours until our hearts content, and then wobbled our way to the door, all of us complaining that we had eaten too much.

As I closed my eyes and nestled my head into the curve of Max’s shoulder, I thought of what a perfect day it was. Then I felt a wave of melancholy pass over me as it hit me…this was my last day in Canada. For who knew how long. But then, as a wave does, it passed. I fell to sleep dreaming of my new life that was about to begin tomorrow.

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