Vancouver … Day 1 of the Great Alaska Adventure

Terri and I had a very early morning flight out of Fort Lauderdale and had to meet our driver at 4:00 am to be at the airport on time.  Everything went well and we were on our way to Vancouver British Columbia by 6:15 to start our 13 day vacation.

My first ever selfie at Ft lauderdale airport!

My first ever selfie … Ft Lauderdale airport!

I’m not quite sure how to write this and subsequent posts … but we really did have many amazing moments and I would also like to cover some of our logistics as far as hotels, transportation and food are concerned. I did a lot of research before I left and now have a few words of wisdom to share.

The entrance to the Vancouver Airport for non domestic flights was stunning ... neatest airport I've ever flown into!

The entrance to the Vancouver Airport for non domestic flights was stunning … neatest airport I’ve ever flown into!

Some of the pictures in today’s blog (like the one above) and the future posts from Alaska will include many of Terri’s pictures as she takes more scenic pictures while I’m mostly/always hunting for birds … hey that is a bird and I missed it!

Just for the record … I HATE to fly, I’ll do it if I have to but anything East of the Mississippi and I’m driving.  With this in mind the flight to Vancouver was pretty good … right up to the time we were going to land.  It was extremely overcast and drizzly/foggy so we are literally descending blindly as far as I was concerned.  So were slowing down and slowing down and I still can’t see the ground when all of a sudden the pilot jams on the gas and up we go making all sorts of weird noises.  So after nearly peeing my pants the pilot comes on the speaker and calmly says “That’s what we call a go around” and something about another plane being in the way … that will get me so much more confident when flying.

The Pan Pacifi Hotel.  I circled what I think was our room.

The Pan Pacific Hotel. I circled what I think was our room.

We got to Vancouver a day and a half early as we had heard how nice the city is and we had plans to visit Stanley Park the next day to explore the park and also to visit the Vancouver Aquarium which is in the park.  Just a note about the Pan Pacific Hotel … amazing views and fantastic service but it’s really still just a cookie cutter type room, nothing amazing or special and not really worth the money as there are dozens of other options very close by.

I had researched the transportation from the airport to the hotel as it is a good 25-30 miles and when you have 4 pieces of luggage and 2 backpacks you want the easiest/fastest way.  I originally thought we would/should take the train as there is a stop right next to the hotel.  They also have vans that run back and forth to the hotel but they were very crowded and ultimately with the bad weather and tiring trip I decided to just get a cab.  It was less than 25 bucks and we got a good narration of the city from are driver.  He helped with the luggage and when we arrived at the hotel I literally never had to move any of it again except to put it in the hallway until the end of the trip … more on that later.

Glaucous-winged Gull ... My first "lifer" for the trip was one I expected to get and there were hundreds of them around.

Glaucous-winged Gull … My first “lifer” for the trip was one I expected to get and there were hundreds of them around.

After the 12 hours of flying and getting to the hotel Terri was beat so I went for a little walk to get a feel for the area and check out the bike shop where we’d be renting bikes the next day.  I also managed to get a little birding in and got my first lifer of the trip a Glaucous-winged Gull.  I found a little park with a great pond that had River Otters and a Mallard family on it.  The surrounding brush was very active and I spent an hour or so  taking lots of Sparrow and Finch pictures.

Purple Finch .. Female

Purple Finch .. Female

White-crowned Sparrow (Juvenile) ... Lots ot these guys around.

White-crowned Sparrow (Juvenile) … Lots of these guys around.

Norhtern Flicker (Red-shafted variety) ... I wish every bird would pose so nicely!!

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted variety) … I wish every bird would pose so nicely!!

I made it back to the hotel and being rather exhausted crashed for the night.  Stanley Park is an amazing place and the subject of day two!

Thank you for visiting and God Bless!

 

 

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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One Response to Vancouver … Day 1 of the Great Alaska Adventure

  1. paunikaj says:

    Thank you for sharing! Very enjoyable!

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