I landed in Vancouver just before 9:30am. I was exhausted and tried to get some sleep on the plane, had my eye mask and noise canceling headphones on but that didn’t help.
I flew Air Canada Rouge from Las Vegas to Vancouver. While boarding the flight attendants informed us to download the app to use their in flight entertainment. I heard this announcement many times over but it wasn’t quite registering in my head.
Once we were in the air it finally hit me. I had downloaded the app on my iPhone a few shorts hours earlier when I wanted to check in online. I asked the flight attendant to help me with the app. They have older movies and tv shows. The selection is decent for a short flight but would have been disappointing if it was a long haul flight. They did have iPads available for rent for $10.
Once in Vancouver I headed to the information booth and got directions to Stanley Park via train. My plan was the ride a bike around the Seawall. There is a bus option from the airport straight to Stanley Park but all the bike rental shops are located outside the park along Denman and Georgia. I went with Spokes because they had the biggest shop and they were on the free tourist map. The rental was by the hour and they gave me a helmet, lock and basket! It’s a short 5 minute walk to the bike path. (You’re not allowed to ride bikes on the sidewalk.)
I cruised along the Seawall at a leisurely pace and was passed frequently. Some parts are the bike path are extremely narrow I thought I might fall off. They have the bike running in one direction on the inside and the running/walking path on the outside. The bike path is also elevated about six inches with a curb at the edge. I kept thinking if anyone is going to run off the curb and hit a pedestrian it was going to be me. Thankfully I don’t have any exciting stories to tell here. One biker said, “Keep peddling slowly, it will give you better balance!” So just the usual well experienced biker passing on useful tips to the amateur. (This is my attempt at sarcasm.)
There’s a small little beach along the Seawall path. I decided to stop a bit but was about to give up while struggling to lock my bike up. The beach has giant logs lining the beach and people were leaning up against them. I wonder if it’s something to help prevent beach erosion. It was not the most scenic of beaches but I imagine if you live in the city it’s nice enough and super convenient.
Continuing along the path I eventually made it back to my starting point. I returned the bike and paid $16 Canadian dollars for a 2 hour rental.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
I saw this on the visitors map and decided this would be my next stop. Last time I visited Vancouver I just went shopping and ate but since I can’t buy anything I just needed to do activities.
One the employees at the bike shop knew of a free shuttle service that’s run by the Capilano Suspension Bridge. There happened to be one nearby so I quickly set foot in that direction. I didn’t have an exact address, just a street to follow. As I was walking along Bayshore Drive admiring the beautiful high rises I saw a large coach bus pull up in front of the Westin. I decided to start running because it looked like the bus I would want to take. Turns out it was the right bus and I had just made it! Next stop Capilano Bridge!
Since I just planned it on the fly I wasn’t really sure what it was about. The picture looked cool so why not? Free shuttle? Even better!
It was probably about a 15 minute drive? Once we arrived I didn’t wait long to purchase my ticket. It’s just under $40 without a discount. I think if you’re a BC resident or you have AAA there might be a discount.
I probably spent about two hours wandering the park. The highlight was the suspension bridge. It sways pretty easily and the first time around I had to grip the side for balance. It’s not someplace I would visit again and it’s not at the top of my list but I needed things to do and it was a good time killer.
I did see lots of families but there is a lot of walking up and down stairs and some people were afraid to walk across the bridge.
I was starting to get hungry so I decided to head back to downtown Vancouver. I waited for the shuttle and within a few minutes I just wanted to sleep. I looked up a spot on Yelp for sushi and was set to head there but on the way I saw a Japadog and decided to stop in. The last time I had Japadog I didn’t enjoy it so I wanted to give it a second go. This time I thoroughly enjoyed it and inhaled it before I could even think to take a picture. They had an LA times article on the wall on their future plans to open up shops in the area, they already have food trucks and carts scattered over the city.
Once satisfied I continued onto sushi. I’ve been told sushi in Vancouver is amazing. On my last trip I tried the sushi and was floored. So this time I decided my one meal would have to be sushi. I was not disappointed!
Finally I was pooped and decided it was time to head back to the airport. I looked up online to see if they had showers and they did! The weather in Vancouver was beautiful not too hot and not too cold but after biking and lugging around a backpack all day I was definitely in need of a shower before a 14 hour trans pacific flight. It was the best $21 I ever spent!
And so now that catches me up to the present. They did have nap rooms and I was tempted but decided against it. The shower was really what I needed most.
And now the adventure really begins!