Alaska 2012:
Day 4 - Vancouver


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Alaska 2012: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Seattle] [Day 3 - Victoria] [Day 4 - Vancouver ] [Day 5 - Inside Passage] [Day 6 - Juneau] [Day 7 - Skagway] [Day 8 - Glacier Bay] [Day 9 - Ketchikan] [Day 10 - Inside Passage] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Empire Builder] [Day 13 - Empire Builder]

Saturday, August 4, 2012: We were up early again, because we had more Vancouver sights to see. We went back across Lions Gate Bridge to ...
... Capilano Suspension Bridge, located just downstream from the salmon hatchery we had visited the evening before.
We arrived when the park opened, but we opted not to go across the suspension bridge first.
Oh, no, we decided that we wanted to have Cliffwalk to ourselves instead, just a short stroll beyond the suspension bridge.
Down the spiral staircase (note to self: get one of these in the living room) ...
... and we were off on a walkway alternately attached to ...
... and suspended from the rock walls of the canyon formed by ...
... the Capilano River below us.
This photo gives some perspective on the size of the Cliffwalk relative to the rock walls it clings to.
We were there.
So was Jill.
Jill's photo was taken on this glass-floored overlook. It was quite disconcerting to walk on, so not all of us did.
At the end of Cliffwalk, there was a series of water displays along the pathway back to the entrance of the park.
With giant PUSH HERE buttons next to them, who can resist learning about water-sciency stuff like erosion ...
... and fog? Not Jill.
We may have pressed the fog-making PUSH HERE button more than once. Spoooooky!
Fake salmon were frozen in mid-leap in this display.
We found this overlook and went to see why it was there.
Here's why. It featured a top-down view of the round portion of the Cliffwalk. Cool.
We were starving, so we grabbed some sandwiches for a late breakfast.
At last, it was time to cross the suspension bridge.
There's the Capilano River down below.
Once across the bridge, we headed to the Treetops Adventure, ...
... a series of paths suspended between trees.
We meandered past some scenic ponds.
Next up: Nature's Edge Boardwalk, a long walkway offering ...
... views straight down, ...
... and views of the suspension bridge.
Got a rock in your way? No problem. Just build around it.
Well, that was invigorating. We crossed the wobbly suspension bridge again then headed back to town.
We made a stop at a drug store for sundries and a couple more Kinder eggs, then we crossed over the Lions Gate Bridge for the last time. Key word in that sentence: over, because there was still more crossing involving the Lions Gate Bridge to come.
Tom dropped Jill and Debbie off at Canada Place while he dropped off our rental car. The waterfront was rocking to live entertainment in celebration of HRH Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Holland America's majestic Zuiderdam was in port, waiting for new passengers to embark. Passengers like us. But not just yet, because we still had some waiting and sightseeing to do. Jill and Debbie dropped off our luggage at the cruise ship terminal and then headed back out into the sun.
Jill and Debbie took a walk around the block on which the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel stands and spent some time trying to reproduce a photo taken of Debbie on this exact spot in 2002 without much success.
Debbie had stayed at the Fairmont for the 4D Summit in 2002, and had enjoyed a libation or two with friends at this very bar across the street from the hotel.
This is the entrance to the hotel where HRH Queen Elizabeth II departed after staying at the Fairmont during her Golden Jubilee visit. Yes, Debbie's slept under the same roof as the queen. No big deal.
This was one of two statues we saw based on the terra cotta warriors of China.
On the far side of Canada Place, a Princess ship was moored -- one that would dog our every step for the next week. Don't even bother squinting at that container port in the distance. There was no Maersk anywhere. We checked.
Here's another shot of what was soon to be our ship with Canada Place behind her.
We wanted to make the most of our sunny day in Vancouver, so we decided to have a drink on the waterfront before checking in for our cruise.
Tom got a beer sampler, ...
... Debbie got some sort of raspberry lemonade cocktail, and Jill had a summer beer. Cheers!
We watched seaplanes take off and land, and spotted Grouse Mountain across the water in the distance.
We headed back to Canada Place and got this photo of the Fairmont Waterfront next to it.
Back at the Jubilee festival, we found a pose-with-the-Queen frame, so Jill stepped up for her moment with HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Whatever Jill did, Liz obviously did not much care for it.
After a good long wait of well over an hour in line in the cruise terminal, we boarded the ship.
We were in cabin 8039, categorized as a Superior Verandah Suite, large enough for three people.
The couch converted into a single bed at night.
Here's another view, ...
... and another ...
... and another. For reasons completely unknown, we didn't take a single photo of the gigantic bathroom, so here's a photo we found online. The long shelf under the double sinks was perfect for storage, plus there were two separate storage cabinets. The room included a bath tub with Jacuzzi and a separate shower.
Here is the $15.40 plate of 12 appetizers that we pre-ordered as a bon voyage gift to ourselves. Welcome on board. You've been horribly ripped off. Of course, there was no way to prove that the website stated it contained 12 appetizers, so we had to let it go. Until now.
It's nothing a little sunshine and beer can't cure, so we headed out on deck and toasted with a bucket of Stellas.
Several times, a flock of seagulls flew by overhead. To those readers who ended up here by Googling "Flock of Seagulls," we're very sorry. In related news, I ran. I ran so far away. Couldn't get away.
Oh, yawn, another gorgeous view of beautiful Mount Baker.
The Diamond Princess left port shortly before we did. See you soon, DP!
We had finished our first round and were about to start on our second when Debbie's dad, Bob, showed up just in time to take the last cold beer.
We were joined by Becky, Susan, Doug, and Stewart (Debbie's stepmother, sister-in-law, brother, and nephew, respectively) for sail out, ...
... but we didn't photograph anyone until we started to sail under the Lions Gate Bridge. Tom was kind enough to hold up the bridge for Doug's photo.
Yes, we went under this time.
Bob did the bridge-holding-up honors for Debbie's photo on the other side.
Here's the bridge and stunning Mount Baker. Don't worry, you'll see them both again.
The little outcropping on the right in this photo looked like a chess piece.
We got a parting shot of Grouse Mountain during the sail out.
Here are Doug and Susan enjoying the first hour of their very first cruise.
We were delighted to find that the Holland America dessert menu for cruises to Alaska includes a different version of Baked Alaska every night! The three topping options, flavor of ice cream, and filling (cake or cookie) changed each evening, and it was a little gooie, but what a treat to order it every night if we wanted!

After dinner, the three Schilling parties went their separate ways. We adjourned to our cabin to relax and enjoy the sunset from our balcony.

Day 5 >


Alaska 2012: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Seattle] [Day 3 - Victoria] [Day 4 - Vancouver ] [Day 5 - Inside Passage] [Day 6 - Juneau] [Day 7 - Skagway] [Day 8 - Glacier Bay] [Day 9 - Ketchikan] [Day 10 - Inside Passage] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Empire Builder] [Day 13 - Empire Builder]

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