You otter see Canada!

26 06 2007

Wow we’ve been busy the last few days.  There’s so much to see here in Canada that a week certainly isn’t long enough.  I think we’d need at least a month to make a dent it all it has to offer, AND we’re only in Vancouver.

Yesterday, after grabbing breakfast we drove almost an hour to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.  To be honest, it’s not quite the sort of place I’m used to as far as Zoo’s go.  In fact, in comparison to the Perth and Melbourne Zoo’s it’s the VERY poor cousin.  The enclosures are the old fashioned sort; square, and chain link fences.

Certainly a place that needs more funding, and I hope they get it.  Appearances aside, it was a pretty awesome place to be, we walked what seemed to be hundreds of miles going around all the enclosures.

The favourite parts of the day were the Radical Raptors exhibition, where hawks, falcons and owls are all put through their paces flying above the audience.  The falcon flew so close to us that her wing actually brushed down my face and glasses as she flew over.  Very cool!  The lion feeding was also awesome.  Cute kitties!  Although HUGE, and I’m certainly not intrigued enough to want to join them in the enclosure.

One of the Siberian Tigers; Miss Kitty, only had half a tail.  Apparently she’d fallen asleep beside the fence and her tail had managed to poke through the wire into the neighbouring Jaguar’s cage.  He promptly bit it off.  Ouch!

Wild kitties!  I’ll certainly not worry so much in the future when my cats misbehave.

Still an awesome experience, so if you’re in the area, I’d recommend checking it out.  It did amuse us slightly that while we were there we purchased a tube of plastic toy Australian animals.  All the way to Vancouver, Canada for Aussie animals….  *sigh… laugh*

After the zoo we went bowling.  Canadian bowling.  5 pins, 3 balls the size of a large grapefruit.  Very different, but a lot of fun.  I’m actually quite good at it too.  Very cool!

Post bowling and dinner, we took off to the movies to see Knocked Up.  OMG!  This film is hilarious.  There’s plenty of profanity, but it’s all in context.  One of my favourite scenes was when the children are being driven to school by their auntie.  You’ll have to see it for yourself.  It’s a very funny, well written film.  Why are you still reading this?!  GO SEE IT!

Today…  We had a sleep in, certainly deserved from all the walking and sightseeing we’ve been doing, then jumped in the car and drove to the Vancouver Aquarium.  This place rocks!

Until today I’d never seen a live whale, let alone a Beluga Whale, they’re amazing creatures, and there’ll be photos of them available in the near future.

My favourite part though were the Otters.  Cute critters, and we were there long enough to see feeding time as well.  The real highlight of the otters though was when we found out that these otters were the ones we’d recently seen in a VERY CUTE YouTube video of two otters holding paws.  I loved it when I saw it, I just never imagined for a moment that I’d actually get to see them in real life.  Check out the video for yourself.


From the Aquarium it was back to the American Consulate to collect my Passport.  You’d think that’d be easy, you’d be wrong.
I collected my passport and checked it prior to leaving, only to find that it had an error in it.  Despite being given a colour copy of information required for transcribing for my Visa, they still managed to mistype it, thus rendering it invalid.  How they got Johnson from Jordan is completely beyond me.  But that’s what they did.  Fortunately they were able to fix it relatively quickly, but not before making me think I’d have to come back another day.  Grrr!

That disaster averted, we took off again to Vancouver’s Play Land a large fun park that contains an old style wooden roller coaster that was once rated one of the world’s top 10.  Don’t for a second underestimate this ride by my saying it’s old, or wooden.  It’s single handedly the best roller coaster that either Mark or I have ever been on.

Built board by board in 1958, the Wooden Roller Coaster is Playland’s most historic and spectacular attraction. Reaching speeds of 45 mph on the steepest drop, the many twists, turns and camel hops of the Wooden Roller Coaster keep you on the edge of your seat until the last hair-raising turn into the station! 

It was so good that Mark and I went on it 6 times.  Most of those consecutively.

The other rides we went on were:

Flume/Log Ride – Lots of spills and water everywhere.
90ft Ferris Wheel – We were the only people on it, so we got extra time at the top to take in the view – awesome!
Dodgem Cars – Initially I didn’t want to, but Mark convinced me.  Very fun, and I crashed the crap out of him!  *laugh*
Kettle Creek Mine Coaster – A children’s ride, but we did it because it was there. 😉
Wild Mouse – single carriage car, known as the Mad Mouse in Australia.  Pretty rickety, which upped the fear factor.
Crazy Beach Party – it’s like a combination of the Gravitron and the Pirate Ship, it swings and it spins – Puke material but fun!
Corkscrew – we did this one twice in a row.
Wooden Roller Coaster – Six times we rode this one, the front and back carriages were definitely the best.  Dad you have to come on this one with me!

I think that’s everything.  There were quite a few rides we didn’t go on, but we have every intention of returning in the future.  It was certainly a lot of fun, and the weather was magnificent.  I’ve even managed to get a little red-faced, despite wearing sunscreen.  Oops.

That’s it from me, I think you’re all up to date with our movements so far.

We’re off Whale Watching in the morning, so I’d best get to bed, it’s going to be an early start.

Take care – hooroo!