Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hey, wanna go to Canada for the afternoon?

This was roughly what I said to hubby this morning before Church. He pondered it for a few seconds before jumping in, with questions - when would we leave? where would we go? etc.

We pretty much ruled the whole idea NUTS when we realized there was a big.. BIG concert thingy today, happening in roughly the same place we wanted to be - Stanley Park. Granted we wanted to go to the Vancouver Aquarium and the concerts were in the park somewhere... they were planning on crowds and crowds mean traffic and time wasn't in our favor, so we dropped it..... mostly.

After church the notion hits us again. We are home earlier than we planned and it's a beautiful day - why not be spontaneous? So we change clothes, grab lunch to eat on the road, passports and the assorted Canadian change we had lying around - and we're off!

Estimated time of arrival at aquarium was 3:45 pm.
Our first hurdle is the border. When we left home it was reported to have a 52 min wait to get through the border - which means we wouldn't make it to the Aquarium. Because, while they are open until 5, they close the doors at 4:30.... now your seeing how nuts we are, aren't you?
A wait of that long would put the whole trip in jeopardy. But we watched the times and when we arrived our wait was about 15 mins. So, we are feeling very optimistic. Its a smallish aquarium, and while you can't see everything in an hour, it was enough time for what we wanted... yay! Now into town...... and TRAFFIC.

6 year old said this sign said "No Octagons" 
At this point it was like a roller coaster ride, We will make it! - we won't make it. The traffic was all over the place. The people of Vancouver were out in force today, walking, riding, driving, shopping, eating - people everywhere. We entered Stanley park at 4:10, we had 20 mins to make 1 mile, and at this point we didn't think we would. It was bumper to bumper concert goers. Volunteers in matching t-shirts directing the snail's pace traffic... to keep going. It took us 12 minutes to get to the Aquarium, and now we needed parking. The kids and I hopped out, leaving hubby to hunt down a spot. And we ran to the members entrance. Well, hubby had a spot and had joined us before the pass info was updated and our hands were stamped! We were in! Shocking, I know... but we made it and now we had a leisurely 35 minutes to explore - Eeks!

They have a new penguin exhibit.. so that was our first stop. Followed by the required visit to the Belugas. We had time to walk though most everything else and pause at our old favorites. The kiddos had mixed reactions to the hasty nature of our visit, but at dinner declared it was all worth it.

We dined at The Old Spaghetti Factory on our way out of town and enjoyed the drive out a bit more than the drive in. After dinner I was able to go to Tim Horton's, it's a favorite guilty pleasure and the closest ones are in Canada, so I don't indulge often. Then it was back to the border and home.

We got home about 10. The kids sleep walked to bed and now it's our turn. It was crazy, but lots of fun.

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