Vancouver. Seattle. Narita. Taipei.

Snow-capped, wrapped in scattered fluffy clouds, dramatic blue sky above them: the mountains of Vancouver greeted my childlike excitement with bold elegance.

This is why I always get a window seat. I could be surrounded by teething children and a smelly obese man with dandruff, but as long as I have my window, I'm happy.

My grin was ear to ear, and I giddily clapped my fingertips together as the plane began its descent. The next ten days would be incredible; I was sure of that fact before the plane touched down, and I’m sure of that fact as I write it over a month later.

I walked miles and miles during my stay, getting to know downtown on an intimate level. I took the subway when I could, and I strode the sidewalks with such intent that other visitors stopped me for directions. I was a poser, but I didn’t care. I loved being mistaken for a Vancouver native.

The miles I walked were necessary, too, because of all the rich food I consumed. Nearly every meal found me murmuring appreciation to my food, so much so that it was nearly a conversation. As I was intent on fully enjoying the trip, I also took the opportunity to drink more than usual, and I tried Guinness for the first time. I took a sip of his pint; then, when he left for the bathroom, I stole a few gulps more. Guinness and I: we’re good friends now.

From the company to the food to the scenery, I felt energized every day. I fixed my hair and makeup daily which, for my lazy self, was a major feat.

Good thing I fixed my hair.

A few times I dined solo, sitting at an outdoor cafe, enjoying the weather and watching the clouds bump into the mountain range on the other side of the bay.

This was the view from the deck of the convention center. Grouse Mountain is to the right.

If you could get high from an awesome vacation, I did.

The last couple of days we visited the famed Vancouver Aquarium, where we witnessed exotic birds pooping on tourists with fancy cameras, funky fish,

Pinstripes are always fashionable.

and some really ugly fish.

I don't even understand what I'm looking at.

We also went to Grouse Mountain, where we wandered around, took numerous pictures of the city sprawled out below, and made friends with a deer.

We couldn't have had better weather if we'd ordered it off a menu.

Oh, and we ziplined. In a helmet that actually fit and a harness that may have hindered my ability to give birth, I flew down the lines with the same childlike excitement I had on the plane. The primary difference was that I didn’t scream on the plane.

Our ziplining crew. They were awesome.

Vancouver was relaxing, exhilarating, and fun. I don’t regret a single pound I gained or a penny spent. In the airport terminal, as he walked to his gate and I to mine, and as I readied myself for a long trip back, I wrapped myself in the feelings of joy I’d experienced the past couple of weeks.

Taipei. Narita. Los Angeles. Houston. Vancouver. Seattle. Narita. Taipei. Round 2?

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