Sunday, May 18, 2008


After La Conner, we had planned to spend more time exploring the Skagit valley, but it was so hot (and we were also there in between tulip and iris/lavender seasons when the fields were pretty empty), so we decided to just drive straight to Vancouver. Canada certainly must be cooler!

We set up base camp at about the only RV park in Vancouver-- Burnaby Carabou RV Park. It was a super clean park with all the amenities, but the layout was a bit odd. Sites were very shallow and no tow vehicles were allowed to be parked at the site (they needed to be parked in 2 large parking lots at the entrance to the park). Sites were sardine can sized, but at least they had nice privacy hedges between them. Here's little T@Bitu with our PahaQue Screenroom attached.
Motorhome Row at Burnaby Caribou RV Park:

The next day we set out to see the sights of Vancouver. It's a very interesting and paradoxical city. Like many Canadian cities, the wilderness is not far from the city center-- you can drive over a bridge to the north and be right back in bear country again. But unlike other cities up north, Vancouver likely has the most-diverse population and most number of immigrants hailing from China, Korea, India, and other southeast Asia countries. Even Vancouver's radio stations are interesting-- there are the typical CBC English and French stations mixed in with Chinese and Korean stations!

So, understandably, Vancouver's Chinatown is large and prominent in the downtown area (rivaling and possibly surpassing San Francisco or New York's Chinatowns). This is out in front of the 2nd-floor restaurant we stopped at for lunch which had terrific Dim Sum with lots of fresh shrimp and crab.

After lunch, we headed to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden a lovely walled classical Chinese garden in the heart of Chinatown. If it weren't for the tall, modern apartment towers in the background, you'd think you had been transported back in time a few hundred years.

After our trip to Chinatown, it was Miller TIme!!! (or more correctly, Millie's play time). It was a warm and sunny Sunday when we were there and so the whole city of Vancouver seemed to be hitting the beaches and parks for some fun in the sun. Just west of downtown is a long public beach that stretches for a couple of miles. At the far end of it is a beach area just for dogs! There were lots of other retrievers and setters fetching balls and sticks and getting wet:

Millie had a great time fetching her stick as well. This was the first time she's ever shared her water park with a mega cargo ship, though!
Our evening restaurants around the RV park in Burnaby were hit-and-miss. They only seemed to have Korean restaurants, or a few American fast-food places. But there was one sit-down restaurant that looked promising, and it certainly was! It was a White Spot, part of a small chain of eateries in B.C. that are kind of like an upscale Appleby's with much better food. If you're ever in BC or Alberta, give them a try!

The second night we just wanted something small & fast so decided to just run to KFC for some chicken. Well, McDonalds and most of the other fast-food chains might be exactly the same in Canada as they are in the U.S., but not KFC. Their coleslaw was some kind of entirely different creation (and aweful)! Oh well, we should have known. Canadians are not as fond of fast-food places as we Americans are. In fact, they have a popular t-shirt that I've seen in many towns up there from BC to Alberta to Ontario that has an illustration of a bear chasing a stick-figure man through a campsite. The caption reads "Canadian Fast Food". So, best to skip the American fast-food chains and enjoy the fresh Canadian restaurants instead.

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