Monday – Wednesday, September 14 – 16 - Vancouver - Anchorage

After a brief adventure finding the lot where we were to park, we departed Pearson Airport early Monday morning and were at our hotel, the 910 Beach in Vancouver before lunchtime. We had a lovely stroll around downtown Vancouver and lunch at a great organic café before we got into our room. By then we needed a rest, but later on went out again for dinner. Tuesday morning we were ready to really see the city, which neither of us had done since we’d only ever been there on business before. So we boarded the first Hop-on-Hop-off bus of the morning, stopping first at Granville Island. What a fun place to wander through! Lots of interesting shops and an amazing market, where we had our mid-morning coffee.
  Larry was chilly so we bought him a Canada hoodie, and while we were at it, I decided I needed a Canada baseball cap. Next stop: 

Chinatown, where we toured the lovely Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden and heard many interesting facts about the area and the long history of China. Before sitting down to a late lunch, we visited the Vancouver Art Gallery to see a show of Italian art.  Turns out that the VAG is closing for renovations, and we were there the last day, so much of the building was already off limits, but we saw what we wanted to. By the time we’d eaten, we had done enough walking for the day, so we rode the bus around Stanley Park without getting off. It’s lovely just to see on the way by. Since we had a kitchen, we stopped for groceries and made our own dinner. Nice to have a quiet evening before the next phase of our travels. First thing Wednesday morning we discovered that our flight to Anchorage was delayed by 3 hours. That gave us time to wander along the shore near our hotel, and find a wonderful restaurant with a great view for our lunch.
After that, it got more stressful. At the airport, the computer refused to print our baggage tags, so we were much-delayed at the check-in area. Next was an extremely long security line and a further delay while they triple-checked Larry’s carry-on bag. By that time, we should have been boarding our flight, but we still had US customs & immigration ahead of us! We had planned to meet the Wilkes in the business lounge, but we were far too late for that. Luckily, we made it in time to see them before we boarded, and the flight was uneventful. We were met by a SilverSeas rep at that airport and driven into town, where we were unceremoniously dumped at some back entrance to our hotel. After some confusion, some of us found the SilverSeas hospitality desk, where we were given short shrift by someone who announced she was “too old and too tired for this”. After humping our own luggage to our room, Larry and I headed out to find dinner. We discovered that Anchorage is a real party town, and tried two full restaurants before finding one with an available table. We did have a great meal. Then back to the hotel, a good night’s sleep, and ready to roll out the next morning by 11.
[All Photos of the Day]