On my birthday in 2018, I was blessed to have been able to fly to Vancouver for a quick vacation. Perfect timing as I was able to experience its summer! I finally was able to understand why whenever my husband comes home from this city, all he talks about is the great outdoors.
Longest Birthday Yet
I left Manila on the afternoon of June 30 and arrived in Vancouver still on the afternoon of June 30, stretching my birthday to about 40 hours! It was already an amusing thought but the day just got better and better.
You see, it was also my first time to ride a plane flown by my husband. I couldn’t hide my smile while hearing his voice doing the announcements (such a proud wife moment!). How can this trip get any better than that?
Well, I was also able to spend my birthday with my long-time buddy, Ken, who was now living in Vancouver!
Ken VS the Great Outdoors
It’s been a recurring topic of discussion between my husband and I that for someone who lives in a city surrounded with beautiful outdoor sites to explore, Ken who had been living here for a year and a half hadn't really seen much if not nothing at all. Such a city boy! Things were going to change since it was my birthday vacation.
He said he’d be a “Yes” man with us and I’m so happy he kept his word.
A Successful Failure
Both parks had trails to hike and beautiful lakes we’ve been dying to see. However, we ended up choosing Garibaldi as it was closer to us - 1 hour and 15-minute drive compared to 2 hours and 25-minute drive. It's the logical choice since we’d be spending less time on the road. Besides, with hike stats relatively close to each other, how different can they be? Apparently, very different.
Because we chose Garibaldi, we never saw a lake. The shortcut that we were supposed to take was closed off due to a renovation. The only way we could see it was if we hiked 3km more (which we didn’t even believe anymore). That meant going back 9km. We tapped out, turned around, and just nibbled on some beef jerky to survive the way back.
What Joffre looks like, to Add insult to injury…
This was taken a few months after when my husband went back to Vancouver with his dad, cousin, and aunties to work (and play).
What an ass…
So what's so successful about our Garibaldi hike?
Well, we got Ken out of his comfort zone (hungover, in jeans and in Converse, no less!) and we all came home with more stories to tell.
“A reminder -
please don’t run,
shake the bridge.”
Do Something That Scares You
While my husband flew out to New York for work, Ken and another friend of ours, Oli, accompanied me to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. We went through all the areas of the park, completing all the stamps of our “passport”. I have to say, I’m especially proud and touched because, believe it or not, both of them are acrophobic! I had no idea they were (that) afraid of heights.
As we went through the wobbly, hanging bridge that stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River, these guys went from turning tomato red to pale white, griping and giggling all the way. Halfway through the subtly swinging bridge, Oli started singing church songs and Ken followed immediately. From “Purihin ang Panginoon” to "Santo, Santo, Santo” (LOL!), they braved the famous hanging bridge with a tight grip of the handrails and each other. Thank you, boys, for making that day one of those days I will never forget.
Forget business class,
just get me in that plane!
As a chance passenger, I almost didn’t make it to both my flights - going to Vancouver and coming back home. It was especially difficult since it was peak season. A fellow chance passenger at that time had been waiting for 3 days for a flight back home. For a moment I thought, I don't mind sitting on the floor of the aircraft, in a corner, or even in the lavatory. Just get me to where I need to be! Imagine the stress level being off the roof!
If I had the chance to experience everything all over again knowing the possible anxiety-triggering situations, maybe I’ll risk it and just pray that I’d be able to take my flight. On the brighter side, I’ll have more time to be with friends and family (Hi, Tita Brenda!), explore more places, and savor the delectable eats that come my way. There are just way to many places to see and a lot more activities to do!