Flying for the first time to Canada, to Vancouver more precisely, was a different type of experience for each of us. It happened many years ago. For our son, who’s age was still counted in months at the time, was just one of those regular trips. He didn’t really get all the fuss around him since he was on the go from day one of his life, so this trip was no different. To me… I was literally trying to enjoy it, as much as a young mother could. I have been only minimally involved in the planning of the trip and there were simply too many things I didn’t know, not to mention all the things I didn’t know I don’t know. So about that specific emotion “you’re changing your life forever”… I can’t remember. To my husband… well, that is a different story. He was watching the Rockies as we were flying over them on a beautiful sunny day, and I could see he was barely breathing. To see the Rockies was one of his big dreams. It was the first day of May. I didn’t understand much at the time. The plan was to move here, so we were moving. All the wheels turning behind the entire mechanism were not one of my troubles, I was just too busy being a mother. And that’s how my life has changed. Forever.
We landed at about 3 pm Vancouver time. My hubby would know exactly, I am quite sure he still remembers. Went through the immigration quite fast as he knew everything step by step. A friend from North Vancouver was waiting for us at the airport. I remember seeing YVR for the first time: cute, but small. We’ve loaded our luggage into the minivan and off we went to North Van. My tired eyes were looking outside at the funny looking buildings, many seemed unfinished, no roof, nothing like in Europe I thought, and I was rather disappointed. People were nice and smiling all the time, but as I didn’t speak any English I didn’t quite get why. At our friends’ place I felt a bit better, even though many things looked funny there as well: the toilet was full of water (the first time I flushed it I thought it will overflow), the bathtub was really low, and the host, holding out a green smoothie, was very enthusiastic about how great this is for your health. But then … there was a gorgeous view of the Lion’s Gate bridge from their balcony. I loved it! As the night settled, we were definitely jet-lagged, so I stayed on the balcony for a long time, looking at the sparkling view over the gulf. A myriad of tiny stars made room for themselves, one next to the other, just to add more glamour to the whole picture.
Two days latter, we moved our luggage into a rental car and embarked on a two weeks trip around British Columbia – our first discovery journey. The plan was to stop for the first night at a hidden in the forest cottage on the Sheridan Lake, then a few days in Prince George (as I had to visit UNBC), then move on to Jasper National Park, followed by a three days stop in Edmonton, then Calgary, followed by a stop in Banff for a couple of days. We drove north on the Ice Fields Parkway towards Mt. Athabasca, did some hiking, and came back to Lake Louise (which I fell in love with forever). On our way back to Vancouver we have stopped at Yoho National Park, Revelstoke, and Kelowna. I still remember pretty well many of the amazing Bed & Breakfast locations we stayed at throughout this trip. They have added local flavor to the breakfast time, when we could learn more about people, listen to their stories and try to understand what the Canadian culture is all about. It was an amazing trip, helped us see how huge, how beautiful, and how delicate British Columbia is. Even though we didn’t go past Prince George… some day I will come back here to write more about certain parts of it.