Summer vacations are a big deal for me. Our family plans one big trip for the summer and since I’m going off to college next year, every one counts. Last July, it brought us to British Colombia, Canada.
First, you must know more about me. I am lucky enough to have traveled across the country and to Europe, and I have a deep love for all things travel-oriented. It may sound strange, but when I have a suitcase packed, or I arrive at the airport I just feel so myself and so alive. I feel as though something beautiful about to begin, and that anything is possible on this new adventure. I was thrilled to be going to British Colombia, to have to use my passport, and to get out of the country!
Our flight arrived mid-day at the Vancouver International Airport. I was immediately in love, as I was awe-struck by the huge glass pane windows and the tented ceiling. A very grand totem pole stood against the wall as I walked towards customs. Smooth, clear water flowed down a water fountain in the center of the stairway. And that was just the airport.
The first destination on our list was Whistler, a charming mountain city tucked in the mountains. It was where some Winter Olympics games were located, because it has great runs and plentiful snow. My favorite part about the area is how much more dramatic it is than the scenery back home. The mountains climb high above the clouds as they run along the ocean, and their jagged edges add a vibe of untamable prestige. In the town, we stayed at the majestic Westin Resort & Spa, and enjoyed the local eateries and shops. No matter where we ate, it was fantastic. We zip-trekked over a river, and I flipped upside down, and it was pretty much the coolest thing imaginable. We river-rafted rapidly as our guide spoke, in that slightly different yet very attractive accent, of the Canadian government and the approach of the Olympics. The sights while rafting were breathtaking, as we saw more of those magnificent mountains and trees and soaring birds.
From Whistler, we went to Victoria, the capital, and engaged in tea time at the lovely Empress Hotel and toured the Butchart Gardens. The gardens… The magical gardens gave me such a renewed appreciation of nature, as the entire trip did, that I cannot put it into words. I live in Los Angeles, and I’ve gone and seen pretty amazing things around here, but nothing near the extent of those gardens. If you’ve been to the Getty, think of that times a thousand and you might be close to Butchart.
The city of Vancouver was so vibrant and interesting I now wish to live there in the future. Many of the tall buildings are shiny with glass and echo the relaxed professionalism of the city. It is unlike any I’ve been to before—a metropolis on the edge of a powerful ocean and surrounded by a glorious landscape. It has the bustle of a big-city, but is very down-to-earth. Yes, a city is ‘down-to-earth’. They’ve got a perfect balance of city life and the outdoors that is completely unique to Vancouver.
It is impossible to fit all the natural beauty of British Colombia in these 600 words. If you ever find the opportunity, travel to British Colombia and be refreshed by the crisp lifestyle of the Canadians. O, Canada!
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