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Vancouver city at night

Until CB and I wed, the furthest I had traveled to visit relatives was a thirty odd minute drive to Southall. Now that I am married, I appear to have inherited a family that are scattered across the globe. I genuinely believe in our first year of marriage (which actually isn’t a year until December) I have already travelled more distance visiting relatives than I have in a lifetime prior! Which brings me to our latest visit. Uncle Tony, Liane and cousin Jenn, some 4700 miles away (or 7600KM if you don’t speak English) in Vancouver.

After a whistle-stop, insider’s guide to Vancouver’s highlights, a brilliant welcome dinner party and a rather disorientating nights sleep, we were ready to form our own impressions of the city. At this early stage of our all too short trip there was just one thing on our minds, the aquarium!

We made a walk of it, starting with a loop of the conference centre where two cruise ships were moored. We stopped for a while, watching mountains of fruit being loaded onto these humungous ships that looked like they could house the population of a small country.

We continued along the waterfront observing sea planes (or ‘aquaplanes’ as I like to call them) take off and land. We played the “which one would you buy” game as we passed hundreds of extravagant boats in the harbour, and pondered on how much of an idiot the guy who had named his boat ‘Fish n Chics’ must be.

It has been known, on the odd occasion for me to regress into a childlike state of overexcitement in anticipation of something, usually chocolate. But such times can be dangerous as anticlimax and disappointment can be a heavy blow. But when that excitement is met with everything you hoped for and more, it’s better than fireworks (and there isn’t much better than fireworks!). For me, Vancouver Aquarium did not disappoint.

People seemed surprised that we spent most of the day there but I was surprised that people don’t!

Throughout the tour visitors are reminded about the ethical foundations of this not for profit organisation. The two Pacific White Sided Dolphins for example were rescued from fishing nets. Once rescued and rehabilitated they were deemed ‘not releasable’ so they have stayed on at the aquarium where they help researchers discover more about the species. This isn’t the case for all creatures at the aquarium. We noted several stories where rescued and nursed animals had been reintroduced to the wild.

One of the highlights of the visit was the ‘Jelly Invasion’. An exhibition of awesome looking jellyfish – I could’ve spent all day just looking at those guys. If we ever decide on getting a fish tank I’m totally going with a jellyfish tank!

It was a top-notch day out; other highlights from the Aquarium included the dolphin, sea otter and beluga whale shows along with the inquisitive harbour porpoise at the underwater viewing area. A perfect end to the day was a delicious meal overlooking English Bay at the Cactus Club Cafe. As we walked for our bus home we saw a skunk and four racoons! Brilliant!

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