The back of the bike, they cannae sing

Ah, Stanley Park - one of Vancouver's very best places. It's home to the aquarium, a miniature train and a beautiful walk / cycle path that skirts the ocean, as well as playgrounds, a water play park and some very picturesque lakes. We first visited here shortly after we arrived, when we came with my Australian friend Lachlan who moved out to Vancouver a few years ago. After taking us to a properly nice coffee establishment in the West End of the city (if an Aussie goes there it's a good sign!) Lachy took us for a walk round a fair part of the sea wall, then into the middle where he abandoned us to enjoy the miniature train ride and then find our own way out (just kidding).

Going back to Lachy for a moment: on our travels we've met lots of lovely people, and I for one (as I've mentioned elsewhere) really enjoying chatting to new people, but there's something super nice about seeing people you know from another place when you're in a new city. Lachy and I didn't even know each other that well when we were both in Sydney, but by the time we'd made a respectable attempt at finishing our pizzas at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company on our first meet up in Vancouver we were comfortable talking about the highs and lows of travel, the desire to first recognise, and then appreciate, the "moments" in life that form the backbone of our happy memories, and a whole raft of other thoughts and ambitions that one only really shares with less well-known friends when you are in another context. And I think this is an aspect of friendship that I am starting to understand and value more. Now, I'm not going to suddenly parachute all my friends into different environments just to get to know them better, but I am going to try to remember that it's a delightful way to accelerate friendships, if / when the occasions arise.

I've been fortunate enough to experience this more than once on this trip already: an old schoolfriend, Eilidh, lives in Vancouver, and so through the wonders of the internet once more we met up with her and her Vancouverite wife (a true Vancouverite!) and had a jolly lovely natter over some traditional Canadian fare at Edible Canada on Granville Island. (Mr H has discovered poutine and is going to try to recreate it when we leave North America, I can tell.) 


Stanley Park featured once again when one of Mr H's friends from Sydney was here on a 2-day stopover with his warm, friendly family, so we all went to the aquarium together before we let the kids loose in the water play park (via the miniature train again, naturally).

And just the other day Lizzie, another British friend who now lives in Australia, was in Vancouver for a wedding, so we met her when she arrived and took her out for pancakes before driving her out to see a gorgeous spot we found at the weekend called Deep Cove. Given she and Mr H used to work together they had a great chat about the joys of insurance whilst I had an equally dynamic conversation with my 2-year-old about butterflies making chocolate just like bees make honey. He's adamant that's how it happens, and hey, can I actually prove it doesn't?

So anyway, what does this all have to do with the back of the bike being unable to sing, as the traditional school trip song goes, I hear you ask? (Translation provided for any of my non-Scots-speaking friends who've read this far. I salute you!) Well, on our second visit to Stanley Park we hired bicycles, and let's just say I don't think my little passenger was best pleased at having to wear a helmet. My son loved it however, and Mr H and I had a gorgeous cycle round the whole park, stopping only to take the pretty scenery photos for your (and our) viewing pleasure...

Coming up... Deep Cove, Lynn Valley and some farmyard fun.

Bébé Voyage


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