After years obsessing over Canada, I finally got to visit the Great White North. I gotta say it lived up to the hype.
There is nothing like a 5 am flight to start your vacation off right. We had a quick hour flight to Dallas and then a connecting flight to Seattle. We landed just after 10 and checked into Royal Caribbean for our 4 day Cruise of British Columbia. The thing about being 18 on a Canadian cruise is that there isn’t much to do and a majority of the boat’s population is over 65. On my previous cruise almost 7 years ago, most of my time was spent in the middle school aged clubhouse. Being a “legal” adult means we couldn’t go to the teenage club. My best friend who went with me and I spent the first day and a half exploring the boat. Since we were in international waters we did things that we typically wouldn’t be able to do back home, such as gambling and going to bars (no drinking though). On our day at sea, we hung out with some cool senior citizens at the trivia contest and tried to learn how to make sushi.
Our first port was to Nanaimo, BC. We took a 45-minute scenic bus ride to Cathedral Grove.
The trails we hiked there reminded me of Endor from Star Wars, and we expected Ewoks to jump out of the trees. It was a little muddy that day, but the fresh air and lush green life made up for it.
From there we drove to the Coombs Village. The shopping was subpar; it was comparable to gift shops located in the middle of Arkansas. Back in town, I indulged in the Canadian delicacy of Tim Hortons and also tried my first true Poutine and Nanaimo Bar.
The next day we stopped in Victoria, BC, and I instantly fell in love with the city.
Though it’s a few years away, I’ve already started searching around for grad school where I can get my doctorate degree. Victoria offers my program and is actually cheaper than colleges in my own state that offer the program. I’m not a fan of the summer weather we have in the Midwest, and Pacific Northwest would offer me cool weather year round. During the time we were there it was in the 60s, while at home it was in the high 80s.
Our tour from the day started at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Us and 50 other people crowded onto a boat looking for whales. If I’m remembering right, the ones in the photos below were humpback whales on their way up to Alaska. Also, we saw sea lions, seals, a few eagles, and a sea otter.
Afterwards, we took a river taxi to Government Street. We hit up Roots and got some fun Canadian merch.
Canada was all I hoped it to be and more. I’m already planning my next trip! It wasn’t a high energy trip like years before, and I liked it that way. The past few weeks leading up to the trip were crazy because I was preparing for finals and graduation. Now I have a few weeks off before I start summer classes. In the following couple weeks, keep an eye out my recipes I’ll be posting. I’ll be recreating dishes I had while on my trip.