Friday, October 21, 2016

Vancouver covers the waterfront with beauty, variety, excitement for fit, friendly, big-city feel

Stunning sunset over Vancouver from the Blue Horizon Hotel, which offers small, enticing balconies with splendid views.


Vancouver's night skyline is beautiful in the water's reflection.
Harbour Cruises offers a splendid sunset dinner cruise with this view.
Cookie and Keller enjoy Harbour Cruises'
 sunset dinner cruise, which offers a lovely 
meal, fine live music and spectacular views. 

VANCOUVER IS a city of contrasts, cultures and contentment. People from around the world call this vibrant North American city home. Tourists from an exciting melting pot flock to British Columbia's largest city to enjoy classy cuisine, gorgeous weather, world-class parks, museums and art.
Vancouver is an attractive city, both fit and fun.  Here, 
rowers navigate the waters on a relaxing Sunday morning.  
Vancouver combines a refined, civilized feel with a vibrant, fit world view.
Stanley Park is a proud part of Vancouver's history, with lovely
boulevards for strolling, a nine-kilometer seawall , fine close dining,
aquarium and playground. It is one of Canada's best loves parks.  
Trolleys, parks, bike paths, restaurants, galleries, fruit and flower stands welcome the visitor, and we took it all in during our five-day stay.  We actually extended our airline tickets from three days to five, so taken were we with this lively, worldly city.
Granville Island is a treasure trove of shops, galleries, 
eateries and a splendid, popular market with fresh everything.
Blue Horizon Hotel is central to the action. Its blue 
tiles are its trademark, but a pink roof glows at night.

Stanley Park boasts many wonders. This Ontario
 tourist poses within a huge, time-honored redwood.

WE WERE BASED at Blue Horizon Hotel, which epitomizes the old adage: "location, location, location."  The downtown hotel takes its name from striking blue Italian-mosaic tiles which drape it. Its handsome, angular top is lit up, pretty in pink at night.We had a lovely corner room in the classic high rise.
We loved the location for its proximity to Harbour Green Park on the waterfront, with its highly rated Harbour Cruises, which offers a splendid sunset dinner cruise. We recommend the tasty, reasonably priced buffet with terrific music, best we've heard on a ship in 200 cruises worldwide. Try the holiday cruise with festive buffet and live carolers.
Cactus Club Cafes are sprinkled around Vancouver.
WE DINED three times at nearby Cactus Club Cafe, not because it was our only choice in this foodie town but because its appetizers are fabulous. We enjoyed the tuna stack with a citrus touch, flavorful calamari, succulent mini burgers, crunchy edamame, spicy szechuan chicken wraps, delightful desserts, reasonably priced wines by the glass and even a nice non-alcoholic beer.
Several nature hikes bridges and explorations await at the
engaging and nature driven Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
There are several Cactus Club venues in Vancouver, each distinctive. A great find for us, this class act place with friendly service and delicious fare. We'll be back in spring. 

YOU won't want to leave this exercise-friendly city with hiking paths and thousands of bikers, until you've tried these other Vancouver experiences:
*The Vancouver Trolley with its delightful "Hop-On, Hop-Off City Attractions Tour" which we used to explore Stanley Park, Chinatown, Gastown and Granville Island. All 10 drivers offered live commentary and fun stories about the city they love. It picked us up each day right at our Blue Horizon Hotel.
* Granville Island and Stanley Park --- both worthy of at least a half day for the fun and attractions, shopping, dining, enjoying.
Cookie's bridge-climb smile.
*False Creek Ferry, which gets you from downtown to Granville Island in charming 12-passenger boats which encourage
*Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, like no other park we've explored anywhere. We climbed the famous 1889 Capilano Suspension Bridge and found the view breathtaking and the bridge  "reassuringly wobbly" as promised. We took two of the entertaining nature tours, too!
*Finally, for transit between Victoria and Vancouver, consider a relaxing trip on BC Ferries, which offers pretty trips in the Vancouver Island area, and along the picturesque Sunshine Coast. We loved our efficient trip from Victoria to Vancouver -- a quick bus ride just blocks from our hotel, to the harbour, with the same bus whisking us efficiently to within a couple blocks of our Vancouver Hotel. Four hours from door to door, a beautiful boat ride on a pretty ferry.  

Old Town Theatre is one of several
 exciting San Diego area venues
serving challenging work,
 recently August Wilson.
Paul McCartney gave a generous nearly three-hour concert
days ago at Coachella Festival in southern California. 
UP NEXT: A glut of riches awaits if you happen to live in southern California and love theater and rock 'n' roll.  If you are a fan of vintage R&R, you've been on a roll with Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Buffett and more.
 Even if you don't live here, you'll enjoy the rich variety of offerings available for theater and music lovers. Tony Bennett's playing a sold out gig Nov. 5, and from cutting edge drama, to time honored chestnuts and vintage comedy, San Diego's your place to be for theater.  Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us weekends for a lively take on travel, nature and the arts. Please tell your smart friends about us.


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