© 2011 jemma

Our Weekend.

On Friday, Jess and I looked up the weather for our first full weekend here in Vancouver. It was rain, rain…..and more rain. Very sad pandas we were. No one likes rain the entire weekend, so we planned indoor activities to keep us occupied. And no, not those kinds.

On Saturday, we went and visited the other side of the creek on the ferry. It was a lovely ferry ride on a not so lovely day. We were heading for the Science Centre, Jess’ favourite place, because if he wasn’t a network/server engineer he would have been an astronaught.

The Science Centre was ok, besides the fact that the guy doing all the shows for the day was bored with doing them. I liked the crab water feature out the front. We also went in the planetarium. The show we saw was on Galileo. I think Jess particularly enjoyed the movie sections, and the not looking at the stars parts, because he keep rolling his eyes. It was very much aimed at children, but adults were there too! I swear!

After the science centre and noodles for lunch. We cruised down 4th Ave as the rain got harder, and poked our nose in the snow sport shops – I couldn’t resist Billabong! We then took the long way home in the rain and wind across Grandville Bridge, stopping of course at Starbucks for hot chocolates to warm our cold hands.

For Sundays rainy day, we had planned on catching the bus to Metrotown, a massive shopping centre on the outskirts of Burnaby. It was going to be a challenge to not buy anything. I was looking forward to going and I could tell Jess was to because he looked sooo happy!

So on Sunday when I opened the blinds to bright sunlight and blue skies, we were very much the happiest people on the planet!! So the plans changed and we got ready to go to Grouse Mountain. Snow shoeing!!

Grouse Mountain is one of three mountains with ski resorts on them surrounding Vancouver. There is also Mt Seymour and Cypress Mountain. The only difference between them is that Grouse can be accessed by public transport the whole way and there is a very nice gondola ride up to the base. So to get there we caught two buses and one seabus, all for $2.50 on a Sunday. A bargain for about an hours travel.

On the way over, I decided that I didn’t like my ski pants any more – too short for my long legs! So in North Vancouver, we waited for the shops to open and I bought a pair of very much reduced, but awesome, green ski pants. Perfect for boarding and snow shoeing. Nice and baggy. So much for not spending any money. But my old pants will make the thrift shop on Lonsdale St some money, so it felt good.

Once at the top we realised that everyone else in Vancouver had the same idea as us because there were so many people up there. And when the guy down the bottom assured me that they had never run out of snow shoes…he was wrong.

I don’t know if many of you know this, but I’m not very good at lining up in lines. So when the guys at one shack told us to go to another with a very long line. I started to get a bit cross. So Jess sent me off to buy the lunch. On my way back, I stopped at the first hut, just in time to see two ladies returning their snow shoes. I then called Jess…. and 20 min later we started shoeing our way up the Grouse snow shoe grind.

Snow shoeing is lots of fun. Especially when you follow Jess and you begin to explore the wilderness. It’s great fun! The path we followed up the mountain, took us through some beautiful scenery. Wonderful forests, steep cliffs and ice falls. Some parts of the paths were very steep, and you had to really dig the metal grip at the front into the snow so you didn’t fall backwards down the slope.

By the end, almost at the top, Jess and I were so hot we were down to t-shirts. But once we stopped for a picnic lunch at the top of the mountain, we soon put our layers back on because it was freezing!

At the top was such a fantastic view! You could see all the way past Vancouver to the mountains of America, and when you turned right or left, there were snow caped mountains as far as the eye could see. As we were marvelling at the view and eating lunch. We were soon joined by two ravens – who have large beaks – who weren’t shy and walked right up to you demanding food!

On the Way down, Jess decided that the steep hills were two steep and mushy for snow shoeing down, and that the best way down was to slide on our backsides – thank god for snow pants!! It was pretty fun, and you got really good at using the grips on the snow shoes for breaks. Very cool. And the view back down got even better when we had an ice/snow shower.

Once we were back, we stood at the outside fireplace and watched the people on the ice skating pond – I can’t really ice skate very well and there was no barrier to help me stop so we didn’t skate there, but we skated the other night at Robson Square – and drank ice chocolate as the sun went down. Very lovely. What a great weekend. Next stop Whistler!!!