Vacation 2016

Fisgard Lighthouse on a beautiful day in Victoria, BC
Fisgard Lighthouse on a beautiful day in Victoria, BC

We didn’t fly halfway around the world on vacation in 2016. We did do a drive and fly trip. After a short visit in California, we flew to Seattle, then drove to Vancouver and Victoria, BC and finished with a couple of days in Seattle. After checking airfares, we opted to fly into Seattle and rent a car to drive to Vancouver and Victoria. All of the major car rental agencies allow a car rented in Seattle to be driven to Vancouver and Victoria metropolitan areas.

I tried something different this year. I used Airbnb for our lodgings. Needless to say, as an old fogey, I was a tad worried about finding, and paying in advance for a place to stay site unseen. After much searching, indecision and consulting with my daughter, I eventually selected 2 properties, one in Vancouver and one in Victoria. I did not like the selection available in Seattle for our time-frame, So I chose  to use a rental from Tripadvisor. There were 3 of us, Irene and I plus our friend Linda, so I looked for 2 bedroom apartments. My experience was very good. In Vancouver, I found a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo located a 5 minute walk from Granville Island, a popular restaurant and tourist area on False Creek in downtown Vancouver. In Victoria, I found a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment literally in the heart of downtown, a half block off Douglas Street. In Seattle, we had a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment in Belltown, a popular restaurant and nightlife area.On average, we paid $125 a night. A little more in Seattle, a little less in Victoria. After splitting the cost 3 ways, our friend Linda offered to hire me as her permanent travel agent. Overall, it was an excellent experience. Not everything was perfect, the Seattle location was on a busy street and a little noisy, and I had to pay for parking in Vancouver ($5 a day). While I had a good experience, and was happy with the accommodations, it was a tad disconcerting to pick up the Vancouver Sun, and read the articles about the City of Vancouver’s attempts to limit Airbnb rentals. If you want to check out my choices, here is the listing for Vancouver, and Victoria. I would add a link for Seattle, but it is no longer listed. But we used Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals.

Granville Island Public Market… Not a common site in Las Cruces

Our trip was great. Even though we needed passports to get into Canada, and to return, they were not stamped. The trip was wonderful. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in North America. This is probably our 4thor 5th visit there, but the first time in 16 years. As usual for our visits there, the weather was almost perfect. We only had rain on 1 day, and we spent most of that day indoors at the Vancouver Aquarium, one of the best. We took in most of the sights, and enjoyed Vancouver’s wonderful restaurant scene. In Victoria, we discovered that there is an impressive number of Tapas bars. We spent one evening on a pub crawl sampling wine and some excellent Tapas.

Trounce Alley, Victoria. Home to 2 excellent Tapas Bars.

Oh, we also visited the Royal BC museum,

Totems at the Royal BC Museum

Ft Rod Hill, and more sights in Victoria, but those Tapas were good. Fortunately, our rental was just a few blocks away soi we were able to walk back at the end of the evening. Then on to Seattle, where we did the usual tourist things.

All things considered, we had a great trip, enjoyed ourselves immensely, and didn’t spend 18 hours in an airplane… unlike our upcoming trip!