Sunday, 11 December 2011

Another Vancouver Outing

originally posted to Multiply, April 6 2011

We had another weekend to visit the urban offspring. The usual routine: leave Friday morning, spend 3 nights in accommodation close to daughter's apartment, have some city outings, hang out together, drive back Monday. 
Minniepuss was somewhat apprehensive at the sight of the preparations.
On our first day out I was delighted to see swans on the pond in between the apartment buildings.
There were three pairs, floating majestically among the resident Mallard ducks and Canada geese. They did seem sort of quiet, but I thought it was part of some pre-mating behaviour. They turned out to be plastic.
The weather forecast had been rain on Saturday, niceish on Sunday. We planned accordingly and decided to visit the Bloedel conservatory on Saturday. It was actually a nice day, so we could enjoy the sights around the indoor park.
The conservatory is in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park. We had never been there but will come back some time. The park is on a hill, and was created out of a bunch of old quarries. 
Looking toward Burnaby Mountain and Simon Fraser University on top of it.
Fountains.....and lots of flowers. We were a bit early, or rather spring is late this year. There were no tulips yet and even the daffodils were just starting.
Above: Helleborus with scilla. Below: Heather with daffodils, not quite open yet.
I could have enjoyed an afternoon exploring the park and oohing over the splendid views, but we had a time limit. The tropics, inside the big dome, beckoned.
What a wonderful crazy place that is! This is the dome from the outside. Inside, you step into a tropical forest, complete with birds and a Koi pond. The next pictures are all taken inside the Bloedel conservatory.
Miscellaneous colourful stuff on the forest floor.
Look up, way up...
Miscellaneous greenery with a flowering Lollipop tree
Some of the resident parrots. They almost look fake.
From the inside the bubble roof looks like this. It is easy to forget you are inside till you look all the way up.
The grandson making his memories.
Did I mention that the air felt and smelled delicious? Alex said it reminded him of stepping off the plane in Hawaii, into the sweet-smelling warm moist air.
Flowering orchids all over the place.
Some more tropical greenery.
And some more, with a cute bridge that overlooks a stream with Koi.
There is also a section with more subtropical plants and even a small dry area with cactus, but I am out of patience. Home we went, by bus and sky train. I LOVE the way you can traipse all over the city without worrying about parking. And finally, one of the many pink streets. It is cherry blossom time. I do love that city!

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