After three years of delays, our “Thelma and Louise” buddies’ trip finally happened. In mid-May, we set off for beautiful British Columbia and visits to family members.
The joys of “Business Class” thanks to Alison and Mike! Space, comfort, real food, actual cutlery (not feeble plastic utensils), personalized service, linen table cloths, a decent-sized pillow, quilted seat cover and duvet for each of us – in other words, luxury travel!
After landing in Vancouver, BC, we picked up our rental car and headed out of the city as far as Abbotsford where we spent the first night. Travelling from coast to coast in Canada, even in the relative comfort of a “Business Class” flight, makes for an exhausting 16+ hour day. After a nice supper and a good night’s rest, Alison and I headed off along Highway #1 to Hope and then onto Highway #3 – the Crowsnest Highway – through the mountains to Kelowna, Vernon and on to Alison’s brother Matt and sister-in-law Terri’s place in Coldstream.
There are multiple mountain ranges in BC, although most people generally refer to them collectively as “The Rockies”. The scenery changes rapidly from the lower mainland farming region to the rocky, sparsely treed foothills preceding the steep climb through the mountains themselves.
Although most of the snow was gone, there were still remnants at the higher elevations, and at one point, snow fell on the road (briefly, thank goodness) while we were driving.
We took turns driving. One aspect of the trip that I especially enjoyed was letting Alison “ooh” and “Aaah” over the amazing scenery. Flying over the mountains gives you one perspective, but the grandeur doesn’t really hit you until you drive through them and look up, waaaayyyyyy up. These shots were along the highway as we followed the Okanagan Lake up to Matt and Terri’s place.
While we were there, Matt gave us the grand tour of some of the local highlights – like the incredible views from the “Crystal Palace” and a visit to the Bee Place where you would watch an actual hive at work!
One of Alison’s goals for our trip was to have a chance to visit two of her brothers. Goal achieved!
We were lucky to have decent weather during this phase of our visit. We spent time sitting on the deck, enjoying the view and, if the temperature dropped much, cozy blankets kept us warm.
We left via a different route, passing by Kamloops and the ‘high desert’ area filled with low grass and sagebrush. Then we headed down the Fraser River Canyon, stopping at Hell’s Gate to view the famous rapids. Sadly (for Alison), the cable car (that drops a long, long way down – gulp) wasn’t open.
We stopped in Hope for the night and started off the next morning with a pause to grab a really excellent coffee (for me) from the Blue Moose Café. Highly recommended! Then, it was off to Vancouver. We stayed at the “Pinnacle by the Pier” hotel, next door to Lonsdale Quay, in North Vancouver. The hotel was conveniently located within walking distance of the Quay shopping area and many restaurants, as well as the Sea Bus terminal. It was also a short drive to David’s house for a visit as well.
Like Alison, one of my goals was to visit my son and his family as much as possible.
Our trip was a success from start to finish. We saw mountains, deserts, canyons, incredible tunnels, and amazing towns. We made new friends and visited our respective families. While in Vancouver, our wonderful hosts, Ian and Elizabeth, welcomed us with open arms and made sure we were comfortable and enjoyed our visit to ‘their’ city. We came home tired but happy with great memories of our “Thelma and Louise” adventures. Thanks, Alison, for joining me on this and many other trips through life!