Monday, October 25, 2004

From Germany

Aus Deutschland, it's relative From left to right: Cousin Sandra, my Mom, Aunt Erma, and Cousin Carston I spent two days last week playing tour guide for my mother, who had relatives from Germany staying with her for two days. My aunt Erma, and my cousins Sandra and Carston had only a week to spend in North America and it had to be split between San Francisco, where Sandra is studying, and greater Vancouver, where my parents live. Since we had only two days to show them around, they were pretty long days! On day one we showed them Stanley Park, since there is a rule that all tourists in Vancouver must see Stanley Park. We saw the Totem Poles, some of the Seawall, and Prospect Point. Did I mention that at Prospect Point we saw a raccoon? Raccoons are not native to Europe, so this was a big hit. Too bad he spent a lot of the time cleaning himself and taking care of... um... business. Then we had lunch at Steamworks in Gastown, and saw a bit of Gastown itself. Then we quickly exited the downtown core and wisked them over the Capilano Suspension Bridge. That was cool and everyone had a good time. Carston had a great time jiggling the bridge as much as he could. It was the first chance I'd had to see the new tree bridge, the one that is built right into the trees. Finally, we brought them out to Abbotsford to meet my family (my wife and mother-in-law) over diner at a local restraunt. It's a long drive from the North Shore to the Fraser Valley, for those not in the know. On day two, we decided to tour the Whistler Village and the Sea to Sky Highway. That meant stops at Shannon Falls and Squamish, where we introduced them to Tim Horton's (which they had never heard of). From there we continued up to Brandywine Falls, which is a pretty impressive waterfall. Kind of like the Stawamus Chief overlooking Squamish is a pretty impressive hunk of granite. I've hiked up it twice, by the way, and strongly recommend it to anyone who's willing to walk uphill for over an hour. The view is amazing. I regret that there was no time for that on this trip. Then on to Whistler Villiage itself, which was a little quiet as it was between seasons - too late for hiking and too early for skiing. Still, it was fun to take it all in. This is where the 2010 Olympics will take place. The drive back was very long, especially for me, as I had to come all the way back to Abbostford. But the whole two days were a lot of fun and I was very glad to have the time to spend, as I have not seen much of my family in Europe since I was seven, when my mother and I visited the old country. My German is much more miss than hit, so it was a very good thing that my mother and Sandra were both able to translate quickly and well. Poor Erma and I were the most unilingual ones and we would have been lost without their help. Oh, and my computer is A-Ok again and has been for about a week. My patches took, it just needed a full bore reboot to take effect (not those quick things Win XP does when you ask it nicely). Posted by Hello

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