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Revisiting some old photos in my iPhone and thought I’d share this one taken on one of my many walks around Kitsilano where we lived in Vancouver. Miss Kits, it’s easily my favorite neighborhood ever; one I’d move to in a heartbeat. That, and Pasadena. 🙂

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Breathtaking and amazing. As I gazed at the majestic Canadian Rockies and giant glaciers at the Columbia Icefields, I kept thinking of the lyrics to one of the songs we frequently sing in church “Creation sings the Father’s song.” Whenever I get swept up by theories of evolution and science, and then look at the wonder of nature and stand in awe at the marvelous sights such as the ones in Banff, I remember the verse in the bible “Be still and know that I am God.”

For a city gal who grew up in the tropical country and who purposely picked to go abroad to college and grad schools in warmer climates (Melbourne, Australia; Santa Barbara; San Diego), Banff in the spring was definitely a completely different experience. I had traveled quite extensively in the last decade and only visited places with frigid winters in summer (e.g., Montreal, which, in the summer, was a blast). So this short stint for us in Canada provided an excuse to travel around in the colder seasons and gave me a chance to experience cold. 🙂

Benji took his 4th and 5th flights at 5 months of age, and I must say air travel with an infant is no problem for us now (tho this was also a short flight only slightly over an hour, compared to what we dealed with before and what is to come in about a month….!!!!). It also really helped that my folks went with us and therefore having an extra THREE pairs of hands made this journey a breeze.

It was not easy figuring out which photos to post here; the naturally scenic backdrop guaranteed good shots even for an amateur photographer like me and so I have hundreds of them from our short five day trip. But here are my favorites:

Lake Louise

The gorgeous Lake Louise was popularized by old Hollywood films such as “Endless Love” starring John Barrymore. Apparently still a popular vacation destination for Hollywood stars (no celebrity sighting when we visited, tho!). One of the info boards mentioned that average temperature in January is -14C and in June, 16C. !!! No wonder the lake was still very much frozen in the middle of spring.

Us at Lake Louise

What a rare nice shot of us that is not a self-shot. Thanks, dad (or mom or aunt! Couldn’t remember who took this photo).

The Canadian Pacific Train passing through the valley

We were lucky to catch this train passing through during one of our stopovers along the extremely scenic Trans-Canadia Highway (Highway 1). My dad timed the train passing and apparently it took a whole 8 minutes to completely pass us. Incredibly long and astonishing how a train with just two engines can pull that much cargo along.

I really liked how the mountains were so clearly defined in this shot. Also from our stopover where the train passing was captured.

Shot of my folks - my mom, my aunt (my dad's older sis), and my dad.

Benji carried around in the Belle Baby Carrier and enjoying it. Here he was almost asleep on our way out to the Icefield Glacier Walk.

Columbia Icefields

Definitely the highlight of our trip. We got to see the Athabasca Glacier and the Saskatchewan River Crossing from the top. It was an amazing experience. We also saw from afar a group of hikers mountaineering. Wow.

Sulphur Mountain

We rode the Gondola up to Sulphur Mountain. Being completely useless with heights, I totally freaked out on the 8 min ride up. Benji was loving it, tho, his big inquisitive eyes could not stop darting around the soak in the scenery. His mom, meanwhile, had hers closed 7 out of the 8 minutes. Anyway, this was the view when we got off the ride. There was a nice easy boardwalk path up to the summit where a now defunct weather station sits. A man called Sanson used to hike up this mountain in the early 1900s to the weather station to record the temperature once every fortnight regardless of the weather conditions. It took him 9 hours and he hiked up and down about a thousand times. INCREDIBLE. He lived til about 85 years old.

Didn’t get to snowboard this time — AGAIN!! 😦 Oh, well. We didn’t get to do much hiking around either since a lot of the parks were closed because there was still too much snow. But Bry and I have decided to pencil in Banff for one of our future summer vacations to hike and bike around and see Banff in a different color. With an older Benji and any other kid(s) we might have.

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Bonjour from Banff, Alberta. We drove to the scenic Lake Louise today and were greeted with this majestic view of the mountains and still muchly frozen lake. It was like a scene out of a discovery channel program for me.

More photos to come.

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The Butchart Gardens is gorgeous. Having the sunny weather today created an even prettier atmosphere for this walk. I liked that the gardens had different styles of landscapes within and that they had their unique story. Take the sunken garden for example: it used to be a limestone quarry n Mrs Butchart decided to make a garden out of it. The result? A gorgeous layered garden with lovely aerial views of it.

Bry took Benji to hang out with his friend who lives on the island so it was just me, my dad, mom, and aunt at the gardens. Although the garden tour took just a couple hours, it was rather refreshing to spend time being the daughter/niece/baby with my folks. 🙂

That wrapped up our short but sweet trip to Victoria Island. On our way back to Vancouver!

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Victoria Island is truly beautiful. We went for a nice evening stroll around the harbor, breathed in the fresh spring air and basked in the mild springtime sun. Spring is easily my favorite season with bursts of colors everywhere.

After that we went for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. My parents are loving Benji. Who wouldn’t! 😉

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Also wanted to add that I’m sad the Canucks lost n are out of the playoffs. Not that I’m a hockey fan but I’ve grown to love anything Vancouver!

Today, Benji and I participated in the Art Walks for Strollers activity organized by a community center in Vancouver. This was a guided tour around Yaletown, a hipster neighborhood rich in outdoor art near downtown Vancouver. The sunny weather today was an added bonus and certainly made all the art look even more attractive and inspiring. One of the things I love about guided art tours is the little information nuggets you get about the art pieces: the artists, contexts, and in the case of the outdoor art, also a bit about the neighborhood.

I learned today that the piece of land that is Yaletown was bought by property developer Li Ka Shing from Hong Kong, and that some percentage of their profits have to go into providing amenities for the public. Hence all the public features such as installation art, sculptures, beautifully landscaped gardens and parks.

The walk was thoroughly enjoyable. Got some good, intellectual stimulation that is refreshing, especially after all that baby talking almost the entire day with your infant. Since the walk was meant for parents with babies, it went at a slower pace and provided a good opportunity to meet other moms which is always fun.

The group of moms n strollers.

The Brush with Illumination: my favorite piece from the walk. The brush handle is actually made from solar panels that illuminate the tip in the night.

If any of you moms/parents reading this post lives in Vancouver or knows of parents with babies living here, the Stroller Art Walk takes place once a month and meets at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. Drop-in/registration fee is CAD5. The resident guide, Catherine, is really nice, informative, and has a real passion for breaking down art for the masses and encouraging people to engage with art pieces around town.

PS: I am devastated that we have only just over a month left here in Vancouver. I love this town so much! :-/

We woke up to some light snow on the city that was enough to accumulate on the ground (unlike the one we had a few days ago that was awesome but too warm for snow to collect). To most people, this is nothing, but to someone who grew up in a tropical country and went to overseas colleges and grad school in warmer climates like Australia and Southern California, this is pretty special!!

I quickly nursed Benji and immediately after that, the three of us took a short walk up the down the block to soak in the winter atmosphere in our neighborhood before it disappeared (and it did, about 2 hours later).

Wonder what other surprises February 29th will bring…

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