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I grew up looking forward to poutine (french fries with gravy and cheese curds – yum!), Aero chocolate bars, ketchup chips, and other Canadian treats. My family has had a tradition of going to Canada ever since I was little. This summer I finally got to take Skyler on this trip! We stayed in Abbotsford and took four day-trips to different cities. It was so fun for me to show Skyler White Rock and Vancouver. I also enjoyed going to Harrison Hot Springs and Fort Langley, which I had never been to before.
Harrison Hot Springs
Harrison Hot Springs is a fun city on the south side of Harrison Lake. When you look at the lake from the town, it seems pretty small. In fact, you might think you can see all the way to the north end, but really, there is a small island blocking your view! The lake is actually 40 miles long!
After exploring the town a little, we noticed something interesting. First, we saw that the sidewalks have large human footprints in them. Then we saw signs about Sasquatch and a big statue of him! We learned that Sasquatch (Bigfoot) is rumored to have roamed this area, and the people here are definitely proud of it! You can even visit Sasquatch Provincial Park which is close by.
As we walked around the town, I realized that I would be happy to spend an entire vacation here. I hope I do someday. There was so much to do. There are bike rentals, an inflatable obstacle course on the water, boat rentals, playgrounds, a public exercise area under a pavilion, and of course, the hot springs.
We decided to spend our time here by taking a walk and renting a four seater bike. The baby had a grand time tooting the horn as we pedaled and listened to the sound track from The Greatest Showman. It doesn’t get much better (or noisier) than that!
Fort Langley is named after a fort built in 1827, which is open for tours! I loved our visit here. I was impressed by their efforts to have something enjoyable for people of all ages. There are many exhibits that are specifically aimed at kids. As they experience each exhibit, they get a small glimpse of what life was like for fur trappers and fishers. While we were there we watched a blacksmith at work, experienced virtual reality exhibits, played games, enjoyed pretend-play areas, and panned for gold. There were also knowledgeable tour guides to answer our questions.
After finishing at the fort, we went for a walk around the town. Everywhere you look there is something charming. We loved shopping at the quaint stores. We learned that this cute city has been a filming site for many movies and TV shows including: Once Upon a time, Air Bud, Hope Springs, The Spring, Fringe, and Supernatural. According to the volunteer we talked with, there have been many more, including some Hallmark shows.
White Rock Beach
As a kid, whenever my family would travel to Canada, we made sure to go to White Rock beach for fish and chips. I was so glad to finally share this tradition with Skyler!
On our way there, we had some struggles with navigation. This turned out to be kind of a fun thing though, because we ended up driving on 0 Avenue! This avenue is the farthest south you can drive in Canada. Two roads run parallel to each other here: 0 Avenue on the Canada side, and Boundary Road on the American side. As we drove we joked about hopping back and forth between countries. Since then, I learned that there are cameras all along the border, and border patrol is always watching! Good thing we didn’t mess around!
White Rock is named for a huge boulder that was brought to the beach by glacial movements. Since it was so big and white, sailors used it to guide their ships. Now it is painted white to make it even more bold.
Here’s a fun fact for Psych fans: the outdoor beach scenes are filmed in White Rock! The exterior of the office in the show is really a museum near the pier.
Visiting Vancouver is an absolute must if you are in B.C. After a short drive through downtown Vancouver, we took a 10 minute ride on the Sea Bus to Lonsdale Quay Market. (The name “Sea Bus” is deceiving; we were actually crossing the Fraser River!) Lonsdale Quay (pronounced “key”) Market has just about every type of food you can imagine: fruit and vegetable stands, candy stores, and many restaurant types such as: Vietnamese, Indian, Greek, etc. There are also vendors selling handmade goods. Just outside the market, there is a large sitting area with an incredible view!
One of our favorite activities in Vancouver is biking around Stanley Park. If you’ve never been to the area, Stanley Park is the Central Park of Vancouver. The park is almost an island: only connected to Vancouver by a small piece of land. There are many bike trails in the park, and you can ride on the sea wall. This my favorite part because of the incredible views! I was pretty excited as we entered the bike shop to rent our equipment. Unfortunately, we soon found out that babies under a year old are not allowed on the baby seats or trailers! What a bummer! I really wanted Skyler to have the experience though, so he went with some family members to bike on the trail while my mom, the baby, and I went for a walk around downtown Vancouver.
We can’t wait until we get to visit B.C. again. We feel like we only scratched the surface of all the amazing things there are to do here! Yet, our days were packed, and we had a blast!
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