Well, after a well deserved night of deep sleep (the several people who missed breakfast and were late to our morning meeting were proof) we headed out for our first full day of touring. We set out to explore some of what Vancouver has to offer.
Our first order of business was to make sure everyone had all the ski gear they needed for our time at Apex Mountain so we caught the bus to the Kitsilano area of town for a look at the ski outlet stores on West 4th Avenue. Once everyone had the goggles, beanies (or toques as they are refereed to here in Canada), gloves and anything else they needed for the cold weather we walked a short distance to Granville Island to grab some lunch from the public market. After a good look around the fresh food markets looking at beautiful cakes, fresh coffee and the biggest apples we have ever seen we all settled in for bagels, pizza, chinese food, burritos and anything else you could imagine. On the way off the island we saw two seals playing among the sailboats moored there.
Back on the bus and up to Stanley Park for a walk around the sea wall. The park was brilliant, with its small pockets of forest and open grassy lawn areas. We even saw a cricket ground an pavilion. As we walked we were really lucky to see an otter playing in the shallows no more than 6 metres from where we were standing. A few steps down to the beach for a little rock skimming only reinforced that rock skimming is a dying art and that this generation of young people have suffered from the introduction of electronic entertainment. We stopped for a look at several huge them poles caved by the indigenous inuit people of Canada and several other pieces of sculpture placed around the park. Only one squirrel was spotted by one of the staff unfortunately but we have plenty of time for more wildlife spotting in the coming days.
From here we headed back tot the downtown area where the students were able to indulge in a little more shopping where Victoria's Secret was a particular favourite, especially for one of our male staff embers who shall remain nameless (Bully). Dinner from the buffet at Urban Fare was fantastic before we headed back to the hotel for our evening briefing and we are now settling in for an early night before an early departure tomorrow.
Looking forward to getting to Apex Mountain tomorrow. For many of us it will be our first glimpse of real snow......can't wait!