Vancouver's Gas Town and Burnaby Heights

In June Naomi and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary and we were both more than ready to head out of U.S. borders to something a little more sane... what could be more polite and closer in proximity then Vancouver, British Columbia?

After a 2-night stopover in the Seattle area in early July we drove the quick trip up to Gas Town where we met up with Naomi's cousin Andy and his family (he married a Canadian). We shared some gourmet pizza and got to walk around the very cool district popular with tourists and the currently unemployed. It felt similar in many ways to Portland and Seattle, yet somehow foreign. I felt like a total newbie at using the Canadian dollar (as I was). But it was fun to navigate in kilometers again and we were ready for a few days of something different.

After meeting family we were off to our AirBnB destination, a rooftop apartment in Burnaby Heights. As it was mid afternoon by the time we arrived we set out to explore by taking a long walk east on E Hastings St. Lots of interesting global food fare to choose from from Thai to Japanese, LOTS of Italian, Greek and even an Afghan restaurant... but an almost complete lack of Mexican restaurants.

At Beta Ave we turned north to head towards the park and hopefully within sighting distance of Vancouver Harbour. The park was full of happy people speaking languages I wasn't familiar with all carrying in box after box of takeout pizza. We could only speculate Croatian or some other neighboring country? Perhaps it was outdoor picnic day for whatever culture these folks come from or a random mix of nationalities enjoying the park. It's all part of the fun of traveling to a new place being clueless but throwing out those mostly wrong guesses.

As we hit Confederation Park and headed down the trails towards the river, we came close to the water's edge but were barred from heading to the shoreline by a railroad and no trespassing signs. As we made our way back out of the park some locals asked us if we had seen a young man in a black track outfit. Seems he had exposed himself to some children in the park and now a manhunt was on. Tempted to join in, yet aware that I was 1) with my wife on our anniversary getaway, 2) a foreigner in a strange land, 3) not up on my kung fu skills we made our way back to the rooftop terrace to chat with our lovely hosts.

As we walked through the quiet neighborhood we noticed an eery silence and what we decided was a complete lack of home and garden uniqueness. I suppose we've been spoiled by many of the 'craftsmen' style home and gardens that the northwest is famous for...yards and gardens that provide beauty and respite. But this part of town was pretty bland, to be honest, though we weren't unhappy in any way.

What would Monday bring? Certainly an outdoor adventure or two was in order...