What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?
In August 2007 I went to visit a friend who lives in Vancouver. It was a place Janet and I had always wanted to visit. I had reconnected with this friend after Janet died and in one of our emails back and forth she asked me about places Janet and I intended to go someday. She put it out there that since she lived in Vancouver that I could visit her. It was a nice idea but one I couldn’t even think of because it just seemed too much effort at the time. Then I was talking to my minister who lived near Vancouver and he said I should go for it. So it ended up being a way for me to honour Janet.
The first night I stayed at a hotel and then stayed with my friend for the rest of the week. Janet and I had always planned to go to a place called “Death by Chocolate” if we went so I did it for her. It was a little bit of a walk from hotel but well worth it. I sat in the corner and had a good cry because I couldn’t believe that she wasn’t there to share it with me because she should have been!
My friend and I took the ferrybus over to Granville Island. It’s such a cool spot. Funky shops, boats in the harbour, buskers. We played some games in the kid zone and then gave our tickets away to kids that came along. They were so shocked but we heading home so we thought someone should get use out of them.
We went to Stanley Park which is the place to go when in Vancouver. We went to the Aquarium. It rained in sheets (it does that in Vancouver) We took the trolley around the park (and my feet were thankful). Such a beautiful park. I dipped my feet in the ocean.
Probably my favourite place was the Museum of Anthropology. I loved the symbolism of the totem poles. They had an exhibit with a canoe and other momentos from this person’s childhood. I think it was in memory of someone. There was a memory box where you could write something to a loved one. We both did it and then I sobbed. I wrote “I did it, I’m here. I wish you were here and I miss you”. We then went to a Japanese Garden which is close by and I sat down on a bench to sit and think about Janet. My friend gave me space to do that. I was so thankful that my friend didn’t plan anything in the afternoon because I was physically and emotionally exhausted/drained. She could sense when I was thinking about Janet or needed some space.
Vancouver is such a beautiful city. I love the mountains, the water, the diverse neighbourhoods. I would definetely like to go back.