Rain for Days: A Whirlwind Tour of Vancouver

It’s been an adventurous start to the trip for Melissa, Gill, and Karen! Unfortunately for me, while they’ve been out exploring Vancouver, I’ve been working, but I am now officially on vacation! The trip had a bit of rocky start – Gill and Mel got detained in Montreal for several hours on their way here and as a a result of having to get up at 4am (11:30pm PST), they were exhausted (and starving) when they finally arrived in Vancouver 14 hours later.

There was no time for rest though as we had already purchased tickets to see the Shrek Musical outside at Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park! In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best idea to go see a show the same day everyone arrived, but we were optimistic about it! Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits as we made our way to the Park and at first we viewed the free poncho’s that were provided for the show as a novelty. But as the show started, the drizzle turned to rain, and the rain turned to heavy rain and before we knew it, it was pouring! The musical was quite good, but I can’t lie, watching anything in the pouring rain is pretty miserable. When we heard the sound of distant thunder just before intermission, we decided we’d had enough. We grabbed our free hot chocolates and decided to head for home.


Fortunately, the second day in Vancouver was a huge improvement over the first and included a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, a bike ride in Stanley Park, a walk around the downtown waterfront, and shopping on Granville Street and Granville Island! The group started the day with the Aquarium, which everyone enjoyed, but thus far it seems Gill and Mel have been plagued by whiny children. They were forced to tolerate a screaming child kicking the back of their seats on their 6 hour flight to Vancouver and then at the Aquarium they had to navigate the hoards of children’s camps that frequent the Aquarium in the summer. Although an educational summer camp on marine life might benefit Gill who mistakenly refers to the porpoises at the Aquarium as “portopussies”!

After a disappointing lunch of “creamy” spinach soup (it was so terrible I was forced to listen to a detailed description of just how awful it was), the day picked up with a bike ride through Stanley Park along the seawall. I’m told this was the highlight of the day and everyone was enamoured of their bright green rental bikes! The photos are courtesy of Melissa’s instagram account, but judging by Karen’s ability to text and ride in these photos, we think she might be after Mel’s title of social media guru and internet junkie!

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The day continued with a trip to the waterfront in downtown Vancouver where you can take pictures with the Olympic Cauldron and this giant pixilated whale of a piece of art! I finally joined up with everyone at Granville Island and we did a little bit more exploring before heading back to my house for an earlier night. Since we won’t be together for our birthdays this year, we had a little birthday celebration to finish off the night!

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But the real treat for this blog post is the youtube video below! Gill has been hard at work capturing our trip in video format – you should really be impressed because she editted this entire video on her iPhone! Enjoy!


California Here We Come

After a shocking four month blogging absence, I’m stretching out my fingers and dusting off my keyboard just in time to take you with me on my highlight trip of the year – a 10 day road trip down the American West Coast with my 3 absolute best friends in the world! Though my lack of blogging might have you believe otherwise, it’s actually been a very eventful spring. I’ve already made one trip down to Washington State with my sister, celebrated Canada Day in the Capital with my family, and caught up with my friends in St. John’s, but now it’s time for the big trip!

I’ve taken a few “road trips” with my friends over the years – Northern Bay Sands, White Hills, Bell Island – but they’ve always been within several hours driving distance of St. John’s, so this year we decided to step it up a notch or two and try to tackle a greater part of the West Coast! Something about the exciting combination of ocean, mountains, and gigantic trees seems to call people to Vancouver and lucky for me, this time it’s my 3 best friends! They all arrived this week and after spending a few days in Vancouver, we’ll be taking off this weekend for San Francisco. Along the way, the amazing list of attractions we’ll be hitting include Seattle, Portland, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz!

There will be lots of time spent on the road and I’d love to take you along for the ride! I want to inject a little more life into my blog and I love the excitement of discovering new places; my goal is to post several times throughout the trip. So let me introduce you to the real stars of the show, the lively cast of characters who will be joining me on this adventure! I’ve been friends with this gang of hooligans since 1998 and my life would be so boring without them. Growing up we’ve spent many a summer on the infamous Jasper Street, eaten way too much pizza, starred in a number of our own films, laughed, cried, fought, and consumed our weight in slushies and skittles. We’re the craziest group of individuals, but you’ll never find a more loyal group of friends. So without further ado, the heroes of my story:

To start us off, there’s Melissa – our driver, music enthusiast, and social media guru. Apparently the rest of us are still babies and Mel is the only one who can rent a car without having to pay outrageous “young driver” fees, so thank you Melissa for being born in the 80’s! Along with age comes wisdom and for many years Mel has been educating us all on music, celebrities, and popular culture; without her I would know nothing about celebrity gossip, pub trivia, or Kathy Dunderdale’s twitter account. She’s our social media expert and I expect she’ll be tweeting and instagramming and snapchatting (and whatever else is popular these days) every moment of the trip! She’s one of the wittiest people I know, so follow along her social media for a guaranteed laugh (#biffleroadtrip). She’s also our token hipster and our adventures in Seattle and Portland (hipster capital of North America) are all thanks to her!

Next in the lineup is Gill, known by one name and one name only – The Chosen One. The Gods have always favoured her and for reasons we can’t explain, things always work out for her. We’re depending on her for good luck, sunny weather, and for a free upgrade at the car rental place. Gill makes her own rules and she’ll call you out when she thinks you’re wrong. She played zero role in the trip planning phase, but she’s always up for adventure and we’re counting on her to keep us all entertained on the long stretches of road! She is our trip dramatist, Mariah Carrey impersonator, prankster extraordinaire, and game lover. The name of the game of the trip is Dutch Blitz and she’s got the title of Champion in mind. So don’t mess with Gill and don’t mess with us, because you don’t want Gill coming after you. However, in the excitement, she has decided to take on the role of our trip vlogger, so stay tuned for those which we’ll also be sharing on my blog.

And then there’s Karen, our happy-go-lucky, common-sense wielding, keeper of the peace. Without Karen we’d never get anywhere, ever. The rest of us will mull over a problem for 10 minutes, decide there’s no solution, and then Karen will pop in and solve it for us in 30 seconds! Karen goes with the flow and her calm and loving nature keeps the rest of our crazy at bay. But don’t be fooled, I’ve gone on many a childhood trip with this girl and she can scheme just as much as the rest of us (and do it better). She’ll always join you in whatever shenanigans or ‘fun’ new idea you dream up. She’s got logic on her side though, so you’d better watch out when you break out the games. She’s surprisingly not great at Dutch Blitz (we think the element of speed works against this thorough thinker) but we’re also bringing Catan along and we suspect she’ll be the ultimate strategist!

And lastly there’s me, I’m bestowing upon myself the title of Trip Captain, known as a sunscreen enthusiast, owner of bad hats, and Blitz Superstar. I’m just saying it, without me this trip wouldn’t be possible. I am the planning goddess, but fortunately I have my biffles to keep me humble, which they’ll do when we hit the first snag on the road. Despite my trip planning skills, I generally have no idea what’s going on and find myself at the receiving end of a lot of jokes. But I’m good natured and I’ll go along with the jokes because we all know that the group is lost without me. I’m a resident of Biffle HQ, founder of the legendary Pizza Fridays, owner of our mascot Sammy, and a believer that old dogs are just as cute as puppies! I love my friends more than anything and I can’t wait to go on this adventure with them!

Peace out,