Thursday, 29 July 2010

Canada Trip Day 6: Seattle Premium Outlet

18 June 2010 - We were going to Seattle for shopping! Actually, I was worried about letting my self-control go and just splurge instead. But it turned out, I did pretty well controlling my purchases.

The morning started with breakfast at Tim Horton's, a Canadian coffee shop franchise found all over Canada. According to Wikipedia, it is the largest food service operator, outdoing McDonalds. I ordered a bacon bagel and it was GOOD! And, coffee in the morning is just the way to start the day.

As Bruneians, we had submitted our visa waiver form prior to our visit. Details on the Visa Waiver Program, please click here and the form can be found here (under J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application Instructions).

At the Canadian-American border, we had a bit of some interesting events. First, the crossing. As we were waiting in line to have our passports stamped at the booth, cameras (with as many as probably 6, about 3 on each side) lined on both sides of our vehicle and they were angled differently to cover different views. It felt like being in a sci-fi movie.

Next, the immigration officers at the counter were excited to find three Bruneians crossing the border to go shopping, so much so that this attracted the attention of other officers that were in their office rooms to come see us. We, each paid US$6 for border fee to get into US.

In Seattle, we went to Ross, Kohl's and the Seattle Premium Outlet for shopping and this took us the whole day. By the time we got back to Surrey, it was already dark!

Counter at Tim Horton's

Tim Horton's Bagel B. E. L.T (bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato and cheese)

Coffee at Tim Horton's

Zinc-covered barn

Hay roll in white bags

The trucks in Canada and US are like the Transformer Optimus Prime type!

Is that some sort of a kiln?

Houses by the lake (rather dark the picture)

Car in the highway along the countryside

A worn-out barn with a huge tree right beside it

A farm house

Going over a metal bridge

Sauk-Suiattle Native Indian Reserve Road sign

Baker Mountain in the distance

Ross sells things super cheap!

Kohl's has really nice stuff for affordable prices

They have a drive-in at Starbucks! I am so "sakai" (so ignorantly in awe)!

Seattle Premium Outlet

110 outlet stores in Seattle Premium outlet

The shop buildings

As we were leaving, we saw a tourist coach with its storage compartment filled with Coach shopping carriers.

Ivar's Seafood Bar at North Gate Mall

Smoked Salmon Chowder from Ivar's Seafood Bar is so delicious!

Sunset on our way back

A picture that is half cloud-covered

Canada Trip Day 5: Ambleside Beach & Vietnamese Restaurant

17 June 2010 - We were passing by houses along the slope of Ambleside and was told that one of the band members of Nickelback lives here. The beach is covered with rocks, many blackened by horse clams sticking on them. What's interesting is finding rocks where horse clams, barnacles and sea weed were all stuck on them.

The beach was deserted when we visited. There was a pier beside the beach where people were fishing. Overlooking the pier is Lion's Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge between North Shore and Stanley Park.

It is simply wonderful to be surrounded by nature, yet be so near the city, which makes Vancouver a nice vacation destination. You have rivers, lakes, beaches, waterfalls, parks and mountains within 30 minutes drive from the city.

View of Cargo ship in Burrard Inlet from Ambleside Beach

Overlooking Vancouver Harbour, people are fishing at a pier

Sea gull trying to pick food from the plastic bag

My sister taking pictures of Burrard Inlet

Lion's Gate Bridge

Houses and residential building around 15St

Horse clam and black sea weed

Sea weed covered boulder


Horse clams and barnacles

Barnacles growing on horse clams

Beach covered with sea weed, horse clams and barnacles

Sea weed turning from green to black

Sea gull and the other one looks like a limpkin but I am not sure

Blackened sea shore

Hydrangeas flowers

This look like Eremophila Glabra Prostrate with green flowers but please correct me if I am wrong.

Our dinner at Pho Vinh Vietnamese Restaurant before we headed home.

Basil leaves and bean sprouts to go in the hot soup.

My pho noodles were excellent! I love Vietnamese Pho!

Canada Trip Day 5: Cypress Provincial Park & Foggy Cypress Mountain

17 June 2010 - The temperature was dropping as we were heading back to Vancouver. We stopped by Cypress Provincial Park to take some nice photos of Vancouver city. The view from the park was amazing as Howe Sound is located just right beside it.

My uncle, perhaps seeing how overly excited we were each time we made a photo stop, decided to take us to see Cypress Mountain which is located in West Vancouver and was a venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics for freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The area was fog-covered when we arrived which left us a little disappointed, but still excited because we've never experienced such heavy fog conditions where visibility is extremely low.

Howe Sound

Vancouver city covered in fog

Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum anagyroides)

Cypress Provincial Park

Wild plants overlooking Howe Sound

Map of Cypress Provincial Park

Small building and equipment near the base of Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain Winter Olympics 2010 Signboard

Fog-covered Cypress Mountain

The forest area was also covered in fog

Fog getting heavier

Cypress Mountain, just before we left

Low visibility as we were heading back