Vancouver Part 1

We arrived in Vancouver on the 25th July a few days ahead of Caroline, Rashied, Zaid and Zara as we were charged with picking up the car seats and the travel cot they had hired for their holiday in Vancouver at Tim’s house. It was lovely to meet up Tim again and meet his new

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It also gave us time to get ourselves sorted out before the rabble arrived!!

We had booked a site at Fort Camping, on Brae Island, near Fort Langley about 26 miles out of Vancouver from Tim’s house. About a week before we were due to arrive an email arrived saying this


Mosquito Notice

We are currently experiencing a very high number of mosquitoes, not only here at the campground, but all along the Fraser River.


As you can gather we were not exactly looking forward to meeting them, but we had really no option as the booking was for 3½ weeks and no one else was going to fit us in for that period of time at such short notice!!

When we arrived we got even more worried as the booking office was covered in a huge mosquito net which did not bode well. Looked like we going to be wearing “L’Eau de Deet” for the entire stay. However, we pressed on and we had a nice site, but the mozzies descended and both of us got bitten setting ourselves up on the site, so we quickly retreated inside, although a few followed us in, where they met an untimely death!!

The next couple of days were spent sorting out various routes in and out of Vancouver and getting our supplies in from the local supermarkets and we also had a meal out locally with Tim and Emily.

Then Thursday 28th June arrived, the start date of the “Dirk Invasion” (the name of the Whatsapp Group we set up !!). Anne and I went and picked up the two car seats and the travel cot, taking them to Tim’s house, and from there Tim drove us to the Airport.

After about an hour wait, Caroline, Rashied, Zaid and Zara came through the doors into International Arrivals.

Zaid is just behind the buggy on his Trunki, you can just see his foot.
Someone looks a little tired.
Who are all these strange people?
Our Junior Crime Fighter modelling his new Canadian hat.

Caroline, Rashied, Zaid and Zara got in  a taxi plus luggage and we went back to Tim’s car to go to his house, where they had already arrived plus the mound of luggage. They were are determined to stay up as late as possible, so the toys Tim, Emiy and Anne had amassed were brought out.

Zara liked the bricks.

I took Zaid for a walk down to the Fraser river, because as per usual he was still going strong, and then we went to a local White Spot to get something to eat. At this point they were all beginning to feel the effects of the travel, so they all went back to Tim’s house for their first night’s sleep in Canada, and we went back to the RV.

The following day had been designated a shopping day by Caroline, so we met them at the Real Canadian Superstore near Tim’s house. They had already been there an hour when we arrived but it took a further 2½ hours to complete the shopping, at which point we all went back to Tim’s where later that day he cooked us a salmon dinner which came on a cedar plank. It made a very tasty meal, but the time difference and all that shopping had caught up with someone!!

Zaid succumbed to the time change and the shopping!!

Emily joined us on the next day as it was Saturday and we went into central Vancouver on the bus and the train to Waterfront Station. Walked down to Gastown and saw the steam clock where Emily had booked a sushi meal in a restaurant there for lunch.

The famous steam clock. the movement is a normal clock, the quarter, half and hour chimes uses the steam whistles to play a tune.

After lunch we took the SeaBus to the other side of Vancouver harbour to see the city across the water.

Vancouver from the Grouse Mountain side of the harbour. It was a bit grey and rained that day but weather gradually improved.
A Dirk family photo in Vancouver.

Grandad was volunteered to take Zaid on the tour of HMCS Calgary, a Canadian Navy frigate, that was docked here and they were doing guided tours of the ship. The rest of them walked around the market. Zaid and I had a great time looking over the ship.

HMCS Calgary’s badge.
Zaid in front of the 50mm forward gun.

We then returned to central Vancouver to see some of the cruise ships leave.

This one was absolutely huge!!
A slightly small and older one.
Zaid was absolutely fascinated by the flying boats landing and taking off.

Sunday saw us all going out to Steveston where there was big Canada Day celebration with the entire main street pedestrianised and turned over to all sorts of pop up demonstrations, food stalls, local stalls, beer areas and many other interesting exhibits.

Zara trying a smoothie!!
Father and son!!
Two veteran Mounties being given a lift.
A pop up with unicyclist on a 10ft unicycle. Here he has got three members of the public helping him get up on it.
Finally up and juggling!!
Rashied trying to persuade Zaid to run through the water cascade (he is carrying him!!).
One slightly damp father and son.
Zaid warming up on the concrete.
I thought I would sit here and eat the grass!!
Uncle Tim decided to help!! Zaid getting changed in the background.
Zaid ready to go again!!

After a long day in the sun we returned to Tim’s house for barbequed hot dogs, potato salad and salad.

Monday was a public holiday in Canada as Canada Day was on a Sunday, so we all went to Lynn Canyon Park to see the falls and cross the suspension bridge.

On the way down.
Warning sign showing the number of deaths and injuries to people tombstoning into the canyon.
Even so there were two guys jumping into this from 60ft up!!
The photo above the falls. Zara was more fascinated with roaring water. Anne decided she didn’t like the thought of the suspension bridge.
Walking the paths through the forest on the other side of the river.
Zaid had to be persuaded to go into a hollow tree, you can just see Tim in there with him.
He was much happier running along the boardwalk, grab him someone!!
The rest following along behind!!
Here we go crossing the suspension bridge. Hope the cables can handle all those people!!
Getting near the midpoint.
View of the falls from the bridge.

After the canyon, Zaid had spotted another water park on the way, so we ended up there.

Zara – I quite like this swinging!!
I am ready to go but it looks a bit cold!!
I’ve got a water cannon!!
Look at me up and crawling – backwards!!
Zaid is funny!!
Not sure what was going on here, but even Grandma thought it looked bad!!
Zara trying out the climbing frame, with a little help from her parents.

Had a nice meal in a Persian restaurant called the Casbah and then everyone went home after a long day.

Caroline and Rashied and family visited us in the RV the next day, after they had been down to the USA border to get their entry visas for their trip to see Julia and Michael in Port Townsend. We spent quite a lot of time at the pool and then adjourned back to the RV for dinner.

Zaid and I in Fort Camping’s pool.
Well we all fitted in …. just. Zaid had his own little table in the bottom right corner

They left so late that their car got locked in the visitors car park and we had to find the security guy to let them out!!

The next day was a swimming day as well, but this time at Stanley Park’s second Beach pool. It was a lovely day and almost everyone got in the pool at sometime during the day.

Zara is getting quite good at this waving lark!!
Finally got Zaid down a slide!!
Although there was no stopping his Mum!!
I think we are getting the hang of these family groups.
Grandma keeping Zara warm.
It was Caroline’s and Rashied’s  Wedding Anniversary. Grandad and Grandma baby sat with Tim and Emily’s help.

And the whirl continued the next day with a trip up Grouse Mountain on the Gondola.

At the bottom waiting to board the gondola.
Off we go.
Half way up passing the other gondola coming down.
Nearly there.
What’s all the fuss about? Can we get off now?

Lots to do at the top, so here are a few(!!) highlights.

The main area, first we had to feed the ravenous ones!!
Lovely views of Vancouver.
And another.
Huge wooden carvings.
Father and son.
Another carving.
Grizzly bears.
Say cheese!! Those aren’t bears!!


How big are the bears?
Unfortunately the bears were hiding from the sun.
We could just see some fur.
This is a bit of a cheat for Zaid. One of the bears when Grandad and Grandma saw them 5 years ago.
And this grizzly was on full show!!
After lunch it was the Lumberjack Show!! Not this pair, some proper lumberjacks.


Climbing a tree by inserting climbing boards in it.
Axe throwing.
Log rolling.
Somebody else got in on the act.
You’re not supposed to be up there!!
He’s fallen off but guess what he is attached to a zip wire!!
The cast takes a bow!!
Caroline, Rashied and I went up the chair lift to the very top of Grouse Mountain
Saw the aerofoil tandems taking off.
Up and away.
Still going up!!
It was at this point that Rashied dropped his phone!! Nasty crunch as it hit the rocks below but one of the operators at the top managed to retrieve it and although the screen was badly cracked it still worked!!
The view from the top.
An even better view!!
Vancouver way below.
Going down the mountain on a zip line.
Grandma was looking after Zaid and Zara.

We had a long queue to get down the mountain to the car park and Rashied was supposed to be picking up their hire car by 6pm for their trip to see Julia and Michael in Port Townsend.  Because we were late leaving we got stuck in the rush hour traffic and had to abandon that and find somewhere to eat instead. We ended up at Tony’s Fish and Oyster Café on Granville Island where we had a lovely meal.

Not bad this fish and chips!!
Grandad are you taking a picture of me…. pose!!

We then went our separate ways, Caroline, Rashied and the kids back to Tim’s to get ready for their trip to Port Townsend, and us back to the RV.

The next few days we managed to get some well earned rest, as chasing around after grandkids is exhausting. Tim and Emily had a college project they had to finish. However, we did meet up with them on Sunday night for an Indian meal at Thali’s restaurant in Surrey, half way for both of us.

Part 2 covering the second week and more of our Vancouver stay to follow.