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Steam Clock - Gastown in Vancouver

There’s been a whole lot of ‘Tally Ho’ the last thirteen days.  And today was to be no different.

We were going to tour my sole vacation ‘must-do’ — Victoria and The Butchart Gardens.  My husband had built our trip around these by adding two extra days in Vancouver.

Plans fell into place like clockwork, with a tour company who specializes in local whale watching.   In waters around Vancouver, it’s not unusual to spot Humpbacks, Gray Whales and Orcas this time of the year.  And another chance to be near whales in their natural habitat sounded a perfect way to travel to Victoria.

Walking into the cool morning light, we arrived at the dock.   First.  After checking in with the tour operator, we bought a sandwich to share on the boat.   I didn’t want to  spend any of our 4.5 hours on the island eating lunch, once we arrived in Victoria at 1:00 PM.

Looking back, there were warning signs.  Had this been a movie, perhaps JAW’s music would have accompanied the signs.  Waters were choppy round Vancouver.   All other whale-watching tour operators canceled today’s tours.  Our tour operators wore serious expressions as we boarded.  “No going up top,” they told us, as we had at Glacier Bay.  Instead, we had to stay seated below, to keep one hand on the rail at all times.

One grew seasick anyway.  The rest of us held it together.  But forty minutes into our trip, something caused one engine to shut down.  One moment we’re rough-riding high seas — the next we’d slowed to a hum, with waves slapping our boat silly.

Wasting no time, the captain turned the boat around.  With a nervous smile, our nature guide delivered the bad news:  We were limping back to port with one good engine.  He was sure the operator would ‘comp’ us for our trouble.  But as it turned out, there was no way to compensate the loss for those leaving Vancouver tomorrow.  Like us.  So we took our credit and went back to the hotel.  To regroup.

Our regrouping  involved eating our picnic lunch inside our nice hotel room, going out for a quick walk and coming back for nice nap in the best bed I’ve had since leaving home.  Then we went out for dinner at a nice restaurant and walked around some more and now I’m here.

From what I can tell about Vancouver, it’s a nice place, a very livable city, full of apartments and young beautiful people who wear sandals and shorts in 68 degree weather.   Being a young city, most downtown living spaces are skyscrapers, reminding me in some odd way, of those on The Jetsons. I was glad to see a few old survivors mixed in, which kept my eyes grounded and alert.

But as nice as Vancouver is, I’m content with the way I spent my afternoon.  No tally-ho touring today.  Just a lowly ho-hum nap which proved good rest for the right knee I injured on Day Two of our vacation — when I forgot I was old rather than young — out-of-shape rather than in — and tally-hoed up a vertical hill that was mankind’s earliest form of skyscraper.

Tomorrow, it will be me limping to my home port on one good knee.

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