Vancouver, B.C. Canada September 12-15, 2002
Last Updated 10/22/2010
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I won’t bore you all with too many comments about our post-con touring, but I wanted to share a few anecdotes, make a few thank yous, and show you a few more photos (if you’re not completely tired of them yet!). Being the “geek” fans that we are, of course we had to do a few “Stargate” things even outside of the convention. Judy, a local to the area, kindly agreed to drive us all over creation on the Monday after the convention. She had told me that the inside of the Bloedel Conservatory (where Gamekeeper was filmed) had tropical birds and plants, so that was our first stop. It was a bit rainy on and off all day Monday (the only day of our entire eight day trip where the weather wasn’t just about perfect!).
You can see from some of my bird and flower photos below that a trip through the inside of the Conservatory was indeed a pleasure! Apparently, a lot of locals like to have weddings in the outside gardens and we actually saw a bride and groom down by a stream getting their photos taken. When we got home from Vancouver, my Season 2 Stargate set had arrived and the first episode I watched was “Gamekeeper.” It was great fun spotting all of the familiar spots in the gardens and the Conservatory itself in the episode!
There was a wishing well inside and I tossed a penny in and made a wish. Come on, campers. I bet you can guess what I wished for, me being one of those well-known Daniel fans and all. <g> Judy teased me that I didn’t think Daniel was worth more than a penny…so I threw in more coins!
Our next stop was Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium. It was fun driving around town now after having been around on the City Tour the previous week and on various excursions. We were recognizing all of the shops and streets. The aquarium is just beautiful and they have some wonderful habitats set up demonstrating the underwater flora and fauna for different areas in the Pacific Northwest. They also have a Beluga whale who has a baby. They were just adorable. There is a whole section on frogs from around the world (very interesting facts and a nice display and collection) and a tropical rainforest habitat where the butterflies literally surround you and flit around.
Afterwards, we headed up towards the Capilano Suspension Bridge. We had wanted to see Grouse Mountain but because the weather was so rainy, Judy advised us that it would be completely fogged in at the top of the mountain. We stopped along the way at a lovely place called “Earls” for a nice leisurely lunch and then carried on to the bridge. There’s a nice little park to tour through at the bridge, so we wandered through that for awhile, checking out the wood carvings and totem poles. There were wishing wells all over the place (or so it seemed), so I stopped at every one and threw some more change in. We were leaving Canada in a couple of days, anyway, so I needed to get rid of it! At one point, an older gentleman from England was watching me and kept laughing every time I’d say “Bring back Daniel!” We could only figure that his name was Daniel! Afterwards, I kept running into him everywhere and we chatted a time or two. He thought he’d “ruined” one of my totem pole pictures by walking into it (I didn’t tell him that he hadn’t), so we kept teasing each other about it.
We finally made our way across the long swaying suspension bridge. The view of the Capilano river with the mountains in the background from the middle of the bridge is quite awesome. Sadly, we found a tourist stuck in the middle of the bridge, frightened to go either forward or back. Judy could see the woman was terrified and she ended up helping the lady to the other side where her sisters were waiting. Later, we met the lady in the gift shop and told her she needed to have her sisters buy her one of the certificates they were selling that certified you had crossed the bridge. We met up with them in the parking lot as we were leaving. Her sisters thanked Judy for helping her across the bridge and showed us that they had bought their sister the certificate!
Anyway, on the other side of the bridge, there are all sorts of trails through the woods, winding around little lakes and the like. We were amused to immediately find “MacKay Trail”! Yeah! Bring back MacKay! <g> We didn’t go very far down the trail, though. It was getting late and it had been a long day and a long week. Hiking wasn’t on the agenda!
After the suspension bridge, Judy was kind enough to take us to visit the shop I had mentioned in one of my earlier reports: Warriors and Wonders. We bought quite a lot of Egyptian stuff there and would have liked to buy more. Unfortunately, some of the items I wanted were either very breakable or too difficult to get home (an Egyptian themed sword). I’m going to have to have a look around online to see if I can find a closer place to order them. Otherwise, the shop owner up there in Vancouver will be happy to hear from me again, I’m sure! He gave me his card, just in case we wanted to mail order. His website, again, is http://warriorsandwonders.com.
At the Aquarium (of course!)
On Tuesday, we made the last excursion of our Vancouver trip by taking a Gray Line tour up to Whistler Mountain. The weather was beautiful again, although a little bit cooler than it had been the week before. The resort town of Whistler was just charming (I wish I could see it in the winter, all covered in snow) and we wandered among the shops, making our way to the gondolas that go up the mountain. We found a great bookstore full of books on the flora and fauna and history of the Pacific Northwest. Of course, we spent some money there! We decided to go up the mountain before having lunch…and it was a good thing that we did. The trip up took quite a long time. It was a loooong way up to about 6,000 feet. There were tons of people with dirt bikes going up to ride their bikes back down on trails. The mountain was still all green and it was only a little nippy, even at the top. The temperature right up at the top, where you could see glaciers and snow on adjacent mountains — we were way up in the clouds — was only 58 degrees Fahrenheit. We ran into some German fans who recognized us from the convention while we were at the top!
We checked out the view for a bit, but we were really hungry. It was after two o’clock by this time and we had to meet our bus by three thirty. So, we took the long trip back down. We could see birds peeking out at us from trees as we went past on the gondola and Leah even saw an owl. On our way back through the town, we saw a candy place, and I just had to pop in. Since my birthday was coming up, I grabbed a box of dark chocolates and made eyes at Leah. <g> While she was paying for them, the clerk was eyeing the tote bag I had her carrying. It had pictures of Daniel on it. The clerk finally pointed at it and said “Who is that?” Leah explained who Daniel and Michael Shanks were and told the clerk to watch out for Stargate. There was some kind of chocolate and marshmallow kabob in a jar behind the counter and Leah was drooling over it in the course of further conversation. As we were leaving, the clerk winked at us and slipped the kabob into Leah’s bag. So, thank you, Michael Shanks! We got some free candy. LOL. I guess all those coins in the wishing wells paid off. Sort of.
After lunch, it was finally time to head back for Vancouver. Along the way, we stopped to visit Shannon Falls. You can see by the photos below that it was just beautiful.
Well, another year, another Gatecon. Everyone was great. The guests gave of themselves tirelessly. There was never a dull moment. We met so many wonderful people: guests, staff, volunteers, attendees, Vancouver locals, bus drivers, shop owners, waiters and waitresses. It was a blast. I don’t know if we’ll make it back next year since we’re planning a three week trip to Australia next spring, but if we don’t go, it will be purely due to lack of time! Here’s hoping we see some of you at upcoming conventions around the world!
Sarah Douglas with Leah and Annie. What a great lady!
Featuring pictures of Brad Wright, Alexis Cruz, Virginia Hey (from Farscape), Jay Acovone, Jay Brazeau, Tony Amendola, Erick Avari, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, Don S. Davis, Dan Shea, Amanda Tapping, Colin Cunningham, JR Bourne and more!
Featuring pictures of Michael Shanks,
Amanda Tapping, Tom McBeath
and Lexa Doig (from Andromeda)
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