Final Thoughts

Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Bellingham, Washington, United States
I am on the Amtrak Cascades train, en route to Seattle, and then to Tacoma for the conference. I wanted to share some final thoughts while I am on the train and have a) free wi-fi and b) time.  

1 . Vancouver is expensive: I was told by Mai at the house that hotels in her area (Mount Pleasant) would run at least $100 a night, and you can expect to pay $200-$300 a night if you are staying downtown. My car rental was high at $75, and I definitely could've blown more money at some restaurants. The tourist attractions like the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Aquarium can also cost a pretty penny. 

2. Vancouver is reasonable: I saw some great places to stay on airbnb. I paid $34 a night for a room at Mai's home. If you are into Chinese food or sushi, you can't find a better place to get it in North America. As you know, I went to the free stuff as much as I could. When I add up everything I did in "sightseeing," (not food or drink), I spent:

Vancouver Urban Winery: $12 for a flight of wine (I consider this a sightsee thing)
Bike rental for Seawall: $7
Ferry tickets to and from Granville Island: $7
10 pack of bus tickets: $21
Visitor Center Look Out: $15 (worth it for the pics)
Car rental: Free (had a coupon)
Car rental gas: $16
Lynn Canyon, Kits Beach, Granville Island Public Market ...Walking around...all free. 
Total Money Spent on Sightseeing: $81  

Not too shabby! 

3, Vancouver is friendly:I was very impressed with the folks in the service industry. I'm not sure about the rest of the locals, but everyone at the restaurants were chatty and friendly. They wanted to know where I was from, how long I was staying and if I enjoyed Vancouver. There was a lady at the Skytrain station asking if we needed help as soon as we got to our platform. And Amtrak? Wow! Excellent customer service on both rides.  

4. Vancouver is safe: I felt safe walking alone at night and never felt like I was being watched or had to guard my valuables too closely. Of course, I still did.

5. Vancouver is troubling: Even though I felt safe, I saw a lot of troubled people here. Numerous times on the bus there were people who didn't look right or were slouching in seats. On Monday I heard a guy talking about drinking all day, and it was sad. 

Overall, I enjoyed Vancouver and am very happy I got to spend some time there. Now I would like to get to some outlying areas in Canada, which I'm sure are even more gorgeous. I am usually not a fan of a city's huge amount of people and traffic, so I would like to see some smaller towns as well.  

I'm leaving you with some final pics from the Amtrak. Thanks for coming along with me on my journey once again!





You take the neatest trips, Jamie! Thanks for posting and letting the rest of us live vicariously through you. Your pictures are AMAZING. And apparently I did some 'sightseeing' at my house last weekend.


Now that you have some time off, we need to 'sightsee' some time! :)