Another cloudy, rainy day in Vancouver...About Vancouver...Tasks of daily life continue wherever we may be...



The Vancouver Island Ranges are in the far background of this photo I took through the windows in our condo late in the day. 
We've had our fill of sightseeing in pouring rain. Drizzle, we can handle. Over the past few months while on the move, most days have been rainy, windy, cold and cloudy.  Right now, we have no desire to get soaked through our jackets as we've done on several recent tours.  We're hoping for a sunny day when daylight soon breaks.

The fountain in the Sheraton Wall Centre courtyard.
The fact that we happen to find ourselves in some amazing places, certainly triggers the urge to see what each location has to offer.  However, sometimes life gets in the way via rainy days and other items on the agenda, as one has when they have a fixed home and responsibilities.

Today, if its even partially clear, we have one thought on our minds: Tom's computer data transfer. The screen on the old laptop is severely damaged preventing us from manipulating the transfer of his files to our external hard drive, a zip drive and then on to the new laptop.  We need another screen from which we can operate in order to do so.  We don't have a proper cable on hand to use the TV as a monitor in our condo or to use my laptop as a monitor for the transfer. 

Club Intrawest, a members only condo hotel is located on the upper floors of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre.  We're on the top floor, the penthouse level, on the 30th floor.
We've decided to take a walk to a nearby computer repair store which is 500 meters from our hotel to have them do the transfer for US $54 rather than spend valuable time trying to find our own solutions.  Plus, we'll have them wipe out the old hard drive and dispose of the laptop.

Flower we spotted on our rainy walk to the grocery store.
With that behind us in the next few days, perhaps we'll be able to focus on seeing some sights in Vancouver until we board the cruise on Tuesday morning. There just hasn't been enough time with pouring rain impeding the prospect of going out and enjoying ourselves. 

Last night, we dined in, after a trip to a local grocery store. It was surprising to go on an escalator for the second half of the store's products.  I suppose the locals are used to using the hand baskets, starting upstairs before they load the regular wheeling carts.

Escalator in the grocery store in downtown Vancouver. 
We purchased a roasted chicken and salad ingredients.  With nuts for dessert, it felt good to stay in to watch a few shows on a rainy night which we haven't done in almost two months since leaving Madeira on July 31st. 

Vancouver is a beautiful destination, especially in the warmer summer months with many activities befitting tourists of any age and families with children.  Our combined (for two) one way airfare from Boston was only US $346, much less than we've paid for many other flights, making it affordable for travel.

As we've seen thus far, it is expensive in Vancouver, especially in the downtown area, where we're staying.  We've heard on CruiseCritic.com that staying in hotels outside the city is much less expensive. 

Beautiful flowers lined the boulevard in Vancouver.
However, we're definitely enjoying the views from downtown and have no regrets that we're staying here.  Besides, we can see the cruise terminal from our condo which is a short cab ride away.  Many on CruiseCritic.com have mentioned taking a bus to the cruise terminal on Tuesday.  With our heavy luggage, we prefer to take a taxi. 

On departure day at the cruise terminal, our checked baggage is immediately whisked away from our taxi to our cabin, leaving us with only a few carry on items to handle until the cabin is prepared for us to move in, usually by 1:00 or 1:30 pm.

Here is an excellent link of information about Vancouver.  Most likely, we'll return here someday when we take a spring cruise to Alaska, hopefully staying for a few months. Alaska is on our "must do" list but, doing so is far down the line.  We have more countries and continents to visit after leaving Hawaii before we travel the US. 

Here are some Vancouver facts from the above website:

"Population
Based on 2006 Canadian Census reports, the population of the City of Vancouver in 2010 is estimated at 601,203.
Greater Vancouver's estimated total population for 2010 is 2.4 million, 52.3% of BC's population of 4.6 million.


Languages
Federal government departments provide service in English and French, but most of the population speaks English as either a first or second language.

The City of Vancouver is quite cosmopolitan and is a mix of many multicultural groups. Because the city is multicultural, it's also multilingual on an unofficial level. Its people speak many different languages and many follow the traditions of their native lands, sometimes moderating them with Canadian culture.
After English and Chinese, the most common mother tongue languages spoken are Punjabi, German, Italian, French, Tagalog (Filipino) and Spanish. More than half of Vancouver's school-age children have been raised speaking a language other than English.

Currency
We recommend all visitors use Canadian currency when traveling within Canada. Visitors can exchange currency at Canadian chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions, or at offices of foreign exchange brokers, but it is advised to have local currency on hand prior to arriving. Some hotels, merchants, restaurants and suppliers accept US or other foreign currency at a pre-determined rate, which may differ from the daily rate posted by financial institutions.
  • Canadian one dollar coin ("loonie") ($) = 100 cents
  • Canadian two dollar coin ("toonie") ($) = 200 cents
  • Notes are in denominations of $1000, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5
  • Coins are in denominations of $2, $1, $0.50, $0.25, $0.10, $0.05, $0.01 

Taxation
Effective April 1, 2013, most purchases in British Columbia will be subject to a 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and a 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST), with the exception of liquor (10% GST). For more information, visit Changes to the Sales Tax in British Columbia.


Time Zone
Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone. Daylight savings time is in effect from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.
You can see Vancouver's time in relation to most cities on the globe by visiting www.TimeAndDate.com, which also can provide a Canadian calendar.
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Workdays
Greater Vancouver, like all major cities, runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The main workdays are Monday to Friday, from roughly 8am to 6pm - but hours vary for each organization or business. Retailers are usually open seven days a week, and most stores are open from 9:30am to 6pm each day-except Thursday and Friday, when they are open until 9pm. A number of large retail stores, nearly every hotel and motel, and several restaurants, remain open around the clock."


As we sit in the Member's Lounge each day, preparing the next post which we've now scheduled to arrive for our readers by 5:00 am mountain time, we feel comfortable and at ease with no pressure to be anywhere or do anything, other than get the computer repaired, do laundry on Monday and pack once again.

Hopefully soon, we'll pack up Tom's two laptops into the waterproof duffel bag, grab an umbrella from the front desk and make our way to the computer repair store, hoping to achieve his objectives.  Tomorrow's forecast is for a sunny day.  We'll see if that works out.

Back tomorrow with more photos of Vancouver!  Stay tuned!
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Photo from one year ago today, September 19, 2013:
Tom drank two bottles of this local Tusker beer.  You'd have to carry me out if I drank two of these.  I'm often tempted to have a drink but having anything with alcohol, as seldom as I do, results in outrageous hangovers from two of anything.  Plus, one is no fun!  Click here for more photos.

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