Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vancouver on the cheap

We are on the pre-retirement, kids in college, cash in the envelope budget plan.
Looking at colleges for high school junior Piper means a road trip and a lot of tailgate picnics.
We started at the top, with a one-day trip to Vancouver, B.C. a couple weekends ago.

In our envelope:  100.00 in discretionary money for the week.  This went to coffee, parking, gas and picnic items for four from the Kitsilano Safeway.

Here we go.

We wake up at 4:30 and arrive at Nick's in Seattle an hour later.  Nick was sound asleep, but took less than 20 minutes to get ready, passport in hand. After stopping at the Roosevelt Safeway Starbucks for coffee drinks--no more than 4.00 per person, we're on our way. It's now just after 6 am.  We need to get through customs by 9am so that we have plenty of time to arrive on campus for our 9:45 tour.  We've  stopped to give the dog a break somewhere along the way, and we leave the car at 9:43, right next door to Welcome Centre at Brock Hall.

We made it!!  First we have to check out the totem pole at the entry.  Quite an impressive welcome.
The Thunderbird totem pole is by a woman--  Ellen Neel--and the thunderbird became the first college mascot legally bestowed by a First Nation on a Canadian college.  It's meaning is "Victory Through Honor" and when it was erected, in 1948, dancing and singing by First Nations people was still an indictable offense. It was vandalized and rebuilt 50 years later in 2004.  read more about it here

A vigorous, free two-hour tour includes the following facts:
UBC has 22 museums, gardens and libraries in all, including the beautiful

Botanical Garden and Nitobe Garden

First Nations House of Learning Centre
(photo courtesy of UBC)

and the most sustainable building in North America:  the aptly-named Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, or  CIRS

No one has had breakfast yet so by the time our tour has ended we've all had our picnic breakfast at some point, on the hoof.On our way out, we stop for coffee at the Centre for Sustainability's Loop Cafe and discover lots of other features along "Sustainability Street".  That will have to wait for another blog entry, though.

After leaving the campus we make our way to Jericho Park for a dog run and beautiful views of the nearby mountains across the water.  We eat our Safeway sardines, brie and pecan tartlets and drive along the water, back thru campus and on south just as the sun sets, with all of Skagit County bathed in shades of peach and sage.  Mt. Baker was spectacular as were the lighting effects across a number of sloughs and estuaries.

If you look closely you'll see Mt Baker as it looks in the setting sun from Ferndale.  This isn't the bridge that 
collapsed in Skagit County last year, but we went over that one, since rebuilt, as well.  
Nick was extremely impressed by the college, but we'll have to wait and see if Piper chooses it over the ones in Portland coming up on another road trip in a week during mid-winter break.

All photos by the lovely and talented Sean Bentley except where otherwise indicated.

1 comment:

Sean Bentley said...

Nice to have you back in the saddle, Red Apple. Thanks for the shout-out. :-)