Day #30 - One Month In!

We've reached a milestone! One month into our amazing journey. 11 hotels, 9 cities, 4 states and two countries so far (don't ask about the milage!). Lots more still to come (see the Itinerary page for details). It's been incredible so far and we never let each other forget how lucky we are to be able to do this. We can't choose a highlight so far - there have been so many; so many special moments! And today just added to the growing list!

We started the day with a lovely autumnal stroll down to Stanley Park - a 400+ hectare park on Vancouver's downtown peninsula. The land was originally used by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years before British Columbia was colonized by the British during the 1858 and there are references to this throughout the park. Unlike other large urban parks, Stanley Park is not the creation of a landscape architect, but rather the evolution of a forest and urban space over many years.Most of the manmade structures present in the park were built between 1911 and 1937.

The Autumn Foliage in Stanley Park
We knew this park from the BBC's Race Across the World programme, in particular Series 3, Episode 1 where the contestants started their journey across Canada from this park. When James and I watched this, we did laugh at two contestants that struggled to find their way out of the park. Now having visited, we sympathise with them - it's a labyrinth of roads and paths - although there are maps and a free shuttle bus!

Prospect Point, the starting point for Race Across the World Series 3
We had a lovely lunch at Stanley's Bar and Grill Restaurant right next to the famous rose gardens and we enjoyed watching the black squirrels in the garden scurrying around, foraging for food. Neither of us had seen a black squirrel before.
Stanley's Bar and Grill Restaurant

We spent the rest of the morning and the early afternoon, just wandering around the park, following the paths to see where they led. One attraction we came across was the Hollow Tree - apparently it is arguably the most famous tourist attraction in Vancouver for over the last 100 years!  The Hollow Tree is very old, about 600-800 years old Western Red Cedar tree that died, but left a huge hollow stump.  The stump has a circumference of about 60 feet with a huge hollow center.  Since people have had cameras, they have taken photos of themselves inside the Hollow Tree - and who are we to deny that tradition! James also has a fascination with hollow trees, so he thoroughly enjoyed himself! 

The afternoon saw us wandering around the streets of downtown Vancouver for a bit of window shopping, before returning to the hotel to relax and refresh - we had clocked up over 25,000 steps our phones told us!

We headed out to the local gay village for another night out and to again meet some random people. Again, the evening did not disappoint since we had a lovely time talking and socialising with two gents who were in town for a Gastroenterologist's conference. Isn't life random?!