Vancouver, Christmas train and Granville Island markets

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Second time around in Vancouver and we would be reunited once more with the family, plus a few relatives on the side. This time, Sarah would also be joining us to make the FamBam complete.

Firstly, Margy, Ivan, Teeny and I had a free day to spend in the city. We awoke fairly late and meandered our way toward Granville Island, with its market, shops and brewery.  1N3A4275

We got to the island on the Vancouver Aquabus. These little ferries put around the river and look as though they could barely withstand their own wakes. They are tiny in every sense of the word.

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Once on the small island we headed towards to the markets. These markets are small-holder stalls arranged in a large open building, similar to the one we visited in Halifax. Once again, I wish we had such markets in Australia. Fortunately there is plans for an indoor permanent small-holder markets to be built in Maroochydore.

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We wandered the building for what seemed to be hours, sampling foods and buying gifts for Christmas. The wares on sale ranged from art prints, handmade jewelry and wooden toys to preserved meats and organic vegetables.

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From the market we headed to the kids side of the Island, full of puppets, models, and games. Teeny had her own door to enter the building, just for people of her size.

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We hung around, ate some more then made our way through the rain back to our hotel, via the tiny aquabus. Vancouver’s tall residential buildings were veiled in mist from the fine, light rain.

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That night we all gathered. Jarrod, Guy, Andrew, Louise, Ivan, Mark, Teeny and I were joined by our distant relatives – Sonja and her kids, Carson and Caelan. The destination would be the Stanley Park Christmas Train.

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The train is a permanent feature of Stanley Park but for Christmas they decorate the length of the railway with lights and features. They also give it a theme, this year it was Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The ride lasted for around fifteen minutes and everyone began to feel the cold. Snowmen looked seemingly looked sideways at us, a snoopy impersonator on stilts was perhaps the largest and most out-of-proportion Snoopy ever.

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The next day we awoke early for breakfast and then began our travel from Vancouver to Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast, via the BC Ferries. Another trip on the ferry meant another glimpse at the amazing British Columbia coastline and waterways. No Orcas were sighted, but I did spot a curious little seal when we disembarked.
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Last night we arrived at Colin and Sonja’s house in Halfmoon Bay, Sunshine Coast. The area feels fairly wild and remote. Some small towns are dotted around the place, separated by dense pine forests that grow right up to the shore. The population is around 3,000 (roughly the same as Rosewood), it is quiet and quintessential seaside. We were warmly welcomed and the beer was promptly supplied. We wandered home to our Airbnb house and settled in – all eleven of us. It feels like a Home Alone situation with all these people around.

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It is now Christmas Eve here, and board games and jigsaws have been brought out. It’s Christmas in Australia and we hope you all have a great day. Remember, it is not about the presents, it is about the family and friends. Celebrate life – go out of the house today and have fun. Peace and love to all, and to all a good night.

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